Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Excerpt from the introduction to The Great American Disconnect – Seven Fundamental Threats To Our Democracy, a new book by Long Island Press publisher Jed Morey. E-book available October 7th. Paperback edition due out Nov. 7th. No other nation in history has been so adroit at acquiring and hoarding resources as the United States of America. The combination of democracy and capitalism in America has been so thoroughly successful with respect to expansion and the accumulation of wealth that we consume a quarter of the world’s resources despite having only 5 percent of the population. This unbelievable ascent to the top of the imperial heap is the result of an insatiable appetite for progress at any cost. This is further underscored by periods of fervent jingoism that rationalize horrific behavior abroad under the guise of spreading freedom and democracy.From a purely political perspective, the New Millennium has ushered in a resounding victory for democracy and with it, the greatest placebo ever absorbed into the global body politic. Citizens of the world have bought into the hype that the American dream is now available anywhere on the globe and is as attainable as a cubic zirconia necklace on a late-night infomercial. For my money, it is the inimitable H.L. Mencken who captured the folly of American democracy as a means to prosperity nearly a century ago, saying, “Of all those ancient promises there is none more comforting than the one to the effect that the lowly shall inherit the earth. It is at the bottom of the dominant religious system of the modern world, and it is at the bottom of the dominant political system. Democracy gives it a certain appearance of objective and demonstrable truth.”Even Mencken would be impressed by the effectiveness of today’s political hucksters who peddle faux democracy from their ideological apothecaries. Modern-day snake oil salesmen dressed in suits adorned with flag pins on their lapels preach the gospel of the American dream with the zeal of born-again evangelists. Their wide-eyed followers devour their every word believing they too might someday reach the Promised Land.Gone are the days of dreaming of savings accounts and a pension; this is the era of winning lottery tickets and salvation through instant affluence. The most troubling phenomenon is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as capitalist that has somehow tethered itself to our new collective interpretation of democracy. This mixing of religious and ideological metaphors has seeped into the consciousness of American politics and given life to a bizarre fundamentalist ideology that has inculcated the public with the notion that financial success is the product of divine right. According to this newly adopted testament of faith, Jesus Christ is a champion of corporate rights and free markets who offers his disciples unfettered VIP access to the pearly gates of the hereafter.“All these forms of happiness, of course, are illusory. They don’t last,” warned Mencken. “The democrat, leaping into the air to flap his wings and praise God, is forever coming down with a thump. The seeds of his disaster lie in his own stupidity; he can never get rid of the naïve delusion—so beautifully Christian!—that happiness is something to be got by taking it away from the other fellow.”It is the idea that only the uncompromising person in the self-righteous pursuit of wealth emerges triumphant in a life that has separated humans from their humanity. Community, environment and the welfare of others have been subjugated by a new dogma that places faith over reason, prosperity over compassion.And who could argue? We credit democracy with ushering in the most technologically innovative century in recorded history. There have also been real victories along the way. America, as it was originally conceived, was a place where inalienable rights were intended exclusively for white, male property owners. But the system was intuitive and flexible enough to allow its citizens to battle one another and hammer out universal suffrage and civil rights. It is also our right to freely and openly criticize the government and protest perceived injustices. No system works perfectly for all of its inhabitants but liberties such as these that we often take for granted are glorious enough to make America’s democratic system enviable by most standards.But today we are on a path that threatens to turn back the clock in a dangerous way. Capitalism and Christianity, mutually exclusive by design, are no longer distinct from one another under the all-encompassing umbrella of democracy. In order to provide cover for ignominious policies, politicians and pundits routinely reference the Founding Fathers. They consider them omniscient and omnipresent deities, instead of the fallible and mortal beings they were. To question them is to commit heresy. They speak of the Constitution as the testament delivered unto us from on high, never to be doubted or altered. Yet many of the provisions they hold dear are amendments, which implies that the Constitution is amorphous and was always intended as such.This is not an unpatriotic book, though some will deride this characterization and misinterpret its intent. It is an honest critique of a system of government that allows for its very existence. It is this self-awareness that makes it decidedly hopeful as it comes from a grateful and objective perspective—albeit grateful for the freedom to objectively verbalize our hypocrisy.I am an insider, an avowed critic of the hand that feeds me. I’m not writing in exile or behind a prison wall, but that is not to say we aren’t metaphorically imprisoned by the image we project of ourselves. Much of what we believe to be true about democracy is belied by our very real actions and circumstances.Americans are trapped by the conviction that we live in a free society despite having the highest incarceration rate per capita of any nation in the world. We see ourselves as the purveyors of peace and democracy, having defeated the Communist menace and dethroned dictators, yet no other nation in modern times has initiated unprovoked foreign wars more than we have or dropped a nuclear bomb (twice) on its enemies. And many of the dictators we have overthrown were of our own creation yet ceased to be useful in our imperialist endeavors.We believe in the theory of fair competition and the ability to achieve success through hard work and discipline but we exist within a system that discourages competitiveness and has consolidated 40 percent of the nation’s wealth into the hands of 1 percent of the population.Our state of denial has caused us to drift far from the nation we believe ourselves to be while holding tightly to an image of the nation we wish to be.
8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Anthony DemangoneWe live in a world full of nearly unlimited choices.And demands.The former is wonderful. The latter can be frustrating.ESPN told me that I had to watch the Nationals game last night. It was “essential.”A Disney commercial said I had to take Kate and Briggs to see The Mouse.Countless emails said I should do this or that.At times, you feel there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with the demands. continue reading » read more
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NCUA headquarters The NCUA Board issued a proposed rule and an interim final rule during its Thursday board meeting, conducted via live audio stream. The board also heard a quarterly update on the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood announced at the start of the meeting that NCUA would be “following the spirit” of the White House Executive Order issued this week calling on federal agencies to identify regulations that can be rescinded or temporarily waived to promote job creation and economic growth.The board approved an interim final rule on prompt corrective action (PCA). The rule:Amends §702.201 to temporarily waive the earnings retention requirement for any credit union that is adequately capitalized, and continue reading » read more
Click here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.OAKLAND — Anything less than a sweep of the scuffling Orioles would have been a disappointment for an A’s squad looking to finally sprint away from that .500 meridian. It was about this time last year that Oakland started to run away toward its wild-card berth, and with four teams with winning records (Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Los Angeles Angles and Minnesota Twins) next in line, success against a losing one seemed at least the … read more
American Airlines has become the latest US carrier to announce it will reintroduce free food in economy class on some domestic services.The decision comes after a similar move by Delta Air Lines as the four main airline groups, which now account for about 80 per cent of the US market, seek to differentiate their products.Whether it marks a reversal of the airline industry’s lucrative “unbundled” pricing formula and its lucrative ancillary revenue stream remains to be seen and the American response so far is limited.The carrier said it would make main cabin meals available on select cross-country flights on its up-market A321T trans-continental flights in both directions between Los Angeles and New York, and between San Francisco and New York.But don’t expect to be wowed by a cordon-bleu banquet when the new meal service begins on May 1.Depending on the time of day, customers will be offered a continental breakfast or a boxed meal with a sandwich wrap, kettle chips and dessert. The menu also includes a vegetarian option and a fruit and cheese plate. “Some of our best customers fly our trans-continental routes and we want to give them a top-notch onboard experience,” said Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president – global marketing. “Providing complimentary meals in the main cabin is yet another step we’re taking to enhance our service in this competitive market.”Delta began offering free economy food from March 10 on its banner runs from New York Kennedy to Los Angeles International and plans to widen the service to other routes frequented by business travellers. On April 24, Delta starts serving up free meals between Boston Logan International and San Francisco, Boston and LAX, Boston and Seattle/Tacoma, JFK and Portland, Oregon, New York Kennedy and San Diego, Kennedy and Seattle/Tacoma International, Sea-Tac and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and from Sea-Tac to Raleigh/Durham international Airport. read more
Brand Africa Forum 2011.
Operation Hydrate’s Yusuf Abramjee will be in Swartruggens, North West, to urge all South Africans to unite and help each other during Human Rights Month. (Image: Sandile Khumalo)March is Human Rights Month in South Africa and Play Your Part will be celebrating it in the town of Swartruggens in North West this year. Given the drought and racial tensions the country is facing, the event will look at how human rights can play a role in uniting people and making sure that each person has access to basic needs such as water.Operation Hydrate is one organisation that has been uniting people around South Africa. It has brought much-needed relief to drought-stricken areas of the country. In a recent interview with North West FM, Operation Hydrate’s Yusuf Abramjee said that in spite of the challenges, we should still be patriotic, be good citizens and uphold the country’s Constitution. For individuals to play their part, they should engage with their communities and authorities.So far, Operation Hydrate has distributed 9 million litres of water throughout the country, and is still going. It calls on corporates, sports teams and ordinary individuals to donate water.Listen to Abramjee’s full radio interview here:Contact Yaseen Theba on 082 494 2824 to find out how you can contribute to Operation Hydrate’s water drive. For more information, follow the initiative on Twitter or on its Facebook page.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in developing South Africa and its citizens? Do you know anybody who is going out of their way to participate in the development of South Africa and its people? If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all. read more
Finalists of the Positive Hero competition are people who are HIV-positive and willing share their stories to make a difference. (Image: Screen grab via YouTube)It is more difficult to live with the stigma of being HIV-positive than with the disease itself, according to Charles Jacobs, the founder of Change the Stigma Project. This sentiment is the driving factor behind his desire to make a difference regarding the negative perception people have of those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV).In 2011, Jacobs became the first Mr Gay South Africa finalist to reveal his HIV-positive status publicly while participating in the competition. He describes it as the “big moment” in his life. “It really helps to disclose, to tell other people. It’s part of the healing process of dealing with HIV – to tell other people about it.”Speaking to news organisation News24, he suggested that those people affected by HIV should also educate themselves. “I think that is one of the best methods to actually deal with it, is that you get to know everything about HIV. Because then it becomes less scary at the end of the day.”Jacobs is on a quest to find the next Positive Hero 2015 for the Change the Stigma Project. For him HIV “is the face of our country. It’s black, it’s white, it’s straight, it’s gay, it’s rich, it’s poor. It has affected almost every sector in our society in South Africa.”The project nominated Jacobs in 2012 as their Positive Hero. It invites people who are HIV-positive to share their stories; among the requirements to be the hero of the year, a person must fundraise for an HIV-charity and for a non-governmental organisation of their choice.Charles Jacobs says stigma around HIV-positive people make it hard for those affected to live with the disease. (Image: Screen grab via YouTube)ADDRESSING MISCONCEPTIONSJacobs explains that the aim of the campaign is to address the misconceptions about people living with HIV and Aids. “The Positive Heroes will assist in changing people’s perceptions, their attitudes, and people’s responses to those living with HIV.“The Positive Heroes will share their stories and experiences of living with HIV and Aids. This is so that the general public can relate, realising that HIV is not something that happens to other people, but the fact that it is all around us. And it can happen to anyone.”Finalists have posted their stories on the Change the Stigma webpage.Rachel Nolan, a Zimbabwean living in Gauteng, says she understands what it feels like to be rejected and stigmatised. “I tested HIV-positive on 6 June 2002. It’s a day I will never forget. I was so confident the results would be negative as I had only been with one person after my son’s dad left me – only for the results to come back ‘positive’.“I took it very badly and cried so much. I confided in people I thought were my close friends only to be rejected and shunned. Another threw away her coffee mug, because she saw me drinking from it,” says Nolan. “I told my mum and sisters who also took it badly, cried. But they never rejected me and stood by me.”TREATED LIKE AN OUTCASTWord spread in her community, Nolan says, and she was treated like an outcast. “That broke me and I even tried to commit suicide. I was kept in hospital for about a month with only a handful of friends by my side and my family. My son used to come and visit me every day with my sister, but one day he never came. When I asked where he was she told me he refused to come.“He said he wanted to see me at home. That’s when it hit me: I need to fight and stop worrying about outsiders and fight to stay alive especially for my son as he still needs me.”She is writing a book about her journey with HIV and has a Facebook page to help people who suffer in silence, Nolan adds. “We are still human, deserve to be loved and treated equally.”Nomasomi Limako, from the East Rand, says she wants to be the next Positive Hero in South Africa, because she is disabled and HIV-positive. “You have to constantly fight for your rights. People with disabilities in our country are still experiencing discrimination and stigma in every sphere of life, and adding HIV to the picture makes it even more difficult.“Society still treats people with disabilities like someone with a mental illness, so they tend to think for you. You are constantly suppressed, When you try to voice your thoughts, you are frowned upon or regarded as a lair or manipulator,” says Limako.LIFE-CHANGING DIAGNOSISShe received her HIV-positive diagnosis on 20 May 2003. “My life changed from the moment when the nurse told me I have HIV/Aids. I thought I was going to die soon and felt hopeless.“I could not tell anybody because of the myths and the misconceptions that people have about people with disabilities. These include that disabled people love sex too much, and also that having sex with a disabled person could heal one from HIV,” she explains. “I was infected by the guy who thought I could heal his HIV, as I have a disability.”Limako confided in a friend and four years later told her family. “I stigmatised myself before other people could stigmatise me.” Her achievements on her journey with HIV include participating in the 2010 Positive Convention in Durban.Gary Allpass, who hails from Midrand in Johannesburg, says that when he was diagnosed, he was given six months to live. “I had a horrendous sero-conversion illness which lasted three weeks, and a weight loss of 30 kilograms. That was in October 1992.”As a para-equestrian, Allpass has won the South African Para Dressage title twice – in 2010 and 2011 – and he is now trying to qualify for Rio 2016 Paralympics, but needs extensive sponsorship. “I have also received my Gauteng Para Dressage colours and Eastern Gauteng Regional colours in 2010, 2011, 2012 as an able-bodied rider.”Stigma around HIV has been prevalent since the virus was first identified, and Allpass has felt this since he was diagnosed. “In 1996, I was not allowed to represent Western Province due to my status. Again in 1997, Western Province would not allow me to represent them, but I was asked to ride in the FEI Dressage Challenge, representing South Africa against Argentina, Chile, Brazil and another South American country. I was removed from the dressage judges’ panel.”In 2008, he landed a job as the stable manager at an equestrian centre. “When they heard about my HIV status 10 days later, I was immediately fired,” he says. “I approached the [Treatment Action Campaign] and they referred me to ProBono, where a lawyer took on my case for unfair dismissal. It took three years to go to Labour Court and I successfully won the case.“This aided in changing the law in South Africa in regards to small time employers, in that they could not dismiss HIV-positive employees.” read more
Team PH girds for ‘Aftermath Games’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “Yes, for all intents and purposes, it will be his biggest test,” Victolero said “In that game, we will see how far he can carry us. But right now, I think he (Hill) is still OK for the team.”Ginebra is tall, beefy and can be as physical as any team in the conference, and coach Tim Cone has been known to take advantage of the weaknesses of his opponents.Meanwhile, Larry Fonacier, in just his third game reunited with coach Yeng Guiao at NLEX, was named the PBA Press Corps’ Player of the Week for the period covering Aug. 21 to 27.Fonacier scored 16 points and had four rebounds to help the Road Warriors clip San Miguel, 103-100, also on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Star, a legitimate threat to San Miguel Beer’s Grand Slam chase took a major hit on Sunday night, when the Hotshots saw a four-game winning streak in the PBA Governors’ Cup come to a screeching halt against Rain or Shine.After the Hotshots paraded the menacing and dominating Ricardo Ratliffe to take the Beermen to the distance in the Commissioner’s Cup’s Final Four, Star was expected to tap a reinforcement of equal—if not better—talent to prepare for San Miguel in the season-closing conference.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Malcolm Hill has been scoring well, but in an 88-92 loss to the Elasto Painters in a game that was physical, to say the least, all the kinks in the young former Illinois star’s armor surfaced.After the loss, coach Chito Victolero said Hill, who is in his first professional stint and is fresh out of college, is “still OK as far as I am concerned.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingHill fired 28 points and had 20 rebounds against the Painters, but clearly doesn’t have the physical strength to go up against the likes of powerhouse teams’ imports like San Miguel’s Wendell McKines, Barangay Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee and Meralco’s Allen Durham.Victolero admitted that Hill will be put to a test, that would more or less determine whether he stays or goes, when the Hotshots clash with the Gin Kings this Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters LATEST STORIES MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim read more
Srinagar, May 7 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir government has asked all the deputy commissioners of the state to take action against transmission of 34 TV channels, including those from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, saying they have the potential to incite violence and create law and order situation.The directive comes after the Centre asked the state government to take immediate steps to stop the unauthorised broadcast of Pakistani and Saudi Arabian channels in the state.?It has been reported that the cable operators in the Valley have been transmitting certain TV channels (which are not permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India).”It needs being noted that transmission of non-permitted TV channels apart from attracting the violation (of the law), has the potential to encourage or incite violence and create law and order disturbances in the Kashmir Valley,? an order issued yesterday by Principal Secretary, Home Department, R K Goyal, to all the deputy magistrates (deputy commissioners) of the state said.Goyal asked deputy commissioners to clarify as to what action has been taken in regard to media reports that certain cable operators were transmitting such non-permitted channels and also directed them to take urgent necessary action.”In the circumstances, it is impressed upon you to ensure that urgent necessary action is taken in accordance with provisions of law,? the order reads.He said the transmission of non-permitted TV channels by the cable operators attracts violation of the Cable TV Networks Regulation Rules.”As per Section 11 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, the district magistrate has the power to seize the equipment in case of a violation,? the order reads.advertisementOn Friday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke with the state chief secretary over the issue and sought a compliance report at the earliest.He expressed concern over reports that these channels were being broadcast in Jammu and Kashmir without permission.The State Home Department, which is headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has listed 34 such channels belonging to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia including Zakir Naik?s banned Peace TV.The 34 channels are Peace TV Urdu and English, ARY QTV, Madni Channel, Noor TV, Hadi TV, Paigam, Hidayat, Saudi Al- Sunnah Al-Nabawiyah, Saudi-Al-Quran Al-Karim, Sehar, Karbala TV, Ahli-biat TV, Message TV, Hum TV, ARY Digital Asia, Hum Sitaray, ARY Zindagi, PTV Sports, ARY Musik, TV One, ARY Masala, ARY Zauq, A TV, Geo News, ARY News Asia, Abb Takk News, Waseb TV, 92 News, Duniya News, Samna News, Geo Tez, Express News and ARY News.The principal secretary, Home Department, asked the deputy commissioners to file a compliance report by email by today.PTI SSB DV read more