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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 17, 2018, 05:20:43 pm »

Living At The Height Of Civilization Staring Into The Abyss

posted on 15 March 2018 by Doomstead Diner

-- this post authored by Eddie

Texas has switched back to Daylight Saving Time and I am once again driving to work in the dark. The stars were still out this morning when I left the house in the canyon and began my 28 mile commute to work, the first 20 miles or so I now achieve under eV power. It is now high spring in central Texas, and we have stopped using heat for the most part, but this morning the house was chilly with the clear morning temps of 39F.

I enjoy my coffee, which is fresh ground and liberally doctored with organic half and half. Delicious. My Chevy Volt has seat heaters, and they feel great in the crisp chill, especially on my back, which is still recovering from last Thursday's job of moving the stock tank. Some ibuprofen helps a lot. I remember my friend Artie, who has passed on now. Artie was an ex-marathon runner who skied his last several years on two artificial hip replacements, with the help of that ubiquitous non-steroidal pain killer. He referred to it as I-Be-Ski-In.

I am at work now and sipping coffee between patients. Yesterday was a tough, busy day, but it looks like today will be easier. Still busy, because it's Spring Break here. I'm hungry, because I was so tired after work I ate a hamburger I picked up before I got home, and crawled into bed and slept until my wife got home around ten pm. I sat up in bed for an hour-and-a half and then passed out again until my normal time to rise, which is 5:45 am. When she came to bed, she brought the dogs, who were happy to lie quietly at our feet until I put them to bed and turned outtthe lights.

I have been blessed to live an easy life, full of abundance. I have a great family, with grown children who are getting along well in life. By all normal measures of success, I have it made.

The Abyss

But the world is definitely going to sh it. The handwriting is on the wall for anyone with one eye and half a brain to see. My country, which has long been blessed with the same kind of luck as me, is now in the death-throes of a dying empire. Led by a morally bankrupt blowhard who has hitched his wagon to the absolute worst of the low-grade fossil fuel barons of industry, every day the downward spiral speeds up.

The modest environmental protections of a generation ago, which never were strong, are being rolled back as completely as the courts will allow. The executive branch of government is now as firmly owned by the corporatocracy as is the legislative branch. The President, whose primary concern is winning the next election (while patting himself continuously on the back for winning the last one), has managed to run off the best of his sorry cabinet picks and bring the worst ones to positions of highest authority.

We have been a nation at war somewhere for many years now, if you can call illegitimate occupations of poor but strategically important nations war. Our wars are really just expensive occupations that drain the treasury of our once financially strong country. They make some greedy rich bastards a little richer, and the rest of us and our children and grandchildren yet unborn, a lot poorer.

At the moment, we are once again on the cusp of a coming World War, which I expect to be partially fought, at least, on American soil. This development will no doubt surprise the general public, which has not experienced such a disaster in modern times, and thinks of wars as unfortunate events, caused by foreign bad guys, that thankfully always happen far away in places they can't quite manage to even pinpoint on a map.

Under-educated but nevertheless highly opinionated, Americans spend a lot of time online these days spouting whatever kind of closely held beliefs they cling to in lieu of facts and reality. Clever politicians and media barons manipulate public opinion seemingly at will. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

The climate, affected by massive CO2 build-up from burning fossil fuels, is rapidly going rogue. The oceans are dying. 150 to 200 species of plant and animal become extinct each and every day that rolls. We are not immune. Our time is coming. Ironically, the only possible salvation appears to be a systemic collapse of civilization that removes the offending pollution by sending us back to the days of horses and buggies, or maybe human powered pull-carts with wooden wheels. Due to the financialization and hollowing out of the real economy, this is also quite likely to happen some fine day very soon. Unfortunately, it will not stop the climate change on a short timeline. By the time the planet recovers,humans and most living things might well be history.

So....most days I dream of leaving my easy life behind. I fantasize about buying a big sailboat and living out my last days living onboard, Sailing to the islands I love, and then if and when the collapse does come, trying to find some out-of-the-way place far from wars and dying cities, to try to make a go of it in what will truly be a New World.

It's quite the dichotomy, this modern life. So many good things have come my way. So many bad things just over the horizon. And, of course, one can see that those two sides of the coin are completely related. So much of what I enjoy comes at the expense of some poor sod eking out a miserable existence in some s h i t hole country that wasn't a SHITHOLE until the corporate barons who run the world turned it into one, in the pursuit of selling me stuff like nice cars with seat heaters, and good coffee.

Certain concerned scientists and poets have long known this was coming. I am blessed and cursed to live on the cusp of a great unraveling. I am literally living on the very brink. I weep for my children.

- - - - - -

Nothing is more frustrating to me about the collapse blogosphere than the tendency for ordinary people to sort themselves into political groups based on their good intentions and belief systems.

I have read plenty of good writers who do get it...that collapse isn't avoidable by changing whatever form of government we have, or our enemies have, or our rivals have. Please try to get past that kind of simple-mindedness. I just ain't that simple folks.

The world is run by powerful people who control people, assets, and armies.

America is a failing Republic. It's run completely by rich oligarchs and the politicians they buy, usually before elections, but also after, as has been the case with Trump, who ran as a populist but immediately sold his soul to the highest bidders, post-election.

The Soviet Union was a Communist state that failed spectacularly in 1989, and now it's controlled by a single despotic strong man, Vladimir Putin, who took over the primary state, Russia, after the drunk Yeltsin failed to establish a democratic form of government. They still have a legislature and pretend to be a democratic communist/socialist state, but it's a sham. Putin's rivals and challengers end up in prison or have fatal accidents.

Although the systems of government are different, people in both countries are brought up to love their countries without question and the people of both countries, in these desperate times, crave a strong man to take control and solve all their problems.

Russians love Putin, who presides over a completely corrupt kleptocracy. They are mostly ignorant, clueless dumb fu cks who are grateful to have heat during the bitter Russian winter, some basic foodstuffs, and a little vodka to ease their pain.

Americans, increasingly left out of the advances of the digital age due to poor public school educations and the shiftlessness that comes with thinking the world owes them a living, have rallied behind Trump, who is a huckster and a liar who got elected in an election that surprised almost everyone, himself included. Now he is busy auctioning off favors to super-rich American kleptocrats, who call themselves capitalists. The younger generation of pampered digital early adapters dream of a benevolent socialist state that will give them a house and public transportation instead of just a cell phone and a job waiting tables. So....maybe in the US, if BAU persists a few more years, the poles might reverse. Especially if the trailer trash who love Trump all die off from shooting up fentanyl, and the hispanic fast breeders decide to start voting in elections.

It won't matter. Collapse is baked in.

Pick any other country and the story is the same.

Britain is going their own version of Trump populism. Failing.

Most of Europe is socialist. Failing, although they have a few bright spots left.

South Africa flipped from white dominated Right Wing to black dominated Marxist. Failing faster every day.

China was hard core communist, tried to initiate market reforms, turned into a new kind of oligarchy that even now is consolidating under a new strong man. Failing.

Wake up, you idiots. It isn't the form of government. It's declining resources, climate change, hugely wasteful programs of all kinds, and sinister 21st century war machines getting ready to run amok.


I just read your article, Eddie. In it you provided an in-our-face comprehensive list of the irrefutable hard truths too many do not want to face.

EXCELLENT article! 🌟 Thank you for writing it. 🌞

I watched a video by Chris Hedges recently that predicted exactly what is going on in the USA (and much of the rest of the world) today. He traces the history of how all this began all the way back to what he identified as the first war for Wall Street (WWI!  :o). What I most admire about his analysis is his recognition that
 EVERYONE, whether from the right or the left, who seeks political power, is not to be trusted. 

If you have a half hour or so to watch it, it will be worth your while. It has quite a few nuggets of history few people are taught in the USA. These events were the genesis of today's fascist US government.

Chris Hedges 🌟The Corrupt 🦀 US Government


Published on Mar 16, 2018
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2018, 05:07:54 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Did you know that WWI was the first Wall Street motivated war? You didn't? Learn the real history of this war and related corrupt acts which undermined US democracy that you were not taught in school. These events were the genesis of today's fascist US government.

Chris Hedges 🌟The Corrupt 🦀 US Government


Published on Mar 16, 2018

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 14, 2018, 07:39:52 pm »

Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

March 14, 2016

Tillerson’s 🦖 Setting, Koch Star Pompeo 🦀 and Kudlow 🐊 On The Rise

Back in October of 2017, the world found out that Department of State head Rex Tillerson called President Donald Trump “a fu ck ing moron” in a July meeting. It apparently took Trump a while to either build up the courage to act, or remember his catchphrase. Yesterday, right after Tillerson criticized Russia, Trump did the decent thing  ;)     and took to twitter to fire Tillerson via tweet, with no warning or explanation. (And when a top State Department appointee and Tillerson aide contradicted the White House’s claim otherwise, he too was fired.)

While he was a moderating force on Trump, Tillerson 🐽 will hardly be missed at State. Turns out he ran the Department like he did Exxon: poorly. The question is, will Exxon finish paying for Tillerson’s mistakes before the State Department gets itself back up to speed after Tillerson destroyed it?

Either way, Trump has tapped Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson, who holds the record for “the all-time biggest recipient of campaign funding from Koch Industries… and their affiliates   .” Prior to being Trump’s CIA director, Pompeo represented Wichita, Kansas, which is also home to Koch Industries, making him both figuratively and literally the Kochs’ congressman. Certainly that had no bearing on his 2012 Politico op-ed whining that everyone should “Stop harassing the Koch brothers.”

In an ideal world, the US diplomatic corps as a force for defending the silenced and marginalized from their corporate and state oppressors. It’s comforting to know this charge will now be led by a man who isn’t afraid of speaking up on behalf of a population as oppressed and under-resourced as the Kochs.

Needless to say, deniers are thrilled with the news that one of theirs is stepping up and an alarmist stepping down. (Remember that Exxon is part of “the discredited and anti-energy global warming movement" even though it’s given millions to denial organizations after it promised to stop.) Myron Ebell, of Koch-funded CEI, told Alex Kaufman of HuffPo that the move is “good news for us,” and that Ebell expects “very good things from him at the State Department.”

In other “replacing disappointingly ineffective, relatively moderate, pro-Paris agreement voices with Koch cranks” news, rumor has it Trump is replacing erstwhile economic advisor Gary Cohn with former Democrat, Reason editor, Reagan advisor and cable news pundit Larry Kudlow. Stephen Moore 🐍  of Koch-funded 🦕 Heritage Foundation is as happy about that possibility as Ebell 🦍 is of Pompeo, telling E&E that Kudlow is his “first choice, for sure.” As E&E points to a number of examples of Kudlow’s anti-climate stance, including praising a Paris pull-out, his preference makes sense. 

If Kudlow’s selected to serve as Trump’s lead economic council, he’ll join plenty of other Koch adherents already staffing the swamp. While Kudlow 🐊 may not be quite as kochzy with the Koch brothers as Pompeo 🦀, he too has bravely offered up a “Defense Of The Vilified-By-The-Left Koch Brothers.” 

With Tillerson and Cohn, Trump was not exactly taking the high road, but with these new Koch cronies, he’s definitely taking Kudlow road. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 14, 2018, 03:11:03 pm »

Biggest Koch W H O R E In Congress Is New US Secretary Of State

March 14th, 2018 by Steve Hanley


Of all the congressional representatives who have suckled themselves at the breast of the Koch brothers and their friends, Mike Pompeo is the champion. Before becoming director of the CIA under Donald Judas Trump, Pompeo served three terms in the House of Representatives as a congressman from Kansas. During that time, he accepted more money from the Koch brothers and their evil empire than any other person serving in the House or the Senate — just shy of $1,000,000 according to OpenSecrets.org (detailed amounts at article link).

During his confirmation hearing for the director of the CIA, Pompeo bobbed and weaved around his stance on climate change (he thinks it’s a bunch of hooey, by the way). “Frankly, as the director of CIA, I would prefer today not to get into the details of the climate debate and science,” he told the Senate according to a report by ThinkProgress. He may have had a point then, but his new job as Secretary of State is directly connected to how the United States deals with the issue on the world stage. Don’t expect Pompeo to have any different opinions on the subject than he has in the past.

In 2015, he described the Paris climate accords as a “costly burden,” adding that “Congress must also do all in our power to fight against this damaging climate change proposal and pursue policies that support American energy, create new jobs, and power our economy” — spoken like a true believer who has been nurtured by the unending flow of money from the Koch brothers. He is proof, assuming we needed any, that the United States government is for sale to the highest bidder.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 13, 2018, 01:19:22 pm »

Sir Edge: Trump 🦀 Is Amazing...  The Art Of The Drain...

..... Step 1) Create New Swamp By Selecting Past DC 🐘 Swamp Creatures

..... Step 2) Have New Swampers Run Amok 😈 👹 💵 🎩 🍌 🏴‍☠️  ... Criticize Them... Poke Fun

..... Step 3) Have New Swampers Look Like Deer Caught In Headlights

..... Step 4) Attack New Swampers On Twitter For Disagreeable Policies 😉

..... Step 5) When BIG Policy Issue Comes Up - Fire New Swampers For Disagreeing

..... Step 6) Praise Newly Fired Swampers For Their Committment and Service

..... Step 7) Hire New Swampers 🐉🦕🦖 By Selecting Past DC Swamp Creatures (((Kudlow 👹)))

..... Step 8 ) Rinse and Repeat... MAGA 😈...

..... Step 9) Take Credit For Doing a Great 🦍 Job



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 03:25:31 pm »

The ring of criminal investigations is closing in on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 🦖, leaving him very little room to maneuver. At this stage, most other people would throw up their hands and find …
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 03:03:18 pm »

After a day spent belligerently defying special counsel Robert Mueller, former Donald Trump 🦀campaign aide Sam Nunberg 🐉 appeared to reverse himself Monday night and said he likely will cooperate with a…

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 02:57:01 pm »

A former Russian intelligence officer who spied for Britain's CIA equivalent intelligence agency, the Secret Intelligence Service, is in a critical condition in a British hospital. Colonel Sergei Skr…

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 02:51:17 pm »

Economics was only part of the reason Italians made Five Star the biggest single victor of this election. Founded in 2009 by the form…

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:30:38 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: These three videos evidence that

1) the overwhelming majority of the US voting public 🕊DO support correct policies in government,

2) there is ZERO democracy in the USA 🍌 (for the last several DECADES!) and

the fascist fossil fuel industry 😈 is at the top of the Wall Street heap of criminals that corrupted, and continue to corrupt, local, state and federal government. The Banksters lie, cheat and steal in lockstep with the fossil fuelers because they are both part of the same profit over people and planet 100% UNDEMOCRATIC, FASCIST modus operand.

We-the-people ARE on the proper side of ALL the issues, regardless of what the right wing greed balls in many forums claim.

We-the-people's position on ALL the issues IS the political center of the USA, though it is called the "far left socialist" position by the main stream liars for right wing Wall Street fascism news media AND the fascist two party duopoly. Have a nice day.  ;D

Even though the New Deal Style policies of Bernie Sanders are derailed by the corporate media, Republicans and the Morbidly Rich, these so called "radical far left polices" are actually favored by the majority of Americans. Thom Hartmann Mar. 8, 2018 2:12 pm

Congressional Budget Office warns that we could be in a situation worse than the 2008 and the Republicans working for the Morbidly Rich, are doing nothing but making it worse. Thom Hartmann Mar. 7, 2018 2:30 pm

Are the Morbidly Rich buying their way through New York's Fracking Ban? To help us find out, we are joined by Pramilla Malick (Founder and Chair of Protect Orange County, and environmental activist and 2016 State Senate Candidate / Host-Common Ground on WTBQ.) Thom Hartmann eMar. 7, 2018 3:00 pm


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 07, 2018, 10:44:55 pm »

March 7, 2018

Honduran Exec 😈 Who Threatened Berta Caceres 🕊 Arrested for Her Murder
Just before her assassination, environmental activist Berta Caceres told a filmmaker that she was being threatened by Roberto David Castillo, a Honduran hydroelectric company executive. He has now been arrested for conspiring in her murder. We speak to documentary filmmaker Jesse Freeston

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 03, 2018, 04:45:33 pm »


March 2, 2018

Canadian Logger 🦍 Intensifies Persecution of Greenpeace and Stand.Earth

"They have nothing to go on," says Todd Paglia, executive director of Stand.Earth, one of the defendants in the case filed by Resolute Forest Products, who had previously filed a case that was dismissed under anti-SLAPP legislation

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 03, 2018, 01:47:11 pm »



I spent years as a foreign correspondent in Latin America. To say we are being governed like a banana republic is an insult to banana republics. It’s that bad, and no one should pretend otherwise.

MAR 02, 2018

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:36:54 pm »

The Rise Of The Radical Right  In Trump's 🦀 America (w/Guest David Neiwert 🐳)

Investigative Journalist, and contributor to the Southern Poverty Law Center, David Neiwert shares insights from his new book "Alt-America: The Rise Of The Radical Right in the Age of Trump"

Thom Hartmann Mar. 1, 2018 2:31 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2018, 10:59:10 pm »

Cornel West and Chris Hedges in Conversation - Wages of Rebellion


Published on Dec 4, 2017

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:54:57 pm »

What Happened to Democracy?

It would be out of character in any other Representative Democracy for a Senator to send Cease and Desist Letters to their constituents, so why is it okay for Republican Senator Tom Cotton?

Thom Hartmann Feb. 20, 2018 2:30 pm

Agelbert NOTE: The USA is a  Inverted Totalitarian Fascist (i.e. Dictatorship pig 🐽 with democracy lipstick 🐷) country, PERIOD. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2018, 05:11:35 pm »

My role with Hedge Clippers started about two and a half years ago, give or take, after Alejandro García Padilla, who was the governor, announced on The New York Times, "We can't pay bondholders 🦀 and bondholders🦖 won't negotiate with us." So, we started looking at who the bondholders were and, as I said earlier, they were very much the same bondholders 🦖🦀 that we had seen in places like Argentina and Greece. A lot of people thought that was interesting and we wanted to look at it.

Fighting for Puerto Rico : The Struggle Against Post-Hurricane Privatization 🦀

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

By Sarah Jaffe, Truthout | Interview


Sarah Jaffe: Let's talk about Puerto Rico. What is the most important thing people should know about what is going on in Puerto Rico right now?

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2018, 12:57:25 pm »

E-mail sent to me by Senator Leahy on Februaury 20, 2018

Dear Mr. Gelbert:

I regret that you are contacting me in light of another mass shooting.  Parkland, Florida is added to an ever-growing list of cities struck by unconscionable violence.

The day following the shooting in Parkland, the Senate held a moment of silence.  While this moment allowed us all to reflect on the horrific violence, and remember the lives lost and families that are suffering, our reflections and thoughts are simply not enough.  Congress must not stop here, and I will not stop here.

First and foremost, it is common sense that assault weapons specifically designed for the battlefield should not be on our streets, in our schools, or in our churches.  That is why, last fall, I joined several colleagues in introducing the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, to close a loophole that allows semi-automatic weapons to be easily modified to fire at the rate of automatic weapons, which have been illegal for more than 30 years.  Additionally, we need universal background checks for firearms purchases—so criminals and others cannot abuse the internet and gun shows to evade background checks.  I am among the millions of responsible gun owners who undergo background checks and understand it is important to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

The Fix NICS Act of 2017, S. 2135, was introduced by Senator John Cornyn on November 15, 2017, and it attempts to help enforce current, existing laws regarding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, specifically in regards to the requirement that federal agencies notify the FBI of any prohibited purchasers.  The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine this legislation on December 6, and it is now up to the Chairman of the Committee to advance the legislation.

I am heartbroken by this violence.  I mourn the lives of those lost, and cannot stop thinking about the difficult times ahead for families and friends that have lost loved ones.  There are no more excuses.  Please know I am committed to passing commonsense gun legislation.  Just like I advanced, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013, commonsense measures that would require universal background checks, strengthen firearms trafficking laws, and renew the ban on assault weapons.  Republicans then filibustered those measures on the Senate floor.  We must do better in order to protect our communities. 

Thank you for contacting me. I know it is a deeply emotional topic and I appreciate hearing your thoughts.  Please keep in touch.


United States Senator

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 20, 2018, 08:27:55 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Please watch these four videos from the Thom Hartmann show. They provide extremely valuable information about what is REALLY 🐉going on in government.

Thom Hartmann Feb. 20, 2018 2:00 pm

In a time when kids are becoming more and more politically active, getting out there and taking stake in their democracy, Republicans like Idaho State Senator Dan Foreman, are doing their best to discourage them? Why !

Florida based white nationalist group Republic Of Florida, along with bad actors online faked, Nikolas Cruz's membership in their group for laughs?

Rep Ro Khanna  wants To Demilitarize the Police in addition to Gun Control Measures

Representative Ro Khanna joins the program today, will Marijuana legalization mean freedom for people behind bars, Is there a connection between United States Empire and the problem with people walking in our schools?

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 20, 2018, 05:42:01 pm »

Punishing the poor isn’t just bad policy, it’s wasting taxpayer money 


President Reagan labeled poor people as “welfare queens” back in the 1970s, but our nation’s stigma against the poor is as strong as ever. And as a result, misguided welfare policies — like drug testing recipients of public assistance — are making a comeback.

Just look at the White House’s most recent assaults on America’s poor. In the past few weeks, the federal government opened the door to work requirements for people who receive housing subsidies and Medicaid coverage. States see an opening for various ways to limit Medicaid benefits and cover fewer people. The White House is also proposing cutting off millions of people who receive food assistance and limiting the food choice for those who still get benefits. These policies focus on policing behavior rather than addressing needs. And that’s because they are based on stigma, not facts.

Despite their popularity, these types of changes don’t guarantee an escape from poverty or a better life. Instead, they further demean poor Americans and make their lives more difficult.

To understand the depth of our nation’s stigma against the poor, let’s look at our track record with drug tests. There is overwhelming evidence that drug testing recipients of assistance saves no money and identifies few drug users, despite claims from prominent Republicans. The popularity of drug testing welfare recipients shows the power of the widespread belief that poverty and drugs go hand in hand.

The idea that welfare recipients are criminals who use illicit substances is a well-worn stereotype about the so-called undeserving poor. And it has real consequences for their lives.

People often mistakenly thought Rebecca, a poor woman in her early 30s I interviewed in Philadelphia, was a drug addict because she had no teeth. Many poor people without access to dental care find that the cheapest way to treat a serious tooth problem is to have it pulled, especially when dental issues go untreated until it’s too late for other interventions.

Rebecca longed for enough money to afford dentures, telling me she couldn’t wait to get a job “as soon as I get my teeth.” The irony of Rebecca — and so many others — losing medical assistance because she isn’t fulfilling work requirements is that affordable care is precisely what would help her secure work.

Meanwhile, misperceptions about poor people using drugs have led multiple states to pass legislation to drug test applicants or recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Now, states are seeking to drug test Medicaid recipients as well. Because testing eligible recipients costs more than the money that would be saved by withholding benefits from the tiny percentage who test positive, drug testing is not cost-effective.

Florida taxpayers, for example, spent $118,140 to reimburse people who tested negative for the cost of testing, which was $45,780 more than the state saved by denying benefits to the 2.6 percent of applicants who tested positive. And other states are doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Appeals courts declared the drug testing laws unconstitutional. But Florida spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight to overturn the ruling in court, and that means even more taxpayer money spent on these already costly and unwise policies.

It comes as no surprise that states and the White House 🦀 are reviving similar limits on Medicaid and housing programs as well. Our elected leaders are misinformed about the issue and rely on stereotypes of the poor to make these decisions.

During his term as Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett claimed — in complete defiance of the evidence — “many employers…say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them.”

Statements like this translate into policies that punish and stigmatize the poor without saving any money. They also feed the public’s doubt in the moral worth of those experiencing poverty. It implies that poor people use drugs; otherwise, why would we even be considering such tests?

The fact that our public officials 🐉🦕🦖🦀 continue to waste taxpayer dollars makes clear that stigmatizing poor people is a higher priority than either sensible spending or helping the poor. The moral problem before us is not drug use or laziness, but rather the pervasive belief that poor people do not deserve our help unless they meet an arbitrary standard we do not apply to anyone else. 

It’s time we had policies to aid the most vulnerable among us that are based on evidence instead of derogatory stereotypes. Money spent on drug testing poor people — or on ensuring recipients of housing subsidies or Medicaid are fulfilling work requirements — would be better spent on affordable housing, increased child care subsidies, and the creation of jobs that pay a living wage.  

Joan Maya Mazelis 🕊 is an associate professor of sociology and an affiliated scholar at the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University-Camden. Her book “Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor” is available from NYU Press. Follow her on Twitter  @JoanieMazelis

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2018, 02:41:08 pm »

Which Country Do People around the World View as the Top Global Power?

Since his election, President Donald Trump has pushed an "America First" policy, pulling the United States out of global alliances on trade, the environment, and defense. And people around the world seem to have had strong reactions to these policies. The results of a new Gallup poll, published in January 2018, indicate that the world no longer sees the U.S. as the top power in global leadership. The poll, which surveyed people in 134 countries, gave the United States a tepid 30 percent approval rating, behind Germany and China.

What a difference a year makes:

Germany was seen as the top global leader by 41 percent of those polled, followed by China at 31 percent. Russia scored a 27 percent approval rating for its global role.

Gallup says that the world’s perception of U.S. leadership is at its lowest level since the poll began more than 10 years ago. The poll gave the U.S. a 48 percent approval rating during Barack Obama’s final year in office.

In about half of the world’s countries, America’s standing collapsed by 10 percentage points or more. Some of the biggest defections: allies in Western Europe, Australia, and Latin America.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 17, 2018, 05:02:39 pm »

Four Signs That President Trump Is 🦀Becoming More Dangerous

Saturday, February 17, 2018

By Robin Marty, Care2 | News Analysis

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 17, 2018, 04:49:22 pm »

GOP Takes Another Step to Control Federal Courts

Saturday, February 17, 2018

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet | Report


But Grassley's  decision is also extremely political. Not only does it show that Republicans 🐉🦕 🦖 🦀 will dispense with any rule or tradition that stands between them and exerting political power, it also shows that the GOP is eager to foist extremist judges on purple and blue states.

"Today's vote… shows just how far Chuck Grassley is willing to go to cripple the system of checks and balances designed to protect our federal courts and our liberty," said Marge Baker, People for the American Way executive vice president. "His decision to move forward on the Brennan nomination over the objection of a home state senator sends a clear signal that the Trump administration can run roughshod over individual senators when it comes to judicial nominations. Donald Trump and [White House Counsel] Don McGahn have repeatedly nominated unqualified political cronies and narrow-minded elitists to critical seats on the federal bench."

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 15, 2018, 07:11:29 pm »

The Resistance Report: Trump's 🦀 Divide and Conquer Strategy


Inequality Media Civic Action

Published on Feb 8, 2018

Today's Resistance Report about Donald Trump's "divide and conquer" strategy.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 15, 2018, 06:05:32 pm »

February 11, 2018 TD ORIGINALS

By Chris Hedges

The Deadly Rule of the Oligarchs

The longer we are ruled by oligarchs, the deadlier our predicament becomes, especially since the oligarchs refuse to address climate change, the greatest existential crisis to humankind.


There is little dispute that we live in an oligarchic state. The wealthiest 1 percent of America’s families control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth, a statistic similar to what is seen globally: The wealthiest 1 percent of the world’s population owns more than half of the world’s wealth. This wealth translates into political power. The political scientists Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of Northwestern, after examining differences in public opinion across income groups on a wide variety of issues, concluded, “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover … even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”

Oligarchs accelerate social, political, cultural and economic collapse. The unchecked plunder leads to systems breakdown. The refusal to protect natural resources, or the economic engines that sustain the state, means that poverty becomes the norm and the natural world becomes a toxic wasteland. Basic institutions no longer work. Infrastructure is no longer reliable. Water, air and soil are poisoned. The population is left uneducated, untrained, impoverished, oppressed by organs of internal security and beset by despair. The state eventually goes bankrupt. Oligarchs respond to this steady deterioration by forcing workers to do more for less and launching self-destructive wars in the vain attempt to restore a lost golden age. They also insist, no matter how bad it gets, on maintaining their opulent and hedonistic lifestyles. They further tax the resources of the state, the ecosystem and the population with suicidal demands. They flee from the looming chaos into their gated compounds, modern versions of Versailles or the Forbidden City. They lose touch with reality. In the end, they are overthrown or destroy the state itself. There is no institution left in America that can be called democratic, and thus there is no internal mechanism to prevent a descent into barbarity.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:16:37 pm »


Prognosis: America 🦀🐉🦕🦖 2018


Doctors seek a unifying diagnosis to explain symptoms and inform a prognosis. My diagnosis for a Trumped-up White House with pseudo-populism as a diversion is naked greed. “Trust me” winks from the far-right wing predict a dire prognosis for the 99 percent.

In one career, my 38 working years as an oncologist, U.S. society has done a “180”—from a Peace Corps legacy🕊 to TV’s “Apprentice” and a mentality of social Darwinism 🦀. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, echoing the Koch brother’s ALEC , the Cato Institute, and James Buchanan/Milton Friedman libertarianism have made “you eat what you kill” the sacred creed of their right-wing propaganda machine. And much of America  has joined in the chant of “money over all 🦖.”

Soul searching over civil rights, the Pentagon Papers and Watergate once prompted a national catharsis and predicted an era of enlightened, transparent governance of America. But since those innocent days, the decades of my medical career have witnessed health care turned from a noble profession into “profit center” exploitation among Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big Hospitals.

Many physicians joined in the gold rush, emboldened by Wall Street’s “greed is great ” mantra. One of the executives over me, his salary measured in the millions per year, would interrogate me regularly—“Fangman, is there any money in stem cell transplants” or other research trends du jour he’d seen a headline for in The Wall Street Journal. Never did the question he was paid to ask arise: Will innovation x, y or z improve our community’s health care?

That same slickster CEO was also an early adopter of Beltway hyper-polarization. His oft-used curse—“those dirty Democrats”—was a warning to anyone with a liberal instinct in his sphere of influence.

Understand that I am no socialist or partisan advocate. I’ve always been an independent. I earned money by hard work and respect a foundational tenet of capitalism: If you snooze, you lose. There was bad governance by Wendy Lee Gramm, Bill Clinton, Lawrence Summers, George W. Bush, Barack Obama. They coddled and then bailed out the pervasive greed of Wall Street and that of greedy mortgage bankers like Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide, as it flushed away much of my career’s work and the security of millions of others in the Great Recession. This casino mentality is still taking the 99 percent for suckers. Trump’s “tax reform” is yet another smoke screen for unvarnished greed. Read about Kimberly Clark’s tax cut plans as an example.

I don’t write to grind my ax. I write because con men running this nation are confusing American voters. Since the 1980s, hucksters too numerous to recount—see Bush/Dick Cheney, Henry Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and now Donald Trump 🦀 —have seduced solid, hard-working Americans to believe in bogus scams like invading Iraq. The Koch brothers’ anti-democracy libertarianism has taken Friedman’s dog-eat-dog “trickle down” to new lows.

Full truth filled article: 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:31:08 pm »

The Ghost of Fascism 🦀in the Age of Trump 🦀

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis


The first casualty of the Trump era is truth, the second is moral responsibility, the third is any vestige of justice, and the fourth is a massive increase in human misery and suffering for millions.

Instead of refusing to cooperate with evil, Americans increasingly find themselves in a society in which those in commanding positions of power and influence exhibit a tacit approval of the emerging authoritarian strains and acute social problems undermining democratic institutions and rules of law. As such, they remain silent and therefore, complicit in the face of such assaults on American democracy.

Ideological extremism and a stark indifference to the lies and ruthless polices of the Trump administration have turned the Republican Party into a party of collaborators, not unlike the Vichy government that collaborated with the Nazis in the 1940s.

Both groups bought into the script of ultra-nationalism, encouraged anti-Semitic mobs, embraced a militant masculinity, demonized racial and ethnic others, supported an unchecked militarism and fantasies of empire, and sanctioned state violence at home and abroad.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 13, 2018, 05:11:39 pm »

Trump's 🦀 Huge Infrastructure Plan Is a Flop

It doesn't come close to spending enough to fix the nation's roads, bridges and tunnels.

By Barry Ritholtz

February 13, 2018, 1:02 PM EST


The White House had an opportunity to create a robust, economically sound plan to modernize America. Instead, the administration seems ready to give private investors 🐉🦕🦖 a gift at the expense of the taxpaying public. About the last thing this will do is make America great again.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 12, 2018, 08:46:44 pm »

How Chris Kobach 🦀 Cut Elderly Voters So Republicans 🦖 Could Cut Medicare and Social Security.

Did Chris Kobach work to undermine the voting power elderly people so the Republicans could cut medicare and social security through their Tax Scam?

Thom Hartmann Feb. 12, 2018 2:00 pm

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