Thursday December 18, 2014
With the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the use of torture by the CIA after 9/11, the final defense of the indefensible by its perpetrators, advocates and publicists is falling apart before our eyes.
Why do people line up to come to this country? Why do they build boats from milk cartons to sail here? Why do they trust our diplomats and soldiers in ways true of no other country? It's because we are a beacon of opportunity and freedom, and also because these foreigners know in their bones that we do things differently from other big powers in history.
President Obama's observation that racism is "deeply rooted" in U.S. society is an understatement. Racism is as American as the Fourth of July, and ignoring this fact doesn't make it go away.
Jackie's shocking account of gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house has been growing holes by the day. And it has put Rolling Stone -- the magazine that published it without identifying the accuser, the friends she quoted or the alleged rapists -- under a harsh light. It only named the fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi.
In late November, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights — the first law of its kind in the nation.
The focus of the new law might surprise you. A bill of rights for workers is probably about wages, right?
Think again. This new law is about fair scheduling.
Writing in the Washington Post about the University of Virginia rape case, Zerlina Maxwell asserts, "We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist."
Where to begin with this kind of statement?
I asked Marty Peretz the other day whether his goal during the nearly four decades that he had owned The New Republic was ever to make a profit. "Absolutely not," he bellowed. "I think we were profitable maybe three or four years." One year, he said, the magazine's staff threw a pizza party to celebrate being in the black - "and the party put us back in the red." He was only half-joking.
One of the lovely formulations in John F. Kennedy's inaugural address expressed his hope that "a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion." Kennedy was talking about the Cold War, but we could use a little of this in the partisan and ideological warfare that engulfs our nation's capital.
The furor over President Barack Obama's executive action shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation poses hazards for him, including legislative complications, a possible legal challenge and a public backlash.
The risks for Republicans are greater, threatening schisms among the party's members of Congress through next year, spilling over to the 2016 presidential contest and perhaps costing them votes.
Police did not kill Michael Brown. One policeman did.
Black people did not burn down buildings in Ferguson, Mo. A few idiots did.
It is our sad nature to assign the acts of one, or of a few, to the many (see: Islam) and that’s one reason why we appear to be going nowhere when it comes to racial harmony in this country.