Tuesday December 10, 2013
Archive - Jul 25, 2013
Edward Snowden is no Socrates and no Martin Luther King.
Most of us were not surprised by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. But millions of us were nonetheless disappointed and ashamed for the world to see that in this great country, in the 21st century, it's still possible for a white man to shoot and kill an unarmed black teenager who did nothing wrong -- and walk.
The most memorable scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" is Eva Marie Saint hanging from the side of Mount Rushmore in a perfectly tailored red suit, sheer stockings and pumps. The character hadn't planned for that situation, but her dress was nonetheless deemed proper, circa 1959, for touring South Dakota's Black Hills. In the previous Chicago and New York City shots, she, Cary Grant and most everyone else wore business or evening attire. No shorts, no flip-flops, not even jeans without rips.
We should talk honestly about unresolved racial issues, such as those exposed by the Trayvon Martin case, but President Obama is not the best person to lead the discussion. Through no fault of his own, he might be the worst.
In 2003, state Sen. Barack Obama spearheaded a bill through the Illinois Legislature that sought to put the clamps on racial profiling. Obama called racial profiling "morally objectionable," "bad police practice" and a method that mainly served to "humiliate individuals and foster contempt in communities of color."
Political sex scandals are much more enjoyable when you weren't rooting for the politician.
This brings us to San Diego. I know you were dying to be brought to San Diego, people. How could you not? It has such wonderful weather.
Also, terrible government. The public pension system is billions of dollars in the hole. Fire services are underfunded, and Southern California is not a place where you want to scrimp on fire services.
In a now-rare exhibition of sensible compromise in the United States Senate, John McCain of Arizona has re-emerged as the unpredictable maverick who had seemingly vanished in his 2008 bid for the presidency.
McCain is credited with persuading enough members of his party to agree to a deal that avoid a threatened "nuclear option" -- a change in Senate rules that would curb the minority's ability to obstruct executive branch nominations by filibuster.
It's not often that a testy exchange at a hearing, followed by a senator's statement that he would put a hold on the nomination until he got an adequate answer to his question, opens a window to a fundamental issue in our democracy. And a timely one.
On Friday President Barack Obama picked at America's racial wound, and it bled a bit.
Despite persistent attempts by some to divest the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman tragedy of its racial resonance, the president refused to allow it.
Asiya Tahir, 20, had her 4-month-old, Mariam, on her back in April when three armed men in Sudanese military uniforms seized her and her sister at a well in Darfur.
The soldiers beat Asiya and then - according to both sisters who were interviewed separately - pulled Mariam off her back and laughingly checked to see if she was a boy or a girl. Grabbing Mariam by one arm, a soldier flung her into the distance.