We support VA chief Shinseki He may be an easy target but he is not the source of current Veterans Affairs problems. As stated by Gen. Barry McCaffrey, “He is determined, focused and wants to factually understand a problem so he can get a sensible solution.” He is a soft-spoken soldier who does not pound the table or raise his voice. In 2003 he stood up to Rumsfeld when he said thousands more troops would be needed to secure postwar Iraq. For that he lost his job but not his integrity. We do not want a competent and honest man to be replaced with a glad-hand politician.
We're shocked that 275 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by militants. We realize politics there are extremely turbulent, but it's unconscionable for children to be used as bargaining chips. We support the protesting >Nigerians that demand more government and military attention in this matter!
RIP Al Feldstein The activists of the 60’s got their early exposure to satire and inept government from the pages of Mad Magazine. Al cared about humor, kids and country and he made a difference.
We're 100% for personal expression. That said, if anyone's gonna call Obama un-Presidential for his Two Ferns interview, they better be calling Dubya's amateur painting exhibition downright anti-Presidential! 50 more years down this road and ex-Presidents will be showcasing their coloring book work!
America's congress, a sad but true April Fool (from Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader)
We need to stop long-term solitary confinement. As Americans, we're above torturing prisoners in this brutal way. It just feeds a cycle of violent behavior and a culture of punitive destruction that ends up making its way onto streets and local precincts. It's just another way being tough on crime has not only backfired, but turned us from the values this country is founded upon.
Obama's termination of the NSA's bulk phone metadata collection is a significant step forward! We're relieved to see it happen. However, the greater problem goes on: that there is little transparency or oversight of the FISC and other secret powers granted by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Fixing that is how we repair our damaged democracy.
Obama needs to stop the publicity stunts and focus on things more presidential than dumb talk shows. What a waste of time and energy!
Between Kaiser Permanente and the Affordable Care Act more >Americans have the opportunity for quality health care. And that's a big win for everyone.
Mexico’s Avocado cartels >Americans, particularly >foodies, face another dilemma as conscience shoppers; are we supporting violence against Mexican farmers and workers by snacking on our beloved guacamole? The Knights Templar, one of Mexico’s most violent gangs, extorts nearly every working citizen in many areas of Michoacan. Through kidnapping, assault and intimidation they collect at least 10% of earnings from everyone in the avocado business: from growers, pickers, truckers and exporters to sellers of pesticides and other farm products. We praise brave >Mexicans as they band together in armed citizen defense groups and begin to openly oppose the gang. Their actions have forced the Mexican government, notoriously corrupt at every level, to finally stand up to the cartel and provide additional support to the people of Michoacan. Thanks to KCRW for the broadcast on their Good Food blog: “Jose de Cordoba: Avocado Cartels”
>Americans and >Environmentalists love Bald Eagles, but none more so than Pittsburghers who have a nesting pair within city limits incubating three eggs. Bald Eagles had been absent from the Pittsburgh area for about 250 years but thanks to reintroduction efforts, which began 30 years ago, there are currently nests on all three rivers according to the Audubon Society of Western Penna. Outsiders may be surprised to learn of the nesting eagles within city limits but Pittsburghers are well familiar with the wildlife that exists in their many wooded areas. Not the least of which are wild turkeys, another majestic bird that, if Benjamin Franklin had his way, would have replaced the Bald Eagle as our national symbol. Click the link to see live activity from the Hays Bald Eagle cam.
Twelve Years a Slave >Americans, do not let this film go down as one of the best pictures never seen. Story, acting, and cinematography are undeniably first class. This film should be seen soon while it is still available on the big screen. It is to >Americans shame that the domestic gross for the Best Picture of 2013 should fall at number 69.
Putin's aggression against >Ukrainians continues to undermine his oft-repeated claim that >Russians play by the international rules. Which just validates our own sidestepping of treaty and protocol. All of which concerns us because it may be setting the region up for a destructive confrontation. Hopefully Ukrainians can find a middle ground between Western and Russian alignment.
Good job, kids! Keep it up!
Programming languages are not foreign languages, just as mathematics, sheet music, and art are not foreign languages. Specifically, programming languages don't have anywhere near the expressive power of natural languages, nor are they formed by thousands of years of cultural history. Kids need to become computer literate, no question about that. But this shouldn't come at the expense of exposure to foreign cultures. In fact, we need to ensure our kids are getting more exposure to other cultures, as the globe becomes smaller and smaller.
We must not ignore the >North-Koreans.
Nothing on Earth compares to the horrifying scale of inhumanity there, and the extent of oppression and despair that render them incapable of revolution. We must not mistake their inaction for satisfaction with their condition. As free people in the most powerful country on Earth, it is *our* duty to come to their aid.
Michael Kirby of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in DPRK, summed up the imperative: "At the end of the second world war, so many people said, 'If only we had known. If only we had known the wrongs that were done...' Well now, the international community does know. There will be no excusing a failure of action."
For starters, let's pressure our government to hold the >Chinese accountable for abetting this regime. Let's support NGOs, such as LibertyInNorthKo
"We are, after all, connected."
It was an impressively beautiful opening ceremony, projecting the high culture and artistry of Russia more than their international power (risked life of 11-year-old notwithstanding). On a stage like this, it's understandable that they presented Soviet-era brutality in very abstract terms. But even in those terms, some of the scenes were very utilitarian, cold and almost unhuman, making them some of the darkest in recent Olympics opening ceremony performances. Overall, fine job, >Russians.
We find the treatment of gays in Russia horrifying. (See attached video.) This is not a civil society. This is a backward-looking society that refuses to accept reality of any kind. It doesn't look like this will change anytime soon. The struggle for equality continues in America, and the gains currently achieved were hard-won. But with proactive government opposition, it seems the struggle will be much harder in Russia. The only recourse may unfortunately be to wait for the culture of the >Russians that champions conformity and nationalism to reach some self-destructive extreme, after which the pendulum of civility can swing back the other way.
This is going to be one *interesting* Olympics.
We call for Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Visa, all sponsors of the International Olympic Committee, to take a stand against Russian anti-LGBT law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” We praise AT&T for acknowledging that "Russia’s law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it’s harmful to a diverse society."
The Keystone XL impact report is a farce! Anything that keeps us hooked on fossil fuels will have a significant, negative impact on the environment in the long term. The government is the only entity capable of impeding this project for the public good, since corporations can be relied on to fight tirelessly and solely for their own profit. Further, the main corporate beneficiary (TransCanada) is not even an American entity! >Americans are selling out their kids for Canada's sake?! (No offense, >Canadians.)
You all are out of your minds. Promises he has no intention of meeting? He could meet these things if there was a little more cooperation from Congressional >Republicans. Instead, the last 5 years, Republicans have followed the lead of the >Tea-Party, with their fingers-in-the-ears-"We're not listening" strategy to lawmaking, burning up precious time and opportunities to help the economy. What you call shredding the Constitution, hard-working >Americans call a practical response to an impractical Congress. Executive orders have firm legal precedent, as do rule changes in the Senate. You need to raise your fact-checking standards before tossing around words like "impeach."
We're ready for the SOTU!
Obama's a miserable failure. He just repeats policy goals ad nauseam, knowing he'll never fulfill them. They're just meaningless noises coming out of his mouth, that the ignorant among us somehow find placating and soothing and eloquent. How's that eloquence helping out with your joblessness? Is it "eloquent" to spout lies about climate change? More like insulting! We need to stop cutting him slack and recognize the egregious harm he's done to this country. The Constitution is in tatters and he's responsible. He has no respect for us and it's time he's been impeached!