In July, Sen. Al Franken opened a Senate hearing on the privacy and civil liberties implications of facial recognition technology by affirming some incontrovertible facts. "You can change your password. You can get a new credit card. But you can't change your fingerprint, and you can't change your face," Franken said. "Unless I guess you go to a great, you know, deal of trouble."
America used to have the most democratic elections in the world. It doesn't anymore. Antiquated technology, along with the failure to clean dirty voter rolls of dead and moved voters, plus gridlock blocking efforts to fix the problems have left our system in shambles.
Someone once said, history repeats itself because no one was listening the first time. All one needs to do is look at the ever-widening ideological divide and partisan bickering going on in America to understand Americans are slow learners. And, unless a Lincolnesque figure rises to the occasion, America is headed for another Civil War sans the bloodshed.
"Support your team, even when it loses. A true fan sticks with their team through good times and bad. It's a sad sight to see the bleachers empty at a stadium 10 minutes before a game is over just because the home team is losing. Stick around until the end and root your team off the field."
My wife looked grief-stricken when I walked into the kitchen this morning. She was staring at her computer screen, and I worried that she'd received an email about a death in the family, or worse, that the Boston Red Sox had re-hired Bobby Valentine.
More than 39 years after Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement has reached a nadir. Despite the fact that over half the country self-identifies as "pro-life," little tangible progress has been made in the fight against abortion. This is due to both the pro-life movement's failure to be a consistent defender of human dignity across a broader range of issues and to its increasingly close association with the Republican Party.
Developments on the women-in-combat front are cause for concern, even for leftists that have made cognitive dissonance a way of life, because the women don't seem to be holding up their end of the ideological bargain.
The EPA proposal to impose a de facto ban on new coal-fired power plants received more than two million comments from the public - but it looks like it was just one five-page comment from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) that sent EPA scrambling back to the drawing board.
On Friday, the House passed a massive National Defense Authorization for 2016 that will guarantee U.S. involvement in more wars and overseas interventions for years to come. The Republican majority resorted to trickery to evade the meager spending limitations imposed by the 2011 budget control act - limitations that did not, as often reported, cut military spending but only slowed its growth.
Operation Jade Helm has inspired a million jokes, and some of them have even been funny. But as much as comedians might jump on Greg Abbott for sending the Texas State Guard to monitor military exercises as the latest excuse to mock the reactionary rubes south of the Red River, Texas now faces an existential crisis: Is the Governor really this crazy?
As it appears we're smack dab in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign announcement season, this might be the perfect time to ask the question on every American's lips: what kind of twisted psychopath chooses to do this? Who are these people that are so all fired up to enter this soul-sucking fray just to sit in an Office that is oval? Masochists? Sadists? Sadomasochists? Masosadochists? Folks who didn't pay attention during any previous election?
Tuesday night I went through a crash course in what really matters, in humanity, in mortality. I was watching the news reports about the Amtrak derailment, and amid my secondhand anguish for injured strangers I thanked God, literally thanked him out loud, for the fact that my immigration hearing in Baltimore had been canceled. Had it not been, I might have been sitting in one of those mangled cars.
We all know that the 2016 campaign will cost way more money than ever before - $10 billion is the latest head-spinning estimate - and that the reform laws aimed at curbing fat-cat clout have virtually collapsed. But still, it was shocking last week when the nation's top watchdog said that she's powerless to police the new Wild West.