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Noam Chomsky: Why Americans Know So Much About Sports But So Little About World Affairs

The way the system is set up, there is virtually nothing people can do anyway to influence the real world.

Noam Chomsky, Noam Chomsky's Official Site / AlterNet Journalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.,204,203,200_.jpg September 15, 2014 | The following is a short excerpt from a classic, The Chomsky Reader, which offers a unique insight on a question worth asking -- how is it that we as a people can be so knowledgable about the intricacies of various sports teams, yet be colossally ignorant about our various undertakings abroad? 


Question: You've written about the way that professional ideologists and the mandarins obfuscate reality. And you have spoken -- in some places you call it a "Cartesian common sense" -- of the commonsense capacities of people. Indeed, you place a significant emphasis on this common sense when you reveal the ideological aspects of arguments, especially in contemporary social science. What do you mean by common sense? What does it mean in a society like ours? For example, you've written that within a highly competitive, fragmented society, it's very difficult for people to become aware of what their interests are. If you are not able to participate in the political system in meaningful ways, if you are reduced to the role of a passive spectator, then what kind of knowledge do you have? How can common sense emerge in this context?

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

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Bernie Sanders' Elephant in the Room

  • The self-described “democratic-socialist” tends to backhandedly support the American empire, a seemingly habitual system that is markedly antithetical to socialist political philosophy. “No!” you may say. “Bernie is anti-war!” Unfortunately, his voting record does not align with this assertion.
  • Bernie Sanders supporters need to stop behaving like a cult

Nick Bernabe, Anti-Media Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. 21, 2015 | America’s new favorite populist has a foreign policy problem —one his loyal supporters continually downplay and war-loving Republicans have declined to criticize. Before Bernie Sanders supporters simply dismiss this article as a hit-job on the candidate, however, they should remember that criticizing one’s chosen candidate is not a disservice to him. In fact, it might even help him understand how his followers feel about the issues that matter to them.

Think back to the #BlackLivesMatter interruption of Sanders’ campaign event in Seattle and his subsequent actions to further incorporate racial inequality issues into his platform. Also remember that many Sanders supporters prematurely condemned the action taken by black activists without even knowing the full story. Don’t let reactionary feelings scare you into not questioning your candidate. You can improve his platform by criticizing it.

Nick BernabeAnti-Media Editor-in-Chief, Thinker, writer, and speaker on civil liberties, the drug war, economic justice, foreign policy, geopolitics, government corruption, the police state, politics, propaganda, and social justice. Just to name a few. 

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Bernie Sanders supporters need to stop behaving like a cult, Chris Tognotti, Daily Dot

  • As steadfast as Sanders and his supporters may be, their belligerence on questions about key social issues reveals a major danger in developing a cult-like following.
  • The problem with Bernie Sanders


Europe's Refugee Crisis Was Made in America

  • Washington helped create the conditions with its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The numbers keep on growing. The authorities are overwhelmed, as are the solidarity networks. The refugee crisis has revealed a different rift: between thousands of ordinary citizens, from Greece to Germany to Britain, ready to share their bread their homes, and governments determined to fortify their borders and protect their power, backed by both the anxious and the frankly xenophobic. 
  • Wars, Refugees And The Complete Lack Of Leadership Everywhere

Editors of the Nation, the Nation walk to a collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary, September 6, 2015, after crossing the border from Serbia. photo credit: Marko Djurica / Reuters // The Nation

September 9, 2015 | All over Europe and the Mediterranean world, barriers are being breached: the natural and man-made barriers used by nation-states to shut out unwanted travelers; the barriers of fear and grief that keep people from fleeing war or poverty until they have no choice; the barriers of indifference that enable? the rest of us to get on with our lives as if those men, women, and children were no concern of ours. More than 380,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean this year in search of safety, two-thirds of them landing in Greece; at least 2,850 have drowned or are missing at sea. Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, and others walk for days in the heat, sleep rough on docks or station platforms or by the side of the road, are tear-gassed and beaten at borders and crammed into trains like cattle as they try to make their way north.

The numbers keep on growing, but for those on the edge of Europe struggling with their own troubles, the story is not new. The authorities are overwhelmed, as are the solidarity networks that offer food and water, shelter and medical care. On a continent that seemed divided between north and south by the financial crisis, the refugee crisis has revealed a different rift: between thousands of ordinary citizens, from Greece to Germany to Britain, ready to share their bread and open up their homes, and governments determined to fortify their borders and protect their power, backed by both the anxious and the frankly xenophobic.

Founded by abolitionists in 1865, the Nation is America’s oldest weekly magazine, serving as a critical, independent voice in American journalism and a platform for investigative reporting and spirited debate on issues of import to the progressive community. 

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Wars, Refugees And The Complete Lack Of Leadership Everywhere, Alan Hart, Countercurrents 

  • If Obama had demonstrated real leadership … I think the countdown to catastrophe for Syria, the region and possibly the whole world could have been stopped.
  • A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII

A Short History of the U.S. Bombing of Civilian Facilities

  • While the international outcry has been significant, history suggests this is less because of what happened and more because of whom it happened to. The U.S. has repeatedly attacked civilian facilities in the past but the targets have generally not been affiliated with a European, Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization such as MSF.
  • International Organizations Condemn U.S. for attacking Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan

Jon Schwarz, the Intercept <>

Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag.jpg Oct. 7 2015 | On October 3, a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Kunduz, Afghanistan, partially destroying it. Twelve staff members and 10 patients, including three children, were killed, and 37 people were injured. According to MSF, the U.S. had previously been informed of the hospital’s precise location, and the attack continued for 30 minutes after staff members desperately called the U.S. military.

The U.S. first claimed the hospital had been “collateral damage” in an airstrike aimed at “individuals” elsewhere who were “threatening the force.” Since then, various vague and contradictory explanations have been offered by the U.S. and Afghan governments, both of which promise to investigate the bombing. MSF has called the attack a war crime and demanded an independent investigation by a commission set up under the Geneva Conventions.


Before joining (the Intercept's First Look), Jon Schwarz worked for Michael Moore’s Dog Eat Dog Films and was Research Producer for Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. He’s contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and Slate, as well as NPR and “Saturday Night Live.”

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International Organizations Condemn U.S. for attacking Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The U.S. story about the bombing of Doctors Without Borders is contradictory, ever-changing and possibly criminal.
  • Part 1: We Have Committed a War Crime: 'Patients Were Burning in Their Beds'
  • Part 2: I Have No Words to Express This - It Is Unspeakable

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