Articles, excerpts Jan 1 to 6, 2015

Worldview – contrast

Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative By Chris Mooney, Mother Jones,    Jul. 15, 2014  Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it’s becoming hard not to…A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics….It is a “virtually inescapable conclusion” that the “cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different.”… political conservatives have a “negativity bias,” meaning that they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments… the conservative ideology, and especially one of its major facets—centered on a strong military, tough law enforcement, resistance to immigration, widespread availability of guns—would seem well tailored for an underlying, threat-oriented biology…Granted, there are still many issues yet to be worked out in the science of ideology…All of this matters, of course, because we still operate in politics and in media as if minds can be changed by the best honed arguments, the most compelling facts. And yet if our political opponents are simply perceiving the world differently, that idea starts to crumble. Out of the rubble just might arise a better way of acting in politics that leads to less dysfunction and less gridlock…thanks to science.

Environment – climate change

For the Planet and Future Generations, New Congress May Be Most Dangerous Yet By Wenonah Hauter  Food & Water Watch Blog, January 06, 2015

House Passes Bill that Prohibits Expert Scientific Advice to the EPA by Beverley Mitchell, 11/20/14 

A Threat to Us All: Millions Buying into Apocalyptic Religion Pose a Direct Threat to Modern Society By Jeffrey Tayler,  Salon, January 4, 2015 http://www.alternet.org/belief/threat-us-all-millions-buying-apocalyptic-religion-pose-direct-threat-modern-society…Rationalistsare assertively making their case because religion, since the Reagan years, has been abandoning the realm of private conscience (where it has every right to be) and intruding itself into national life, with politicians and public figures flaunting their belief, advocating and (passing) legislation that restricts women’s reproductive rights, attempting to impose preposterous fairy tales (think intelligent design) on defenseless children in science classes, and even, in the case of Texas, recasting the Constitution in school textbooks as a document inspired by the Bible.  Abroad, militants pursuing Islamist agendas have been raining death and destruction on entire populations, with religious extremism the main cause of terrorism the world over.  Given the possibility that terrorists may acquire weapons of mass destruction and nuclear states with faith-based conflicts may let fly their missiles, religion may be said to endanger humanity as a wholeNo one who cares about our future can quietly abide the continuing propagation and influence of apocalyptic fables that large numbers of people take seriously and not raise a loud, persistent, even strident cry of alarm… three-fourths of Americans believe the Bible to be the word of God – numbers that, to the shame of the Republic, find reflection in our resolutely anti-science Congress…

War and/or Peace

Our National Security State: A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity by Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, January 06, 2015

Generational justice

How Corporations Are Cheating Millions of School Children Out of Billions in Education Funds By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet, January 4, 2015 http://www.alternet.org/education/how-corporations-are-cheating-millions-school-children-out-billions-education-funds?akid=12650.125622.TY0Q8k&rd=1&src=newsletter1029733&t=21

Class wars

How the Wall Street weasels won: Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman and the 1 percent’s desperate battle to save themselves Barry Eichengreen, Salon.com,   Jan 4, 2015

Poverty/Inequality

How income inequality harms societies – TED talk by Richard Wilkinson July 2011 http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson

Corporations

The Finance Industry Is Gorging Itself on Your Future—The Trend Lines Will Blow You Away By Les Leopold, AlterNet, December 31, 2014 http://www.alternet.org/economy/finance-industry-gorging-itself-your-future-trend-lines-will-blow-you-away?akid=12650.125622.TY0Q8k&rd=1&src=newsletter1029733&t=3

Stopping the Biggest Corporate Power Grab in Years [Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)]by Arthur Stamoulis, commondreams.org, January 06, 2015 http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/06/stopping-biggest-corporate-power-grab-years

Corporate social responsibility

Finding Common Ground Between Progressives and Business Is Essential By Rob Kall, OpEdNews 1/6/2015 http://www.opednews.com/articles/2/Finding-Common-Ground-Betw-by-Rob-Kall-Business-Industry_Corporations-Health-Care_Energy_Money-150106-642.html

Education

How Corporations Are Cheating Millions of School Children Out of Billions in Education Funds By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet, January 4, 2015 http://www.alternet.org/education/how-corporations-are-cheating-millions-school-children-out-billions-education-funds?akid=12650.125622.TY0Q8k&rd=1&src=newsletter1029733&t=21

Right wing message machine

Endless War and the Victory of ‘Perception Management’ By Robert Parry, Consortium News, December 30, 2014 https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/28/the-victory-of-perception-management/

Nonlinear Warfare – A New System of Political Control (2014) A short film by Adam Curtis - shows the how deliberate undermining of peoples perception of the world, by manipulating the media and civil society, creates confusion and contradiction, undermining any opposition to existing power structures. This strategy has allowed quantitative easing to go almost unnoticed and unchallenged, even though it is the biggest transfer of wealth to the rich in recent documented history.

Political and legislative dynamics 2015 – 2016

Time for the GOP to pitch in By Eugene Robinson Opinion writer, Washington Post, January 5, 2015

10 Dynamics That Will Shape the Next Two Years of American Politics by Joshua Holland, BillMoyers.com, December 30, 2014

New Senate majority leader’s main goal for GOP: Don’t be scary By Paul Kane, Washington Post, January 4, 2015

Government

New GOP Senate chairmen aim to undo Obama policies By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER and DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press, January 3, 2015 8:1  AM h

Right wing extremism

GOP’s Louie Gohmert, wannabe speaker, headlines the House’s latest freak show By Dana Milbank Opinion writer, Washington Post, January 5, 2015

Right wing religious extremism

A Threat to Us All: Millions Buying into Apocalyptic Religion Pose a Direct Threat to Modern Society By Jeffrey Tayler,  Salon, January 4, 2015 Rationalistsare assertively making their case because religion, since the Reagan years, has been abandoning the realm of private conscience (where it has every right to be) and intruding itself into national life, with politicians and public figures flaunting their belief, advocating and (passing) legislation that restricts women’s reproductive rights, attempting to impose preposterous fairy tales (think intelligent design) on defenseless children in science classes, and even, in the case of Texas, recasting the Constitution in school textbooks as a document inspired by the Bible.  Abroad, militants pursuing Islamist agendas have been raining death and destruction on entire populations, with religious extremism the main cause of terrorism the world over.  Given the possibility that terrorists may acquire weapons of mass destruction and nuclear states with faith-based conflicts may let fly their missiles, religion may be said to endanger humanity as a wholeNo one who cares about our future can quietly abide the continuing propagation and influence of apocalyptic fables that large numbers of people take seriously and not raise a loud, persistent, even strident cry of alarm… three-fourths of Americans believe the Bible to be the word of God – numbers that, to the shame of the Republic, find reflection in our resolutely anti-science Congress…

Progressive movement – issues, agenda

Three secrets to revitalizing liberal America – New year, same old problems by Sean McElwee, Salon.com, Jan 4, 2015  2014 was not a good year for the left. Republicans now have a stranglehold on the House, where they control the most seats they’ve had since 1948. That lead will likely last for decades. Democrats didn’t just lose the Senate, they have significantly diminished their chance of regaining it in 2016. Republicans control 31 governorships, as well as 68 of 98 legislative chambers. And of, course, the Democratic party has shown itself to be only nominally liberal, with the current frontrunner for 2016 raising money from Wall Street financiers. The left then has two problems: how to get Democrats winning and how to get Democrats to avoid becoming a party permanently in the callous hands of capital. Currently, much of the hope for a more liberal Democratic party rests on the shoulders of Elizabeth Warren, who is being drafted to run against Hillary Clinton. While Warren is formidable, it was only six years ago that the left laid its hopes for victory on a single individual and found itself sorely disappointed. The left must remember that leaders do not make movements; rather, movements make leaders. Instead of vacillating from one hero to another, the left must create a formidable power base from which to both defeat Republicans and shift Democrats to the left. This will require a three-pronged approach: mass mobilization of the non-voting population, a stable of progressive leaders and a reduction in the influence of money in politics.

New Year’s Resolution for America by Dennis Kucinich, Huffington Post, January 01, 2015 When anyone of us resolves toward self-improvement, it can impact the lives of those we love. How much more impact can we have, if in the new year we work to recreate the future of this country we love, by resolving to take bold steps in a new direction in a new year?…I have seen miracles occur, outcomes change, new directions taken when people courageously strive to challenge a seemingly unshakeable status quo, on matters both personal and public…Today, our nation’s government has been taken over by special interest groups and ideologues, who have rapidly distributed our nation’s wealth upwards, built a national security state to protect its hold on power and wealth, involved America in destructive, unnecessary wars abroad, ignored the escalating violence at home, and broken the laws of our nation with impunity, while punishing those who expose their unlawfulness…1. Ensure a full employment economy by reclaiming control of our money system. 2. Reclaim our right to privacy. 3. Make America a more peaceful place. 4. Transform America’s role in the world; focus on the needs of people here at home. 5. Establish a US Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. 6. Restore our relationship with nature and restore our planet.

Progressive movement – creative and higher level thinking

We Need to Advocate Radical Solutions to Systemic Problems by Robert McChesney – Interview By Mark Karlin, Truthout, January 4, 2015

Progressive movement – inspiration and motivation – trends

Robert Reich’s 2014 Year in Review by BillMoyers.com StaffThis video first appeared at MoveOn.org. January 2, 2015 – As we head into 2015, it’s important to remember how quickly progressive change that seemed radical — if not a crazy pipe dream — at one time, becomes inevitable when enough people make a ruckus!

Progressive vision

Fight for Our Progressive Vision By Bernie Sanders, Common Dreams, December 29, 2014

 

 

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