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Henry Giroux, Truthout:

The current political moment is dominated by a massive propagandistic machine, fueled largely by right-wing social media platforms that undermine the promise of hope and its foundational political and educational elements that wed truth and the search for justice to action through mass collective struggles. This is a powerful ocular-image-based pedagogical apparatus that both erases history and distorts it. Manufactured ignorance now parades as news, performs as spectacle, and in doing so, sabotages both the truth and democracy itself. Politics has become a form of ethicide — a disavowal of social responsibility and the removal of political, discursive and economic actions from social costs.

The challenging times in which we now live operate as hope’s antithesis by spreading the ideology of regressive individualism, consumerism, deregulation and anti-intellectualism while reproducing a model of gangster capitalism that empties politics of its democratic possibilities. We live in an age in which radical hope faces the challenge of a number of fundamentalisms rooted in economic, religious and educational forms of repression, all of which characterize a brutal form of gangster capitalism. Accentuated by a growing inequality, uncertainty, fear and distrust of the public good, capitalism hides its ruthlessness and criminogenic power relations by saturating U.S. culture with depoliticizing narratives which echo the fatal notion that it “has no alternative.” In doing so, it has deepened the gulf of shared fears and learned helplessness that enable the formative culture that supports a rebranded fascist politics.

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Restaurateur donates 10,000 KN95 masks to help Oakland schools in a ‘very tough bind’

San Francisco Chronicle:

When restaurateur Eugene Lee learned that Oakland students had created an online petition last week demanding school district officials provide KN95 masks to help protect all pupils during the omicron surge, he sprang into action.

Lee, whose restaurant Noodle Belly is opening Saturday in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, reached out to Mayor Libby Schaaf, who put him in touch with Oakland Unified School District officials. This week, he donated 10,000 KN95 masks to the district and another 15,000 to the city for emergency workers.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” said Lee, who also owns a roofing supply store in San Francisco.

Part of what makes America great – you don’t read about German noodle restaurant owners donating masks to the city of Berlin now do you?

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The US Must Prepare for War Against Russia Over Ukraine

Evelyn N. Farkas, Defense One:

The only way to reassert the primacy of international law and sanctity of international borders, and contain Russia, may be to issue our own ultimatum. We must not only condemn Russia’s illegal occupations of Ukraine and Georgia, but we must demand a withdrawal from both countries by a certain date and organize coalition forces willing to take action to enforce it.

To be sure, nuclear-armed Russia is far more powerful than Saddam’s Iraq.

Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia under Obama.

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Richard Falk, CounterPunch:

America never purported to become a substantive democracy that extends effective social protection or universal human rights to all of its citizens in the manner of many European countries that have upheld a quite different social democratic contract with their citizens. In that sense, the most basic freedom of all for US citizens, although not inscribed in parchment or openly proclaimed, has been preserving the right of every citizen to fail, a right substantially upheld through times of prosperity and hardship, reflecting the boom and bust bedrock cycles of capitalist theory and practice. The mixture of a cult of individualism together with minimally regulated capitalism is as much a part of constitutional order as are elections and the rule of law, but rarely avowed.

Ω Ω Ω

A sophisticated interpretation of January 6th would be to regard it as a long-deferred payback by Republicans for the alleged abandonment by Democrats of this right to fail, including attendant flirtations with the New Deal safety net of social protection, demonized by the Republicans at the time and ever since as ‘crypto-socialism.’

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Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

—Dylan Thomas

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Kylemore Abbey

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Dún Dúchathair, Inishmore


 

 

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