Archive

April 6th, 2016

Trump Does It His Way

    You could hear how hard it was for Donald Trump to say the words.

    “Yeah, it was a mistake,” he said, sounding a bit chastened. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it.”

    I was telling him he lost my sister’s vote when he retweeted a seriously unflattering photo of the pretty Heidi Cruz next to a glam shot of his wife, Melania.

    He repeated his contention that he didn’t view the Heidi shot “necessarily as negative.” But I stopped him, saying it was clearly meant to be nasty.

    Trump also got into his schoolyard excuse of “he did it first” and “that wasn’t nice,” insisting that Ted Cruz wrote the words on the digital ad put up by an anti-Trump group aimed at Utah Mormons; it showed Melania in a 2000 British GQ shot posing provocatively and suggested that it was not first-ladylike. Cruz denies any involvement.

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!

To fight our enemies, we must understand them

    On Easter morning, the congregation at the historic St. Mary's Episcopal Church in the District of Columbia's Foggy Bottom community prayed for those caught up in tragedies in Brussels and Ivory Coast.

    The toll of the onslaughts was great.

    Claimed by the Islamic State, the March 22 bombings at the airport and metro station in Brussels left at least 35 dead, including three attackers, and more than 300 injured.

    The March 13 attack at an Ivory Coast beach resort in Grand-Bassam left 22 dead, including six gunmen, two soldiers and 14 civilians. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility.

    The St. Mary's congregation prayed for those who lost lives, those working to save lives, those worried for people they love and those who will see their loved ones no longer. They prayed for the Lord to have mercy upon them.

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!

The Republicans’ Gay Freakout

    Our infrastructure is inexcusable, much of our public education is miserable and one of our leading presidential candidates is a know-nothing, say-anything egomaniac who yanks harder every day at the tattered fabric of civil discourse and fundamental decency in this country.

    But let’s by all means worry about the gays! Let’s make sure they know their place. Keep them in check and all else falls into line, or at least America notches one victory amid so many defeats.

    That must be the thinking behind Republican efforts to push through so-called religious liberty laws and other legislation — most egregiously in North Carolina — that excuse and legitimize anti-gay discrimination. They’re cynical distractions. Politically opportunistic sideshows.

    And the Republicans who are promoting them are playing a short game, not a long one, by refusing to acknowledge a clear movement in our society toward LGBT equality, a trajectory with only one shape and only one destination.

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!

Black people have economic leverage

    When several black celebrities refused to attend the Academy Awards this year, their protest was initially dismissed as a futile gesture. Yet their boycott succeeded in exposing Hollywood's subtle but deeply ingrained form of racism.

    There's a lesson to be learned in what the protest of a prominent few can achieve for the many.

    In the past year, Black Lives Matter activists have taken to the streets of Boston, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and other urban centers to protest the extrajudicial executions of young black men by police who shoot first and fabricate later.

    But, astonishingly, once the blue-curtain coverup gets lifted and the lies are exposed, many mayors and other officials - with the notable exceptions of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton - express a shallow remorse and offer hollow promises to improve transparency and accountability. Little changes. Black bodies continue to pile up.

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!

April 5th

A year later, no justice for Farkhunda

    On March 19, 2015, Farkhunda Malikzada was murdered by a mob of angry Afghan men because a local religious cleric had falsely accused her of burning the Quran. The crowd threw stones at her, drove over her body, and set her on fire. On the day she died, Farkhunda had no protection from the state or those around her. The struggle to achieve justice for her has become a sign of the struggle to protect the rights of women throughout Afghanistan. Like many Afghan activists, I have spent the last year attending protests and writing about and working with local organizations to advocate for justice for Farkhunda. When we began speaking out along with thousands of Afghans around the world, we hoped that Farkhunda's murderers would be brought to justice and that her case would set a precedent for the legal system to protect the safety and rights of Afghan women. But a year later, the lack of justice has had significant implications for women's rights in Afghanistan, where the majority of perpetrators of violence against women never face legal repercussions. The government's failure to maintain justice has emboldened criminals and left Afghan women more vulnerable to violence.

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 I'm teaching my 6-year-old to meditate

    My teenage years weren't the easiest. I struggled with popularity (or lack thereof), bad skin and what I was convinced at the time was irreparable heartbreak. No one understood me - especially not my parents. I was 15 when "Smells Like Teen Spirit" hit the radio, and while I didn't exactly understand the lyrics, I was convinced Kurt Cobain had stumbled across my own indefinable, adolescent malaise.

    In many ways, however, I was lucky. I had a few close friends and together we were a teenage army, protecting each other against rivals, rebuilding each other after battles at home. When alone, I had other coping mechanisms: I wrote maudlin poetry, read constantly, and mass-generated mix tapes to match my moods. Perhaps more important were the things I didn't have: namely, social media and the Internet. Public humiliation had its limits. Personal failures had a shelf life.

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!

US leads the world in advancing women's soccer, but it can do much better

    Both sides in the U.S. women's soccer team's labor dispute, which entered the national spotlight Thursday with a wage discrimination claim filed by five players, will make their cases in the courts of law and public opinion in the coming weeks and months. There will be a blizzard of numbers, but this much is clear:

    The U.S. Soccer Federation has been very good to the women's game.

    It also can do a whole lot better.

    A quarter-century ago, when most of the world sneered at women's soccer, the USSF created platforms for both young female players just looking to play and elite players looking to conquer the world. Was it equal to efforts for men's soccer? No way. But it was a start.

    Hosting the 1999 Women's World Cup and, against common sense, staging the games in large stadiums, turned a competition that averaged 4,315 fans per game four years earlier in Sweden into a global event. Attendance grew by ninefold and, for the final at the sold-out Rose Bowl, the largest crowd for a women's sporting event in global history turned out.

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, Truth, and Abortion

    Maybe Donald Trump did everyone a favor with his famous jail-the-women comment. When he blurted out that “there has to be some form of punishment” for anyone who has an abortion, he blew the cover off the carefully constructed public face of the anti-choice movement.

    Let’s take a look.

    There’s no reason to imagine Trump ever gave a millisecond of thought to the details of abortion policy until he got trapped in that merciless interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC. There are certain right-wing tropes that he just grabbed onto when he started his presidential run. One is that whenever the topic comes up, he’s supposed to announce he’s “pro-life.”

    “I know,” Matthews followed up, adding, “But what should be the law?”

    Trump babbled about totally unrelated topics, but Matthews, cruel man, pressed onward: “If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under law. Should abortion be punished?”

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 Republican' is a seriously damaged brand

    Donald Trump is taking a troubled brand -- the Republican Party -- and making it worse.

    In last week's Bloomberg Politics national survey, 60 percent of Americans said they had an unfavorable view of Republicans, the highest level in seven years. Since 2009, when this survey began, a plurality of the public has regarded the party with disfavor, but over the past several months the gap has widened. Only 33 percent rate Republicans favorably now.

    There is a consensus among many Republican strategists, pollsters and politicians that Trump, with his exclusionary politics, harsh oratory and fondness for personal insult, has hurt the party's image.

    "This absolutely is hurting our brand," says former Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. "The question is how we unravel going forward. I fear the effects could be long-lasting. It's tragic."

    Some blame the Trump phenomenon on cable and broadcast television networks, saying they have abandoned their standards of newsworthiness to attract the big audiences he commands.

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!

Just Wondering

    It is fair to wonder if all those men so eager to protect women in their healthcare are as eager to help in other matters.  Do they do their share of the household responsibility?  Do they change the diapers of those babies they are so eager to have born?

    They certainly don't appear to be that eager about seeing that women get equal pay for comparable work.  It they were so concerned about fairness (as concerns women as they are for the "unborn") would not they be equally concerned that it is near mid-April before women's paychecks reach what men in comparable positions make by December 31 of the previous year?

    Nor has there been a rush for legislation requiring release of  information that would allow all to know of the discrepancy in pay.  Think Lilly Ledbetter who only found out how she had been cheated for years when some one slipped her an anonymous note.

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!