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Social Justice Discussions For The 21st Century

Trump's Economy Is Great For Billionaires, Not For Working People


      Support or oppose Bernie Sanders or Trump, etc. But please read this for what it says, not based on who wrote it. And, if you're able, support the no-pay-wall Guardian:


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      Opinion | Republicans, Racism And Steve King


          The long, dangerous, disgusting history of American racism intertwined inextricably (?) with American politics (from Old South Democrats in the pre- and post-Civil War eras to the modern GOP) continues to merit analysis. And disgust. And, please, some progress?

          Two interesting commentaries--


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          North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)


              I have never looked up NATO neither have I ever asked anyone what all the countries do. First they call each country a state second there are many of these states that have aliances with many countries other than just with NATO. One state can be a member of several of them. I believe the US is a member of at least three. Maybe more. There are some of these groups that have desolved because they were no longer needed.

              So how important is NATO? 29 states are members and if any state were to be attacked by another country or state, they would have 29 states fighting back.

              So NATO is very important. Plus we can all see and understand why Putin would want the US to pull out of NATO. NATO is considered the Cadillac to keeping peace and Putin doesn't want to fight 29 states he just wants to trash/fight one. If you wonder why the US ...why go after the US period it is because the US has the most ties, pulls, power, money, and military might. If the US no longer has its allies then Russia could possibly have a chance even evading the US. But the problem is that the US has better fire power than Russia has.

              Go through the list of States below a couple will surprise you. Turkey is in the list. So that explains why the US acted likethey did when the news guy was brutally killed.

              So knowing how attached the US is to NATO what Trump wants to do about NATO is treason in my book. NATO has been around for Trumps whole life and I would kick trump to the curb before I would trash NATO. BTW I didn't post too much here on this topic because it is extensive. It looks like a lot but it's not it is just spread in different format. Just go to Wikipedia and read what they have it is very interesting. Like for instance did you know NATO helped us after 9/11?

              The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /ˈneɪtoʊ/; French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmentalmilitary alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.[3][4] NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

              North Atlantic Treaty Organization Abbreviation Motto Formation Type Headquarters
              Official language
              Expenses (2018) Website
              Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord
              Flag of NATO.svg
              Member states of NATO
              NATO, OTAN
              Animus in consulendo liber
              4 April 1949; 69 years ago
              Military alliance
              Brussels, Belgium
              Jens Stoltenberg
              Air Chief MarshalStuart Peach, Royal Air Force
              General Curtis Scaparrotti, United States Army
              Général Denis Mercier, French Air Force
              US$1.0 trillion[2]

              Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29. The most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017. NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia and Ukraine as aspiring members.[5] An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[6] Members have committed to reach or maintain defense spending of at least 2% of GDP by 2024.[7][8]


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              If This Happened To Your Child What Would You Do?


                  [Justice Denied]

                  After school field trip bullying incident, girl is scarred for life with rope burns around her neck. Schools says it was an accident. The family receives only $68k in damages.

                  Finish this sentence. If this were my daughter, if this were my child I would.....

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                  Christian Nationalism In America



                      So, is it OK to just live and let live, to leave Christians be and let them believe as they wish? Sure--but only if they don't want to impose their religion on others using the power of the state, and that is a strong urge on the part of many of them. And of late those many have acquired real and dangerous power in America.

                      A book on the subject from over 20 years ago, Eternal Hostility: the Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy by Frederick Clarkson, rings true today and is well worth reading if you have the time. (See https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4656603 for more). For shorter analyses, consider these articles:

                      This first essay doesn't mention American Atheists (Nick Fish and Alison Gill, et al. have been on the case for many, many months), but it should:


                      And The Guardian (no pay wall--donate a few bob if you can) has another, related essay on the incursions of all this on the Trump administration that is also worth reading:


                      Read 'em and weep, as they say.

                      Regards to most,

                      Ed B.

                      ED BUCKNER

                      Author (with Michael E. Buckner) of In Freedom We Trust: An Atheist Guide to Religious Liberty (Prometheus Books, 2012)

                      Former President

                      American Atheists



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                      It Seems The Evangelicals, Are Experiencing A Rift, As Well...


                          It gives me hope, we hear so little about these Evangelical Christians who are virulently opposed to Trump's choices about the border. They believe that it will keep Christians who are living in an oppressive nation from entering our country. Contrary to the right wing, they feel an obligation to human rights in general and whether they are politically conservative or not, they are at least speaking out. I'm sorry they are being lost in this.

                          One of the church's involved is a Wesleyan Church, it gives me a little hope. I do not go to church, but I wouldn't want to like that the faith that I grew up with has become inhumane and spiritually corrupt.


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                              I would love to think that all of our representatives could bond on passing an anti-lynching law. In my view it is a form, of domestic terrorism and all Americans should be protected from such people, no matter what their culture is. We have a legal system charged with keeping us safe from people who take the law into their hands. What if we refused to protect some, even if they are within the legal boundaries, based on a twisted version of Christian morality? I assume it is within the same morality that those who terrorize American citizens that do not live up the moral standards of the religious right, should be forgiven for being over zealous in doing "God's work."

                              Maybe we could make exceptions for someone lynching the occasional Christian for hate speech or blowing up the occasional abortion clinic, stalking doctors...

                              Who told this bunch that God would always give them a free pass? If it's true, maybe we can start frying them and give them a head start on heaven.


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                              'Right To Repair' Gathers Force


                                  Social justice? But of course it is.

                                  It is frustrating: you buy a new appliance then just after the warranty runs out, it gives up the ghost.

                                  You can’t repair it and can’t find anyone else to at a decent price, so it joins the global mountain of junk.

                                  You’re forced to buy a replacement, which fuels climate change from the greenhouse gases released in the manufacturing process.

                                  But help is at hand, because citizens in the EU and parts of the USA will soon get a "right to repair" - of sorts.

                                  This consists of a series of proposals from European environment ministers to force manufacturers to make goods that last longer and are easier to mend.


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                                  Financing A Green New Deal And Ending Gross Inequality

                                  Interested in radical new ideas that are hard to fault? Here's an essay that should do that (whether or not you want to pitch in money, which is why People's Action Committee promoted it)--

                                  British author George Monbiot provides this vivid touchstone for today’s piece:

                                  Political systems that were supposed to represent everyone now return governments of millionaires, financed by and acting on behalf of billionaires. To expect governments funded and appointed by this class to protect the biosphere and defend the poor is like expecting a lion to live on gazpacho.

                                  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is floating an income tax rate as high as 60 to 70 percent on the highest-earning Americans.

                                  In a “60 Minutes” interview scheduled to air tomorrow [today--Sunday], Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said that an ambitious increase in taxes on the wealthy could support a Green New Deal and the goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels within the next 12 years.

                                  A Green New Deal is a big idea, the kind that actually gets to the heart of what’s wrong and how to fix it. I support a Green New Deal that is 100% Just. This means 100% renewable energy and 100% equitable for the communities of color and low-income people on the front lines of climate change.

                                  Let’s take this to another level. We can pay for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, Free College for All, and more -- and attack the root causes of inequality at the same time.

                                  In his groundbreaking The Case for a Maximum Wage, Sam Pizzigati says, “Intense concentrations of wealth, political thinkers have long argued, undermine democratic governance.” The more wealth the wealthy amass, the more political power the wealthy gain.

                                  This is why the state takes on the role of managing social unrest. Throughout history, the state has protected powerful economic interests -- everyone from the land barons and slave traders of the past to the polluters and profiteers of the present -- from the pitchforks.

                                  The fundamental problem, Pizzigati argues, may not be poverty. It may be the concentration of power in the hands of people who don’t want to solve poverty and its roots in racial and gender injustice.

                                  We need, in short, to battle for economies that generate less inequality, not just for redistributive measures that aim to clean up the messes inequality creates. This redistribution has taken the inequality-generating economy as a given and essentially accepted that this economy will end up advantaging some and disadvantaging others.
                                  So now we’re getting to the heart of the matter, one close to every organizer’s heart. Power. And how we can keep income and wealth from concentrating in the first place.

                                  This is what People's Action does best. We build power to win when no one thinks we can. It's time for the resistance to move from protest to power.

                                  Pizzigati explains, “Governments the rich dominate do good by the rich. They cut their taxes. They address their aggravations. They help them become richer.”

                                  This is why simply raising taxes on the rich to pay for things like a Green New Deal won’t work, at least not long-term. He says, “An approach to equity that rested on redistributing income and wealth from the top could not overcome, in the long term, the political power of the top.”

                                  Within a generation of this kind of top-down redistribution of wealth, the rich would find a way to use their political power to knock their taxes back down and end progress on a Green New Deal.

                                  Pizzigati’s slender but action-packed volume digs into how leveling society at both the top and the bottom could make a lasting impact on the income gap. “In any nation that linked minimum and maximum,” he says, “society’s richest would be able to increase their own personal income only if the incomes of society’s poorest increased first.”

                                  Here’s how a maximum income works. Society sets a new income maximum as a multiple of the existing minimum wage. Any income above that multiple would face a tax set at 100 percent. Pizzigati explains, “Incomes above specific benchmarks -- starting at 25 or 50 or 100 times the minimum wage -- could be subject to strikingly higher tax rates than incomes below those ratios.”

                                  So let's lift up workers at the bottom to address inequality and use the money from the top to fund big ideas like a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, Free College for All, Universal Pre-K, and so much more.

                                  If you think this is unrealistic or impossible, then imagine this. Donald Trump is President of the United States. If that can happen, anything can.

                                  Please make a contribution to support our work to advance a 100% Just and Green New Deal.

                                  Thanks for listening today, and for all that you do,

                                  James and the People's Action team

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