Archive

July 20th, 2016

Bathrooms are the New Battlefields for Politicians

    When I was a junior at San Diego State, I had a sudden urge to need a restroom. The closest one was clearly marked, “Faculty Men Only.” The nearest one for male students was on the other side of the building.

    I did what any rational person would do—I used the faculty restroom.

    One of the professors, who was using a urinal a couple spaces away, told me the restroom was for professors only. (I assumed there were separate restrooms for staff.) “What department are you in,” asked the prof.

    In my deeper voice, I responded I was with sociology, hoping he knew little about the sociology faculty.

    “Just out of grad school?” he asked.

    “Yeah,” I replied, hoping that I looked much older than my 19 years. I wasn’t lying. I was “with sociology”—as a student, though. And, since I had no plans to go to grad school, I was truly “out of grad school.”

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Yes, I would send my girls to war

    In my lifetime, I have only made two things that I love more than life itself. I made them both at the same time, seven years ago, and from that moment, I knew nothing would ever matter to me but their health, happiness and well-being. I'd take a bullet for my twins, straight to the heart. I'd go without food so that they could eat. I would give up my clothing so that they could be dry, my shoes so their feet could be warm. I'd give up my life to keep them safe.

    But I would send them to war.

    To understand the importance of the Senate's recent vote to have women sign up for Selective Service (essentially the draft), we only need to look as far back as the bill's introduction. The author of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act is opposed to having women in the draft. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. penned the amendment in the official name of debate, but his goal was to impress upon Congress how little interest there was in treating women equally, particularly when it comes to war.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

With Obama, the Personal Is Presidential

    We always knew he could keep his head when others were losing theirs and blaming him, knew it from the 2008 financial crisis and on to the hard, lasting words he spoke at Tuesday’s memorial for the slain police officers in Dallas.

    What we didn’t know, what could not be predicted of one so young and new to the impossible task of living round-the-clock under the glare of the entire world, was how Barack Obama would hold up as a father, a husband, a man.

    No matter what you think of Obama the executive branch, it’s hard to argue that Obama the human being has been anything less than a model of class and dignity. If, as was often said about black pioneers in sports, you had to be twice as good to succeed, Obama’s personal behavior has set a standard few presidents have ever reached.

    You see him singing happy birthday to his daughter Malia, on the day she turned 18 on the Fourth of July, or coaching his daughter Sasha at hoops, and you see his ambition, still, to be “the father I never had.”

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Why terrorists keep succeeding in France

    France is in the line of fire. Of the 16 terrorist incidents that took place in Western nations this year, five were in France, including the deadliest one -- Thursday's apparent lone wolf attack in Nice, which killed at least 84 people.

    A little more than a week before the attack, a commission set up by the French parliament gave its version of the reasons for France's endangered state in a massive report. Apart from an objective threat the country faces thanks to its colonial past and a failure to integrate North African immigrants, it also suffers from inadequate policing.

    "All the French citizens who struck within the nation's territory in 2015 were known, in one capacity or another, to judicial, penal or intelligence services," the report says. "They have all been on file, watched, listened to or incarcerated along their path of delinquency toward violent radicalization."

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

What Pokemon Go actually is (and isn't)

    At 56, I'm way too old to be playing Pokémon Go. After all, the smartphone game's phenomenal success is built on millennial nostalgia, and I don't even have any kids to blame. But what started out as research has turned into a mild addiction. It's fun to wander the streets finding magic critters and the tools to capture them. Along the way I met some nice people and learned some things I didn't expect (and got yet another confirmation of an unfortunate truth about new technology).

    1) Contrary to the common journalistic shorthand, the game isn't about augmented reality. When I signed up, I thought playing Pokémon Go would be a good way to see what happens when augmented reality, which superimposes computer images on your view of real-world surroundings, meets a mass market.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

We don't need Lincoln-inspired racial 'unity.' We need whites to stop being racist.

    In a speech this week at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, Hillary Clinton called for racial unity by invoking the words of Abraham Lincoln. She said he "defended our Union, our Constitution, and the ideal of a nation 'conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.'" She added that Lincoln "deeply believed everyone deserved - in his words - 'a fair chance in the race of life.'"

    Clinton may not have realized it, but both her choice of symbols from the past and her message for the present were mistakes.

    Though he's now often seen simply as a hero of emancipation, Lincoln had a far more complicated history on race. For years, like most Americans of his time, he espoused white supremacy, and he didn't believe until the last year of his life that blacks and whites could live on equal terms in an interracial democracy. But he would later also take positions against racism that would be radical even today, calling for reparations for former slaves and urging newly freed black Southerners to defend their rights against white racists through force of arms.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Trump's most enduring - and unbefitting - trait

    I've been covering Donald Trump off and on for more than 25 years, and what has always struck me is his lack of impulse control. It was his biggest problem when I first started dealing with him in the 1980s, and it's his biggest problem now.

    Plenty of financial and real estate players got carried away in the go-go 1980s. But Trump was in a class by himself.

    He ended up presiding over six -- count 'em, six -- bankruptcies because he kept making business decisions with his gut rather than with his brain.

    Trump's less-than-stellar business history has been well documented by The Washington Post and other newspapers, magazines and online publications, as has his lack of self-control in his personal life. But what has not been fully explored is the impulsiveness -- actually, total recklessness -- that was at the root of the pivotal decisions that tanked his businesses.That same impulsiveness is at the root of Trump's self-inflicted political and business problems today.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Trump’s Celebrity Shortage

    One thing Donald Trump ought to be good at is throwing a celebrity-packed convention, right?

    Right?

    It’s just about the only thing we should be able to count on. He’s never been in government. His business career includes a string of bankrupt casinos, unpaid bills from small businesses, a smarmy “university” and a rather troubled Scottish golf course. But Donald Trump has always been a guy who knew how to slather on some glitz.

    “It’s very important to put some showbiz into a convention, otherwise people are going to fall asleep,” the man himself told The Washington Post.

    The list is in, and the celebrities include pro golfer Natalie Gulbis, currently 484th in women’s world rankings, and Dana White, head of a big mixed martial arts organization. Plus Antonio Sabato Jr., former underwear model turned reality TV show regular. And a ton of members of the Trump family.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Trump makes a safe selection for vice president

    Donald Trump, social media's best friend and user, did it again in tweeting his "final" choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. After announcing a press conference for that purpose, he postponed it for a day in favor of a simple tweet, once again demonstrating his mastery of the news media he loves to hate.

    Pence himself joined in, tweeting he was "honored" to help Trump "make America great again." Hillary Clinton campaign leader John Podesta quickly replied (not on Twitter) that Pence was "the most extreme pick in a generation" and "one of the earliest advocates of the Tea Party."

    Trump thus generated greater buzz for what essentially was an orthodox conservative choice: Pence is an experienced politician who served in Congress before becoming governor. Essentially, he offers the Washington background that Trump lacks.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

July 19th

He didn't hit me. It was still abuse.

    I had been dating my boyfriend, Jason, for only a couple of months when he suggested we move across the country to Albuquerque, where we knew no one, so I could write a novel while he worked to support us. "That's the most romantic thing anyone's ever said to me," I told him. I was 22, and he was 19.

    Jason loved me. His charisma was like a bright, shining light, and I felt lucky to feel its warmth. With thousands of dollars I had been saving to go back to college, we rented a truck and paid the security deposit on an apartment.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!