Category Archives: Social Justice

Patrick Cockburn WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: The Fall of Isis, The Betrayal of the Kurds, The Conflict With Iran

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Patrick Cockburn is the winner of the Martha Gelhorn Prize, the James Cameron Prize, The Orwell Prize, Foreign Commentator of the Year numerous times. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Financial times and the Independent, and is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books.

His many books include Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, written with his brother, Andrew, prior to the war in Iraq, and republished as Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession; The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq; Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq; The Rise of Islamic State: Isis and the New Sunni Revolution; The Age of Jihad: Islamic State; and The Great War for the Middle East.

His latest book is WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: THE FALL OF ISIS, THE BETRAYAL OF THE KURDS, THE CONFLICT WITH IRAN to be released by OR Books on July 7, 2020.

In this interview, we began by discussing the impact on the region of the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani by the Trump Administration on January 3, 2020.

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The plight of the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, and their role in fighting the Islamist State, was discussed.

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Patrick Cockburn’s intrepid journalism keeps us informed of the ever changing situation on the ground in the Middle East.

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Articles relevant to this interview:

Donald Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is an unavoidable recognition of failure            https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-afghanistan-taliban-troops-withdrawal-kabul-a9539241.html

Iraq will be hit harder by the oil price drop than by coronavirus or Isis     https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-oil-price-fall-economy-iraq-protests-isis-a9505421.html

Russians squeeze U.S. troops in Syria amid uproar over Trump’s dealings with Moscow               https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/30/russians-us-troops-syria-uproar-trump-345584

Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties     https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/russian-bounties-afghanistan-intelligence.html

Iran Issues Arrest Warrants for Trump and 35 Others in Suleimani Killing   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/world/middleeast/iran-trump-arrest-warrant-interpol.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

Iraq Raids Iranian-Backed Militia Accused of Attacking U.S. Forces    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/world/middleeast/iraq-militia-iran-hezbollah.html

Will the ‘War on Terror’ ever end?                                                         https://www.bbc.com/news/world-53156096

Pentagon plans for expected Trump order to pull thousands more troops from Afghanistan     https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/pentagon-plans-for-expected-trump-order-to-pull-thousands-more-troops-from-afghanistan/2020/05/27/3068c5c2-a025-11ea-9d96-c3f7c755fd6e_story.html

U.S. Used Missile With Long Blades to Kill Qaeda Leader in Syria    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/world/middleeast/syria-qaeda-r9x-hellfire-missile.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

 

 

David Daley – UNRIGGED: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy

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What happens to a representative democracy when one party is no longer committed to the foundational notion everyone must be represented, equally? This is one of the questions  David Daley addresses in his latest book, UNRIGGED: HOW AMERICANS ARE BATTLING BACK TO SAVE DEMOCRACY.

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David Daley is a senior fellow for FairVote and the author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, which helped spark the recent drive to reform gerrymandering. Dave’s second book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy, chronicles the victories and defeats in state efforts to reform elections and uphold voting rights.

He is the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com, and the former CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project. He is a digital media fellow at the Wilson Center for the Humanities and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, New York magazine, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone. When writing for the Hartford Courant, he helped identify Mark Felt as the “Deep Throat” source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Some articles by David Daley or pertinent to this interview:

Georgia’s Voting Fiasco Is a Warning. The November Election Could Be Chaos   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/11/georgia-election-chaos-november

Wisconsin Proves It: Republicans Will Sacrifice Voters’ Health to Keep Power   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/10/wisconsin-primary-coronavirus-republican-voting-by-mail

How Trump’s Election Has Fueled a Diverse New Generation of Politicians   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/15/millennial-politicians-unrigged-excerpt-david-daley

America Needs Ranked Choice Voiting – Here’s Why  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/22/america-needs-ranked-choice-voting-why

‘This is a war’: Republicans ramp up bid to control election maps for next decade      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/22/republican-dark-money-groups-2020-election

Margaret Klein Salamon – FACING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth

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Margaret Klein Salamon is the founder and Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization, a volunteer-powered organization that is working to initiate a WWII-scale mobilization to rapidly transform our economy to protect humanity and the living world. In that role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide climate emergency movement. More than 1,500 cities and counties around the world have now passed climate emergency declarations based on the climate emergency policy framework that The Climate Mobilization has developed and championed.

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Margaret has doctorate in clinical psychology and a BA in social anthropology. She is the author of The Transformative Power of Climate Truth and Leading the Public into Emergency Mode. Her latest book, Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth, has just been published by New Society Publishers.

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Links to articles referenced in this interview:

Could a green new deal turn South Korea from climate villain to model?  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/23/could-a-green-new-deal-turn-south-korea-from-climate-villain-to-model

EU pledges to raise €20bn a year to boost biodiversity    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/20/eu-pledges-20bn-a-year-on-boosting-biodiversity-aoe

Lockdowns trigger dramatic fall in global carbon emissions   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/19/lockdowns-trigger-dramatic-fall-global-carbon-emissions

‘This Is Only the Beginning’: JPMorgan Chase Faces Investor Revolt Over Financing Climate Destruction      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/19/only-beginning-jpmorgan-chase-faces-investor-revolt-over-financing-climate?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Rural Landowners, Farmers, and Conservation Groups Celebrate Court Victory Halting Risky Oil and Gas Giveaway of 150,000 Acres of Montana Public Lands             https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2020/news-rural-landowners-farmers-and-conservation-groups-celebrate-court-victory-halting-risky-oil-and-gas-giveaway?utm_source=crm&utm_medium=email&utm_term=newsletter&utm_campaign=200517_ForTheRecord_May2020&utm_content=ReadMore&curation=newsletter&emci=62705098-ad94-ea11-86e9-00155d03b5dd&emdi=a2549500-4d98-ea11-86e9-00155d03b5dd&ceid=75298

In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/climate/coronavirus-coal-electricity-renewables.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Climate%20and%20Environment

‘Cleaner and greener’: Covid-19 prompts world’s cities to free public space of cars      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/18/cleaner-and-greener-covid-19-prompts-worlds-cities-to-free-public-space-of-cars

‘One Crisis Doesn’t Stop Because Another Starts’: 2,000+ Kids’ Shoes Form Climate/Covid Protest in London            https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/18/one-crisis-doesnt-stop-because-another-starts-2000-kids-shoes-form-climatecovid?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Climate Campaigners Applaud Biden on Vow to Pull Plug on Keystone XL Permit   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/18/climate-campaigners-applaud-biden-vow-pull-plug-keystone-xl-permit?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Andrew Cuomo Rejects Controversial Gas Pipeline, Handing Climate Activists A Victory            https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cuomo-williams-pipeline_n_5ebdbe5dc5b6c9c1874157a6

US fossil fuel giants set for a coronavirus bailout bonanza       https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/12/us-fossil-fuel-companies-coronavirus-bailout-oil-coal-fracking-giants-bond-scheme

Trump dismantles environmental protections under cover of coronavirus    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/10/trump-environmental-blitzkrieg-coronavirus

Trump seizes on pandemic to speed up opening of public lands to industry   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/30/public-lands-sale-trump-coronavirus-environmental-regulations

It Took A Pandemic To Prove Individual Actions Alone Won’t Solve The Climate Crisis          https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coronavirus-climate-change-individual-actions-fossil-fuels_n_5eb2adb9c5b6ae37c13bbb3a

Climate Change Is a Health Crisis, & Doctors Aren’t Prepared    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/climate-change-health-effects-medical-schools_n_5eb40a87c5b652c56473b939

Daniel Q. Gillion THE LOUD MINORITY; Why Protests Matter in American Democray

Daniel Q. Gillian is Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, political institutions, public policy and the American Presidency.

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Professor Gillion’s first book, The Political Power of Protest: Minority Activism and Shifts in Public Policy, demonstrates the influential role of protest to garner a response from each branch of the federal government, highlighting protest actions as another form of constituent sentiment that should be considered alongside public opinion and voting behavior.

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His book, Governing with Words: The Political Dialogue on Race, Public Policy, and Inequality in America, demonstrates that historically, the political dialogue on race offered by presidents and congressional members alters the public policy process and shapes societal and cultural norms to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, illustrating that mere words are a powerful tool for combating racial inequality in America.

Professor Gillian’s most recent book is THE LOUD MINORITY: WHY PROTESTS MATTER IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, just published by Princeton University Press. It comes at a time when many of us have been confined to our homes for many weeks during this global pandemic and others protest, disregarding social distancing precautions and carrying rapid fire weapons to state capitals, protesting government stay at home orders. We asked him about this and more.

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Here are links to some of the articles referenced in this interview:

How the Kent State massacre marked the start of America’s polarization      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/04/kent-state-massacre-marked-start-of-americas-polarization

Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/30/michigan-protests-coronavirus-lockdown-armed-capitol

Protests sweep California as governor promises changes to lockdown    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/01/california-coronavirus-protests-huntington-beach-sacramento

‘Are you a spoiler?’: why critics fear Amash’s Libertarian bid may ensure a Trump win      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/justin-amash-libertarian-2020-election-trump-win-critics

The Anti-Mask League: lockdown protests draw parallels to 1918 pandemic  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/coronavirus-pandemic-1918-protests-california

How a tea party-linked group plans to turbocharge lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/tea-party-lockdown-coronavirus-206083

Trump allies jump in to help organize lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/trump-allies-help-organize-lockdown-protests-198426

What the anti-stay-at-home protests are really about        https://www.vox.com/2020/4/19/21225195/stay-at-home-protests-trump-tea-party-reelection

America doesn’t want another Tea Party    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/20/21225016/protests-stay-at-home-orders-trump-conservative-group-michigan

The ‘anti-lockdown’ protests are about more than just quarantines   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2020/apr/21/anti-lockdown-protests-trump-right-wing

Alan Hirsch A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (and how to prevent the next one)

Alan Hirsch’s latest book, A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (AND HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT ONE), has just been published by City Lights Books.

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Alan Hirsch is an Instructor in the Humanities and Chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He is the author of a number of other books including Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future and For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights (coauthored with Akhil Amar). He received his law degree from Yale Law School. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Newsday, and the Village Voice. He also serves as a trial consultant and expert witness on interrogations and criminal confessions, testifying around the nation.

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He focuses on four presidential election crises that left the nation with no clear winner: those in the years 1800, 1824 & 1876, 2000, and he notes that in twelve elections, fully 20% of all presidential elections, were too close for comfort.

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Articles pertinent to this interview:

Virginia Makes Election Day A Holiday In Wave Of New Voting Rights Laws     https://www.huffpost.com/entry/virginia-election-day-holiday-voting-rights-laws_n_5e93a7bec5b6765e95633e2f

Kentucky just made it harder to vote during a pandemic   https://www.vox.com/2020/4/15/21222084/kentucky-voter-id-coronavirus-pandemic

The US presidential election is frozen in time – can it survive?      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/us-2020-presidential-election-coronavirus-future

Voting during a pandemic? Here’s what happened in 1918     https://patriots4health.com/2020/04/voting-during-a-pandemic-heres-what-happened-in-1918/

What Happens If A Presidential Nominee Can No Longer Run For Office?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-happens-if-a-presidential-nominee-can-no-longer-run-for-office/

What Happens If A Nominee Dies Before The General Election?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/what-happens-if-a-nominee-dies-before-the-general-election/

‘The Nightmare Scenario’: How Coronavirus Could Make the 2020 Vote a Disaster    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/28/2020-election-coronavirus-disaster-impact-215559

Thom Hartmann: The War on Voting & Jane Kleeb: Harvest the Vote

 

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In the first segment, we speak with Thom Hartmann, whose latest book in his Hidden History series is: The Hidden History of THE WAR ON VOTING: WHO STOLE YOUR VOTE AND HOW TO GET IT BACK, published by Barrett- Koehler.

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In our second segment we speak with Jane Kleeb. Her book, HARVEST THE VOTE: HOW DEMOCRATS CAN WIN AGAIN IN RURAL AMERICA, was just published in January 2020 by Ecco.

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The Lost 110 Words of Our Constitution: The 14th Amendment says states that infringe the vote must lose representation in Congress. It’s time to make this happen. 

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/23/the-lost-constitutional-tool-to-protect-voting-rights-116612

Rural America Doesn’t Have to Starve to Death

https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/big-agribusiness-finance-farming/

TC Energy eyes further hurdles, not ready to commit to Keystone XL pipeline

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tc-energy-results/tc-energy-eyes-further-hurdles-not-ready-to-commit-to-keystone-xl-pipeline-idUSKBN2071ND

Democrats are reaching farmers with an exciting message: green agriculture

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/11/democrats-conservation-climate-rural-america

Farm Bankruptcies Soared 20% Amid Trump Trade War. It’s The Highest Rate In 8 Years.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/farm-bankruptcies-trump-trade-war_n_5e34a2d6c5b69a19a4af1ad0

For Democrats, the Road to Victory in 2020 Runs Through Rural America. This Report Offers a Road Map        http://inthesetimes.com/rural-america/entry/22279/2020-election-progressive-populism-peoples-action-win-rural-america-report?link_id=7&can_id=26389c9ba4e6ef1db60b08fdce8085f1&source=email-in-his-lies-biden-is-sounding-a-lot-like-trump-10-years-after-we-pledged-to-help-haiti-rebuild-heres-what-happened-2&email_referrer=email_713985&email_subject=medicare-for-all-could-save-transgender-lives-barbara-ehrenreich-on-her-endorsement-of-bernie-sanders

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This graphic shows a county-by-county breakdown of the 2016 presidential election results. The counties that went for Donald Trump are colored red and the counties that went for Hillary Clinton are colored blue.   Graphic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Texas closes hundreds of polling sites, making it harder for minorities to vote https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/02/texas-polling-sites-closures-voting

The Doyle Family: Native American Children’s Toy Company & The Family Healing Center

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What happens when a family decides to devote themselves to creating a more healing world and gathers materials from nature and engage their own creativity to make toys for children by children? What if this is part of bringing into reality a vision of community healing the harm of generations of trauma experienced by First Nations people? What if the busy parents ask for assistance from a local church group, and a group of elder women joins in?

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In October of 2019, some of those Elders from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman, “Kaalas” in the language of the Crow, brought us to the home of Drs. of Education Megkian and Shane Doyle, where we were welcomed by four of their five children: 6 year old twins, Blake and Quanah, 9 year old Lillian, and 11 year old Ruby. They shared with us their vision of the Family Healing Center, and why they created The Native American Children’s Toy Company.

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Every 10th toy the children make is given to a Native American child currently in foster care with this letter: “…. No matter what happens, you will always have a home and a homeland with your people…”

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Megkian (center), Quanah (left) & Blake (right) write words in English & Crow on stones to create “Story Stones”. Players pull stones from a bag & then make up stories from them. Kaalla, Ita Kileen, in the background works on a hoop for “Sticks & Hoops”.

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Quanah Doyle works on a project. A bag of “Story Stones” are in front of him.

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Lilian (left) & Ruby (right) Megkian (back)

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From left to right: Ruby, Brooklyn, Kaalas Robyn Lauster & Kitty Donich (photo by Megkian Doyle)

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From left to right: Blake, Lily’s friend, Elizabeth, Lily, Ita Killeen, Kitty Donich in back. (photo by Megkian Doyle)

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Ruby (left) & friend, Brooklyn, (right)

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Lilian (left) & friend, Lia, play “Story Stones”.

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Quanah demonstrates “Stick & Hoop”

Unless otherwise credited, all photos courtesy of Kaala, Robyn Lauster. The family photo at top is by Arnica Spring Rae.

The children’s company email is: nativeamericanchildrenstoyco@gmail.com

This website features some of their original work: https://raisingplaces.org/www.raisingplaces.org/community/aashbacheeitche.html

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A recent article about the business incubator:  https://thesheridanpress.com/117000/lodge-grass-moves-ahead-with-planned-business-center/

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Susan Neiman Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

Born in the Civil Rights era of the Southern U.S., Susan Neiman has spent most of the last four decades in Berlin. She is the Director of The Einstein Forum. Her latest book is Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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Among the many things she reminds us of in her book is that the Nazi regime lasted only 12 years – from 1933 to 1945. Likewise, the period we call “Reconstruction” also lasted only 12 years from 1865 to 1877. She quotes her colleague, the late Tony Judt: the historian’s task (is) “to tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.

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What can Americans learn from the Germans about confronting and moving on from our racist past toward more social justice? Susan Neiman has much to share of what she has learned from the Germans.

What can we learn of what Southerners have done and are doing to heal the wounds of our past? Susan has much to share of what she has learned in Mississippi and Alabama.

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Learning from the Germans: how we might atone for America’s evils   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/10/learning-from-the-germans-review-us-slavery

Mississippi Judge Allows Governor’s Race to Take Place Under Jim Crow-Era Rules   https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Mississippi-governor-s-race-taking-place-under-14803204.php

The First Black Mayor Of Talladega, Alabama, Is Poised To Push His City Into The Future   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-ragland-talladega-alabama-first-black-mayor_n_5db9dcd7e4b066da552b4718

School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/31/florida-high-school-principal-holocaust-fired

The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right       https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/11/03/greensboro-massacre-white-nationalism-klan-229873

Far-right AfD surges to second place in German state election    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/far-right-afd-surges-to-second-place-in-german-state-elections

What Holocaust Restitution Taught Me About Slavery Reparations     https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/27/slavery-reparations-holocaust-restitution-negotiations-229881

Make yourselves at home: the meaning of hospitality in a divided world    https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/oct/29/make-yourselves-at-home-the-meaning-of-hospitality-in-a-divided-world

‘We were indifferent to the horror’: Nazi camp inmate to give testimony at trial  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/indifferent-horror-nazi-reistance-fighter-bruno-dey-stutthof

 

Thom Hartmann The Hidden History of the Supreme Court + The Hidden History of Guns & the 2nd Amendment

Thom Hartmann is a progressive national and internationally syndicated talk show host. He’s a New York Times bestselling, 4-times Project Censored Award-winning author of 24 books in print in 17 languages on five continents. Among his many books are Screwed: The Undeclared War Against The Middle Class and What We Can Do About It; Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became “People” – And How You Can Fight Back; Leonardo DiCaprio was inspired by Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, to make the movie “The 11th Hour” (in which he appears). His latest books are in his Hidden History Series: The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment and The Hidden History of The Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America, both published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. In it, Thom Hartmann address questions such as Why did the founders create the Supreme Court? What is judicial review – and how does it make the Supreme Court what thomas Jefferson, post-1803 – a despotic branch? How does the history of the US Constitution explain the Court’s frequent decisions in favor of the wealthy and corporations? The HAS the Court sided with popular opinion – and how have people successfully challenged the Court in the past? How did a 20th Century coalition of business and billionaires seize control of the American government, including the Supreme Court? How did America’s great democratic experiment end in a functional oligarchy? Most important, how can we change course in time to address the planetary crisis of climate change?

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Darren Dochuk Annointed with Oil: How Christianity & Crude Made Modern America

University of Notre Dame History professor, Darren Dochuk is the author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plainfolk religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism, which has received numerous prizes and awards. He has also co-edited several other books in American history, including most recently, The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States. His most recent book is ANOINTED WITH OIL: HOW CHRISTIANITY AND CRUDE MADE MODERN AMERICA, published by Basic Books.

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