These days, it can be very difficult to determine what makes someone a "real American." In years past, there were clear answers, most of which revolved around notions of individual rights, economic freedom, and Anglo-based societal values.
Over the past few weeks, I've gotten to the point where I wanted to just leave Facebook behind. I have a fairly light social media footprint when it comes to Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. But I do hang out in the Facebook precincts on a fairly regular basis, so fairly regular that my boss has occasionally asked me how I'm enjoying retirement.
In the midst of President Obama's denunciation of gun violence - if you've lost track, the latest massacre was on Friday - he lamented Washington's ongoing inertia and said that, in fact, "we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially prevent gun deaths."
It's been awfully fun to watch the different branches of government quiver like Aspen trees in a force 5 tornado arguing the pros and cons of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. The TPP is either an environmental travesty designed to set the union movement back 100 years, or the spine of the Pacific Rim's economic pushback against China. Depends on who you talk to. One or the other: nothing in between. It's two cliffs and a gorge.
The power of the press rests in the ability of journalists to hold government accountable, to mobilize public opinion on matters that are important to individuals, communities or the nation, and to provide necessary information of value.
Race relations have returned to the forefront of our national discussion over the last several years. Unless one refers to illegal immigration, relations in question almost always pertain to blacks and whites.
In the wake of the recent homicidal shooting rampage at an Oregon community college, I'm forced to come to the conclusion that it is high time for common sense national background checks for journalists.
We hear you loud and clear, President Obama. Only a person with a cold heart would blame innocent people and suggest taking their guns away after a crazy, militant atheist who probably cheered when your party booed God at their convention goes on a shooting spree at a college in Oregon.