Archive

Date

March 26th, 2015

The Morality Police

    In Saudi Arabia, the Mutaween are 3,500 public officials and thousands of volunteers who work for the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They are responsible for enforcing strict religious laws. Among the many laws are those that require all women to wear head scarves and black gowns when in public.

The “Morality Police” also exist in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and several fundamentalist Arab countries.

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Starbucks' effort to talk about race is better than silence

    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is urging baristas to engage customers in discussions about race and inequality -- as if his employees already were not busy enough trying to tell my coffee-and-espresso-shot from the next guy's vanilla latte.

    Does Schultz really want to go there? I know he's a marketing genius. Who else could turn overpriced cups of coffee into a daily lifestyle choice for millions of drinkers world-wide?

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Never-Compromise wins again

    Last week the Ghost of Gridlock Present crossed paths in Washington with the Ghost of Gridlock Future. It makes for a spine-chilling tale.

    Gridlock Present was haunting the Senate, where legislators dissolved into partisan warfare over a bill to fight human trafficking that most of them support.

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Can anybody around here pass a law?

    As if more proof were needed about congressional dysfunction, witness the spectacle of the last two weeks, in which the Senate managed to grind itself to a halt over a human trafficking bill that both sides want to pass.

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Bibi's bait-and-switch on Palestine

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election victory -- won on the strength of his temporary promise never to approve a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel -- was akin to pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

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What's New, Pussycat? Meerkat!

    Pity the poor cat.

    Somehow that creature of infinite detachment emerged as the symbol of incessant attachment here at South by Southwest.

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Two Women, Opposite Fortunes

    This is the tale of two women, each an emblem, in her own way, of one of the world's most corrupt and dysfunctional nations.

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Traitors to Their Class

    You probably know from his weepy reminiscences that the speaker of the House, John Boehner, once worked as a bartender and a janitor, and took seven years to get out of college. Maybe you've heard that Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is a preacher's son who churned out burgers and fries at McDonald's. And you had to catch that bit from Sen. Joni Ernst about putting bread bags over her shoes while growing up kind of poor in rural Iowa.

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The State Of The Union

    Has it come to the point where politics rules over all? Politics - bad, as we have come to think of it - has always played a part but now it seems to have become the whole picture. While the Democrats are not exactly pure the Republicans have perfected "gotcha" to a fine point.

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The Ryan Giroux Problem

    What was Ryan Giroux doing free on the streets of a Phoenix suburb -- free, that is, to go on a shooting rampage that killed one person, left five more injured and traumatized countless witnesses?

    He was free for one simple reason: Our criminal justice system set him free because it is broken in fundamental respects that politicians refuse to recognize.

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