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The Middle East and the West: WWI and Beyond : NPR

The Middle East and the West: WWI and Beyond : NPR | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
World War I completed the European takeover of the Ottoman Empire's territories in the Middle East, and the region's modern boundaries emerged.
Greg Russak's insight:

There was no such place as Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Saudi Arabia until after World War I. There also wasn't an organization called The Muslim Brotherhood until after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. I think it helps to understand the present day dilemas in a context that accounts for the past. And, not far-flung distant past. The World Wars of the 20th century are still part of "living" memory, especially by those who were vanquished and subjugated. 

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Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason
Greg Russak's insight:

Truer words are rarely penned. Please read and share this Psychology Today article as far and as wide as possible.

 

My hope is that someday my fellow citizens who are empowering this craze of anti-intellectualism on the right will soon come to their senses.

 

Anti-intellectualism is possible only because it is accepted and embraced by some as somehow good and right. It is not, and it never has been.

 

Those who willfully allow themselves to be duped into supporting and voting for anti-intellectual and corporatist candidates need to be outnumbered in the town squares and coffee shops, in places of worship (yes, there, too), on social media and in all our news outlets, and most importantly on election day.

 

This means, of course, that you liberals and progressives reading this have a responsibility, too, for when you stay silent and you don't vote, you also are culpable. 

 

I also look forward to the day when those Americans who embrace anti-intellectualism come to realize the truth that it wasn't willful ignorance and anti-intellectualism that made this country great. It was our unstoppable energy to apply our individual and collective intellect in scientific and evidence-based ways toward progress. Progress. Anti-intellectualism is the antithesis of progress, and we cannot solve our current and future problems or expand our knowledge and understanding without progress. And, it's only through progress that we can continue to move toward realizing more and more of the values any society needs to survive and thrive - equality, fairness, justice, and liberty for each and every human being.

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snopes.com: Obama Kissing a Man

snopes.com: Obama Kissing a Man | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Photograph shows Barack Obama kissing David Cameron?
Greg Russak's insight:

For the easily duped and punked who just can't stand the thought that people different from them exist let alone now can legally be married.

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Pelosi Torpedoes Obama’s Trade Authority Package

President Obama’s effort to secure the same Trade Promotion Authority that has been delivered in one form or another to every president since FDR went down in flames on Friday, and the president’s erstwhile ally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lit the match, taking to the floor to denounce TPA and pledging her vote to block it. In a convoluted legislative maneuver, the House broke up a Senate-passed bill into two parts, one of which gave the president TPA, and another that created a Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers displaced as a result of new trade flows when trade rules are changed. To send a bill to the President’s desk, at least in the near term, the House needed to pass both measures, and the House Republican leadership brought up the TAA portion first.
Greg Russak's insight:

"... the TAA portion of the trade package went down to overwhelming defeat, 126-302, with large majorities of both parties voting against it.


"The House went forward with a vote on the TPA portion – something leadership had earlier indicated it would not do – and it passed 219-211, with only 28 Democrats joining 191 Republicans to vote in favor."

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Programmatic Buying Coming to the Political Arena in 2016

Programmatic Buying Coming to the Political Arena in 2016 | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
political advertisers seem poised to buy ads through programmatic systems to a much greater degree than in recent election cycles.
Greg Russak's insight:

In a post-Citizens United/McCutcheon world, an informed voter is one should try to understand that, 
1) money is not and ought not to be equated with free speech,


2) corporate media and their technology costs lots of money to access, and that means those with the most money get the largest megaphone and audiences (meaning we voters) and,


3) the combination of money and media is lethal to a democracy because it essentially guarantees a pay-to-play system where money controls access to information and who gets to participate in the conversation.

 

Now this: Programmatic ad buying comes to politics.

 

Let that sink in.

 

We are being treated as if we're nothing more than target markets to be sold to by corporatists spending perhaps billions in this cycle to sell us on voting for their proxies running for public office.

 

BTW, the so-called "..Democratic digital outfit 270 Strategies..." mentioned in the article?
They're same group behind the fake progressive outfit, "Progressive Coalition for American Jobs" that is advocating FOR the Trans Pacific Partnership.
(see http://ourfuture.org/20150311/a-trade-campaign-built-on-four-pinocchios)
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A Trade Campaign Built On Four Pinocchios

A Trade Campaign Built On Four Pinocchios | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A new PR campaign in support of Trade Promotion Authority a.
Greg Russak's insight:

"A newly launched public relations campaign in support of trade promotion authority, a.k.a. “fast track,” and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) calls itself “the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs.” At its foundation is a set of misleading (at best) claims that begin with a four-Pinocchio whopper."

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Jeb Bush: It's 'Arrogant' To Say Science Is Decided On Climate Change

Jeb Bush: It's 'Arrogant' To Say Science Is Decided On Climate Change | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said Wednesday that it's "really arrogant" for people to say there's a scientific consensus on man-made climate change.
Greg Russak's insight:

Assuming he's not as stupid as his statements imply, I'm left to conclude it's an abhorrent and disgraceful political strategy meant to pander to Big Money, the Fox News propaganda machine, and the Evangelical science deniers on the extreme right who make up the reliable voting blocks in GOP primaries.

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Our partisan brains: exploring the psychology behind denying science

Our partisan brains: exploring the psychology behind denying science | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Does distrust of scientists happen on both sides of the ideological divide?
Greg Russak's insight:

Really interesting read.

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Home | Rootstrikers

We fight the corrupting influence of money in politics
Greg Russak's insight:
FIGHT WALL STREET'S ATTACK ON DODD-FRANK!

Wall Street's at it again.

They're hoping you've forgotten how they crashed the global economy in 2009, and are setting the cronies they fund in Congress to dismantle the protections in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

 

Sign this petition: tell Congress we need stronger rules keeping the big banks in check, not carveouts and giveaways to let them run wild.

 

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Nebraska Woman Files Suit Against All Homosexuals

Nebraska Woman Files Suit Against All Homosexuals | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A Nebraska woman identifying herself as the "ambassador" for plaintiffs "God and His Son, Jesus Christ," is suing all homosexuals on Eart...
Greg Russak's insight:

Unbelievable. I thought characters like this came only from central casting. She's just the latest example of why it's so easy to tag some people as kooks and haters.

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This time lapse shows just how much humans are altering the planet

This time lapse shows just how much humans are altering the planet | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Satellite imagery captures humanity’s dramatic impact on the earth’s surface.
Greg Russak's insight:

Science. It doesn't lie.

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Make the Rich Panic: Chris Hedges

Make the Rich Panic: Chris Hedges | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
As we saw in Baltimore, the corporate elites who hold absolute power react only when they become afraid. And they become afraid only when we take to the streets.
- 2015/05/03
Greg Russak's insight:

"Do not expect the corporate masters of war and commerce to willingly let this happen. They must be forced."

- Chris Hedges

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Pittsburgh City Council Passes Resolution Against Fast Track

Pittsburgh City Council Passes Resolution Against Fast Track | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
On April 21st the Pittsburgh City Council took a stand against Fast Track. WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Pittsburgh strongly supports internatio...
Greg Russak's insight:
I live in a Pittsburgh suburb, and I'm very proud of the Pittsburgh City Council for doing this.
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The Powerful Scene On The Streets Of Baltimore Monday Night That No One Is Talking About

The Powerful Scene On The Streets Of Baltimore Monday Night That No One Is Talking About | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Chaos and violence were not the only things happening on the streets of Baltimore Monday night.
Greg Russak's insight:

".... there has been a State of Emergency way before tonight in Baltimore City, an emergency in poverty, lack of jobs [and] disenfranchisement from the political process.”

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32 Of The Best Brand Tweets Celebrating Marriage Equality

32 Of The Best Brand Tweets Celebrating Marriage Equality | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
#LoveWins.
Greg Russak's insight:

In my book, BuzzFeed has all the newsworthy gravitas of Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Duck Dynasty, and Entertainment Tonight, but this is worth sharing, and here's why.

 

When corporations start using a cause in their marketing, it's game-over for the other side.

 

There's one reason and one reason only they do this. Money. We shouldn't give them more credit than they're due for doing this. They still have a long way to go to prove that they're humanists. It is, sadly, still the extremely rare exception that a corporate leader - remember, these are people who run corporations capable of making different decisions - who isn't motivated primarily by money and the selfish accumulation of vast amounts of wealth and power.

 

The point here is that gay marriage can now and finally begin to be considered as mainstream. Soon, it will be no more interesting or curious or culturally charged than inter-denominational or inter-racial marriage, and that is how it should be.

 

But for now, there's this.

 

Corporations recognize that those opposed to gay marriage are the minority. They don't really care if that minority is pissed off at them or decides not to shop in their stores or buy their products. The reason is simple. Because there are more of us in support of our LGBTQ family, friends, and strangers than there are who don't.

 

And, that is how it should be, too.

 

#MarriageEquality #LoveWins

 

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‘Fast Track’ Would Hand the Money Monopoly to Private Banks—Permanently

‘Fast Track’ Would Hand the Money Monopoly to Private Banks—Permanently | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
If successful, the rush to “fast track” a trio of controversial trade deals would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.
- 2015/06/13
Greg Russak's insight:

"The entire basis for maintaining our private extractive banking monopoly may have been thrown out the window. And that could help explain the desperate rush to “fast track” not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud."

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Space, place, race: Six policies to improve social mobility

Space, place, race: Six policies to improve social mobility | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Richard Reeves and Allegra Pocinki review six policy proposals brought forth at a recent event featuring Professor Raj Chetty on place, opportunity, and social mobility.
Greg Russak's insight:
No single policy can do it all

Diane Bell-McKoy highlighted the scale of the challenge: what breaks people is ‘broken systems’ in high-poverty areas like much of Baltimore. Clearly it will take much more than a handful of policies to turn the tide in such places. And many will only succeed if we make progress in reducing institutional and structural racism. We can hope, along with Professor Chetty, that simply learning about the reality of opportunity gaps in so many U.S. cities will mean more cities adopt such policies, and take up the challenge of promoting opportunity across America.

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Karl Marx Was Right: Chris Hedges

Karl Marx Was Right: Chris Hedges | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The economist and philosopher foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction, that the greed of a tiny elite would eventually bring down the system. The final stages that he predicted are visible all around us now.
- 2015/05/31
Greg Russak's insight:

Get beyond the headline. Read the entire piece. Read it thoughtfully. Then decide.

 

"Marx illuminated these contradictions within capitalism. He understood that the idea of capitalism—free trade, free markets, individualism, innovation, self-development—works only in the utopian mind of a true believer such as Alan Greenspan, never in reality. The hoarding of wealth by a tiny capitalist elite, Marx foresaw, along with the exploitation of the workers, meant that the masses could no longer buy the products that propelled capitalism forward. Wealth becomes concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite—the world’s richest 1 percent will own more than half of the world’s wealth by next year." - Chris Hedges

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Blow the whistle on ALEC!

Blow the whistle on ALEC! | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The IRS needs to investigate ALEC and hold its corporate members accountable for lobbying under the guise of charity.
Greg Russak's insight:
PETITION TO IRS: Immediately investigate ALEC's abuse of its charitable status and hold this lobby group and its corporate funders accountable.

Atlanta TV investigative journalists expose ALEC and how they are corrupting our government.

 

If we stay silent, we are surrendering our democracy to them.

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In 180 Seconds You Will Be Voting For Bernie Sanders - YouTube

https://BernieSanders.com Like Bernie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berniesanders Follow Bernie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BernieSanders Join th...
Greg Russak's insight:

"The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made by bad human decisions. And, good human decisions can change them."

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A trade pact might change local land use decisions in a big way

A trade pact might change local land use decisions in a big way | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A key principle of land use in the United States is that homeowners can often veto new buildings on nearby land that other people own. A trade agreement that's currently in the works could have a huge impact on that long-established system of local control.
Greg Russak's insight:

"The cure for these ills is more democracy, not less. Land use regulators should answer to the entire electorate, not to small groups of influential landowners and not to unaccountable tribunals that put the interests of big money ahead of the common good."

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The Verdict is in: Guess Who's The Worst President in US History?

The Verdict is in: Guess Who's The Worst President in US History? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
By any standard, it's difficult to find any president who did more harm in more ways and left the country in worse shape than this man did.
Greg Russak's insight:

"We are all influenced by our own political bias, including this author. But setting political opinions aside and just looking at the facts, it's hard to imagine any other American president who inherited a better overall national and international situation while leaving the country in more dismal shape than....................."

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Climate deniers in Congress complain about inadequate data while trying to defund NASA’s research

Climate deniers in Congress complain about inadequate data while trying to defund NASA’s research | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Climate change deniers in Congress complain about a lack of data while trying to defund NASA’s climate change research.
Greg Russak's insight:

"If this is to be the state of our political discourse, maybe we should pour all of NASA’s money into planetary exploration. Reasonable people might need a place to live."

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Why I Want Class War - YouTube

The truth is we're ALREADY in a class war and nobody seems to realize it. We need a revolution of the mind and Lee Camp gives you the outrageous numbers to e...
Greg Russak's insight:

Class warfare of the mind. A revolution of thought. That's what's needed.

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We need a voice: Oppose ‘fast track’ for the TPP

We need a voice: Oppose ‘fast track’ for the TPP | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
For almost ten years now, the North Carolina NAACP has been building an anti-poverty, anti-racism, pro-labor moral people’s movement. The strength of...
Greg Russak's insight:

Tell Congress: Don't betray democracy!
No "Fast Track" for the TPP!
https://www.stopfasttrack.com/


#NoFastTrack #NoTPP

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Rise of the New Black Radicals: Chris Hedges

Rise of the New Black Radicals: Chris Hedges | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A new generation of young black radicals is opting for revolution—a generation that sees through the facade of the corporate state and has rejected as sellouts Obama, Sharpton, Jackson, Dyson and others among the African-American political elite.
- 2015/04/26
Greg Russak's insight:

"And given the refusal of the corporate state to address the mounting suffering of the poor and working poor, draconian state repression and indiscriminate use of lethal state violence against unarmed people of color, I think the new black radical is right. It will be a long, hot and violent summer."

- Chris Hedges

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