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[l] at 8/18/22 7:17am
Heres the big question in Jock Culture these days: Is the Kingdom of Golf being used to sportswash the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Or is it the other way around? After all, what other major sport could use a sandstorm of Middle Eastern murder and human-rights abuses to obscure its own history of bigotry and greed? In fact, not since the 1936 Berlin Olympics was used to cosmeticize Nazi Germany’s atrocities and promote Aryan superiority have sports and an otherwise despised government collaborated so blatantly to enhance their joint international standings. Will it work this time? The jury has been out since the new Saudi-funded LIV Tour made an early August stop at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster,... Read more Source: Being Anything But a Good Sport in Saudi Arabia appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 8/16/22 5:26am
Recent episodes of purposeful and accidental truth-telling brought to my mind the latest verbal lapse by George W. Bush, the president who hustled this country into war in Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. He clearly hadnt planned to make a public confession about his own warmongering in Iraq when he gave a speech in Texas this spring. Still, asked to decry Russian president Vladimir Putins unjustified invasion of Ukraine, Bush inadvertently and all too truthfully placed his own presidential war-making in exactly the same boat. The words spilled out of his mouth as he described the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified invasion of Iraq I mean of Ukraine. Initially, he seemed shocked that... Read more Source: Is Moral Clarity Possible in Donald Trumps America? appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 8/14/22 3:13pm
The American military is now having trouble recruiting enough soldiers. According to the New York Times, its ranks are short thousands of entry-level troops and its on track to face the worst recruitment crisis since the Vietnam War ended, not long after the draft was eliminated. Mind you, it’s not that the military doesnt have the resources for recruitment drives. Nearly every political figure in Washington, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, invariably agrees on endlessly adding to the Pentagon’s already staggering budget. In fact, it’s nearly the only thing they seem capable of agreeing on. After all, Congress has already taken nearly a year to pass a social-spending package roughly half the size of... Read more Source: A Military Rich in Dollars, Poor in People appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 8/11/22 7:20am
I find nothing strange in Joe Biden, at 79 (going on 80), being the oldest president in our history andpossibly planningto run again in 2024. After all, who wouldnt want to end up in the record books? Were he to be nominated and then beat the also-agingDonald Trump, or Florida GovernorRon DeSantis, or evenFox Newss eternally popularTucker Carlson, he would occupy the White House until he was 86. Honestly, wouldnt that be perfect in its own way? I mean, what could better fit an America in decline than a president in decline, the more radically so the better? Okay, maybe, despite the Republican National Committeesclip on the subject, when Joe Biden had to be guided to that red carpet in... Read more Source: The Decline and Fall of Everything (Including Me) appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 8/2/22 7:49am
In the United States during 16 months in 2020 and 2021, vehicles rammed into groups of protesters at least 139 times, according to a Boston Globe analysis. Three victims died and at least 100 were injured. Consider that a new level of all-American barbarity, thanks to the growing toxicity of right-wing politics, empowered by its embrace of ever-larger, more menacing vehicles being cranked out by the auto industry. And keep this in mind: attacks on street protests are just the most recent development in fossil-fuelized aggression. Especially in the red states of America, MAGA motorists have been driving our quality of life into the ground for years. My spouse Priti Gulati Cox and I live half a block south of... Read more Source: Three Tons of Fascism with a Bull Bar appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/31/22 2:55pm
Ever since the early morning hours of November 9, 2016, standing in a ballroom with red-hatted Trump election celebrants in the New York Hilton, Ive been waiting for this moment. This eruption of misogyny, unlike any since perhaps the witch trials and the burnings of midwives at the stake, was only a matter of time. As shocking, as wildly insulting as that pussy-grabber winning the presidency was to American women and girls, it was just the beginning of what appears to be a long season of sadism. Who Let the Dogs Out? The election of Donald Trump signaled a cutting of the chain-link fence behind which something drooling and ferocious had been waiting. Unfortunately, what most of us didn’t fully... Read more Source: Right-Wing Extremists Are Making Fiction Come True appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/28/22 7:01am
I have a brother with chronic schizophrenia. He had his first severe catatonic episode when he was 16 years old and I was 10. Later, he suffered from auditory hallucinations and heard voices saying nasty things to him. I remember my father reassuring him that the voices weren’t real and asking him whether he could ignore them. Sadly, it’s not that simple. That conversation between my father and brother has been on my mind, as Ive been experiencing America’s increasingly divided, almost schizoid, version of social discourse. It’s as if this country were suffering from some set of collective auditory hallucinations whose lead feature was nastiness. Take cover! Were being threatened by a revived red(dish) menace from a “rogue” Russia!... Read more Source: The Nasty Voices in Our Heads appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/26/22 7:13am
It may seem hard to believe, but only 15 years ago many of us were talking confidently about “peak oil” the moment of maximum global oil output after which, with world reserves dwindling, its use would begin an irreversible decline. Then along came hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the very notion of peak oil largely vanished. Instead, some analysts began speaking of “peak oil demand” a moment, not so far away, when electric vehicle (EV) ownership would be so widespread that the need for petroleum would largely disappear, even if there was still plenty of it to frack or drill. However, in 2020, EVs made up less than 1% of the global light-vehicle fleet and are only expected... Read more Source: The Enduring Tyranny of Oil appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/24/22 2:58pm
[This essay is slightly adapted from Jonathan Schell’s 2003 book,The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People,and appears at TomDispatch.com with the kind permission of its publisher, Metropolitan Books.] Then came the attack of September 11th. Like the starting gun of a race that no one knew he was to run, this explosion set the pack of nations off in a single direction toward the trenches. Although the attack was unaccompanied by any claim of authorship or statement of political goals, the evidence almost immediately pointed to al-Qaeda, the radical Islamist, terrorist network, which, though stateless, was headquartered in Afghanistan and enjoyed the protection of its fundamentalist Islamic government. In a tape that was soon shown... Read more Source: The Path to a New 1914? appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/21/22 7:07am
Firefighters don’t normally allude to early English epics, but in a briefing on the massive Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire in northern New Mexico, a top field chief said, “It’s like Beowulf: it’s not the thing you fear, it is the mother of the thing you fear.” He meant that the flames you face may be terrifying, but scarier yet are the conditions that spawned them, perhaps enabling new flames to erupt behind you with no escape possible. The lesson is a good one and can be taken further. If tinder-dry forests and high winds are the mother of the thing we fear, then climate change is the grandmother. The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire blazed across 534 square miles of the... Read more Source: New Mexicos Megafires Mark a Turning Point appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/19/22 6:39am
When I was the age that my daughter is now, my favorite sweatshirt had the words “Choice, Choice, Choice, Choice” in rainbow letters across its front. My mom got me that sweatshirt at a 1989 rally in response to Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a Missouri law restricting the use of state funds and facilities for abortion, an early attempt to eat away at Roe v. Wade. And though many adults in the Wisconsin neighborhood where I grew up thought that message inappropriate for a 13 year old, I wore it proudly. Even then, I understood that it spoke not just to a person’s right to an abortion, but also to the respect... Read more Source: Controlling Bodies and Subverting Democracy appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/17/22 2:38pm
Well before the House select committee’s January 6th investigation began, trust in the classic American system of checks and balances as reliable protection against executive (or, more recently, Supreme Court) abuses of power had already fallen into a state of disgrace. A domestically shackled Biden presidency, a Congress unable to act, and a Supreme Court that seems ever more like an autocratic governing body has left American democracy looking grim indeed. Now, those hearings are offering the country (and the Justice Department) what could be a last chance to begin restoring the kind of governance that once underlay a functioning democracy. There is, however, a deeply worrisome trend lurking just under this moment’s attempt to garner accountability namely, the... Read more Source: Can the System Be Saved? appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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[l] at 7/7/22 6:41am
This March, when the Biden administration presented a staggering $813 billion proposal for “national defense,” it was hard to imagine a budget that could go significantly higher or be more generous to the denizens of the military-industrial complex. After all, that request represented far more than peak spending in the Korean or Vietnam War years, and well over $100 billion more than at the height of the Cold War. It was, in fact, an astonishing figure by any measure more than two-and-a-half times what China spends; more, in fact, than (and hold your hats for this one!) the national security budgets of the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined. And yet the weapons industry and hawks in... Read more Source: Fueling the Warfare State appeared first on TomDispatch.com.

[Category: Tomgram]

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