Category: Politics

The 10 Cs of Criminal Justice/Jim Palombo

Within the context of CAPITALISM, it’s important to clarify that we do live in the most advanced capitalist system in the world. This means that to consider any behavior in our society all the definitions related to capitalism must also be considered.  In this general sense there are the “open, free market” definitions – where profit and competition are most beneficial and feed into a productive social system, which tends to foster corresponding productive behavior. And then there are the more critical definitions – where profit and competitiveness are seen to continually benefit the rich over others, creating various levels of inequality, which in turn effects a variety of behaviors.  Simultaneously cultural instincts tied to money, consumerism, success, greed get promoted, and these instincts tend to effect/fuel motivations for behavior, deviant and otherwise.  Of course depending on which type definition might be employed it becomes important to then examine how to address particular behaviors like crime. (For example, if capitalism helps induce certain behavior then do we need to alter its course in order to alter anti-social behaviors within that system?)

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Education/Henry A. Giroux

Any viable attempt at developing a democratic politics must begin to address the role of education and civic literacy as central to politics itself. Education is also vital to the creation of individuals capable of becoming critical social agents willing to struggle against injustices and develop the institutions that are crucial to the functioning of a substantive democracy. One way to begin such a project is to address the meaning and role of higher education (and education in general) as part of the broader struggle for freedom.

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Henry Giroux: Trump vs. Comey

Artists, educators, young people, and others need to make the virtue of truth-telling visible again. We need to connect democracy with a notion of truth-telling and consciousness that is on the side of economic and political justice, and democracy itself. If we are going to fight for and with the powerless, we have to understand their needs, speak to and with them in a language mutually understandable, and create narratives in which they can both identify themselves and the conditions through which power and oppression bear down on their lives. This is not an easy task, but nothing less than justice, democracy, and the planet itself are at risk.

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Jim Palombo/Ivanka as Attaché

Obviously the President’s daughter is facing some difficult times, especially as she begins to move in international circles where others are well-versed in comprehensive, political and economic analyses. She may well be in an untenable position – one where she simply can’t escape from the longstanding influence of her father’s logic and one where those on the world stage will not remain interested in her in the role as ingénue.

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Henry A. Giroux: Trump’s War…

Trump’s unapologetic authoritarianism has prompted Democratic Party members and the liberal elite to position themselves as the only model of organized resistance in such dark times. It is difficult not to see such moral outrage and faux pas resistance as both comedic and hypocritical in light of these centrist liberals have played in the last forty years–subverting democracy and throwing minorities of class and color under the bus. As Jeffrey St. Clair observes, “Trump’s nominal opponents,” the Democrats Party are “encased in the fatal amber of their neoliberalism”[xi] and they are part of the problem and not the solution. Rather than face up to their sordid history of ignoring the needs of workers, young people, and minorities of class and color, the Democratic Party acts as if their embrace of a variety of neoliberal political and economic policies along with their support of a perpetual war machine had nothing to do with paving the way for the election of Donald Trump. Trump represents the transformation of politics into a Reality TV show and the belief that the worth of a candidate can only by judged in terms of a blend of value as an entertainer and an advertisement for casino capitalism.[xii] Chris Hedges gets it right in revealing such hypocrisy for what it is worth – a carnival act.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

He likes to imply that he is a very skilled golfer, claiming at times to have a 3 handicap, which puts him in the really good, almost pro category. However many of his playing partners have indicated that his scores don’t seem to reflect the number of swings he takes and/or the penalties he incurs. Nonetheless, like with his other embellishments, his “scoring” is not something so uncommon for many others who play the game, i.e., let’s not make this too big a deal.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Echoes of neo-Fascism are not only visible in Trump’s rhetoric but also in his policies. For example, his white supremacist ideology and racist contempt for Muslims was on full display in his issuance of an executive order banning all Syrians and people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. In doing so, Trump has not only made visible, and without apology, his embrace of the frenzied lawlessness of authoritarianism, he has also put into place an additional series of repressive policies for the creation of what might be called a democracy in exile.

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Thomas Klikauer/Commentary

The goal of Trump propaganda on this is to engineer a public perception so that the perspectives of such groups are invisible to everyone else, their interests are not weighted. This is designed to assure the following: if the members of the excluded group are without property, they will remain so; if they are without political power, they will remain so as well. In other words, Trump’s policies will favor those in his immediate orbit and those he perceives as relevant for re-election – everyone else will be excluded. At times, it appears as if Trump’s conception of liberal democracy only extends…to whites.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Trump’s presence in American politics has made visible a plague of deep seated civic illiteracy, a corrupt political system, and a contempt for reason; it also points to the withering of civic attachments, the collapse of politics into the spectacle of celebrity culture, the decline of public life, the use of violence and fear to numb people into shock, and a willingness to transform politics into a pathology.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

Well, I was wrong. Donald Trump made it to center stage. The people have spoken. But in receiving phone calls and emails as to reactions to what transpired, I decided I needed to clarify a few things…

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