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."