Andrew Povtak

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The Myth of the Kindly General Lee

The legend of the Confederate leader’s heroism and decency is based in the fiction of a person who never existed.<p>The strangest part about the continued personality cult of Robert E. Lee is how few of the qualities his admirers profess to see in him he actually possessed.<p>Memorial Day has the …

The GOP’s biggest budget lies: Take these down, and progressives will start to win

<b>Mitch McConnell; Paul Ryan (AP/Evan Vucci//Getty/Mark Wilson)</b><p>Debt isn’t a big problem and it’s not caused by social spending — and Republicans aren’t better economic managers<p>Paul Rosenberg<p>May 21, 2017 4:00pm (UTC)<p>In mid-March, President Donald Trump’s “skinny budget” proposal drew widespread …

Economics

Debating the big questions on immigration, part 2: How Bill Clinton paved the way for Donald Trump’s deportation policy

<b>(Getty/Bryan Cox)</b><p>Part 2: The pernicious legacy of Clinton’s 1996 immigration reform — and how progressives can begin to fight back<p>Anis Shivani<p>April 2, 2017 12:00pm (UTC)<p>In the second part of our attempt to add nuance to the immigration debate, we hear more from three of the nation’s foremost …

Immigration

Can the Country Survive Without a Strong Middle Class?

In a powerful new book, the legal scholar Ganesh Sitaraman argues that America’s government will fall apart as inequality deepens.<p>The U.S. Constitution, it is fair to say, is normally thought of as a political document. It lays out the American system of government and the relationships among the …

Cleveland's dividing lines over race issues come to light under Trump

The Ohio city is one of America’s most racially segregated and under Trump, many fear a conflict between the black community and mostly white police force<p>It’s not easy being a black cop in Cleveland. During his 23 years in uniform, and now as a detective, Lynn Hampton has weaved a tricky path …

The 50 Best Dancehall Songs of All Time

<b>WHO CAN MAKE THE DANCE RAM?</b><br>By Edwin “STATS” Houghton<p>“Top ranking” is a phrase so common in the lexicon of dancehall reggae, it could almost be punctuation. That’s not to mention related terms like “highly rated,” “strictly the best,” and “tougher than tough.” It is doubtful, in fact, whether there …

Fact-Checking Won’t Save Us From Fake News

Fake news.<p>We’ve used this phrase so many times in the past two months that it’s almost lost meaning — partly because it can mean so many different …

Journalism

Why We’re Living in the Age of Fear

Jen Senko believes that her father was brainwashed. As Senko, a New York filmmaker, tells it, her father was a “nonpolitical Democrat.” But then he …

What the FBI's Crime Numbers Mean in One City

Homicides are up nationally, along with other violent crimes—and a close look at San Antonio provides some context.<p>On Monday, the FBI released its annual report on crime, and a hailstorm of divergent opinions will likely follow. In cities with over one million residents violent crime is up three …

Donald Trump on terror is just McCarthyism for a new age | Simon Jenkins

New York and New Jersey bombings,Donald Trump,New York,US news,US politics,World news<p>While the Republican’s responses are hysterical, they fit with an American tradition of exploiting existential fear

America's New Lesson in Tolerance

What one of the Supreme Court’s most humiliating mistakes tells us about the debate over Colin Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest.<p>“We almost beat one guy to death to make him kiss the flag,” a patriot in Litchfield, Illinois, told a Chicago reporter in 1940.<p>When that vigilante beat a dissenter in …

The rise of American authoritarianism - Vox

A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what's driving Donald Trump's ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016.<p>The American media, over the past year, has been trying to work out something of a mystery: Why is the Republican electorate supporting a …

Political Science

‘Baker Street’: The Mystery of Rock's Greatest Sax Riff

The disputed history behind Gerry Rafferty’s 1978 hit<p>In the summer of 1978, Gerry Rafferty's song “Baker Street” became a top-five hit in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.<p>And for good reason. If there were an official anthem for playing darts alone in an empty roadside …

Foo Fighters

The “liberal media” lie: “The Washington press corps is much closer to Wall Street than it is to Main Street”

<b>(Reuters/Rick Wilking)</b><p>Salon talks to media scholar Mark Crispin Miller about the “lunacy” of last night’s GOP debate<p>Scott Timberg<p>October 29, 2015 5:32pm (UTC)<p>Last night’s GOP debate appeared as Donald Trump seemed to be losing his momentum and Jeb Bush appeared to be fatally wounded. It was an …

Wall Street

Why Non-Voters Matter

A new study suggests that increasing turnout could have significant ramifications for policy.<p>In 2014, just 41.9 percent of the voting-age citizen population of the United States voted. But the people who voted are not only in the minority, they form an unrepresentative minority. Millions of …

Atheists are no less moral: The sad delusion of the Christian Evangelical movement

Sociologist Lori Fazzino dissects the religious right’s single greatest misconception about secularism<p>Valerie Tarico<p>August 22, 2015 11:00am (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared onAlterNet.<p>When most people thinks about Las Vegas they picture some combination of gambling, burlesque, night clubs and …

Religion

The Real Story of Obamacare's Birth

One reason for the continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act is a badly distorted narrative of how it became law.<p>The U.S. Supreme Court’s remarkable 6-3 decision in <i>King v. Burwell</i> saves the Affordable Care Act from evisceration, although Obamacare will undoubtedly face a continuing pattern of …

Anti-GM protesters don't understand how science works

Protesters cheering the collapse of a £1m genetically-modified wheat trial seem too dim to realise that progress requires failure<p>Back in 2012, a group of clueless protesters tried to disrupt a trial of genetically-modified wheat, which was taking place in a field in Hertfordshire. The trial was the …

They’ll always move further right: Why every defeat only makes Republicans more extreme

<b>(AP/Reuters/Charlie Neibergall/Jason Reed/David Goldman)</b><p>GOP somehow thinks they only lose because they’re not conservative enough. That’s a recipe for even more losing<p>Paul Rosenberg<p>June 24, 2015 6:45pm (UTC)<p>As the 2016 election campaign heats up, one thing seems certain: media coverage will be …

Political Science

This is your brain on Whiteness: The invisible psychology of white American ignorance explained

<b>Bill O'Reilly (Fox News)</b><p>The contrast in media narratives about Baltimore and Waco are undeniable—but many white Americans are blind to them<p>Chauncey DeVega<p>May 22, 2015 5:40pm (UTC)<p>Earlier this week, outlaw motorcycle clubs engaged in a daylight gun battle in Waco, Texas. This combat involved …

Race & Ethnicity

Why do we get sleep in our eyes?

Our eyes fill up with gunk as we sleep, but what is it? As Jason G Goldman discovers, the stuff has a more important job than it seems.<p>The first thing I do when I wake up each morning is look at the long list of notifications that have silently accumulated on my phone as I slept. The second thing I …

Jesus would hate you all — and you didn’t build that: The truth about the ultra-rich and their New York Times apologists

<b>(AP/Reuters/Nam Y. Huh/Joe Mitchell/Manuel Balce Ceneta)</b><p>Conservatives are fighting a war on poverty, which really means a war on poor people — and a defense of the rich<p>Paul Rosenberg<p>March 26, 2015 6:59pm (UTC)<p>There they go again. Conservatives are back again with their “war on poverty,” which is to …

Income Inequality

The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what's left for classroom instructors to do?<p>Whenever a college student asks me, a veteran high-school English educator, about the prospects of becoming a public-school teacher, I never think it’s enough to say that the role is shifting from …

The Science of Near-Death Experiences

Empirically investigating brushes with the afterlife<p>Near-death experiences have gotten a lot of attention lately. The 2014 movie <i>Heaven Is for Real</i>, about a young boy who told his parents he had visited heaven while he was having emergency surgery, grossed a respectable $91 million in the United …

9 senseless social panics that did lasting damage to America

<b>Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (AP/David Schine)</b><p>As anti-vaccine hysteria rages on, a look back at some of the lowest moments in our nation’s history<p>Janet Allon • Kali Holloway<p>March 7, 2015 1:00pm (UTC)<p><b>Editor's note:</b> The following is the latest in a new series of articles on AlterNet called Fear in …

Sociology

The month that killed the middle class: How October 1973 slammed America

<b>(AP/Henry Griffin)</b><p>From the Arab oil embargo to the auto workers strike, one month more than 40 years ago changed this nation forever<p>Edward McClelland<p>March 7, 2015 2:30pm (UTC)<p>Early in 1974, Don Cooper, an autoworker at an Oldsmobile plant in Lansing, Michigan, was demoted from his coveted job in …

10 ways white people are more racist than they realize

<b>(MilamPhotos via iStock)</b><p>Progressives like to believe they’re enlightened, but they’re no less vulnerable to their implicit biases<p>Kali Holloway<p>March 4, 2015 8:45pm (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>If there’s anything our fraught national dialogue on race has taught us, it's that …

African-American News

The Secret History Of Knock-Knock Jokes

Knock knock.<p>Who's there?<p>Joe King.<p>Joe King who?<p>Joking like this used to be considered a sickness by some people.<p>The knock-knock joke has been a staple of American humor since the early 20th century. With its repetitive set-up and wordplay punchline, the form has been invoked — and understood — by …

Europe's Languages Were Carried From the East, DNA Shows

The new settlers, revealed by a genetic analysis, may solve a mystery swirling around the origins of Indo-European languages.<p>New DNA evidence suggests that herders from the grasslands of today's Russia and Ukraine carried the roots of modern European languages across the continent some 4,500 years …