Americans Should be Envious: “Why Infants May Be More Likely to Die in America Than Cuba”

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A great op-Ed by Nick Kristoff at the NYT explaining how, though lacking in first rate medical technology, the infant mortality rates are actually lower in Cuba. We could take away many good practices from the Socialist, island nation so close to our shores.

“Pelosi and Democratic Leaders Condemn Omar Statements as Anti-Semitic”: How Criticism is Quashed

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Any time someone expresses any criticism of Israel’s criminal actions towards the Palestinians, they are labeled as anti-Semite.

This is how AIPAC wants to keep it, too.

“‘It’s Cold as Hell’: Inside a Brooklyn Jail’s Weeklong Collapse”: Treated Worse Than Animals

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Pet owners who would treat their dogs or cats like this would be jailed for animal cruelty.

Tell me, will there be charges?

“AP Explains: Venezuela’s humanitarian aid standoff”: Where’s the sanctions part?

From the AP: https://apnews.com/6c66de0a22944b58b276d43eef91c093

The suffering of the Venezuelan people is heartbreaking. But:

A) This is not a result of a failing socialist system but rather an economic strangling committed by the U.S. and the International community, who are in our pocket, through strong sanctions, and,

B) If Maduro lets in the U.S. aid, it would be seen as a gift from Guaido which would strengthen him immensely. And Guaido would be a U.S. puppet.

The only thing that should solve this is the delivery of aid by Russia or China. Where are they at?

Social Protest Lit: Ruskin, “The Veins of Wealth”

A piece from “Book II: The Chasm” which regards economic/social inequality with an excerpt by John Ruskin from The Veins of Wealth:

Primarily, which is very notable and curious, I observe that men of business rarely know the meaning of the word “rich.” At least if they know, they do no in their reasonings allow for the fact, that it is a relative word, implying its opposite “poor” as positively the word “north” implies its opposite “south.” Men nearly always speak and write as if riches were absolute, and it were possible, by following certain scientific precepts, for everybody to be rich. Whereas riches are a power like that of electricity, acting only through inequalities or negations of itself. The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbors pocket. If he did not want it, it would be of no use to you; the degree of power it possesses depends accurately upon the need or desire he has for it, – and the art of making yourself rich, in the ordinary mercantile economist’s sense, is therefor equally and necessarily the art of keeping your neighbor poor.

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Press Should Scrutinize Donors

leadA good piece in The Atlantic by Peter Beinhart yesterday argues that in a post-McCutcheon world, the press should start to scrutinize political mega-donors much more severely.

Beinhart puts forth that donors have an aurora of anonymity when they are now becoming more powerful than many members of Congress in the political realm.

Read Here.

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Interview with Noam Chomsky

Noam-Chomsky-Copyright-Don-There is a good interview at Alternet with Noam Chomsky which is almost a must-read. Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT and a political thinker who the NYT called “the most important intellectual in America,” is probably the most influential political influence in my own personal development as a politico. I cannot recommend his books enough. In this interview he goes over his own anarcho-syndicalist beliefs, his own theoretical model of “manufacturing consent,” and his advice for college students among other things. If you are smart at all you will read this interview and, immediately afterward, go buy at least 5 of Dr. Chomsky’s books.

Read Here.

Krugman on New GOP Rhetoric

Krugman_New-articleInlineA good op-ed in the NYT regarding how the rhetoric of the GOP might be changing to appeal to more voters in the wake of their recent defeat in November, but it’s not indicative of an honest change. According to Krugman, they’re just not saying they are the party of the “Makers,” and not the majority of “Takers,” in public any longer.

Read Here.

Sara Silverman on New Voter I.D. Laws

We try to keep things classy here at Sparking the Left, most of the time. But sometimes something so important, and so funny, comes along we must show some blue comedy.

This one example is a new PSA from comic Sarah Silverman on the new voter I.D. laws coming to a state near you.

So make sure your kids are in another room, and turn down those PC speakers. Now enjoy!

See Here (we swear it’s hilarious)!

State Dept. Fake-Outrage Over Stevens’ Diary Reporting

A great op-ed by Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian regarding CNN reports of concerns held by Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi before his death included in his diary found by reporters.

The State Dept. has criticized CNN for reporting the diary’s contents in the name of Stevens’ family, but other criticisms by Stevens himself seem to be truly troubling for U.S. officials.

Read Here.