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Jul 17, 15

One can hate Democrats, disagree with Obama on big issues, dislike his style or be disappointed the excitement of his election didn't last. But his accomplishments, ambitious goals, dignity and honesty under tough circumstances demand admiration and appreciation.

This is, of course, perverse liberal-media propaganda to conservative Obama-haters. It's wobbly centrism to a left-flank frustrated Obama hasn't done more for them. And it's naïve hot air to Washington's political clans that think Obama doesn't play the game well.

Obama has weathered a recession, invisible racism, a reckless Republican Congress, a lily-livered Democratic Party, attacks from the richest pressure groups ever (Super PACs) and a 24/7, ADHD press corps under existential pressure to deliver page views and Nielsen ratings. He has done it with the "No Drama Obama" style that befits the office.

Jul 12, 15

"Governmental use of such symbolism, however, is another matter entirely. When a sizable portion of the population reasonably construes a symbol as being hateful, decency dictates that it be removed from the governmental realm. In the meantime, Southerners with a fixation on Confederate symbols might want to take a cue from their German counterparts. There are ways of remembering one’s ancestors and honoring the noble aspects of one’s culture without also exalting the despicable."

Jul 08, 15

The Congressional Research Service found that the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit in the category that fits Trump’s description: aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder, drug trafficking or illegal trafficking of firearms.

CRS also found that non-citizens make up a smaller percentage of the inmate population in state prisons and jails, compared to their percentage to the total U.S. population.

Jul 08, 15

ZEIT: Many Germans believe that the Greeks still have not recognized their mistakes and want to continue their free-spending ways.

Piketty: If we had told you Germans in the 1950s that you have not properly recognized your failures, you would still be repaying your debts. Luckily, we were more intelligent than that.

ZEIT: The German Minister of Finance, on the other hand, seems to believe that a Greek exit from the Eurozone could foster greater unity within Europe.

Piketty: If we start kicking states out, then the crisis of confidence in which the Eurozone finds itself today will only worsen. Financial markets will immediately turn on the next country. This would be the beginning of a long, drawn-out period of agony, in whose grasp we risk sacrificing Europe’s social model, its democracy, indeed its civilization on the altar of a conservative, irrational austerity policy.

ZEIT: Do you believe that we Germans aren’t generous enough?

Piketty: What are you talking about? Generous? Currently, Germany is profiting from Greece as it extends loans at comparatively high interest rates.

Jul 02, 15

[Trolling] gives people the false sense that they are not ultimately responsible for what they say. It's not surprising that if you push back, [some] people get embarrassed or apologize. Then there are other types who, when you push back, just get angrier. We saw that with Gamergate [in 2014, women commenting on sexism in the video-game business were harassed in an online campaign that included threats of rape and death]. Women were standing up for themselves and then you had this swarm just looking for an excuse to go after a woman; the worst kind of bigotry. That's not trolling; that's violent misogyny.

Jul 02, 15

"The success of women's soccer in the U.S. had a lot to do with the implementation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs -- including both public and private schools that receive federal funds.

After Title IX went fully into effect in 1978, women’s soccer grew like crazy in the U.S. As Benjamin Morris of FiveThirtyEight writes, the number of women playing high school soccer in the U.S. rose from just a few tens of thousands in the late 1970s to about 375,000 today. More female high schoolers still play basketball and volleyball, but soccer may be set to overtake those sports in a decade or two.

And there’s actually another side to the story – it’s not just that the U.S. is doing much better at encouraging its women and girls to play soccer, it’s also that other countries have been shockingly bad. According to FIFA, only about 12 percent of youth soccer players are girls. And the U.S. makes up more than half of that total, says Morris."

Jul 01, 15

Uh, no...

"“Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous.”

That, right there, seems to be the heart of the problem. Moore and his lawyer are under the impression that the United States is a theocracy. It’s this assumption that leads them to believe public officials – judges, governors, county clerks, et al – are obligated to follow religious dictates, as defined by Moore and his lawyer’s interpretation of Scripture."

Jun 07, 15

"Weissbourd and his cohorts have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way.

“Children are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood,” the researchers write."

May 31, 15

"Since 2012, the BBS has embraced direct action, following the example of other like-minded groups. It raided Muslim-owned slaughter-houses claiming, incorrectly, that they were breaking the law. Members demonstrated outside a law college alleging, again incorrectly, that exam results were being distorted in favour of Muslims.

Now that a Tamil adversary has been defeated, Muslims seem to be these nationalists' main target, along with evangelical Christians whom they accuse of deceitfully and cunningly converting people away from Buddhism."

May 29, 15

"For these purposes, it doesn't even really matter whether you think these incidents are the product of ingrained racial bias or the perception of racial bias projected onto incidents which have no connection to it. The perception explains the reaction. Again, not complicated."

May 13, 15

"In a press conference at the South Carolina Freedom Summit — hosted by Citizens United and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) — Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told reporters that Christians face persecution in the United States. But when a journalist pressed Blackburn for examples of Christian persecution on American soil, Blackburn could cite nary an example, the Huffington Post reports."

May 12, 15

In short, most white Americans are like that friend you have, or perhaps relative, who never went to medical school, but went to Google this morning and now feels certain he or she is perfectly qualified to diagnose your every pain and discomfort. As with your friend and the med school to which they never gained entry, most white folks never took classes on the history of racial domination and subordination, but are sure we know more about it than those who actually did---who more than merely taking the class actually lived the subject matter---and whose very lives have depended upon something far greater than a mere pass-fail arrangement. One wonders (or perhaps most don’t and that is the problem) how a person can attain the age of adulthood and be viewed as educated, as remotely competent to engage with their society, to vote, to participate in the lifeblood of American democracy while knowing nothing of the lived experiences of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen?

Apr 24, 15

2. Don’t try to heal people with disabilities with health foods, essential oils or yoga.

DragoonDM: Paralyzed from the waist down, eh? You know, a raw food diet would clear that right up in no time. Cleans all the toxins right out and lets your body's natural healing processes kick in.

Apr 18, 15

"Today it’s becoming the cry of the privileged and powerful concerning what they can deny someone else because of religious beliefs." Corey Fields, associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.

Apr 06, 15

Einstein continued to support progressive causes through the 1950s, when the pressure of anti-Communist witch hunts made it dangerous to do so. Another example of Einstein using his prestige to help a prominent African American occurred in 1951, when the 83-year-old W.E.B. Du Bois, a founder of the NAACP, was indicted by the federal government for failing to register as a "foreign agent" as a consequence of circulating the pro-Soviet Stockholm Peace Petition. Einstein offered to appear as a character witness for Du Bois, which convinced the judge to drop the case.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/einstein.asp#gH20XykmkxYe8Ghk.99

Apr 06, 15

"Stroup knew from his experience teaching impoverished students in inner-city Boston, Mexico City and North Texas that students could improve their mastery of a subject by more than 15 percent in a school year, but the tests couldn’t measure that change. Stroup came to believe that the biggest portion of the test scores that hardly changed—that 72 percent—simply measured test-taking ability. For almost $100 million a year, Texas taxpayers were sold these tests as a gauge of whether schools are doing a good job. Lawmakers were using the wrong tool. "

Apr 06, 15

"The Supreme Court itself has suggested that the implications of Hobby Lobby were broader than Alito originally let on. Just days after the decision, the Court’s majority allowed Wheaton College, which is religiously oriented, to refuse to fill out a form asking for an exemption from the birth-control mandate—while retaining the exemption. There is another case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, which is also pending, where a religious order asserts that the filling out of a form (which, if granted, would exempt them from the law’s requirements) violates their rights.

If just filling out a form can count as a “substantial burden,” it’s hard to imagine any obligation that would not."

Apr 06, 15

"There is no way—NO way—that the farthest of the far left is anything like the farthest of the far right. The former seems annoying while it once in a while manages to get something done, while the latter is dangerous. The right is so listed, so skewed, so radically outrageous when compared to the far left that any attempt at equivalency is rather like comparing a mosquito bite to a swift and vicious testicular whomping. One’s a bit of an itch you feel compelled to scratch at while the other is so devastating you wonder whether you’ll ever sire children (provided you can even manage to get up off the floor). Not the same thing. Not at all.

Don’t believe me? Then let me ask you this one question: How many elected far-leftists are there in Congress these days? (And note the use of the word “far.”) There are leftists, certainly. Likely all the Democrats are certainly left of center (else why would they be Democrats?), but you have to go all the way to Bernie Sanders to find an actual socialist. Some might argue Elizabeth Warren is pretty far tilted (I might even argue it myself), but there is nothing—NOTHING—equivalent to the Ted Cruz’s, Marco Rubio’s, and Rand Paul’s of the Senate, nor to any member of the recently formed (and ironically named) “Freedom Caucus.”"

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