America’s problems aren’t Obama’s fault. They’re George W Bush’s

Not to mention the obstructionist scumbag Republicans in the House and Senate.

From The Guardian UK:

Tuesday 30 August 2016

The unhinged arguments at the heart of the 2016 presidential election are not really a debate about the outgoing president. They’re about Bush’s legacy

It’s George W Bush’s world, and we’re just living in it.

Not Donald Trump’s. Not Hillary Clinton’s. Not even Barack Obama’s. No, the unhinged arguments at the heart of the 2016 presidential election are not really a debate about the legacy of the current occupant of the White House. They’re not about Obamacare, or the Recovery Act; the Paris climate agreement or even the Iran nuclear deal.

They are, at their heart, an unresolved argument about the world as the 43rd president defined it: for worse, for much worse, and then for better.

If you’re the kind of person – on the left or right – who cannot hear the name George W Bush without foaming at the mouth, you should leave your comment or post your tweet right now. Because it’s time to take a sober look at a presidency bookended by the spectacular mass murder on 11 September 2001, and the spectacular financial meltdown of 2008.

From the rise of Isis to mass surveillance; from tax cuts for the wealthy to immigration reform; from the excesses of Wall Street to the struggles of Main Street; this election is taking place in a country that is still torn apart by the Bush years.

Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s hyperkinetic first chief of staff, liked to say that President Bush had left them a ribbon-wrapped gift of a shit sandwich: two wars, the worst recession in living memory and a disastrous international reputation.

But Bush also left them a path out from his own colossal disasters: the massive government bailout of the financial sector, and a Federal Reserve prepared to take unprecedented measures to bankroll the global economy. A drone war to kill terrorist targets without boots on the ground, and a more stable Iraq that could allow for a US withdrawal.

While Obama got to work on his special sandwich, Bush’s Republican party is still stuck in the middle of it all. For the GOP can no more find its way out of the Bush debates than Britain’s Labour party can decide how to deal with the legacy of Tony Blair.

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‘Normal’ in our society means male. Women are written out of the story

Gender reduces female people to being secondary to men.

From The Guardian UK:

It took Andy Murray to point out to John Inverdale that the Williams sisters had beaten his Olympic record – not the only instance in which women are absent

Wednesday 17 August 2016

It has famously been said that feminism is the radical notion that women are people. While this distinction may seem obvious, it remains a confusing area for some – not least sports reporter John Inverdale. Congratulating Andy Murray on his second tennis Olympic gold medal, Inverdale told him: “You’re the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals,” leaving Murray to point out: “Venus and Serena [Williams] have won about four each.”

Just days earlier, while commenting on the men’s rugby sevens event, Inverdale reportedly announced that the winning team would be taking home the first-ever Olympic medal for the sport, despite the women’s title having already been claimed by Australia less than a week before. All this has led to the mystery of the week, the question on everybody’s lips: has Inverdale forgotten that women exist, or does he just not realise that they are people?

In fairness to Inverdale, he is far from alone. Women have a pesky habit of slipping minds at important moments – just ask those reporters who discussed our hypothetical new prime minister using “he” and “him” before being left red-faced by Theresa May’s victory.

It’s not surprising that Murray picked up on the error – it’s only three years since he was lavishly congratulated on the front pages for ending the “77-year wait” for a British Wimbledon champion. Which is true. As long as you don’t consider Virginia Wade, who won Wimbledon in 1977, and three previous female winners since Fred Perry’s 1936 victory, to be people.

It is telling that we are so used to such omissions that Murray’s simple statement of fact about the Williams sisters has received rapturous applause across the media and the internet. Under the circumstances, it is remarkable and hugely welcome to see a man in his position be so thoughtful as to acknowledge women’s existence. But wouldn’t it be nice if it was the norm rather than the exception?

The problem isn’t confined to sport either. When Tim Peake was hailed in the media as the first Briton to blast off into space last December, it must have come as a surprise to Helen Sharman, who beat him to it by more than 20 years.

So ingrained is our society’s default male norm, in fact, that many media outlets choose to point out that people are female in newspaper headlines, as if the idea they aren’t male is as newsworthy as the event they were involved in: “Hero gas station clerk saves female doctor from suspected kidnapper”; “Female judge Constance Briscoe investigated over leaking Chris Huhne case, court told”; “Female Belgian rower falls ill after racing on Guanabara bay”; “Woman cyclist fighting for life after horrific crash at danger junction”.

The same shock manifests itself when subjects deviate from other expected norms, too, as swimmer Simone Manuel discovered when her gold medal victory was reduced in headlines to: “Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American”. The implication is that white men are individuals – human beings in their own right, with personalities and quirks and rich, rounded lives – while other people are still defined as members of homogenous “othered” groups.

This matters beyond the technicality of who gets named in a headline. It impacts on how sympathetic our society is likely to be towards those described. It contributes to the stereotyping and vilification of entire groups who are tarred, sweepingly, with a single brush. It writes out of history those whose contributions we most need to highlight in order to rectify inequality in sport, science and other fields.

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Lakoff: Pay Close Attention—Trump Means Exactly What He Says

From Alternet:

Trump is swaying millions with his calculated rhetoric.

By George Lakoff
August 24, 2016

Responsible reporters in the media normally transcribe political speeches so that they can accurately report them. But Donald Trump’s discourse style has stumped a number of reporters. Dan Libit, CNBC’s excellent analyst, is one of them. Libit writes, “His unscripted speaking style, with its spasmodic, self-interrupting sentence structure, has increasingly come to overwhelm the human brains and tape recorders attempting to quote him.”

Trump is, simply put, a transcriptionist’s worst nightmare: severely unintelligible, yet incredibly important to understand.

Given how dramatically recent polls have turned on his controversial public utterances, it is not hyperbolic to say that the very fate of the nation appears destined to come down to one man’s application of the English language, and the public’s comprehension of it. It has turned the rote job of transcribing into a high-stakes calling.

Trump’s crimes against clarity are multifarious: He often speaks in long, run-on sentences, with frequent asides. He pauses after subordinate clauses. He frequently quotes people saying things that aren’t actual quotes. And he repeats words and phrases, sometimes with slight variations, in the same sentence.

Some in the media (Washington Post,Salon, Slate, Think Progress, etc.) have called Trump’s speeches “word salad.” Some commentators have even attributed his language use to “early Alzheimer’s,” citing “erratic behavior” and “little regards for social conventions.”

I don’t believe it.

I have been repeatedly asked in media interviews about Trumps use of language. So far as I can tell, he is simply using effective discourse mechanisms to communicate what he wants to communicate to his audience. I have found that he is very careful and very strategic in his use of language. The only way I know to show this is to function as a linguist and cognitive scientist and go through details.

Let’s start with sentence fragments. It is common and natural in New York discourse for friends to finish one another’s sentences. And throughout the country, if you don’t actually say the rest of a friend’s sentence out loud, there is nevertheless a point at which you can finish it in your head. When this happens in cooperative discourse, it can show empathy and intimacy with a friend, that you know the context of the narrative, and that you understand and accept your friend’s framing of the situation so well you can even finish what they have started to say. Of course, you can be bored with, or antagonistic to someone and be able to finish their sentences with anything but a feeling of empathy and intimacy. But Trump prefers to talk to a friendly crowd.

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Sexism, meet racism: Trump’s Angela Merkel comments expose the collision of misogyny and white supremacy

From Salon:

Years of blaming feminists for a supposed “demographic winter” fuel Trump’s demonization of Merkel and Clinton

Friday, Aug 19, 2016

Donald Trump has a new obsession: comparing Hillary Clinton to Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. During a Monday speech, Trump denounced the “massive immigration” to Germany under Merkel, for which he blames crime rising “to levels that no one thought would they would ever see.” He followed up this speech with press releases and a hashtag aimed at equating Clinton and Merkel.

The choice is an odd one on its surface because most Americans don’t have an opinion about Merkel, even when they know who she is. But as Alice Ollstein of Think Progress persuasively argued on Wednesday, the meme makes more sense when one considers that white supremacists definitely know who Merkel is, because they hate her:

To white nationalist communities that fervently support Trump, Merkel has been a popular villain. Sites like the Daily Stormer, the White Genocide Project, American Renaissance, and The White Resister have posted constantly about her since the Syrian refugee crisis began escalating earlier this year. They have accused her of making a “deliberate attempt to turn Germany from a majority White country into a minority White country.” They have called her a “crazy childless bitch,” an “anti-White traitor,” and “a patron saint of terrorists.” They have asked, in articles about Merkel, “Why would you allow a woman to run a country, unless you were doing it as a joke?”

It’s yet another example of how Trump is mainstreaming white supremacist sentiment. But by making two women the center of an attack, he is also highlighting the way that antifeminism and white supremacy are tied into each other, since people in alt-right, white supremacist circles like to blame feminism for what they see as the “decline” of the white race.

Trump alone cannot be blamed for the mainstreaming of this ideology. For years now, mainstream conservative figures have been playing footsy with the antifeminist, racist fringe, cleaning up its ideas and passing them off as mainstream conservative thought. Trump’s elevation to nominee of the Republican Party is just the logical conclusion of these efforts.

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Willie Nelson Is Ready to Share His Pot with You

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Republicans have themselves to blame for the slow economy, study says

Every one knows that when it comes to the economy, Republicans suck big time.  They plunge us in to a depression or near depression every time they get in power.  The only Republican that didn’t destroy the economy was Eisenhower and we had very high taxes on the rich in the 1950s.

From The Guardian UK:

Thursday 11 August 2016

The US’s slow recovery from the 2008 recession is due to Republican policies on the local, state and federal level, according to a new study published by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The new report comes as the slow pace of recovery has emerged as a key battleground between Republican candidate Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who will set out her economic policy on Thursday.

The EPI report blames the lackluster pace of recovery on Republican-led budget cuts in 2011 following the row over the US debt ceiling, the unwillingness of local officials to spend money when Republicans in Congress were advocating cuts in spending, and the refusal to expand Medicaid in 19 states.

The report comes as the Republican party once again calls for the reining in of government spending and reductions in the deficit.

“Given the degree of damage inflicted by the Great Recession and the restricted ability of monetary policy to aid recovery, historically expansionary fiscal policy was required to return the US economy to full health,” writes Josh Bivens, research and policy director at EPI.

“But this government spending not only failed to rise fast enough to spur a rapid recovery, it outright contracted, and this policy choice fully explains why the economy is only partially recovered from the Great Recession a full seven years after its official end.”

This economic recovery has been the slowest over the past four business cycles. For example, the employment recovery from the trough of the Great Recession to its pre-recession peak took 51 months. Following the recession in the 1980s, employment recovery took 11 months. In the early 1990s it took 23 months, and in the early 2000s it took 39 months.

The US government would have had to spend an additional $1tn in 2015 alone to match the spending that followed the 1980s recession, Bivens said. While such spending might run up the US deficit – something Republicans in Congress are opposed to – it would also have led to “several years of full employment” and the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates.

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Russian Muslim Mufti calls for genital mutilation of all women

Islam is Woman Hating Misogyny pure and simple.

How would people react to the leaders of a religion of eliminating illicit fornication by amputating all men’s penises?  I imagine the outrage would be total, at least on the part of men and there would calls to wipe that religion from the face of the earth.

There wouldn’t be a bunch of people running arond calling those who spoke out against that religion _____phobes.

Women who believe in freedom and the rights of women have to stand in opposition to Islam and it woman destroying ideology.

From Raw Story:

Agence France-Presse
18 Aug 2016

A senior Muslim cleric in Russia has prompted controversy by urging universal female genital mutilation after a rights group released a report on the practice in the country’s North Caucasus region.

Mufti Ismail Berdiyev, who heads a Muslim association for the North Caucasus region, said Wednesday that if FGM “could be applied to all women, that would be very good” in an interview with Interfax news agency.

The practice, which ranges from pricking of the clitoris to its complete removal, causes infections and loss of sensation.

The procedure has come under massive international scrutiny in recent years, with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon in 2014 launching a global campaign to end it.

Berdiyev, who was decorated by President Vladimir Putin in March, said FGM does not stop women from fulfilling their ordained role of motherhood and if all women were mutilated, “there would be less fornication”.

– ‘Compulsory ritual’ –

He later retracted his comments, claiming that he had been joking and Islam does not call for FGM.

A controversial Russian Orthodox cleric and blogger, the Church’s former spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin, backed Berdiyev saying that Muslims had a right to a “time-honoured tradition”.

“You probably don’t need to ‘circumcise’ all women, there’s no need with Orthodox women as they don’t fornicate anyway,” he added.

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Hillary’s economic pitch: She’s recommitting to progressive policies and dismantling Trumpism

From Salon:

Speaking on the economy, Hillary Clinton eased the concerns of progressive activists and lit into Donald Trump

Friday, Aug 12, 2016

Heading into Hillary Clintons’ big economic speech on Thursday, there was some concern among progressive groups that the Democratic presidential nominee was going to use the opportunity to nudge her policy agenda towards the center. She’d secured the nomination and no longer had to worry about Bernie Sanders’ challenge from the left, and her campaign was in the middle of a high-profile push to recruit Republican defectors away from GOP nominee Donald Trump, which left open the possibility that she might start moderating for the general election.

 Well, Hillary’s speech seems to have put those concerns to rest. At least for the moment. She also put together an effective line of attack against Trump’s economic agenda, separating his populist rhetoric from the reality of his policy proposals.

Clinton hit a number of progressive themes and issues during her remarks in Warren, Michigan: she called for a large boost in infrastructure spending and the creation of an infrastructure bank, she committed to connecting every household in the country to broadband internet by the end of her first term, she offered a strong defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and she backed tuition-free college for everyone except the wealthy.

Perhaps most importantly, she offered an unequivocal statement of opposition regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” she said. “I oppose it now. I’ll oppose it after the election. And I’ll oppose it as president.”

This is the stuff that activists want to hear, and the progressive groups that were slightly wary of Clinton heading into the speech were pretty ebullient over Hillary’s TPP remarks. “These were Hillary Clinton’s strongest words yet against the TPP,” Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said in a statement. “For the first time, Clinton signaled she will personally work to kill the corporate-written TPP if it comes up after the election in an unaccountable lame-duck Congress.” The Roosevelt Institute also lauded Clinton’s speech in a statement released in conjunction with Democracy Corps: “With this economic speech, Secretary Clinton has made this election a choice about whether our economy works for all, not just the few, and that allows progressive economics to win a mandate in November.”

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Led by Nazi Apologist, Hitler Youth-Type Group Emerges: ‘Trump Youth’

From Forward:

Josefin Dolsten
August 16, 2016

A group for millennials supporting Republican nominee Donald Trump bears striking similarities to another youth movement — Hitler Youth.

Both the group’s name, “Trump Youth,” and its rhetoric evokes the Hitler Youth, a wing of Germany’s Nazi party.

In a video posted to the “Trump Youth” website, the group’s blond leader speaks of having to fight a worldwide “parasite” enemy, which he later identifies as “globalists.” Nazi propaganda likened Jews to parasites and condemned them for their perceived lack of loyalty to their “host” countries.

“Our nations have been commandeered international criminal cartel and this parasite is feeding on our energy. It’s in Japan, it’s in China, it’s in Germany, it’s in America — now, if we don’t throw this parasite off our backs, the world will fall into chaos,” group leader Jayme Liardi said in the video message.

Liardi’s videos also have a jumpy, rambling quality: He also criticizes “fluoride in the water” and “GMOs.” But one of his video has had 20,000 views.

“There will be no peace, if they are successful, if the globalists are successful, if this new world order comes to place,” Liardi said. “It’s up to us, the millennials, the children of tomorrow, to become the hero generation and to save the world.”

The “Trump Youth” website encourages prospective members to include their ethnicity in their applications in addition to other things, such as their biggest accomplishments and how many members they can refer.

The site does not reference the Republican presidential nominee other than in its name.

On his personal website, Liardi implies Hitler and Nazism have been unfairly portrayed through history.

“I wanted to understand the mind of the supposed most evil man in history,” Liardi wrote. “And yes, I read Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’. I quickly realized that I was not being given all of the facts — that what passes for history is merely rehashed propaganda from the war.”

Liardi also seems to draw a link between Jewish and globalist interests, referring to the government supporting globalism as “kosher.”

“If you have no identity, one will be installed into you by the kosher forces of The State. Make no mistake, they may say that they are for ‘multiculturalism’ ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ but their actions would say otherwise. This is the ideology that brought us colonialism, slavery and the chain stores of suburbia. This is our current world—the world of Globalism,” Liardi wrote.

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Embarrassing Photos of Me, Thanks to My Right-Wing Stalkers

From The New York Times:

By Bill McKibben
Aug. 5, 2016

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — THERE are shameful photos of me on the internet.

In one series, my groceries are being packed into plastic bags, as I’d forgotten to bring cloth ones. In other shots, I am getting in and out of … cars. There are video snippets of me giving talks, or standing on the street. Sometimes I see the cameraman, sometimes I don’t. The images are often posted to Twitter, reminders that I’m being watched.

In April, Politico and The Hill reported that America Rising Squared, an arm of the Republican opposition research group America Rising, had decided to go after me and Tom Steyer, another prominent environmentalist, with a campaign on a scale previously reserved for presidential candidates. Using what The Hill called “an unprecedented amount of effort and money,” the group, its executive director said, was seeking to demonstrate our “epic hypocrisy and extreme positions.”

Since then, my days in public have often involved cameramen walking backward and videotaping my every move. It’s mostly when I travel (I’ve encountered them in at least five states so far, as well as in Australia), and generally when I’m in a public or semipublic space. They aren’t interested in my arguments; instead, these videos, usually wordless, are simply posted on Twitter, almost always with music. One showed me sitting in a church pew, accompanied by the song “Show Me That Smile.” The tweet read, “Ready for his close-up.”

Someone also went to the archive at Texas Tech University, where my papers are stored, and asked for copies of everything in all 54 boxes. He identified himself as being with a group that is affiliated with America Rising Squared.

This effort has resulted in all kinds of odd things appearing on right-wing corners of the web: out-of-context quotations from old books and articles apparently put on display to prove I’m a zealot, and photos from God knows who intended to make me out as a hypocrite (the plastic bags, for instance, and my travel by car, which, you know, burns gas). Mostly, they’ve just published those creepy videos, to remind me that I’m under surveillance.

I understand that this isn’t horrible in the way that police brutality is horrible, or having your home swept away by a flood is horrible. I know that in other parts of the world, environmentalists have worse things than cameras pointed at them. From Honduras to the Philippines, in the last two years, activists have been assassinated after getting in the way of mega projects.

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Nike: Unlimited Courage

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Win like a woman: How the media is still failing female Olympians

From Salon:

Women are taking home medals, but many reports still focus on them as wives and moms

Mary Elizabeth Williams
Monday, Aug 8, 2016

Did you hear that women’s trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein won her second career Olympic medal for the U.S. team in Rio this weekend? Did you cheer for Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú, who won the gold and broke a world record in 400-meter individual medley? Or were you too distracted by the media commentary about their husbands?

In the field of world-class competition, you can be literally one of the greatest athletes of all time and still have fans who’d argue your achievements are second-rate. If you want to get on the cover of Sports Illustrated, your odds are better if you’re a swimsuit model than an actual record-crushing hero. And then there’s the way that female athletes are repeatedly commented on in the media — either as objects of desire or grudging “plays like a guy” admiration, and always, the need to comment on their status as wives and moms.

When Corey Cogdell-Unrein took the trap shooting bronze over the weekend, eight years after earning her first medal in Beijing and four years after competing in London, the headlines noted her achievement by placing her in context. The Chicago Sun-Times announced, “Corey Cogdell-Unrein, wife of Bears DE Mitch, wins bronze.” This is the entire second paragraph of the report: “Her husband, Bears defensive end Mitch Unrein, cheered her from his home near Chicago. They have been married for two years.” Last month, the paper similarly declared that “Bears lineman Mitch Unrein’s wife takes aim at gold in Rio.”  The Sporting News, meanwhile, reported that “Corey Cogdell, wife of Bears lineman, wins bronze in shooting.”

Writing for Australia’s SBS, comedian Rebecca Shaw suggested that come the fall, maybe the headlines could announce that “Three time Olympian Corey Cogdell’s husband plays a game of football.” And on Twitter, performance artist Mallory Hanora noted the Chicago Tribune’s tweet on the medal didn’t even mention Cogdell-Unrein’s name — but did include her husband’s — with a wry, “Wow she trained so her whole life for that marriage congratulations unnamed woman.”

Sure, he’s a Chicago athlete and she’s not — note how her home state didn’t have trouble writing the news as “Alaska trapshooter Cogdell-Unrein claims 2nd Olympic bronze medal.” And yes, the Bears have a bigger fan community than Olympic trap shooting does. But did anybody stop for a second before writing that headline to ask if the story here really is about this woman’s identity as a wife? (It is not.)

It’s kind of like how when Hillary Clinton achieved her history-making Democratic nomination for the president of the U.S., newspapers across the country blasted out photographs of her husband. Know when not to perpetuate BS, journalists.

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Russia may be meddling in US politics. Where is the left wing outrage?

From The Guardian UK:

Thanks to Bernie Sanders, leftwingers of my generation are poised to wield enormous influence over national politics. Let’s not use it to excuse Russia

Wednesday 3 August

The idea that Russia is meddling in the US elections on behalf of Donald Trump – fueled by reports that Russians may have hacked and leaked Democratic National Committee emails via WikiLeaks – has reignited debates about US-Russian relations. It has also made apparent the American left’s failure to articulate a coherent approach to Russia.

No one knows what Trump’s exact relationship with Vladimir Putin or Russian financial interests is – in part because he refuses to release his tax statements to the public. But Trump isn’t the only one that has an ambiguous relationship with Russia. The Soviet Union broke up 25 years ago, but cold war rhetoric continues to unhelpfully inform how the American left talks about its largest successor state.

Much of this can be blamed on the hawks in the Washington foreign policy establishment who are committed to confrontation with Putin. There are good reasons to believe that the US should avoid needless belligerence against a nuclear-armed power, and that proposals to expand Nato into Georgia, to arm Ukraine against Russian-backed rebels or simply to denounce Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe” are ill-advised.

But that doesn’t excuse the left’s glibness toward the possibility that Russia is interfering in a US election. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation, wrote in the Washington Post this week that Democrats “are on the verge of becoming the Cold War party, with Trump, ironically, becoming the candidate of détente” and denounced what she termed “neo-McCarthyism”. There is also Glenn Greenwald, who, after Trump called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, dismissed the stunned reaction of much of the US media as “such unmitigated bullshit”.

And WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange won’t comment on how his organization acquired the DNC emails, but has pushed back against the notion of Russian involvement, despite the growing consensus among US spy agency officials that they were involved.

But it’s not just prominent leftwing leaders who are turning a blind eye to Russia. Some young supporters of Bernie Sanders, who are justifiably upset about the information revealed by WikiLeaks, told the Daily Beast’s Tim Mak that they don’t care what role Russia might have played.

As someone who supported Sanders, and who has also spent years closely observing Russian politics, it was frustrating to watch many of my friends and allies on the left shrugging off concerns about Russia in my Twitter feed last week. Nearly a century after the Bolsheviks first seized power, the American left’s relationship with Russia is still defined by an abstract nostalgia for a failed socialist experiment that has little relevance today.

Notwithstanding the Kremlin’s protecting of Snowden or its patriotic celebrations of the communist era, contemporary Russia is in no sense a left-leaning country.

It is better understood as a cautionary tale of unchecked neoliberalism. The US-supported 1990s privatization schemes described in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine are directly responsible for the rise of Putin and the repressive state he presides over.

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Black Lives Matter’s Jewish Problem Is Also a Black Problem

From Tablet:

The civil rights group’s newly published platform holds that societal reforms in America are somehow related to the Arab-Israeli conflict

By Chloe Valdary
August 4, 2016

On Aug. 1, the Black Lives Matter coalition (BLM) of groups and partners published a platform of objectives and demands ostensibly constructed to correct heavy-handed policing, educational negligence, and economic inadequacy in black communities.

That platform did no such thing.

Instead, organizers offered up a hodgepodge of half-baked ideas in the service of creating a new world order, one in which defunding police, releasing all political prisoners from jail, and redistributing of land are imperative.

Moreover, apparently believing that societal reforms in America’s inner cities are somehow related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, BLM included a section on Israel in its list of demands. With trite talking points, the group called for a divestment from the Jewish state as it is allegedly “complicit in the genocide against the Palestinian people.”

What this means is unpleasant to contemplate. An organization formed to confront systemic prejudice against black Americans—which predates the reestablishment of the state of Israel—is now intimating that such prejudice is caused by the Jewish state’s supposed genocidal tendencies (which, according to census reports, have led to a population increase among Palestinians).

Though I find no intrinsic value in “rebutting” crackpot conspiracy theories, it’s worth demonstrating how far removed BLM is from honoring the legacy of its ancestors by reminding readers just how pro-Zionist prominent leaders in the black community have been throughout history—and how Zionism helped shape black politics in America.

Edward Wilmot Blyden, founder of the 19th-century American Pan-African movement, famously wrote,“[I have] the deepest possible interest in the current history of the Jews—especially in that marvelous movement called Zionism.”

W.E.B. Dubois, founder of the NAACP, declared in 1919, “The African movement must mean to us what the Zionist movement must mean to the Jews, the centralization of race effort and the recognition of a racial front. … For any ebullition of effort and feeling that results in an amelioration of the lot of Africa tends to ameliorate the conditions of colored peoples throughout the world.”

Marcus Garvey, founder of the Back-to-Africa movement, stated in 1920: “When a Jew says, ‘We shall have Palestine,’ the same feeling comes to us when we say, ‘We shall have Africa.’ … Africa remains the heritage of black people, as Palestine is of the Jews.”

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Hey, misogynist killjoys: stop denying that Hillary has made history

From The Guardian UK:

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Over the past month, Americans have seen history made over and over again: Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. We watched as a 102-year-old woman from Arizona – born before women had the right to vote – cast her state’s votes for Clinton. And we now live in a time when some young women have never voted in an election where both candidates were white men. All of these things are remarkable and – regardless of your political leanings – cause for celebration.

Why, then, does it feel like any time a woman points out the objectively important political and cultural moment at hand, someone else feels the need to jump in to tell her why she’s wrong? I’ve heard it from my female friends, seen it on social media and experienced it myself: if you dare to express overwhelm or joy at the prospect of a female president, or the strides women’s rights have made this year, you are promptly shot down by a special brand of misogynist killjoy.

They point out Clinton’s imperfections, or that women have run as third-party candidates before, to make the case that our happiness is misplaced. They say it’s not really an important moment. That our feelings are wrong. As if any celebration needs to be papered over with caveats and “actuallys”.

But here’s the thing: men, it’s not your moment, and the irony of lecturing over our happiness at this particular historical milestone is not lost on us. We have heard this kind of hectoring before; in fact, we’ve heard it most of our lives. (There is a reason the term “mansplaining” took off the way it did!)

It is not that we think your opinion is unimportant – we just think that it can wait. Or that you don’t need to give it at every possible turn, especially if we’re taking the rare moment that women see progress to breathe a sigh of happiness. As Michelle Obama pointed out in her epic speech at the DNC, this is bigger than any one person’s “desires or disappointments”.

Trust me, those who are celebrating the possibility of a female president – or the fact that the Democratic nominee is a woman – fully understand that the moment, and the candidate, are not perfect. But name me a hurdle jumped that is. Instead of talking over women who may be celebrating, try asking us why we are doing so.

Ask us about what it feels like to never have seen ourselves represented at the highest level of government. Ask what it’s like to grow up with people constantly undervaluing your opinion, or ignoring your intelligence. Ask us what kind of world we imagine when we take a minute, just a minute, to consider how political parity might change things.

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George Carlin – Political Correctness is fascism pretending to be Manners.

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If I Were Enlightened – DonnaLou Stevens with Birdz of Play

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Mark Cuban ENDORSES Hillary Clinton & Trashes Donald Trump at Pittsburgh Rally 7/30/16

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