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Deconstructing Thanksgiving at Standing Rock

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"With their heroic stand to deconstruct the Dakota Access pipeline, the indigenous tribes gathered at Standing Rock are also deconstructing Thanksgiving." (Photo: Joe Brusky/Overpass Light Brigade/flickr/cc)

  • With their heroic stand to deconstruct the Dakota Access pipeline, the indigenous tribesgathered at Standing Rock are also deconstructing Thanksgiving. And they are showing us a path for the future that should inspire us for the difficult times ahead: a future based on respect for Mother Earth and all species, cooperation, generosity, nonviolence, humility and love.
  • Related: A Pipeline Fight and America's Dark Past

Medea Benjamin, Common Dreams

November 24, 2016 | It is with a heavy heart that I travel to Standing Rock to give thanks and serve meals to the water protectors who, in the freezing weather, have braved attack dogs, tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, percussion grenades and other forms of state-sanctioned violence. This Thanksgiving comes on the heels of a particularly heart-wrenching day, Nov. 21, when over 150 activists were injured, receiving treatment for hypothermia, contamination by tear gas, and traumas from rubber bullets. One activist, 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky, will spend the holiday undergoing a third surgery on her shattered arm that was ripped apart by an exploding concussion grenade.

It is appalling that these fierce attacks against peaceful activists are happening under President Barack Obama’s watch, and these water protectors are anticipating even greater repression when Donald Trump gets to the White House. During the campaign, Trump promised to roll back regulations on the fossil fuel industry and unleash “a treasure trove of untapped energy.”

Medea Benjamin (medea@globalexchange.org), co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace,and author of a forthcoming book on Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of the Unjust. Her previous books include: Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control; Don’t Be Afraid Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart, and (with Jodie Evans) Stop the Next War Now (Inner Ocean Action Guide).

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A Pipeline Fight and America's Dark PastBill McKibben,  New Yorker Magazine 

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The events at Standing Rock also allow Americans to realize who some of the nation’s most important leaders really are. The fight for environmental sanity—against pipelines and coal ports and other fossil-fuel infrastructure—has increasingly been led by Native Americans, many of whom are in that Dakota camp today. They speak with real authority—no one else has lived on this continent for the longterm. They see the nation’s history more clearly than anyone else, and its possible future as well. 

For once, after all these centuries, it’s time to look through their eyes. History offers us no chances to completely erase our mistakes. Occasionally, though, we do get a chance to show we learned something.

Bill McKibben is Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College and co-founder of 350.org. His most recent book is Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.

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Three reasons the US doesn’t have universal health coverage

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  • As long as these facts remain, there is little reason to expect universal coverage in America anytime soon, regardless of who becomes president.
  • Related: Health Care Is A Right, Not A Business

Timothy Callaghan, Raw Story

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26 Oct 2016 | Amidst the partisan rancor and the unusual tilt toward questions on civility during the second and third presidential debates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew the attention of health experts when they articulated their path forward for health policy in America.

Responding to questions about the lack of affordability in the Affordable Care Act, the candidates detailed how they would address the increasingly glaring flaws in President Obama’s signature policy achievement. Mr. Trump, who called the ACA a “disaster,” has pushed for repeal of the law. He wants to replace it with block grants for Medicaid and the sale of health insurance across state lines.

Timothy Callaghan, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University

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Health Care Is A Right, Not A Business, Richard (RJ) Eskow, Huffington Post   

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  • Government’s first obligation is to protect rights, not profits. When the Declaration of Independence proclaimed our “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” it even put “life” first.
  • Related: Bullying executives won't result in lower prescription drug costs.

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One in five CEOs are psychopaths, new study finds

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  • Proportion of psychopath corporate executives 'similar to prison population'
  • How much of a psychopath is Donald Trump? Worse than Hitler, apparently.

Harriet Agerholm, Independent

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https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/story_large/public/thumbnails/image/2016/02/26/18/American-Psycho.jpg Characteristics such as an inability to empathise, superficiality and insincerity are associated with the condition Lions Gate Films 

Tuesday 13 September 2016 | Around one in five corporate bosses are psychopaths - a proportion similar to that among prisoners - according to a new study.

Research conducted by forensic psychologist Nathan Brooks from Bond University found 21 per cent of 261 corporated professionals had clinically significant psychopathic traits.

Characteristics such as an inability to empathise, superficiality and insincerity are all associated with the condition.

Harriet Agerholm: Freelance journalist, writes for @Independent, @Guardian, @Dazed and others.

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Fear, Anxiety, and Depression in the Age of Trump

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Therapists and their patients are struggling to cope amid the national nervous breakdown that is the 2016 election.

Michelle Goldberg, Slate

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http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/09/160922_POL_Trump-Anxiety.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2.jpgSeptember 23, 2016 | Carol Wachs, a psychologist in private practice in Manhattan, recently started seeing an old patient again. The client had first sought treatment for anxiety following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Now she was worried about a new menace: Donald Trump and his zealous supporters. The patient, Wachs says, comes from a family of Holocaust survivors, and “it feels to her like all the stories she heard from her grandparents about how things feel normal and then all of the sudden, oh my God, here we are.”

  • According to Wachs, the election casts a shadow on many of her patients. “If I have seven patients in a day, it comes up in six sessions, maybe five,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll have a session where people will say, ‘Let’s not talk about what’s going on in the election, it’s so upsetting.’ ”

Michelle Goldberg is a columnist for Slate and the author, most recently, of The Goddess Pose.

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