Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Professor Noam Chomsky: WHAT LINKS I.S.I.S. TO WORLD WAR ONE, GAZA AND NUCLEAR CATASTROPHE? @ Stop The War Coalition

Chuck Mertz: A SEGMENT FROM LATEST EPISODE #822 "RECLAIMING ABORTION RIGHTS" @ This is Hell Radio, Chicago's WNUR's 89.3 FM

Ryan Lenz: SIX MONTHS AFTER STANDOFF IN NEVADA, FEDS HAVE YET TO RESPOND @ SPLC's "Hatewatch"

Lynn Washington, Jr.: HIDDEN INSIDE PENNSYLVANIA'S EMAIL PORN SCANDAL @ This Can't Be Happening!

(Part I of II)

Obscured by a current scandal involving pornographic emails currently rocking the top reaches of Pennsylvania’s state government, a scandal that has cast a shadow over embattled Pennsylvania Governor and former state's attorney general Tom Corbett and the state’s judiciary, including a state Supreme Court member, is another explosive scandal.

That hidden scandal involves the persecution of Lorenzo ‘Cat’ Johnson. a Pennsylvania inmate, by prosecutors from the state's attorney general’s office -– the same office that has exposed the chain of pornographic emails dating from Corbett's tenure as AG.

The Johnson had won a court-ordered release from a deeply flawed murder conviction after having wrongfully served 16-years of a life sentence. But he was nonetheless forced to return to prison due to actions by state’s current Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, a Democrat who succeeded Corbett in that office.

Gov. Corbett had headed the state AG’s office when that office handled initially handled Johnson's prosecution in this badly tainted murder trial. Corbett later served as AG when that office vigorously opposed Johnson's appeal of that his verdict and sentence..

This hidden scandal exposes a pattern of state government officials who blithely tolerated this and other outrageously unjust criminal convictions. This hidden scandal also exposes the penchant of prosecutors to fight to preserve convictions they know to have been tainted by official misconduct.

Too many false convictions in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the US involve documented misconduct by police and/or prosecutors –- misconduct often covered-up for decades by courts and prosecutors. This misconduct includes authorities improperly withholding evidence of innocence at trial –- a gross violation of constitutional fair trial rights as well as professional conduct standards. Withheld evidence is a core issue in the case of this particular inmate persecuted by the AG's office.

The porn scandal, initiated by AG Kane's office, and now rocking state government in Pennsylvania, involves emails containing sexually explicit images (often accompanied by raunchy commentary by email senders and recipients) exchanged over state-owned computers by then ranking members of the state’s Attorney Generals office as well as several state judges, including one member of the state's Supreme Court.

Conservative Republican Gov. Corbett headed the AG’s office when ranking subordinates in that office engaged in enthusiastic exchanges of those pornographic emails. (No evidence released to date links Corbett himself to the pornographic emails.)

Fallout from this porn email scandal has forced the resignation of former AG office prosecutors, including a few who held top posts in Corbett’s gubernatorial administration.

Those resignations included one man whom Corbett appointed to the state’s Parole Board –- the body that determines prison release for inmates, including those convicted of sex crimes...

For the rest of this article by LINN WASHINGTON, JR. in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromised, four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2508


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ken Stephens: FORMER AIDE TO TWO GOP KS GOVERNORS ON BROWNBACK TAX CUTS: 'FACE THE MUSIC, BIG TIME' @ Hutchinson News

No small banana in the Kansas GOP
Professor Ed Flentje has a long history advising Kansas Republican big shots; an aide to U. S. Sen. James Pearson, cabinet member to Gov. Robert Bennett and Mike Hayden. When he speaks or writes all Kansans should check it out.

[Excerpt]  ... Residents of 72 of the state’s 105 counties saw property tax for schools increase at least 10 percent over the three-year period, Flentje said. Thirty-one counties saw property tax increases of 20 percent or more and 16 counties saw increases of 30 percent or more for schools, Flentje said.

He cited similar findings for county governments: 71 counties saw increases of 10 percent or more; 33 had increases of 20 percent or more and 14 had increases of 30 percent or more.

“They’ve lost $200 million in reimbursements through the demand transfers, the city-county revenue sharing fund, the local ad valorem tax reduction fund. Those are gone,” Flentje said. “They lost money through their tax base. They still whine about losing their (now tax-exempt) business machinery and equipment. They don’t get funding for mental health. They don’t have the grant programs they used to to help them. So whatever they do, they’re having to fall back on their own resources. And we allow them to tax property and sales, and that’s it.”

With schools, it’s simpler. Base state aid per pupil is the foundation for paying teachers and other costs of classroom instruction. BSAPP was $3,937 in Fiscal Year 2011. In Brownback’s first budget, it dropped to $3,780. Since then, it has risen to $3,852 – still below the funding level he inherited.

Republicans insist that base state aid per pupil cannot be looked at in isolation because it is only part of the total package of state money that flows to schools. The governor’s campaign website, brownback.com, says under a section called “Reality Check” that “state spending on education has increased every year Gov. Brownback has been in office. In fact, it has increased over $270 million since 2011.”

A portion of the increase, however, has been to shore up the historically underfunded Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and has no impact on school district general funds, which pay for the bulk of classroom instructional expenses. Another significant chunk of state aid is for helping school districts pay off bonds and interest on construction projects.  ... [End of Excerpt]

Read more at the Hutchinson News.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bryan Lowry: 'DAILY SHOW' MOCKS GOV. SAM BROWNBACK TAX CUTS @ Wichita Eagle

Columnist Barbara Shelly: THE RELENTLESS LIES OF GOV. SAM BROWNBACK @ Kansas City Star

Tom Klammer's Soundcloud Audio: RETIRED SENIOR C.I.A. ANALYST RAY McGOVERN ON SEN. PAT ROBERTS (KS-R) @ Tell Somebody Radio

Sen. Pat Roberts, "A Congenital Liar" - Retired Ambassador Joe Wilson
  From the Soundcloud audio summary by Tom Klammer: 

"Pat Roberts wants Kansas voters to grant him another six years in the Senate, but finds himself facing a surprisingly close race against an Independent. With control of the Senate in play, and almost all of the media coverage and political ads on the Kansas Senate race focused on other issues, I thought it might be a good idea for Kansas voters to hear about Roberts’ role as Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in covering up and corrupting fraudulent intelligence leading up to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Former CIA analyst, presidential daily briefer, and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) co-founder Ray McGovern has some information to share about Senator Roberts. I recorded this phone conversation with him on October 15, 2014. A slightly shortened version of it was also broadcast on 90.1 FM KKFI in Kansas City as a segment of my weekly public affairs radio show on October 16, and podcasted at www.tellsomebody.us." 

The audio is about 44 min. and well worth the listen, share it with your friends and neighbors. Click here, to listen free.

Yael T. Abouhalkah: SHOCKING KS GOP SWEEP SHAPING UP FOR SAM BROWNBACK, PAT ROBERTS @ Kansas City Star

Bryan Lowry: KANSAS GOV. SAM BROWNBACK TO SPEAK AT WICHITA RALLY AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE @ Wichita Eagle

Would the news media cover it more if they wore sheets and hoods?  The group being supported is classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fred Clarkson: AN UNCHARITABLE CHOICE: THE FAITH BASED TAKEOVER OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS @ Political Research Associates

Free Newsweekly Email Subscription: TOO MUCH ONLINE, Oct. 13th, 2014

Sometimes generosity makes no sense. Nevada state officials, for instance, have been exceedingly generous with billionaire Elon Musk and his luxury electric car company Tesla. Nevada has decided to shower the company with $1.25 billion in “economic development incentives.”

The incentives, state officials say, will “create jobs.” They will, agrees one Los Angeles Times analysis — at up to $400,000 in taxpayer dollars per job created!

On the other hand, sometimes generosity makes all the sense in the world. Here, too, an example from Nevada: Citizens there have upped their charitable giving by 13 percent since 2006, the top increase in the nation. That boost is helping lots of folks. The housing meltdown had its ground zero in Nevada.

A new report released last week places this particular Nevadan generosity in a much broader perspective. Generosity that makes sense, turns out, seems to diminish the higher up you go on the income ladder. We have more on that phenomenon — and new report — in this week’s Too Much.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Laura Gottesdiener: I WORKED IN A STRIP CLUB IN A NORTH DAKOTA BOOMTOWN @ Mother Jones

And how many Kansans say we're missing the "fracking boom"?

[Excerpt]  ... This spring, production in North Dakota surged past one million barrels of oil a day. The source of this liquid gold, as it is locally known, is the Bakken Shale: a layered, energy-rich rock formation that stretches across western North Dakota, the corner of Montana, and into Canada. It had been considered inaccessible until breakthroughs in drilling and hydraulic fracturing made the extraction of oil from it economically feasible. In 2008, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced that the Bakken Shale contained 25 times more recoverable oil than previously thought, sparking the biggest oil rush in state history.

Now, six years later, the region displays all the classic contemporary markers of hell: toxic flames that burn around the clock; ink-black smoke billowing from 18-wheelers; intermittent explosions caused by lightning striking the super-conductive wastewater tanks that hydraulic fracturing makes a necessity; a massive Walmart; an abundance of meth, crack, and liquor; freezing winters; rents higher than Manhattan; and far, far too many men. To oil companies, however, the field is hallowed ground, one of the few in history to break the million-barrel-a-day benchmark, earning it "a place in the small pantheon of truly elite oil fields," as one Reuters market analyst wrote.  ...  [End of Excerpt]

Read more at Mother Jones.

Your Hobbit Home?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Robert Parry on Radio Free Kansas! Today "Saturday High Noon"


Do your homework because it's what's happening on the show today!

Special Report: If you ever wondered how the mainstream U.S. media changed from the hard-nosed Watergate press of the 1970s into the brown-nose MSM that swallowed the Iraq War lies, a key middle point was the Contra-cocaine scandal of the 1980s/1990s, the subject of a new movie, reports Robert Parry.

Read it all at Consortium News.
Radio Free Kansas blurb, transcripts, etc. at Global High Five.

Heather Digby Parton: "Sam Brownback’s last-ditch Hail Mary: A deplorable voter suppression plan" @ Salon

[Excerpt] ...  But never let it be said that Brownback is throwing in the towel. You see, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. And in this case it’s been failed miserably by other Republicans and, needless to say, Democrats. He went back to his roots this week and spoke to John Brody at the Christian Broadcast network and explained what was really going on. (It’s possible he was speaking in tongues at least half the time since it made no sense at all):

I think they (the mainstream media) want what’s happening in this state to fail that they’re shopping for a factual setting to back that up because it’s working…I think the left is just so desperate. They want this model to fail so bad that they can’t wait for it to and they just want to get me electorally before we get on through this and prove that this is working.

The fact that the entire state is falling apart at the seams is no indictment of his policies. It’s an indictment of the left. And the media. If they’d stop wanting it to fail it wouldn’t fail. Or something. Brownback’s in serious trouble and may lose the seat he won four years ago by 30 points. On the other hand, the Governor does have a secret weapon. Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State and hardcore conservative I wrote about a while back may get the job done by employing the best electoral strategy they have going for them: vote suppression. ... [End of Excerpt]

Read more at Salon.

Mary Clarkin: GOP LEGISLATORS VOTED ALONG WITH DAVIS ON SEX BIZ BILL @ Hutchinson News

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kansas and Missouri Kossacks: REP. HUELSKAMP (Ks.) WITH TEA PARTY NEXT WEEK, WHILE BLACKMAILING KANSAS (R's) @ Daily Kos

BEFORE GOV. "SHADY" SAM BROWNBACK JOINED CULTS ...

MORE HILARIOUS POLITICAL NEWS FROM KANSAS!

#Brownbackistan Notes: #Ebola Politics From #Koch Kansas

While our glorious capital in Topeka celebrates the opening of yet another WalMart complete with bagpipes I would like to ask reporters, lawyers and poets to consider one example of the wreckage created by the privatization pigs running this state:

ONE DOCTOR WHO WANTS JUSTICE

  • She was the first licensed female physician to publicly perform abortions in the history of Kansas.
  • She estimates that from 1991 to 2003 in four clinics across Kansas to have performed nearly 10,000 first and early second trimester abortions.
  • She was declared by the state of Kansas a "hostile witness" in the criminal trial against Dr. George Tiller, and her testimony directly lead to the jury's "not guilty" verdict.
  • She was the last licensed physician in Kansas to have regularly worked, on a daily basis, with Dr. George Tiller before he was murdered while attending church.
  • The private medical records used against the late Dr. Tiller during his criminal trial, were then used against Dr. Kris Neuhaus in civil proceedings to revoke her Kansas medical license.
The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBOHA) did so over two years ago.

SHE DESERVES YOUR HELP

It has been over seven months since Shawnee District Court Judge Theis' issued his 86 page ruling to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

The ruling was generally interpreted as a "victory" against the board, and the convicted terrorist who originally filed the complaint immediately warned in no uncertain terms of the "danger to the public" this represented if the board re-instated Dr. Neuhaus' medical license.

The board has yet to honor, or respect Judge Theis' ruling with a response to the doctor's lawyers.


Here are the facts to this date:



  1. Gov. Brownback appointed about 45 days ago, a KSBOHA "president", Dr. John Settich, Phd., former chair of the political science department, Benedictine College, Atchison, Ks. There are now more "pro-life" members dominating the board, lawyers and staff than ever before.
  2. On or around the same time KSBOHA hired an outside lawyer from Johnson County, KS. to thereafter communicate with Bob Eye, counsel to Dr. Neuhaus. He has sent one short letter since that time.
  3. The $93,000 "bill" incurred by KSBOHA to persecute Dr. Kris Neuhaus is not "vacated" and now subject of the arbitration.

Dr. Kris Neuhaus had her career and reputation damaged beyond repair and endured years of deep poverty as a direct result of these activities of the state of Kansas.

She wants the individual Board members, both past and present, who engaged in this persecution to be personally liable, as well as the state of Kansas.

Judge Theis' ruling, which the board has ignored, and the original opening brief to him that her young and brilliant lawyers presented to him telling of her outstanding career, are available upon request to me at bluebarnnewscentral@gmail.com.

Mike Caddell
Radio Free Kansas

Documentary Film Screening: SHADOWS OF LIBERTY @ Washburn University, Topeka, Ks.

Learning in the Community - Washburn University, the Mass Media Department, and the Topeka chapter of MoveOn Bring Internationally Acclaimed ‘Shadows of Liberty’ Documentary to Kansas

Topeka, KS — On TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, at 6:30 PM in Henderson Hall, Room 100 at Washburn University (1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621) the Shadows of Liberty Coast to Coast Screening & Media Reform Action Tour will make its Kansas debut.

Website address: www.shadowsofliberty.org

Film trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SAUborWbPw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1379423179014289/

The documentary film Shadows of Liberty reveals the extraordinary truth behind the news media: censorship, cover-ups and corporate control.

Filmmaker and film contributors are available for interviews between now and the screening. For more information and to review a film screener, call Debra at 720-917-4900 or email Debra@docfactory.org

In highly revealing stories, renowned journalists, activists and academics including DANNY GLOVER, JULIAN ASSANGE, DAN RATHER, AMY GOODMAN, DAVID SIMON, NORMON SOLOMON, BOB BEAR, ROBERTA BASKIN, JOHN MACARTHUR, DANIEL ELLSBERG and KRISTINA BORJESSON give insider accounts of a broken media system. Controversial news reports are suppressed, people are censored for speaking out, and lives are shattered as the arena for public expression is turned into a private profit zone.

Shadows Of Liberty is dedicated to the journalists and information freedom fighters, the heroes of our time, who dedicate their lives to our right to freedom of information - the central pillar of a free society. Shadows of Liberty provides a platform for voices that have been silenced and in doing so, attempts to inspire change and accountability. This film champions the idea of an independent media where truth and integrity are the norm, not the exception.

After the screening, there will be a highly interactive panel discussion.

This is a free event, with donations accepted to support the Shadows of Liberty Coast to Coast Screening & Media Reform Action Tour.
THE DAILY BLOG

“You must, you must, you must see this documentary!!! - 5 Stars”

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“The timing couldn’t be better…”

DENIK REFERENDUM

''...a masterpiece of craftsmanship...''

RABBLE.CA

“Artistry and clear-eyed political vision rarely come this close together”.

NEIL YOUNG'S FILM LOUNGE



''Frightening, enlightening, anger-inducing, thrilling...''

John Grant: Clarity vs. Befoggery Troglodytes, Weasels and Young Turks @ This Can't Be Happening!

I’m a leftist, but I have a weakness for my brothers and sisters on the right. For some reason, I’m compelled to see what troglodytes like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly are thinking. They’re all quite entertaining as they do their best to un-man Barack Obama and advocate day-in, day-out for a war with Islam. They are masters of malicious fog.
 
Then there’s a writer like New York Times columnist David Brooks, a man who must sit around observing current events until he figures out a safe, center-right position he can express in the most reasonable, muddled language possible. Reading David Brooks is like trying to get a grip on jello.
In this current political swamp there’s also writers like Cenk Uygur, a Turkish naturalized US citizen who left the Muslim religion behind to become an on-line journalist. He did a stint with MSNBC and now is the main man on The Young Turks show. Once a Republican, he's moved left to the progressive side. His recent effort at clarity concerning the question whether “Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas” was brilliant. The topic was a TV exchange among Bill Maher, Sam Harris and Ben Affleck. Harris made the "motherlode" remark. Maher compared Islam to the Mafia. A pissed-off Affleck said they were both talking bigotry.

David Brooks and Lewis Mumford
David Brooks and Lewis Mumford

Brooks’ October 3rd column was called “The Problem With Pragmatism.” Annoyed at “people who try to govern without philosophic or literary depth,” Brooks linked Liberalism with Pragmatism and, with some help from Lewis Mumford and an essay in the 1950s New Republic magazine, trashed pragmatism as not up to speed for our moment in history, a moment suddenly taken over by more military adventure in the Islam-saturated deserts of Iraq and Syria. Citing Mumford, Brooks writes of our national mission and how “only people with an aroused moral sense will be properly mobilized to stand up for humanity.” 

Lewis Mumford seems an odd inspiration for Brooks’ soft, center-right paean to our current moral mission. Mumford wrote a lot about cities and architecture. He felt human communication, more than the use of tools, was the secret of human advancement. One imagines he would be appalled how secrecy now impedes so much human communication. Mumford was critical of advertising and marketing and of the growing use of credit -- all now on steroids in the holy pursuit of corporate profit. He didn’t like things like built-in obsolescence and product changes based on superficial fashion; again, fundamentals of our dysfunctional national condition. Mumford advocated well-made products that would last and be re-used by succeeding generations. He advocated biodiversity. He is said to have influenced people like Jacques Ellul, Witold Rybczynski, E. F. Schumacher, Herbert Marcuse, Thomas Merton, and Marshall McLuhan. How such a writer could be critical of pragmatism I can’t fathom.

The popular American purveyor of Pragmatism was, of course, William James, who is considered by many educated Americans as our most American philosopher. The fact a reader can understand and follow James’ prose does not mean he is “without philosophic or literary depth.” 

Jack Nicholson’s Marine Colonel Jessup became a cultural icon for declaring on the stand that liberals “can’t handle the truth.” Brooks seems to be saying something akin to this about pragmatists. He quotes Mumford: “Life is not worth fighting for: bare life is worthless. Justice is worth fighting for, order is worth fighting for, culture ... is worth fighting for; these universal principles and values give purpose and direction to human life.” 

So why is Brooks condemning pragmatism? I had to wonder if he had, like me, watched and absorbed all 14-hours of the Ken Burns PBS Roosevelt documentary. I was most moved by the liberalism and pragmatism of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt as the country struggled against depression. I suspect Brooks was more moved for today’s challenges by the bully passions of Teddy Roosevelt, the nation's prototype global imperialist -- also known for his limited domestic progressivism. Brooks closes his column on a classic bullmoose note by declaring, “lofty political idealism is out of favor.” He calls for “leaders who understand evil down to its depths, who have literary sensibilities and who react with a heart brimming with moral emotion.”

Teddy Roosevelt and William James
Teddy Roosevelt and William James

Here, it needs to be noted that Teddy Roosevelt and William James were contemporaries very much at odds on issues of war and peace, especially in 1910 after Roosevelt reluctantly turned the White House over to Taft. Roosevelt was publishing essays in 1910 advocating the United States’ duty to intervene militarily to manage nations that he deemed could not manage themselves. War was the ultimate arena for manliness. 

The pragmatist James spoke out against this view. In a famous 1910 essay, “The Moral Equivalent of War,” he refers to “Roosevelt’s weaklings and mollycoddles,” epithets no doubt aimed at him. The point of the essay is not the elimination of the military, but to put it in its place and to re-channel militarist energy to neglected domestic issues. “The only thing needed henceforward is to inflame the civic temper as past history has inflamed the military temper.” He saw imperial military adventurism as a vain and destructive waste of resources when there were so many important civic demands that needed addressing. 

“Reflective apologists for war at the present day all take it religiously. It is a sort of sacrament. . . . human nature at its highest dynamic. Its ‘horrors’ are a cheap price to pay for rescue from the only alternative supposed, of a world of clerks and teachers, of co-education and zoophily, of ‘consumer leagues’ and ‘associated charities,’ of industrialism unlimited and feminism unabashed.”

Typically humble, in the essay “What Pragmatism Means,” James credits Charles Pierce for creating Pragmatism in 1878 in an essay called “How to Make Our Ideas Clear.” He elaborated on Pierce’s notion of clarity. “The pragmatic method is primarily a method of settling metaphysical disputes that otherwise might be interminable.” The focus of this enterprise, he writes, “is to try to interpret each notion by tracing its respective practical consequences.”

The point is to be clear and avoid abstruse and elite academic language that, too often, obscures meaning and befogs rather than enlightens. One of the more egregious examples of such elite befoggery, of course, was Leo Strauss, the intellectual father of the neo-con movement. His philosophical writing was notorious for being written on two levels -- one literal and one between the lines intended for initiates. Since he was advocating things like domination by an elite, the philosophical language of befoggery served his purpose well with students like Allan Bloom, Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, many of the people who brought us the Bush/Cheney Iraq War.

Leo Strauss and Andrew Bacevich
Leo Strauss and Andrew Bacevich

Consider Andrew Bacevich, professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. He’s a retired Army full colonel who lost a son to combat in Iraq. He’s also been linked with the pragmatic school of writing. In 2012, he edited a book of essays called The Short American Century: A Postmortem. He describes the book as “a dissenters' guide to the American Century,” the latter a term he points out was coined by publisher Henry Luce in the 1950s. He says Americans need to be “discomfit(ed)” from their nostalgic attachment to this past.

“Put simply, the conditions that once lent plausibility to visions of an American Century had ceased to exist. . . . [T]he world itself had changed. Contemporary reality no longer accommodated the notion of a single nation arrogating to itself the role of global Good Samaritan, especially a nation with dirty hands.” The days of Teddy Roosevelt belligerence are over, whether one likes the fact or not.

Brooks’ attack on pragmatism, linked with the much-demeaned term liberal, is classic befoggery, in this case, intent on undermining the clear, pragmatic thinking of people like Bacevich who question those advocating a passionate renewal of The American Century. The problem is, David Brooks won’t come out and clearly say that. Why? Because the idea of domestic American Renewal is not the same thing as revitalizing Imperial American Militarism, which is what the current reality is about beneath all the layers of fog and dishonest verbiage.

Here’s where Cenk Uygur hits it out of the park. His pragmatic, clear dissection of the Bill Maher imbroglio over radical Islam is worth watching, given the sad fact at this war-feverish moment even liberals like Maher are spouting blanket demonizations of Islam. Uygur shows why this stuff is not only inaccurate, it's dangerous.

Cenk Uygur dissects Ben Affleck, Bill Maher and Sam Harris on Islam
Cenk Uygur dissects Ben Affleck, Bill Maher and Sam Harris on Islam

It's ultimately just wrong that Islam is our problem; the problems we face are actually cultural. For instance, Uygur asks, why isn't US bombing deemed "Christian" or Israeli bombing of Gaza deemed "Jewish?" With all the death dished out, why aren't these religions damned as "motherlodes of bad ideas" in the same fashion the atheist Harris damns Islam? The reason is simple: cultural and political differences are the real problem. 

One of our culture’s problems right now is rotten leadership incapable of facing the facts of current and future life vis-a-vis a history of self-congratulatory imperial glory. Congress is completely corrupted by money, and the President of the United States is, as Uygur says, “coasting.” In this sense, he agrees with Brooks about the need for inspired, passionate leadership; but he's looking at it from the progressive side of the spectrum. 

Brooks is dead wrong: what we need is more pragmatism capable of facing hard truths about the nation. Norman Mailer once ran for mayor of New York on the platform “No more bullshit.” Since then, Yale philosophy professor Harry Frankfort has elevated the term bullshit into the realm of pragmatic philosophy. Responsible, hard-working, free-thinking Americans have to somehow take the nation back from the elite bullshitters who give a higher priority to corporate profits and imperial military adventures than they do to the sorts of things William James fought for: maintaining the nation’s infrastructure; educating its youth; developing an understandable and honest healthcare system; generating more jobs, and, yes, facilitating a fair and equitable redistribution of wealth. That's what will renew America.