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Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Saturday, December 31, 2016

RSN: Bill Moyers | A Poignant Poem That Encapsulates 2016

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FOCUS: Bill Moyers | A Poignant Poem That Encapsulates 2016 
Bill Moyers. (photo: PBS) 
Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers & Company 
Moyers writes: "My friend Jim Haba, a fine poet in his own right, has done more than anyone I know to democratize the popularity of poetry in our time." 

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CounterCurrents: New Year Greetings

Dear Friends,

This was a turbulent year. Le'ts be realistic, 2017 is not going to be any less turbulent. Our way ahead is hard and thickly sown with thorns. Let's stay together and fight together. 

Thank you all for all your struggles for a better world. Let's keep at it. 

Also, thank you for standing by CC through 2016. 

We shall fight and we shall win! 

New Year greetings to all friends of CC

In Solidarity

Binu Mathew

RSN: Evidence Continues to Mount That Trump Is on Putin's Side

Reader Supported News
31 December 16

We need one more miracle to finish this drive and we need it now.
If there is any way you can give us a leg up we could really use it.
In earnest, with sincere thanks.
Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

Sure, I'll make a donation!

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FOCUS: Robert Reich | Evidence Continues to Mount That Trump Is on Putin's Side 
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star) 
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page 
Reich writes: "Today the Obama administration struck back at Russia and Vladimir Putin for trying to influence the 2016 election - ejecting 35 Russian spies from the United States who were posing as diplomats, imposing sanctions on Russia's two leading intelligence services, and closing of two Russian facilities (one in New York, another in Maryland) that it said were used for Russian intelligence activities." 

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Standing Up to Trump Bullying

To best fight Trump, consider joining MoveOn...

Justin Krebs, Civic Action

Dear MoveOn member,

When 730,000 MoveOn members signed a petition urging Macy's to dump Donald Trump's line of clothing, Trump threatened a lawsuit.

After Trump canceled a rally in Chicago because of nonviolent student protests, Trump falsely told Fox News that MoveOn "staged" the protests and that MoveOn is "not a good group of people."

Trump backer Jeffrey Lord even called MoveOn "the new KKK."

And every time Trump attacks us, we're flooded with vile, hate-filled emails and Facebook comments.

This is what Trump does when someone stands up to him. He tries to bully them into silence. Imagine how intense that bullying will become when he has the power of the federal government at his fingertips.

We are not going to back down, now or ever. But to keep up the fight over the next four years, we're going to need to redouble our online security and beef up our legal defense fund—without taking away from the crucial grassroots organizing at the core of our work.

Will you chip in $5 a month to help give us the resources to stand up to Trump seven days a week, 365 days a year?

Our pledge to you is that we will never, ever let this bullying silence us. But after January 20, Trump will have all the powers of the U.S. presidency to attack us.

He's installing loyalists to run the Justice Department. He's already using his social media following to single out critics for abuse—like the Indiana labor leader who received death threats from
Trump's followers after Trump attacked him by name on Twitter.4

It's the worst drumbeats of McCarthyism, Nixonian abuses of power, and Trump's own brand of bullying. And we know already we'll be in the crosshairs.

We know the next four years will bring a wave of awful policies from the Trump administration. We know we will fight back. And Trump will attack us.

There's a virtually endless list of people Trump has insulted or attacked, but MoveOn has been one of his most consistent targets.

Trump backer Sean Hannity accused MoveOn of "liberal fascism" and "putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy" when we dared speak out against his racist campaign events.

Trump's chief of staff accused MoveOn of "harassment" when we called on the members of the Electoral College to vote their conscience.

Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson falsely accused us of inciting violence—exactly what Trump himself did throughout his campaign.

But we will not back down. Please, stand with us today and in the weeks and months to come by becoming a monthly donor right now
Thanks for all you do.

–Justin K., Emily, Corinne, Robert, and the rest of the team

1. "Trump Threatens $25 Million Lawsuit Over Campaign Urging Macy’s To Dump Donald Trump," Common Dreams, February 19, 2013…
2. "Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally," Media Matters for America, March 15, 2016…
3. "MoveOn Hits Back at Trump Nut That Compared Them to the Klan," The Daily Beast, March 15, 2016…
4. "Union leader who called out Donald Trump says he's getting threats from Trump supporters," CNBC, December 8, 2016…
5. "Hannity Smears Trump Protesters, "This Is Liberal Facism," Media Matters for America, March 14, 2016…
6. "Reince Priebus on war of words with White House over Russia," Fox News, December 18, 2016…
7. "Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally," Media Matters for America, March 15, 2016…

Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump's agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation's pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?

Yes, I'll chip $5 a month.
No, I'm sorry, I can't make a monthly donation.



The tragedy in Charleston last week will no doubt lead to more discussion of several important and recurring issues in American culture—particularly racism and gun violence—but these dialogues are unlikely to bear much fruit until the nation undertakes a serious self-examination. Decrying racism and gun violence is fine, but for too long America’s social dysfunction has continued to intensify as the nation has ignored a key underlying pathology: anti-intellectualism.
The tragedy in Charleston last week will no doubt lead to more discussion of several important and recurring issues in American culture—particularly racism and gun violence—but these dialogues are unlikely to bear much fruit until the nation undertakes a serious self-examination. Decrying racism and gun violence is fine, but for too long America’s social dysfunction has continued to intensify as the nation has ignored a key underlying pathology: anti-intellectualism.
America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof's actions on America's culture of racism and gun violence, but it's time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation's culture of ignorance. 
In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are“lies straight from the pit of hell,” where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president, it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall. 
In considering the senseless loss of nine lives in Charleston, of course racism jumps out as the main issue. But isn’t ignorance at the root of racism? And it’s true that the bloodshed is a reflection of America's violent, gun-crazed culture, but it is only our aversion to reason as a society that has allowed violence to define the culture. Rational public policy, including policies that allow reasonable restraints on gun access, simply isn't possible without an informed, engaged, and rationally thinking public.
Some will point out, correctly, that even educated people can still be racists, but this shouldn’t remove the spotlight from anti-intellectualism. Yes, even intelligent and educated individuals, often due to cultural and institutional influences, can sometimes carry racist biases. But critically thinking individuals recognize racism as wrong and undesirable, even if they aren’t yet able to eliminate every morsel of bias from their own psyches or from social institutions. An anti-intellectual society, however, will have large swaths of people who are motivated byfear, susceptible to tribalism and simplistic explanations, incapable of emotional maturity, and prone to violent solutions. Sound familiar?
And even though it may seem counter-intuitive, anti-intellectualism has little to do withintelligence. We know little about the raw intellectual abilities of Dylann Roof, but we do know that he is an ignorant racist who willfully allowed irrational hatred of an entire demographic to dictate his actions. Whatever his IQ, to some extent he is a product of a culture driven by fear and emotion, not rational thinking, and his actions reflect the paranoid mentality of one who fails to grasp basic notions of what it means to be human.
What Americans rarely acknowledge is that many of their social problems are rooted in the rejection of critical thinking or, conversely, the glorification of the emotional and irrational. What else could explain the hyper-patriotism that has many accepting an outlandish notion that America is far superior to the rest of the world? Love of one’s country is fine, but many Americans seem to honestly believe that their country both invented and perfected the idea of freedom, that the quality of life here far surpasses everywhere else in the world.
But it doesn’t. International quality of life rankings place America far from the top, at sixteenth. America’s rates of murder and other violent crime dwarf most of the rest of the developed world, as does its incarceration rate, while its rates of education and scientific literacy are embarrassingly low. American schools, claiming to uphold “traditional values,” avoid fact-based sex education, and thus we have the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world. And those rates are notably highest where so-called “biblical values” are prominent. Go outside the Bible belt, and the rates generally trend downward.
As this suggests, the impact of fundamentalist religion in driving American anti-intellectualism has been, and continues to be, immense. Old-fashioned notions of sex education may seem like a relatively minor issue to many, but taking old-time religion too seriously can be extremely dangerous in the modern era. High-ranking individuals, even in the military, see a confrontation between good and evil as biblically predicted and therefore inevitable. They relish the thought of being a righteous part of the final days.
Fundamentalist religion is also a major force in denying human-caused climate change, a phenomenon that the scientific community has accepted for years. Interestingly, anti-intellectual fundamentalists are joined in their climate change denial with unusual bedfellows:corporate interests that stand to gain from the rejection of sound science on climate.
Corporate influence on climate and environmental policy, meanwhile, is simply more evidence of anti-intellectualism in action, for corporate domination of American society is another result of a public that is not thinking critically. Americans have allowed their democracy to slip away, their culture overtaken by enormous corporations that effectively control both the governmental apparatus and the media, thus shaping life around materialism and consumption.
Indeed, these corporate interests encourage anti-intellectualism, conditioning Americans into conformity and passive acceptance of institutional dominance. They are the ones who stand to gain from the excessive fear and nationalism that result in militaristic foreign policy and absurdly high levels of military spending. They are the ones who stand to gain from consumers who spend money they don’t have on goods and services they don’t need. They are the ones who want a public that is largely uninformed and distracted, thus allowing government policy to be crafted by corporate lawyers and lobbyists. They are the ones who stand to gain from unregulated securities markets. And they are the ones who stand to gain from a prison-industrial complex that generates the highest rates of incarceration in the developed world.
Americans can and should denounce the racist and gun-crazed culture that shamefully resulted in nine corpses in Charleston this week, but they also need to dig deeper. At the core of all of this dysfunction is an abandonment of reason.
More on this subject in David Niose's latest book, Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason

Michael Arnovitz's photo.
Michael Arnovitz

I saw something on twitter today, and it made me want to interrupt my Facebook hiatus for a quick moment in order to talk about perspective, and what really matters in this world. Proper perspective, for example, is going to play a vital role in our defense against the non-stop gaslighting that awaits us during the upcoming Trump administration. But deciding what really matters is critical too. Here are some thoughts I have about all of that:
Like many of you, I’ve often been caught up in the outpouring of grief over the loss of so many celebrities this year. Although Snopes assures us that 2016 wasn't actually the worst year for celebrity deaths (, it certainly seems like it. And of course it’s touching to see so many people bond together in the shared loss we feel when one of our cultural icons leaves us.
But then there’s the guy on the left of the photo below. He died this year too. Yet if you’re like me (or I assume most people) you probably have no idea who he is. And that is deeply unjust, because his name is Dr. Donald Henderson and he was responsible for eradicating smallpox. And it’s difficult to overstate just how big of a deal that is. During the 20th century alone the "red plague" was responsible for the deaths of as many as 500 million people. That’s a half BILLION people.
Because of Dr. Henderson’s efforts however, it’s been nearly 40 years since the last known naturally occurring case of smallpox. Which means that even in that short time period, Dr. Henderson probably saved over 200 million lives.
Numbers that big turn into mere statistics. So for some perspective look at the image below on the right. That's a Bangladeshi child stricken with smallpox. That used to be the reality for untold millions of people around the world. Smallpox was a ghastly disease. It killed a third of the people who contracted it. And those who survived it were often scarred, crippled and/or blinded for life.
But that is all gone now. Dr. Henderson took that horror from our world.
By any objective measure, at least in my view, that makes Dr. Donald Henderson one of the greatest men who ever lived. But men and women like Dr. Henderson don’t get parades, they don’t get TV specials, and they don't get celebrities tweeting about how amazing they were. Most often, as in the case of Dr. Henderson, they pass with barely a mention.
To be clear, I have no objection to honoring the work and lives of popular celebrities and artists. But as we move forward into our new year and our new reality, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea to start thinking a little more about what we value, and why.
We live in a nation that has spent decades over-valuing fame and under-valuing expertise. That did not happen by accident, and it’s a large part of why a reality-TV host is now the president while a man like Dr. Henderson died in near obscurity.
No matter how much pundits like to insist otherwise, we do not live in a “post-fact” world, and we never will. As a society, any collective decision by a large faction of us to ignore facts/truth doesn’t change the reality of those facts/truth. On the contrary, the only things that change are the consequences.
There are real facts in this world. There is real truth in this world. Men like Dr. Henderson used real facts, science and expertise to change the world for the better. Men like Trump manipulate and distract us away from real facts in order to pursue their own agendas.
Sadly, many of our fellow citizens can no longer tell the difference. Worse, many of them don’t want to. That means its up to the rest of us to speak for the truth. And we will.
Back soon…

Living Blue in a Red State with Donald Trump Is Not My President.

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Paul McCartney Is Asked To Perform ‘Hey Jude’ At The White House, But No One Expected This Ending!

Paul McCartney Pulls Out All The Stops, And Even President Obama Is Amazed!

Paul McCartney is truly one of the most most iconic musicians of all time, which is obviously to be expected given that he’s a founding member of The Beatles. Even after his departure from The BeatlesPaul McCartney went on to have what is considered arguably the most successful solo careers in recent history. So with all of that being said, you could imagine that Paul McCartney has been asked to perform at some of the most prestigious events in history. Well, it’s true and we have the proof.

What you’re about to watch is Paul McCartney and his band take to the stage to perform at The White House their song Hey Jude. As you could imagine, the performance is nothing short of amazing, but the best part about the thing is when the song draws closer to the ending! See for yourself!

Occupy Democrats

Sadly, it's as if nobody is paying attention...

Occupy Democrats

The hypocrisy is truly blinding.
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