Articles and excerpts March 26 to April 6, 2015

Ted Cruz Isn’t an Idiot — He’s Delusional and That’s Far More Dangerous By Sophia A. McClennen, AlterNet, April 1, 2015

14 Reasons Why House and Senate Republicans Have Declared Economic War On Average Americans By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet  Poll after poll finds Americans want the exact opposite of what the GOP proposes. March 20, 2015 

Bigger Than Science, Bigger Than Religion by Richard Schiffman, YES! magazine,  Feb 18, 2015  “All civilizations have drawn on the wisdom traditions that have gotten people through death, tragedy, destruction, immense despair,” says [Yale religious scholar Mary Evelyn] Tucker, adding that we are currently in a perilous rite of passage. “We will need all of the world’s religions to help as well as a shared sense of an evolutionary story to get us through this.”   

Challenging the Power of the One Percent by Lydia Alpízar Durán, executive director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID),.commondreams.org, April 03, 2015 Together we can take bolder steps, push each other further, and draw upon our combined knowledge and collective power to amplify our voices. Working together is the only way to reverse inequality, and to achieve a just and sustainable world.

Deep Anger: We need to rediscover something we lost along the way By Darren Fleet and Stefanie Krasnow / adbusters.org…In this world, when push comes to shove, most of us are too comfortable to care, too polite to speak out. With so much at stake we need to rediscover something we lost along the way: our anger…Dr. Glen Coulthard of the Yellowknife Dene, [and member of radical First Nations scholars] delivered a paper saying that folks on the front-lines of land, climate and environmental battles in Canada are tired of being told not to be angry; that given the ongoing process of colonization, theft and exploitation, anger is not only a natural response, but the only moral response. What he hinted at was a resurgent anger. Deep Anger…In our culture, anger is seen as impolite, brutish, violent and indulgent. It’s politically incorrect. It makes people squeamish. We’re afraid of anger like we’re afraid of obsessive passion and overt eroticism. Anger is dark and dirty, but Deep Anger is a form of empathy, care, even love…despite our civilization’s claim to reason, there is a deep irrationality, a fatal blind spot blocking out emotion and sanity. We’re so deeply in denial about what is happening to our planet that we’re risking our own extinction. Unless humanity breaks through the denial, unless we start to get angry…then we won’t ever be able to accept the challenge at hand…

Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin: Reuters/Ipsos poll By Roberta Rampton, Reuters, March 30, 2015

Scientific Studies Prove Some Right-Wingers And Rich People Really ARE Psychopaths (VIDEO), reverbpress.com by Elisabeth Parker, April 2, 2015…Recent scientific studies reveal that some right-wingers — and the rich CEOs they serve — really ARE psychopaths…The psychopath can have a variety of destructive and antisocial traits, but they always have one thing in common: Lack of empathy, and lack of remorse for the harm they cause. Dictionary.com defines the word as: “A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc. […] Also called sociopath: a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts” Furthermore, there’s a particular type of psychopath who shows what is referred to as the “Dark Triad” of negative traits: Narcissism (a big ego), Machiavellianism (will do anything to get ahead, no matter how evil), and basic psychopathy. Because, seriously, there’s no other possible explanation for how right-wingers can deport children, cut food stamps, destroy our natural resources, deny couples the right to marry, force women to bear children against their will, and expect millions of their fellow Americans to work for slave wages, and still sleep at night. Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) is what makes Some Right-Wingers so mean…why these extreme right-wing positions so often seem contradictory, hypocritical, and crazy to the rest of us…“the defense of hierarchy is what conservatism’s all about,” …“The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.” [says John T. Jost, New York University]…Wikipedia explains, SDO is “a measure of an individual’s preference for hierarchy within any social system.” They add that this includes the “domination of lower-status groups.” Extreme right-wingers, of course, tend to have high SDO scores, believe in a “dog-eat-dog” world, and are hence more inclined to encourage — or at least accept — discrimination against women, people of color, LGBTs, non-Christians, immigrants, the poor, and even the merely not-rich. As explained in Wikipedia, people who fit the RWA profile are more inclined to obey people in power without question — but only when they’re seen as “legitimate” and not from Kenya — and to punish those who do not conform. “Right-wing authoritarians (RWA) are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms, and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who don’t adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.” That’s why they forgive the never-ending transgressions of those they see as their superiors, while piling on perceived enemies for far lesser crimes (#BENGHAZI!). The majority of RWAs are highly conventional as people, and more inclined to follow orders and go along with their crowd.

Three Reasons Why the United States Is Broken, Bloated and Bleeding By Pierce Nahigyan, Truthout, April 4, 2015 … the United States’ biggest fear these days seems to be one idea…The big idea of what exactly we want the United States to be. The big idea involves talking about the United States, and discussing the United States, and admitting that the United States fell behind the rest of the developed world on pretty much any index we belong to a long time ago. According to one global report, we’re 25th in math and science. According to another, we’re 14th in reading. According to Legatum, we’re 31st in safety and security, 21st in personal freedom. 1. The Wealth Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Shamefully Wide 2. Domestic Law Enforcement Is Becoming Increasingly Militarized 3. Americans as a Whole Are Not Aware of What We’re Doing “Out There”…The United States has spread itself across the globe, spread its weapons and its soldiers and its ships and jets and tanks into an international network that is as impressive in its scope as it is in its virtual obscurity…The United States needs to have a serious conversation about the big idea: What we want the United States to be. Americans need to consider the fact that our system is broken, bloated and bleeding, and to not be afraid to confront it. We need to think. 

Why the House of Representatives Doesn’t Represent the US Public  By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program, March 30, 2015   One of the really weird ironies of politics these days is the huge divergence between what the US people actually want and what the radical right-wingers in Washington actually do. You won’t hear this on “Fox So-Called News,” but right now the US people are as progressive as they ever have been.

You Owe Us, Corporations: Four Reasons Why, and One Way to Pay by Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams, March 30, 2015   The distorted belief that wealthy individuals and corporations are job creators has led to sizeable business subsidies and tax breaks. The biggest giveaway is often overlooked: corporations use our nation’s plentiful resources, largely at no cost, to build their profits.
There are several factual and well-established reasons why corporations owe a great debt to the nation that has made them rich. 1) Our Tax Money Pays for Much of the Research… the state has played a central role in producing game-changing breakthroughs, and that its contribution to the success of technology-based businesses should not be underestimated.” 2 ) Fewer and Fewer People are Reaping the Benefits of Our National Productivity … Big firms use intellectual property law (another gift from the taxpayers) to snatch up patents on any new money-making products, no matter how much government- and university-funded research went into it. 3) Corporations Use Our Resources but Avoid Their Taxes  Stunningly, over half of U.S. corporate foreign profits are now being held in tax havens, double the share of just twenty years ago. 4) Corporations Have Stopped Investing in America corporations are spending most of their profits on themselves, rather than on job-creating research and innovation. An incredible 95 percent of S&P 500 profits were spent on investor-enriching stock buybacks and dividend payouts last year. In 1981, major corporations were spending less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks…

The Rise of the Working Poor and the Non-Working Rich by Robert Reich, billmoyers.com, 03/30/2015

President Obama is the Most Admired Man in the World for 6th Year in a Row By: Sarah Jones, politicususa.com, December, 30th, 2013

How Democratic Progressives Survived a Landslide Bob Moser, The American Prospect,  Winter 2015 – They ran against Wall Street and carried the white working class. The Democrats who shunned populism got clobbered.

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