Fri, 1 May 2015
The Republican definition of religious freedom recently became the freedom of an employer to decide whether employees could get birth control as part of their insurance package.
Then freedom of religion transmuted into the right of an employer to order an insurance company not to provide birth control on its own.
Now freedom of religion has mutated into the right of any boss to require workers to report to management, and ask permission, if they want to go to their local pharmacy on their own time and pay for birth control themselves.
The Republican vote was unanimous.
Mon, 20 April 2015
We can't trust Iran.
We need to take a harder stand.
We are in a simmering war.
We should not be negotiating. We should be in battle.
Where have we heard all this before?
Those of us who have lived long enough might remember word-for-word.
Wed, 15 April 2015
Bobby Kennedy began as a law enforcement official who seemed unable to communicate with those on the other side of the poverty line. In five years, he became noted for his ability to transcend racial, economic, and class tensions.
His journey during those five years began with a program of listening and learning.
Half a century later, what can Hillary Clinton learn from his experience?
Mon, 6 April 2015
For decades, her image has intruded into occasional dreams on sometime restless nights. I wonder what life might have been for her and her child had she lived.
Stanley Forman turned his back after taking his photos, one of which would later win a Pulitzer Prize. He could not bear to see the bodies hit the ground.
Direct download: A_Young_Mother_Killed_by_the_Libertarian_Ideal.mp3
Category:Policy -- posted at: 11:48pm EDT
Mon, 23 March 2015
All Presidents become targets in the modern world
But this Presidency is different. The Secret Service has acknowledged that the level and seriousness of threats has multiplied since Barack Obama assumed office.
The ferocity of rhetoric has also soared to heights previously unimagined. It is not only the quantity and volume of often obscene shouts that have accelerated. The nature itself of the attacks has gone where nobody had walked during my lifetime.
Wed, 18 March 2015
Republicans have refused to reveal the details of their budget plans.
They have learned from past experience how media analysts will focus on Social Security and medicare cuts.
But Tom Price, who heads the Budget committee, let his guard down a little at a recent conservative conclave.
He used the usual audience tested euphemisms, but the direction Republicans in Congress are taking was clear.
Get ready for a bumpy ride.
Mon, 16 March 2015
On February 5, 2015, Republicans held a press event. They warned that letting Russia get away with invading the Crimea peninsula would violate a Presidential agreement signed by Bill Clinton in 1994.
America had to keep its word.
"What kind of message are we sending to Iran as they continue their race towards nuclear weapons?" asked Senator Tom Cotton, as others nodded solemnly.
As it turns out, the program of economic sanctions President Obama initiated against Russia has bitten every bit as deep as President Obama predicted. America did keep its word.
Five weeks later, Republicans publicly warned Iran about giving up on nuclear weapons. They instructed Iran not to trust any agreement to be signed by President Obama. America might not keep its word, if that word is given in a Presidential agreement.
"The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen," they said to Iran, "and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time."
Thu, 12 March 2015
A few years ago, documents and recordings were declassified that confirmed the worst rumors. A private citizen of the United States had secretly contacted foreign governments and sabotaged peace talks in Vietnam. That private citizen was Richard Nixon.
It was hard to imagine anything worse, until a group of conservative Senators tried to sabotage negotiations that might stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
The Senators are convinced Iran can't be trusted. So they are trying to convince Iran the United States can't be trusted.
Mon, 9 March 2015
The official tax system in the Roman empire was strikingly similar to the unofficial tax system of Ferguson, Missouri.
The Emperor Diocletian put an end to it.
It is way past time Missouri did the same.
Wed, 4 March 2015
The political whispering campaign resembled the one from 80 years before.
Both resulted in death.
Both came from the same cynicism.
Both happened in the same environment of casual bigotry.