We marched against the recent attack on voting rights. We demanded justice in the face of Stand Your Ground laws and racial profiling. We marched to raise awareness on unemployment, poverty, gun violence, immigration, and gay rights. And we called for action on climate change. Chances are, when you think about civil rights, environmental issues aren´t on the radar screen. But stop and think about it. Remember Hurricane Katrina? The hurricane that leveled New Orleans showed that severe weather in low-income neighborhoods and communities of colour is a matter of life and death. The images from the storm are hard to forget:
There is a painfully uncomfortable episode of “Louie” in which the comedian Louis C.K. muses that maybe child molesters wouldn’t kill their victims if the penalty weren’t so severe. Everyone I know who watches the show vividly recalls that scene from 2010 because it conjures such a witches’ cauldron of taboo, disgust and moral outrage, all wrapped around a disturbing kernel of truth. I have similar ambivalence about the case involving former Montana high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold. Louie concluded his riff with a comment to the effect of “I don’t know what to do with that information.” That
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer predicted on Friday that should President Barack Obama make a misstep when dealing with Syria, he could spark a “major regional war.” In his column published in Friday’s Washington Post, Krauthammer alluded to the “guns of August,” a reference to 1914 and the build-up that led to the start of World War I. That reference was a comparison to the current situation in Middle East involving Syria and a pending U.S. strike over the use of chemical weapons, and how those seemingly isolated events could unfold into something bigger.
Economic Illiteracy: With last week´s one-day strike, fast-food workers sent a clear message: They want the minimum wage raised from $7.25 an hour to $15. But they should be careful what they wish for; they just might get it. It isn´t hard to see what a doubling of the minimum wage would do in an industry that pays out an estimated 70% of revenue to workers: Hundreds of thousands would lose their jobs overnight. The average fast-food employee makes $8.94 an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project. Unions and workers want to boost that to $15 an hour. Fine, except
Intelligence veterans said Friday that the unclassified presentation of the intelligence assessment appeared solid. “This is a pretty strong assessment,” said John McLaughlin, who served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2000 to 2004. “The intelligence community does not say ‘high confidence’ about something unless they have really chewed it over.” Intelligence agencies state their findings in terms of high, medium, or low confidence. Mr. McLaughlin said the term “high confidence” is not “used lightly” particularly since the 2003 Iraq intelligence failure. But he noted that the assessment includes a caveat that “high confidence” falls short of confirmation. He said
Just a generation after the collapse of the Soviet socialist system, a recent Pew poll reports that 49% of Americans 18-29 years old have a positive view of socialism, while only 46% have positive views of capitalism. The ambivalence toward capitalism is due in part to the influence of the information and entertainment class — the mainstream media, Hollywood and the universities — whose biases are entrenched and well known. Their portrayal of the 2008 financial collapse and the shambles of its aftermath — as being caused by greedy Wall Street bankers who got rich by foisting deceptive loan underwriting practices on
For as far back as anyone can remember, Missouri Baptists have gathered on river banks for Sunday afternoon baptisms. The preacher leads the new believers into the water, draped in white robes as a choir sings, “Shall We Gather at the River.” It’s the way it’s been done for generations – baptizing in creeks, lakes, and rivers “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” The National Park Service began enforcing a policy recently that required churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize in public waters.
In the deadly poker game that the great powers are playing over Syria, the British have just folded. Thursday´s vote in the House of Commons has not only damaged Prime Minister David Cameron´s authority, perhaps beyond repair, but forced President Obama to face the prospect of military intervention without the support of America´s staunchest ally. No wonder officials in Washington are making no secret of their fury that for the first time in half a century the Anglo-American "special relationship" has proved unreliable. It was Mr. Cameron who had tried to play the heroic part of Margaret Thatcher by taking the
Syria: The president whose genius was going to talk Islamofascist Iran into submission can´t even get America´s closest ally to help us bomb a WMD-wielding terror state. You don´t follow the ex-leader. In the aftermath of the British Parliament´s stunning refusal to help America attack Syria, ask yourself: would Thatcher have ever refused a Reagan request to help bomb a terrorist regime? Would Blair have refused Bush? "To renew American leadership in the world, I intend to rebuild the alliances, partnerships, and institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security," candidate Obama wrote in a 2007 Foreign Affairs article marveled
With the U.S. poised to attack Syria, debate is raging over what that attack should look like, and what, if anything, the U.S. is capable of accomplishing. Those questions can´t be answered without taking a very close look at the situation in Syria from ground level. Since few journalists are reporting from inside the country, our understanding of the civil war is not only inadequate, but often dangerously inaccurate. Anyone who reads the paper or watches the news has been led to believe that a once peaceful, pro-democracy opposition has transformed over the past two years into a mob of violent
WASHINGTON - You simply can´t safely bomb a chemical weapon storehouse into oblivion, experts say. That´s why they say the United States is probably targeting something other than Syria´s nerve agents. But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn´t know were there because they´ve lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents. Bombing stockpiles of chemical weapons - purposely or accidentally - would likely kill nearby civilians in an accidental nerve agent release, create a long-lasting environmental catastrophe or both, five experts told The Associated Press. That´s because
Many of the leaks about U.S. strike plans for Syria, a copious flow of surprisingly specific information on ship dispositions and possible targets, have been authorized as a way for President Obama to signal the limited scope of operations to friends and foes. But a number of leaks have been decidedly unauthorized -- and, according to Obama administration sources, likely emanating from a Pentagon bureaucracy less enthusiastic about the prospect of an attack than, say, the State Department, National Security Council or Obama himself. "Deeply unhelpful," was how one West Winger described the drip-drip of doubt. "They need to shut the f--k up,"
"So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot?” So, said Sarah Palin Friday evening. Her sharply sarcastic statement (full text below), posted on her Facebook page as usual, followed President Obama´s latest global update on his unusually long deliberations over what he describes as a minor reaction to Syria´s use of chemical weapons against Syrians. Fifty-three weeks ago Obama drew a red line in the sand.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, did far more than just set out the intelligence against Syria. But he did do that. Although there is now more detail than we had before about the attack, there is no damning proof. Indeed, perhaps for understandable reasons, there is no proof at all--only assertions that we must take on trust. As Mr Kerry himself suggested, after Iraq trust is in short supply. [Snip] What he did was make it impossible for President Barack Obama to back away from it. He said if the US didn´t act, history would judge them harshly.
What a momentous day for British democracy. The era of presidential rule is over. Parliament has reclaimed the powers chipped away by successive prime ministers, culminating with Tony Blair and the hegemony of spin. It has even snatched some powers it never had, beyond control of the purse. There can be no going to war on executive authority alone, or by Royal Prerogative. Britain´s living Constitution has been refashioned before our eyes, in seven hours of exhilarating debate. Much of world´s political class watched the debate unfold, riveted by the clash of moral argument. Has anything quite like it been
President Obama proposed a one percent pay increase for federal workers and military employees in a pair of letters to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent Friday afternoon. The one percent hike falls below a 1.3 percent increase that would have triggered had Obama not acted before the end of August. But the number is still likely to meet stiff resistance among budget hawks in Congress — who will ultimately decide what, if any, increase will kick in. In his message to Boehner, Obama said federal workers "have already made significant sacrifices as a result of a three-year pay freeze,"
More than a third of American workers say they have seen or personally experienced problems with religion not being properly accommodated in the workplace, a newly released survey finds. The survey, conducted on behalf of the secular Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, found that the most commonly reported problems included being required to work on a religious holiday or attending company events that didn´t include kosher, halal or vegetarian meals. Nearly half of religious workers who were not Christian said they had experienced or witnessed such problems.
There are historical allies and there are strong allies, and John Kerry may have confused the two yesterday when he hailed France as America’s oldest friend. It was supposed to be a calculated snub to Britain, of course. With a few exceptions, in the past 100 years it’s become a rule of thumb that America no longer goes to war without Britain at its side. So the UK’s failure to follow the US into action over Syria inevitably stung in Washington, prompting Mr Kerry to cosy up to France. But in reality Americans tend to mistrust the French even more
One of the controversies surrounding the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King‘s “I Have A Dream” speech has been the absence of Republicans at the event, despite many of them having been invited. One prominent Republican, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), told Roll Call through a spokesperson that he had not been invited, but the paper reported, Thursday afternoon, that an email confirms that Sen. Scott’s office declined an invitation to the event earlier this month.
Washington - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will officiate at a same-sex wedding this weekend in what is believed to be a first for a member of the nation's highest court. Ginsburg will officiate Saturday at the marriage of Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and John Roberts, a government economist. "Michael Kaiser is a friend and someone I much admire," Ginsburg said in a written statement Friday. "That is why I am officiating at his wedding." The private ceremony will take place at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a national memorial to
Congressional leaders decry lack of clear military objective. The U.S. military, struggling after defense cuts of tens of billions of dollars, will be unable to pay for attacks on Syria from current operating funds and must seek additional money from Congress, according to congressional aides. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, said on Friday he has not made a final decision on a military strike against Syria. He sought to play down both the scope and duration of the anticipated punitive missile and bombing campaign.
Public intellectual Cornel West tore into this week’s speeches surrounding the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech as lacking in “truth,” blasting speakers like President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton as having given a “sanitized” verison of Dr. King’s vision. “Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted. “Instead,” he lamented, “we saw the coronation of the bonafide house
With Barack Obama, it’s always all about him. Asked at his early August press conference why there has been so little progress in getting the perpetrators of the Benghazi massacre after eleven months, Obama replied, that these things can take time and added by way of example that “I didn’t get Bin Laden in eleven months.” Obama, of course, was in the White House that day, playing cards. It was Navy Seals who put their lives on the line as they stormed the house in Abbottabad and “got” Bin Laden. (Can you imagine the mockery the media would have rained down
RUSH: Okay. Folks, I´m sorry. I´m gonna apologize to you here in advance. I´m doing my best to separate my obvious bias against this administration. I just watched Kerry speak. He´s still going. I just watched John Kerry from a State Department set that I have never seen. It looks like the dining room in his Beacon Hill home, with a crystal chandelier and everything. It´s just amazing. He´s giving us the evidence of Bashar Assad using chemical weapons on his own people. I´m sorry, I just... He may be saying the truth, but this guy has a more convincing tone
I don´t know who´s more confused about Syria, President Obama or me. With his alleged use of poison gas against his own people, including women and children, Bashar al-Assad of Syria has crossed our president´s famous red line -- again. But unlike the last time Assad crossed the president´s red line, this time President Obama means business. No, seriously. He does. Really. He´s not just talking you-know-what. In the words of The New York Times, the war hawk-in-chief is going to "hold the Syrian government accountable for a ´moral obscenity´ that has shocked the world´s conscience." An attack on Syria´s military assets looks inevitable. The administration