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Sunday, Apr 19th

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Bob Alexander: Do You Believe This For a Second?

GOP brainI don't.

From Crooks and Liars Study: Oh Yes, We Can Change Conservative Minds by Susie Madrak - http://crooksandliars.com/2015/02/study-oh-yes-we-can-change-conservative

I've never seen it happen once. The article says it's possible. But ... the real question is ... Is It Probable?

Here's the problem:

Fariss Samarrai, author of the study, American Liberals and Conservatives Think as if From Different Cultures states, " ... political thought was somewhat malleable. They discovered that if they trained holistic thinkers to think analytically, for example, to match scarf with mitten, they would subsequently start viewing the world more liberally (though not on economic policy). Likewise, liberals, if trained to think holistically, would come to form more conservative opinions."

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Alex Baer: Stealing: All Hail, the Self-Righteous Profit Center

thievesThere are a lot of things one might say about the times in which we live. Here are a few terms which come to mind right this second: Creative. Untraditional. Pioneering. Voracious. Larcenous. Insatiable. Limitless.

Put it this way: If our times were a go-kart, we'd slap 40 kinds of governors on the thing, pull off the wheels, drain off all its life-giving fluids, wrap it in bales of jet-fuel-soaked hay, and bring in the healing fire of flame-throwers. We'd even lob in a few Molotov-cocktail-cases of thermite-and-white-phosphorous grenades for good measure.

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Cenk Uygur: My Ironic Defense of Brian Williams

Brian williamsFirst, let me say very clearly from the beginning that I am biased in this case because I know Brian Williams a tiny bit and he has always been fundamentally decent to me.

On the other hand, I'm the guy who wrote the piece Why Brian Williams is Irrelevant. The current controversy surrounding him ties in well with that article I wrote many years ago. People think that Brian Williams is the problem because he exaggerated a war story about Iraq? Are you kidding me? The whole war was based on a monstrous lie that almost the entire media enabled and perpetuated. That's the real problem.

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Chris Hedges: Killing Ragheads for Jesus

American Sniper“American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression.

Many Americans, especially white Americans trapped in a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional political system, yearn for the supposed moral renewal and rigid, militarized control the movie venerates. These passions, if realized, will extinguish what is left of our now-anemic open society.

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The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?

Bradley Cooper as American SniperI have to confess: I was suckered by the trailer for American Sniper. It’s a masterpiece of short-form tension – a confluence of sound and image so viscerally evocative it feels almost domineering. You cannot resist. You will be stressed out. You will feel. Or, as I believe I put it in a blog about the trailer, “Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper trailer will ruin your pants.”

But however effective it is as a piece of cinema, even a cursory look into the film’s backstory – and particularly the public reaction to its release – raises disturbing questions about which stories we choose to codify into truth, and whose, and why, and the messy social costs of transmogrifying real life into entertainment.

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Alex Baer: The Humble Spud, Global Lifesaver

Humble spudAny loose familiarity with current events, whether from last week or on back to 1492, and it's difficult to remain feeling upbeat and not beat up.

There is always terrible news. Things can always get worse of course, but they can't always, automatically, get better -- not using the same downhill-gliding autopilot that Reality tends to use. Rarely is there both good and amazing news. Today, there is some of both -- news that may even turn the world upside down.

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Alex Baer: Arcs, Rings, and Running Out of Mario

TimeNo more timely time to consider Time itself than right around the time we all make the consensual, arbitrary, stolid-but-capricious agreement to watch every midnight tick of the clock one night a year and swap out calendars, jumping from one felled tree to another in the roaring river of Time, as we log-drivers all shoot the mandatory rapids, trying to balance, stay upright, not get soaked or knocked in the drink, not get socked in the head by something large, unyielding, and not likely to stop at skull, once it gets up a head of steam, develops a mind of its own, aimed at our own head-meat.

When alive, those de-limbed trees blitzing the white-water once counted time on an arc far longer than the beings who felled them. Time is more relative than we think -- perhaps more than we can think.

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