Saturday November 28, 2015
July 3rd, 2015
Who says things can't change in politics? We just learned, again, that they can -- and fast! Ten days ago, you couldn't find a politician in the South who had anything bad to say about the Confederate battle flag. Today, they're tripping all over themselves to get rid of it.
Has any murdering terrorist ever failed more dramatically than Dylann Storm Roof? Like any punk with a gun, he managed to slaughter nine blameless African-American Christians at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. Intending to start a race war, he succeeded only in shocking the moral conscience of the state and nation.
The recent mass murder of worshippers in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina raises troubling questions for all Americans. First among them: How could this have happened?
I think the answer to that one is easy.
A funny thing happened to Jeb Bush on his way to the White House.
He was rolling assuredly toward his coronation as the next GOP presidential nominee. He was sacking up millions of dollars in campaign cash from his dynastic family’s extensive coterie of reliable corporate donors and wealthy patrons. And he was confident that he’d roll to victory next year.
Suppose African-Americans marked their heritage with flags depicting Nat Turner’s rebellion of 1831, in which slaves massacred about 60 whites before the uprising was crushed? The flag wouldn’t be celebrating the murder of whites, of course, but would simply commemorate a factual milestone in black history!
In the worst possible way - responding to an unspeakable act of racist barbarism - we have stumbled into one of our all-too-rare "Reconsider the Confederacy" weeks. This year's week looks as though it will lead to the relegation of the Confederate battle flag to museums and history's dung heap, where it belongs.
When they announce that they are running for president, deliver their stump speeches, make their ads or head out on their "listening tours" trailed by caravans of reporters, we get to hear how the candidates talk to everyday Americans. But when they talk to big-dollar donors, unless someone breaks the rules, we almost never get to hear those conversations.
Could this, at last, be the end of the Civil War?
Or, as some fans of Southern heritage call it, the War Between the States?
Or the War of Northern Aggression?
Does genetically engineering crops — creating seeds with the DNA of other species inserted in them, like a tomato with DNA that includes genes from a fish — violate religious principles?
People with a vested interest have tried for years to speak on the Vatican’s behalf on this question. Now, Pope Francis has weighed in.
Is it my imagination, or are half the governors in the country running for president?
On the Republican side they’re piling up like ... those huge stacks of walruses we see off the coast of Alaska now that there’s global warming. A stack of governors! Different from the walruses only in 1) lack of tusks, and 2) failure to believe that melting ice floes are a serious problem.