You are browsing the archive for 2018 September 23.

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Abraham Lincoln Warned Us About the Dangers of Donald Trump

September 23, 2018 in Blogs

By History News Network

“It will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.”

In 1838, when he was a twenty-nine-year-old Illinois state legislator, Abraham Lincoln foresaw the coming of Donald Trump.

Lincoln warned of him, or someone like him, in a speech championing the rule of law over racist-driven mob rule. He was addressing the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, on the evening of January 27, 1838. He spoke on “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.”

The original Lyceum was a gymnasium near Athens in ancient Greece where Aristotle thought and taught. In Lincoln’s time the Springfield Lyceum was organized as a speaking venue for prominent young, up-climbing men. For several years in the mid-1830s it was a leading player in the cultural life of Springfield.

In Lincoln’s Lyceum speech he spoke of the hills and valleys of “this goodly land,” on which the Founding Fathers up-reared “a political edifice of liberty and equal rights”—and transmitted it to us.

Lincoln spoke of our duty to the Fathers to in turn transmit this edifice “unprofaned by the foot of an invader… undecayed by the lapse of time, and untorn by usurpation—to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know.” He spoke of this as a “task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general” that “imperatively requires us faithfully to perform.”

And he spoke of the danger to this edifice. “At what point,” he asked, “shall we expect the approach of danger?” He predicted, “If it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us.” He did not believe it could come from abroad. He believed that “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”

Is it unreasonable, Lincoln asked in that speech 180 years ago, “to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up amongst us?”

And when such a one does rise up amongst us, …read more


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Is the Rise of Social Media Proof That We're All Narcissists?

September 23, 2018 in Blogs

By Aeon

Instead of social media merely connecting us, it has become a cult of notifications.

Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centredness. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love when he saw his reflection in water: he gazed so long, he eventually died. Today, the quintessential image is not someone staring at his reflection but into his mobile phone. While we pine away for that perfect Snapchat filter or track our likes on Instagram, the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. Or so it would seem.

But people have long used media to see reflections of themselves. Long before mobile phones or even photography, diaries were kept as a way to understand oneself and the world one inhabits. In the 18th and 19th centuries, as secular diaries became more popular, middle-class New Englanders, particularly white women, wrote about their everyday lives and the world around them. These diaries were not a place into which they poured their innermost thoughts and desires, but rather a place to chronicle the social world around them – what’s going on around the house, what they did today, who came to visit, who was born or who died. The diaries captured the everyday routines of mid-19th-century life, with women diarists in particular focused not on themselves but on their families and their communities more broadly.

Diaries today are, for the most part, private. These New England diaries, in contrast, were commonly shared. Young women who were married would send their diaries home to their parents as a way of maintaining kin relations. When family or friends came to visit, it was not uncommon to sit down and go through one’s journal together. Late 19th-century Victorian parents would often read aloud their children’s diaries at the end of the day. These were not journals with locks on them, meant only for the eyes of the diarist, but a means of sharing experiences with others.

Diaries are not the only media that people have used to document lives and share them with others. Scrapbooks, photo albums, …read more


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Fox News' Judge Jeanine Goes on Unhinged Rant About Kavanaugh — And Spews Lies That Were Already Debunked by Her Own Network

September 23, 2018 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

Pirro is brazenly lying.

The Republican controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is continuing on its bullheaded mission to rush through the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court. Their callous approach to the charges of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford could not even be slowed down by the resignation of the committee's spokesperson due to charges of sexual harassment. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

However, Fox News can make up phony allegations against Dr. Ford to malign her character and introduce demonstrably false speculation as to her motives for coming forward. Throughout this melodrama, Fox News has participated in the deliberate vilification of a woman who has already endured untold suffering. She has been accused of lying, having a faulty memory, and even misidentifying her attacker. She has also been accused of having political motives that none of her critics can actually verify.

Among the worst of the Fox News attack squad is “judge” Jeanine Pirro. She has been relentless in her criticism of Dr. Ford, and her defense of Judge Kavanaugh. But she went to a new extreme on her program Saturday night. In her “Opening Statement”segment, Pirro launched a typically (for her) rancid, spittle inflected tirade against Dr. Ford that began with the baseless charge that she was “highly political.” And then she dived into what she said was an “even more compelling” incident (video below):

“Do you remember when the President nominated Brett Kavanaugh, we heard that Kavanaugh's mother was a judge. Ford's parents – follow me – Ford's parents had a foreclosure claim against them and their home in 1996, in Maryland. Ford's parents lost their home. The judge ruled against them. The judge was a woman. The judge was Brett Kavanaugh's mother.”

There is no other way to put this than that Pirro is brazenly lying. The only part of those remarks that is true is that Kavanaugh's mother was a judge. Follow me: Ford's parents did not lose their home. And Kavanaugh's mother did not rule against them. In fact, the foreclosure was dismissed by Kavanaugh's mother after Ford's parents and the bank agreed …read more


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Iran President Blames US-Backed Gulf State for Terror Attack — And Vows to Confront Trump at UN General Assembly

September 23, 2018 in Blogs

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams

“America is acting like a bully toward the rest of the world.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday placed blame for a terrorist attack at a parade in southwestern Iran on a U.S.-backed Persian Gulf state, and said he planned to “confront” the U.S. over tensions between the two countries at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly this week in New York.

The attack took place Saturday at an annual event in Ahvaz, killing at least 29 people,including several civilians, and injuring nearly 70 others. ISIS and a separatist group with Saudi connections, the Ahvaz National Resistance, both claimed responsibility for the attack, in which attackers disguised as soldiers opened fire at a military parade. But Rouhani suggested one of the United States' allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had been involved.

“It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes,” Rouhani said of the countries he was accusing.

Following the attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also held regional U.S. allies responsible in a statement on Twitter.

Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 22, 2018

The attack came four months after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, against the advice of the international community and the wishes of 63 percent of the American public. He also announced that he would reimpose sanctions on the country, which have resulted in higher prices for medications and other goods, 

“America is acting like a bully toward the rest of the world…and thinks it can act based on brute force,” Rouhani told reporters just before leaving Iran for the U.N. meeting in New York. “But our people will resist and the government is ready to confront America. We will overcome this situation and America will regret choosing the wrong path.”

Trita Parsi, president emeritus of the National Iranian American Council, …read more


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Lindsey Graham Says He's Made Up His Mind to Vote for Kavanaugh Regardless of Christine Blasey Ford Allegations

September 23, 2018 in Blogs

By Gwendolyn Smith, The New Civil Rights Movement

It's all happening.

Lindsey Graham has decided in advance of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony that he will not change his mind on Kavanaugh, no matter what she brings to the table.

On Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Graham laid out his opinion on the Ford accusation, saying “you can't bring it in a criminal court, you would never sue civilly, you couldn't even get a warrant. What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?


Ford's testimony would seem to be the perfect time to get answers to the questions Graham doesn't seem to have an answer to, but he doesn't seem that interested.

“Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this,” Graham said.

In spite of his unwillingness to address the accusations, Graham claims that Ford would be treated “respectfully.”


Graham also feels that Ford is simply being “used” by Democrats, claiming they have an “agenda” against Kavanaugh.

Ford is scheduled to testify on Thursday.

Watch the exchange below:


…read more


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Washington's Farcical "Certifications" Enable the War Crimes of Allies

September 23, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military
coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid
inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S.
foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United
Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to
commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera epidemic. Attacks on civilian targets
are far too numerous to list. An especially appalling incident
occurred in August when coalition aircraft attacked a school bus, killing forty

Pompeo’s certification was necessary to meet the requirements of
a congressional statute. Otherwise, the U.S. military would have
had to curtail its refueling of coalition aircraft involved in
Yemen military operations. As part of its obsession with countering
Iranian influence in the Middle East, Washington has backed the
Saudis in their campaign to destroy Yemen’s nominally pro-Iranian
Houthi faction. The latest certification preserves the pretense
that Saudi and UAE forces are not committing war crimes and that
the United States is not a willing accomplice in those war crimes.

The certification requirement for U.S. aid, especially military
assistance, is, and usually has been, a cynical farce to neutralize
or (at least dampen) potential public outrage at assisting odious
regimes. For decades, U.S. administrations have certified
compliance with human-rights standards by aid recipients when those
recipients have not come even close to meeting that standard.

Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the
Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian
casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy

Just days before his action regarding Saudi Arabia and Yemen,
Pompeo issued a certification allowing the release of $1.2 billion in U.S. military assistance to
Egypt, despite human-rights concerns that had held up previous
funding. As in the case of Saudi Arabia, the dictatorship of Abdel
Fatah el-Sisi in Egypt has amassed an atrocious human-rights record. Since taking
power in a 2013 military coup, Sisi has executed hundreds of
political prisoners and jailed thousands more. Yet except for a
brief pause, U.S. military aid, including the sale of F-16 jet fighters and Apache attack helicopters, has continued under
both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Brazen executive branch contempt for congressional efforts to
restrict U.S. aid to allied regimes guilty of human-rights abuses
is not confined to the Middle East. Nor is it a recent phenomenon.
In July 2003, for …read more

Source: OP-EDS