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Guns and Liberty

American gun owners find a false sense of political power in their firearms, and the controlling elites are more than happy to let them keep their destructive illusions.

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for both parties.

by CHRIS HEDGES Truthdig  February 25, 2018


US Loses Leadership in the World with Aggressive Regime Change Policy in Iran

The United States undermined its leadership in the world with its response to recent protests in Iran. While the protests were greatly exaggerated in the corporate media, they involved relatively small numbers of people and have been dwarfed by days of pro-government protests.

The United States made a foreign policy blunder in bringing the protests to the UN Security Council this week. The administration hoped to undermine Iran’s government and the renewal of the nuclear agreement, but their action had the reverse effect.

Popular Resistance  January 7, 2018

Republicans are using Fear of Eugenics to Attack Reproductive Rights

Cute kids with Down syndrome, like my son, should never be an excuse to deny access to an abortion.

Photo Left from the Holocaust Museum. Translation: Volk* comrade that is also your money. This hereditary disease costs the national community Lebenszeit, that is, room to live (a major propaganda phrase of the Nazis).

*Definition of Volk.  The concept of Volk (people, nation, or race) has been an underlying idea in German history since the early nineteenth century. Inherent in the name was a feeling of superiority of German culture and the idea of a universal mission for the German people.

Ohio abortion-rights activists

Excerpt: In Ohio, for example, parents of kids with Down syndrome are finding fewer and fewer resources. One parent of a daughter with Down syndrome, columnist Holly Christensen, wrotein the Akron Beacon: “Our statehouse is controlled by the Republican Party and has been for many years. The same legislators who voted to outlaw abortion of fetuses with DS [Down syndrome] also voted this past year to remove language that would have increased funding to county DD [developmental disability] boards.” In an e-mail, Christensen told me that she’s constantly encountering “workers and teachers telling us what they used to provide but no longer can due to budget cuts.” The same story can be found in other states, where GOP-held legislatures are using austerity to shred access to disability services.

By David M. Perry  The Nation  January 4, 2018

Challenging the Neoliberalism at the Root of Trump's Authoritarianism

Challenging the Neoliberalism at the Root of Trump’s Authoritarianism

Donald Trump‘s election marked a perilous watershed for the descent of democracy in the United States into authoritarianism. Not only is the public in peril, democracy is on the brink of collapse as the economic, political and cultural institutions necessary for it to survive are being aggressively undermined. There is hope, however: A robust intersectional resistance can result in radical social and political change. Read more…

By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | Book Excerpt

Racism, fundamentalism, fear and propaganda: An insider explains why rural, white Christian America will never change 

(Photo: Wikimedia commons)

As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is still being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: “Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”

Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.

I grew up in rural, Christian, white America. You’d be hard-pressed to find an area in the country that has a higher percentage of Christians or whites. I spent most of the first 24 years of my life deeply embedded in this culture. I religiously (pun intended) attended their Christian services. I worked off and on, on their rural farms. I dated their calico skirted daughters. I camped, hunted, and fished with their sons. I listened to their political rants at the local diner and truck stop. I winced at their racist/bigoted jokes and epithets that were said more out of ignorance than animosity. I have also watched the town I grew up in go from a robust economy with well-kept homes and infrastructure turn into a struggling economy with shuttered businesses, dilapidated homes, and a broken down infrastructure over the past 30 years. The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people. The problem is they don’t understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and don’t seem to care to know why.

  November 30, 2017

Trouble In The Offshore Paradise

Keith CooperJust as Congress begins debate on the Republicans’ “Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” new revelations have emerged about how wealthy elites around the world hide their wealth. The “Paradise Papers” — the result of a leak from the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby — shines additional light onto the shadowy world of hidden wealth and tax dodging. Efforts to reform the U.S. tax system are fundamentally undermined by a global tax-avoidance system that allows individuals and corporations to shift trillions to offshore havens to escape taxation, accountability, and publicity. The Paradise Papers, alongside the “Panama Papers” released in April 2016, provide another set of disclosures into a system full of titillating details about how high-ranking global officials have created their own system of rules. The Bermuda leaks disclose the role of high-ranking Trump administration members, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House economic adv isor Gary Cohn, in using offshore tax havens. National groups and political leaders, including Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, are calling for a slowdown of Republican efforts to push through their tax bill to address these abuses. Oxfam America and the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition have called on Congress to hold hearings on the findings and a debate over how to best remedy them. Tax Justice Network international has called on the United Nations to convene a global summit to address tax haven abuse. -more-

By Chuck Collins for Inequality  Popular Resistance  November 8, 2017

Bill Moyers | Academic Freedom in the Age of Trump 

Bill Moyers. (photo: PBS)

Bill Moyers. (photo: PBS)

 Moyers writes: “Back in the 1930s a scholarly intramural feud to choose the inscription for the new library at my future alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, ended in a draw. From many nominations the competition came down to two finalists. Both said the same thing in different tongues: ‘Ye Shall Know The Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free,’ from the biblical Gospel of John, and its Latin counterpart: ‘Cognoscetis Ventatem et veritas liberabit vos.'”  READ MORE

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company  Reader Supported News  October 28, 2017

Democrats have little ability to protest Trump’s pick to run the IRS, despite his absurdly disqualifying backstory.

Lee Fang, Ryan Grim  The Intercept  October 27, 2017 

How Democratic Socialists Convinced a Congressman to Sign Onto Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Nurses and other healthcare activists rally for single-payer/universal healthcare and against any proposed bailouts of private health insurance corporations on April 06, 2009 in Los Angeles. The activists are calling for the passage of HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act which would create a universal single-payer health care system, in which the government would provide every resident health care free of charge. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)Members of the Democratic Socialists of America attended a town hall to persuade Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., to co-sponsor a single-payer health care bill.

Zaid Jilani  The Intercept  October 25, 2017


on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Dr. Michael Dourson confirmation hearing, Washington DC, USA - 04 Oct 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images)

“We’ve done the wrong thing,” said Sen. Thomas Carper, after the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted on Michael Dourson’s nomination to the EPA.

Sharon Lerner The Intercept  October 25, 2017

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