Archives for Opinion

What about the anti-jihadists?

As the UN Security Council tackles the entity claiming to be “Islamic State,” and President Barack Obama invokes global Muslim responsibility, many ask whether people of Muslim heritage do enough to counter extremism. The fact is, away from the media spotlight, thousands wage daily battles in their own countries against what President Obama called a “network of death.” Unfortunately, jihadists make headlines while those who wage the anti-jihad rarely do. After all, everyone has heard of Osama bin Laden, but few know of those standing up to would-be bin Ladens across the globe. There is a long, untold history of
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Is it possible to protect the President or White House?

When an armed intruder jumped the fence and penetrated deep into the White House, it provided a field day for cartoonists and some members of the House of Representatives — who turned Julia Pierson, the hapless Secret Service director, into a piñata at a hearing Tuesday. President Barack Obama and his family, fortunately, had left for the weekend before the intrusion. Omar J. Gonzalez, an Iraq Army veteran, said he wanted to warn the president,  ”the atmosphere was collapsing.” But the incident raised serious questions about the chief executive’s safety in his own home. The White House is usually described
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Obama’s rock and a hard place with airstrikes

The White House is in a difficult spot when it comes to Syria. Not only is the United States at war with Islamic State, one of President Bashar al-Assad’s foes, but U.S. aircraft are also flying through the same airspace, and focused on part of the same mission,  as the Syrian Air Force. Even stranger, President Barack Obama came close to ordering airstrikes against Assad last year after a chemical attack in a Damascus suburb. Meanwhile, opponents in Congress want the president to go farther — either invading Syria outright or imposing a no-fly zone that would target the regime’s
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Capitol Hill Blue: 20 years and counting

My God, has it been 20 years?  Yep.  To the day. On the morning of Oct. 1, 1994, I logged on to PSI Net, my Internet Service Provider (ISP) at the time and the email said I now had free web space now as part of the package of $19.95 a month of service through a modem connection. I had a web page for my free-lance writing and photography business but it was rudimentary, lacking in originality and low on content. But for reasons that are long forgotten, I sat down in the den of our condo in Arlington, Virginia,
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GOP taking the Senate? Don’t bet on it yet

Establishment Republicans should keep the champagne on ice until after the midterm elections. Too many are already popping corks, pronouncing their strategy of “crushing” the Tea Party during the primaries as a crucial step in their successful takeover of the U.S. Senate. There are increasing signs, however, that the GOP might not take control of the Senate and may only make modest gains in the House of Representatives. In states like North Carolina, for example, the GOP candidate hasn’t shown the ability to wage a major-league campaign. In other key battleground states, the establishment GOP is supporting problematic candidates, like
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Turn out the lights. The tea party is over

Voters Tuesday sent a strong message to the once-formidable tea party:  We don’t like you and we don’t want you representing us in Congress. Tea party candidates lost big in Senate primaries in Kentucky and Georgia as GOP voters rallied behind “establishment” party candidates who  stand a better chance of running strong against Democratic candidates in the fall and, possibly, giving the party of the elephant control of the Senate. In Kentucky, where the tea party hoped to knock off long-time nemesis and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, their candidate Matt Bevin didn’t even come close as McConnell racked up
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America today goes far beyond black and white

America is growing too complicated and mixed — very brown, I would say. Everyone is becoming everything. And the old man was a fool not to see it. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is on record pleading with his companion, V. Stiviano, not to be seen in public with black people and certainly not to post pictures of herself on the Internet with black athletes — particularly Magic Johnson. But the most ironic thing about his comments is that Sterling was often seen and photographed at Clippers games sitting alongside Stiviano, a woman much younger than he and who
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Racism and hatred of government go hand and hand

Conservatives would like us to believe that hatred of government and racism are totally separate phenomena. That one has nothing to do with the other. They’re wrong. Resentment of the federal government and racism have gone hand-in-hand in the United States for 200 years. In the 19th century, Democrats were the anti-government party. That was the legacy of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.  Southern slave owners embraced the Democratic Party because they feared the federal government would take away their property without compensation. And it did. Southerners rallied to the cause of “states’ rights” because it meant the preservation of
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Race is increasingly significant

Behind every Supreme Court decision is a sociology of ordinary life. Opinions reveal the justices’ view of what’s what in the world, how people act and why things change. Justices probably prefer that we focus on their legal analyses, but we can glean the sociology behind their assumptions. Last week, judicial world views spun into interplanetary conflict when the court voted to affirm Michigan’s vote to bar all consideration of race, gender, ethnicity, color or national origin in public decision-making, including in state college admissions. The justices based their decision on a novel faith in the democratic process, which Justice
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Cliven Bundy: A counterfeit hero

The shelf life of heroes isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, a hero would burst upon the scene — a Charles A. Lindbergh, a Babe Ruth, a Red Grange, an Audie Murphy, a Neil Armstrong — and he would not only receive reverent acclaim, that acclaim would last for decades. Sometimes forever. Not anymore. Now we live in a world of false heroes — people who have done nothing to deserve their heroism save for capturing media attention or satisfying a group of the like-minded. So they come — and inevitably, they go. Just last week,
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