My dictionary defines a "shibboleth" as a "saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning." In response to the latest mass gun murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has trotted out its usual shibboleths.
In August 1925, The New York Times estimated 50,000 – 60,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan marched in a parade in our nation's capital. It was a huge public display of the once-secret group. H.L. Mencken called it "a full mile of Klansmen and their ladies." The man sitting in the White House, Calvin Coolidge, was a member of the Klan. The president before him, Warren Harding, was also a noted Klansman. The fraternity preaching pure "100 percent Americanism" (anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, anti-non-white) boasted of five million members – nearly 15 percent of the population in the ...
About a quarter of the kids in the San Antonio school district attend charter schools. Most are the low-income, minority students we think about when we imagine providing innovative opportunities for kids stuck in failing public schools in bad neighborhoods. For a long time, school reform has targeted only kids from poor families. You know, the lucky ones who get those free lunches.
FONTANA, Ca. -- It was April 9, 2005 when I met the young person who impressed me so much I'd talk about him for 7 years. I was moderating a panel discussion of bloggers at Stanford University on "eDemocracy: The Role of blogs and Online Activists in 2004" The young person: 19-year-old Aaron Swartz.
It sat in my parents' dining room for 30 years or more: an old oak stereo console with large speakers concealed by green fabric. It filled my childhood with a harmony and clarity we could use lots more of about now.
My great-grandmother Jane Purcell had a wonderfully full life. Part of her story is revealed in the 1940 U.S. Census, which the National Archives and Records Administration made available online to the public in 2012 at 1940census.archives.gov .
I was all set not to like "Zero Dark Thirty." I judged director Kathryn Bigelow an enemy of truth and justice for depicting torture as a necessary evil to find Osama bin Laden. When I walked into the screening, I was ready to hate "Zero Dark Thirty" as revisionist conservative propaganda.
Okay. Bent over. Hands on knees. Breathing hard. Whew. Made it. "Pant. Pant." For a while there, didn't seem like it'd ever happen, but somehow we mercifully staggered across the annum finish line, finally placing 2012 irrevocably in the rear-view mirror. Make no mistake, the political climate is still volatile. Rash. Mad. Loud. Pulsating forehead vein above arcing spray of spittle loud. And the double-crossing chicanery hasn't mellowed a bit of a spot of an iota from the fever pitch of last year's quadrennial heights.
During the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama coined a catchy phrase to describe all the flip-flops in which his opponent had allegedly engaged during the course of his career. On virtually every issue, from health care to abortion, from taxes to so-called pay equity, from welfare to gun control, Obama said the GOP nominee suffered from "Romnesia."
While running for president in 2012, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was chatting up some students at Otterbein University about how they could get ahead in this world. He offered that his friend, Jimmy John, borrowed $20,000 from his parents to start a sandwich shop. "This kind of divisiveness, this attack of success, is very different than what we've seen in our country's history," said the candidate. "We've always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business."
I had tickets to the "ghost game," the baseball game played last Wednesday between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. Instead I watched it on television-bore witness, really-and it was as surreal as you'd think. No one was there to chase home run balls. The only cheering came from the dugouts. All that was left was a game played by a team that tried to remind us that what's required in Baltimore is empathy and not judgment.
Apologists for the National Security Agency (NSA) point to the arrest of David Coleman Headley as an example of how warrantless mass surveillance is necessary to catch terrorists. Headley played a major role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed 166 people.
I like to say that I was born on Mt. Sinai, along with the Ten Commandments. Unlike the tablets, though, which were delivered by Moses, I was delivered by Dr. Rizika, an obstetrician at that Baltimore hospital with the biblical name in December of 1961.
urkey's President Recep Erdogan, one of President Obama's new best friends along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, was extremely unhappy last week as truth–tellers worldwide observed the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide.
While the nation sleeps, a virulent epidemic snakes across our width and breadth like a twisting toxic tornado. Everyday, the tragic sufferers of this dreaded disease stagger dazedly down streets walking into poles and Armenians and through glass doors, oblivious to all around them. Often wandering into the path of oncoming traffic. Many times, they are the traffic that is oncoming.
This year my mother (still going strong at age 88) marks 50 years as an antique collector. Since I grew up in a world of hand-stitched quilts, milk churns, Depression glass and yellowing Montgomery Ward catalogues, I have learned to appreciate the classics.
One of the great ironies of American politics is that most politicians who talk about helping the middle class support policies that, by expanding the welfare-warfare state, are harmful to middle-class Americans. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state would benefit middle-class Americans by freeing them from exorbitant federal taxes, including the Federal Reserve's inflation tax.
Sometimes the right decision is the one that is least wrong. Texas is looking at uncertain tax revenues from the oil patch and a growing stack of unpaid bills for the basic blocking and tackling functions of government, but what do the politicians do? Argue about which tax to cut, of course.
One of the most outrageous but least reported ongoing scandals in Washington is that the House and Senate have both falsely certified themselves as small businesses in order to fund health insurance for themselves and their staff with taxpayer dollars, sidestepping provisions of Obamacare.