fascism

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(As it appeared in the Huffington Post. )

There is a war for your brain in today’s politics, and the weapon of that war is language manipulation. George Lakoff has spent his career demonstrating the power of language and neural nets to trap us into thinking thoughts we do not necessarily want to think, to believe things that we would question if we were not being manipulated. In a wonderful interview , Lakoff describes a series of words that have changed us. For example, people were convinced at a certain point that taxes were not an investment in our future, in our society, but a burden to be relieved. Everyone repeated the phrase “tax relief” that we all forgot that taxes are essential to everything in our lives, our roads, our police, our hospitals, our schools, our safety in every respect. This is the exact neural path through …

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Of Bankers and Social Change in America

by mgopin on September 30, 2009 · 8 comments

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On the red carpet of Capitalism: A Love Story

On the red carpet of Capitalism: A Love Story

In front of the Uptown theater in Washington, DC, I played one of three bankers that Michael Moore drags in to see his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. He dragged us down to the front row and put us in front of the huge adoring crowd. It was great fun! Thanks to the ever creative David Vyorst, my film maker and partner for arranging this!

Michael spoke after this devastating and entertaining film. His heart is genuine. His assault on capitalism is more systematic than I believe in. I truly believe the evils of this civilization are due as much to a betrayal of Adam Smith as to the evils of private enterprise. And Michael often points in the film to the far greater fairness in Germany and other countries that, in my mind, combine the values that …

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Ha’aretz obtained an official report of the Israeli government that reveals for the first time the full details of the Occupation’s illegality. Even major settlements that are not considered illegal outposts turn out to have significant sections that are built on stolen, private Palestinian lands, by the account of the Israeli military that authored the report. This means that tens of thousands of Israelis, many of them actually unaware, are living on private Palestinian lands all over the West Bank. The details will be vital to any future negotiations, should Israel even be capable at this point of reversing the damage that has been done. Many were fooled into believing that these lands were open, available, and public. Read the report and comment. The truth is very painful for everyone to face, but it is only by knowing the whole truth of the situation that third parties can be …

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The shocking story of Christian persecution in India in recent months has all the markings of a politically motivated campaign. The atrocities are across several provinces, and now there is footage of soldiers and police engaged in the persecution, in the regions where BJP is in control. It is clear that BJP supporters are utilizing hatred and fear of Christians as a way to gain political power. There are certainly conversions to Christianity, especially by aggrieved lower castes in India. This is nothing new, and at 3% the Christian population is absolutely no threat to anyone, but they are an interesting scapegoat.

The Nazis did the same thing. Appeal to the basest instincts of a wounded majority, get them to persecute a tiny minority, scapegoat them, and then take over the country based on concocted grievance rather than on substantive issues. Once in power, invent reasons for wars with neighbors …

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