Politics

Jim Palombo/Politics

…it’s becoming more and more difficult to hold to the sentiment’s true meaning while noticing the shadows hanging over issues and concerns tied to a whole slew of concerns. Just as examples: How are people making their choices? How are individual and societal responsibilities playing out? How are principles like justice, fairness and equality being interpreted?  How are the ever-increasing influences of the market/$ impacting our civic behavior?  How are gender and racial similarities and differences being translated? …

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Jim Palombo/Politics

Every so often the crap hits the fan. I mean it’s in the scope of my work to pay attention to and analyze a lot of what’s on our public discussion table. But with all that’s happening, with so many battle lines being drawn, there seems too much to contend with…

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Politics/Jim Palombo

At the core of the situation lies a simple matter of fact. We do not have clarity when it comes to our own ideological frame; in essence, we cannot easily distinguish our capitalist and democratic selves.  In this context we have never seriously engaged our citizenry in developing a critical understanding of who we are in the mix of how capitalism’s inherent elements rub-up against the principles of democracy. After all, how much time have we spent exploring the cultural instincts that have developed in the most advanced capitalist system in the world?  In other words, how have the elements of materialism, aggression, competiveness, consumption/consumerism, individualism, survival of the fittest and the overall profit motive been examined in term of our everyday existence? Furthermore, how do these same elements play out against the ideals of fairness, equality, justice and liberty that we seem to also hold dear?  And can the deep-rooted issues we are facing — war and terrorism, racial and/or gender differences, class inequality, moral/ethical behavior, politically corruption, the ineptness of our institutions, health and welfare, and even our own individual shortcomings — be adequately confronted without a realistic assessment of our capitalist and democratic character?

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

    Gangster capitalism and nostalgic authoritarianism in Trump’s America   In one year, the Trump regime has wrought immense damage to democracy, culture and thought. But there’s new hope.   by Henry A. Giroux Contributing Editor Just one year into the Donald Trump...

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Henry Giroux/Commentary

  Democracy on life support: Donald Trump’s first anniversary   by Henry A. Giroux Donald Trump was elected president of the United States a year ago today. His ascendancy in American politics has made visible a culture of cruelty, a contempt for civic literacy, a...

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Problem of Empire/Jim Palombo

There are many in the world who simply don’t care for us, especially in regard to our “empire” status. They see us as a country that continues to bolster its own power at every turn, a country that whether through its power over diplomacy or military strategy will do whatever it needs to do to maintain its global supremacy, especially relative to economic benefit.

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Donald Trump’s Addiction to Violence/Henry Giroux

Violence runs through the United States like an electric current and has become the primary tool both for entertaining people and addressing social problems while also working to destroy the civic institutions and other institutions that make a democracy possible. Needless to say, Trump is not the sole reason for this more visible expression of extreme violence on the domestic and foreign fronts. On the contrary, he is the endpoint of a series of anti-democratic practices, policies and values that have been gaining ground since the emergence of the political and economic counterrevolution that gained full force with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, along with the rule of financial capital and the embrace of a culture of precarity.

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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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