America's attention recently turned away from the violence in Iraq and Gaza toward the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. While all the facts surrounding the shooing have yet to come to light, the shock of seeing police using tear gas (a substance banned in warfare), and other military-style weapons against American citizens including journalists exercising their First Amendment rights, has started a much-needed debate on police militarization.
Shortly after he angrily denounced the obscene beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by a member of the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a smiling President Barack Obama was photographed playing golf. And so it started -- just like clockwork.
While the dominant Republican slogan on health care remains "repeal and replace," there is little agreement on what "replace" means. But if we wait until Obamacare can be repealed before developing a consensus on positive health care changes, major parts of Obamacare will be even more entrenched and its seductive goal of universal coverage may push us instead toward fully government-controlled single-payer system.
Knew he shouldn't. Couldn't help himself. I'm talking about the beaming leer in Rick Perry's mug shot. Or to be more precise, his smug shot. In the photo released by the Austin Police Department, the Texas Governor grins like a Cheshire Cat who just cleaned out the canary department of a PetSmart and is presetting his Lexus' GPS for another store.
The initial outburst of rage, simmering for years in a brick and pavement community draped in poverty was genuine, and for many today is still genuine. It didn't and will never matter to many in Ferguson what Michael Brown did or did not do. What remains is a white man of authority gunned him down in the street and "the man" left his corpse in the open to rot for hours as men, women and children ogled, stared and raged from a distance.
So it turns out, thanks to a leak from the St. Louis County medical examiner's office, that the unarmed teen who was shot by a cop six times in Ferguson, Mo., including twice in the head, had marijuana in his bloodstream. And, naturally, the character assassins are essentially saying, "Ya see? He was a druggie, a violent thug."
Just as World War I didn't prove to be "the war to end all wars," the 20th century didn't turn out to be when the nearly unimaginable brutality and indescribable evil represented by German dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime was definitively laid to rest.
The meeting probably wasn't as awkward as Cain attending Abel's funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband's family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/ Brad Pitt-drunk at a wedding reception feel.
We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.