Sunday, July 22, 2018

GREENWALD'S RATIONAL VIEW
ON OUR POST-RATIONAL PRESIDENT

(Greenwald at The Intercept.com)

Below are the links to the discussions seen on DemocracyNow!

(PART ONE)

"As President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, we host a debate on U.S.-Russia relations. In Washington, D.C., we speak with Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. Greenwald calls the Trump-Putin meeting “excellent” and adds that President Obama also sought diplomacy with Russia. Cirincione calls the summit “a danger to America and to the West.”

(PART TWO)

"Watch Part 2 of our debate on U.S.-Russia relations as President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. In Washington, D.C., we speak with Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept."

Also consider this:

(Alexander Mercouris at ConsortiumNews.com)

"They actually held a Russian-American summit in Helsinki on Monday to talk about life and death issues, though you wouldn’t know it from the corporate media. Alexander Mercouris explores some of those other issues."

Friday, July 20, 2018

HENRY GIROUX'S CRITICAL READS

(The Seminary Co-op)

"It is hard to imagine a more urgent moment for developing a language of critique and possibility that would serve to awaken our critical and imaginative senses and help free us from the tyrannical nightmare that has descended upon the United States under the rule of Donald Trump. In an age of social isolation, information overflow, a culture of immediacy, consumer glut, and spectacularized violence, reading critical books and thinking critically remain necessary if we are to take seriously the notion that a democracy cannot exist or be defended without informed and engaged citizens. This is especially true at a time when denial has become a national pastime matched only by the increasing normalization of one of the most alarming administrations ever to take hold of the American presidency. Against a numbing indifference, paralyzing despair, or withdrawal into the private orbits of the isolated self, there is a need to create those formative cultures that are humanizing, foster the capacity to hear others, sustain complex thoughts, and engage social problems. We have no other choice if we are to resist the increasing destabilization of democratic institutions, the assault on reason, the collapse of the distinction between fact and fiction, the legitimation of tribal identities, and the taste for savagery that now spreads across America like a plague. Reading the word means not only learning how to read the world, but also learning how to think critically and refuse to succumb to the unthinkable. The pedagogical lesson here is that fascism begins with hateful words, the demonization of others considered disposable and moves to an attack on ideas, the burning of books, and the disappearance of intellectuals, the emergence of the carceral state, and the horrors of detention centers and camps.

     Trump’s presidency may only be symptomatic of the long decline of liberal democracy in the United States, but its presence signifies one of the gravest challenges, if not dangers, the country has faced in over a century. A formative culture of lies, ignorance, corruption and violence is now fueled by a range of orthodoxies shaping American life, including social conservatism, market fundamentalism, apocalyptic nationalism, religious extremism, and white nationalism, all of which occupy the centers of power at the highest levels of government. Historical memory and moral witnessing have given way to a bankrupt nostalgia that celebrates the most regressive moments in American history."

Thursday, July 19, 2018

RUSSIAGATE IS A DISTRACTION

Manipulation of public opinion has been an ever-present blight on America since its inception. Lies and deceptions have been used since colonial times to justify wars and conflicts to serve business interests, at the expense of ordinary citizens. We are a nation of Charlie Browns, always willing to try one more time to kick Lucy's football.


Charlie Brown is US, always willing to believe.

Hindsight is obscured by revisionist history, lies upon lies have made it difficult for us to become a wiser populace. Despite all the falsehoods that were later revealed, propaganda still works. Not enough of us have learned the lessons of history, that the masses are tools used to help build empire. The banksters have made war our primary business, mechanisms of destruction our most lucrative manufacturing enterprise. We finance the merchants of death and the trillions they absorb do not trickle down, only the blood of our victims flow, which include our own soldiers, who fight and die for nebulous causes based on rhetoric, not just purposes. 

Our media and the majority of our political stooges sell conflict to the masses to support the agenda of a corrupt Military and Surveillance State that serves the oligarchs. 

Russiagate is bullshit, deflecting everyone from the real problem with our elections, they don't mean anything. The U.S. government ignores the will of the people in favor of the super-rich. Bribery isn't a rare crime in D.C., it's the driving force that defines how the business of our government operates. 

Russia is not a threat to the U.S., but conflict with Russia will help justify the massive flow of public dollars to the Military Industrial Complex, the incomprehensibly massive program that wastes trillions of dollars that could otherwise be spent supporting the taxpayers who provide it. 

The DoD and NSA are a scam, a bloated monstrosity, a literal crime against humanity.

(America's Lawyer)

A Spirited, Substantive Debate on the Trump-Putin Summit, Russia, and U.S. Politics
(Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept.com)

"ON SATURDAY, I described the “multiple reasons political discourse is degraded by the fact that it now plays out primarily on Twitter.” On Sunday night, the New York Times’s White House reporter Maggie Haberman announced that she was ” taking a break from this platform” because “it’s not really helping the discourse.” There seems to be a growing recognition, one I certainly share, that Twitter is a uniquely poor, even destructive, medium for conducting complex political debates and should be avoided for those purposes.

That view was reinforced for me by a lengthy, spirited, and substantive debate I had on Democracy Now! this morning about the Trump-Putin summit, and U.S. politics more broadly, with Joe Cirincione, the longtime president of Ploughshares Fund, which has long been devoted to the reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, as well as a contributor to MSNBC and Think Progress. Although we disagreed on several critical questions, the debate was substantive, respectful, and nuanced, and therefore, infinitely more illuminating of my positions and his than endless Twitter bickering could possibly achieve..."

(Joe Lauria at ConsortiumNews.com)

"The indictment of 12 Russian ‘agents,’ which included no collusion with Trump’s team, is essentially a political and not legal document because it is almost certain the U.S. government will never have to present any evidence in court, reports Joe Lauria."

* * * * * * * * 
Look past the propaganda:

(ConsortiumNews.com)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

___________
WHAT DID WE JUST CELEBRATE?

(Caitlin Johnstone at ConsortiumNews.com)
Posted on July 4, 2018

EXCERPTS:

"Today America celebrates its liberation from the shackles of the British Crown and the beginning of its transition into corporatist oligarchy, which is a lot like celebrating your lateral promotion from housekeeping to laundry staff..."

"...Just as King George didn’t give up rule of the New World colonies without a knock-down, drag-out fight, King George 2.0 has no intention of relinquishing its rule either. The oligarchs have been fighting to keep their power, and, in the money-equals-power system that they have built for themselves, this necessarily means keeping you from having money. Just as King George’s kingship would have meant nothing if everybody was King, the oligarchs won’t be oligarchs anymore if ordinary Americans are ever able to secure enough money for themselves to begin influencing their government within its current money-equals-power paradigm..."

"...America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy. Sometimes it doesn’t even keep its wig on; a recent party at the Hamptons saw Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Charles Koch mixing it up with Chuck Schumer and George Soros. When they’re not dining on champagne and rare fillet together, these people pretend to be locked in a vicious partisan battle that is “tearing the nation apart,” but at Lally Weymouth’s annual Southampton summer party the act stops and the oligarchs frolic together like children.

1776 turned out to be nothing other than a transition from one form of exploitative rule to another, but who knows? Maybe a year in the not-too-distant future will see America celebrating a real Independence Day."


(YouTube.com)

Video by Represent.US
Learn more at http://Represent.Us/TheProblem, and go to https://represent.us/TheSolution to see our plan and join the Anti-Corruption Movement.

Monday, July 9, 2018

A HYPOCRITE OF THE FIRST ORDER

That this shameless asshole remains in office is evidence enough that our system is as corrupt as is possible to imagine. When I see Mitch it's hard "to keep a straight face," because I'm puking.

"This is the same guy who denied a hearing and a vote to President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland."
(Huffington Post)

"WASHINGTON ― Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) scolded Democrats who are vowing to oppose President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before he or she is even announced ― which is exactly what McConnell and all Republicans did to President Barack Obama before blocking his court pick entirely.

During remarks Monday on the Senate floor, McConnell said it is hard for him “to keep a straight face” when he hears some Democrats say they will vote against anyone on Trump’s previously released list of 25 potential Supreme Court picks. The conservative Federalist Society fed Trump all but one of those names.

“Justice Kennedy’s resignation letter had barely arrived in the president’s hands before several of our Democratic colleagues began declaring their blanket opposition to anyone at all,” said McConnell. 

“There’s not even a nominee yet,” he said with a laugh. “We should evaluate this president’s nominee fairly, based on their qualifications. And we should treat this process with the respect and the dignity that it deserves.”

Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? Inside the Right-Wing History of Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee
(DemocracyNow.org)

"President Trump has nominated federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the high court. Kavanaugh has deep ties to the Republican Party and will push the Supreme Court further right if he is confirmed. Kavanaugh served as a senior aide under President George W. Bush in the White House Counsel’s Office. He has similar credentials to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Both clerked for Anthony Kennedy, and both are backed by the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, who drew up a list for Trump in 2016 of suitable right-wing judges to consider for the Supreme Court. We speak with Ian Millhiser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the editor of ThinkProgress Justice. His latest piece is headlined “Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy?”
COGNITIVE BIAS OR TRUTH?

I'm not a fan of modern pop music; I love old school rock 'n' roll, and music past and present that fits my personal views regarding what makes music "good."

I also think the music I grew up on was in general better than what is played on the radio these days. But doesn't everyone think that about the music they grew up on? And don't we have a tendency to think things were better in the good old days?

People have waxed nostalgic for centuries, saying things like, "the world is doomed, just look at the kids these days!" I'm pretty sure they said that in ancient Greece and Rome.

Well, I discovered a video that shows why I'm right about my old music, and I think it makes some compelling arguments. But am I the victim of cognitive bias? I say no!

LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL!

You may disagree, of course, because art is at it's heart subjective.
Below I provide some food for thought about music, and thinking, and the human brain.

(YouTube.com)


(Psychology Today)

(Very Well Mind.com)

(Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561)

(Wikipedia)