Showing 38 posts tagged Nation

Take, for example, what comes from an increasingly shrill conservative chorus. After eliminating most of the usual suspects, the source of our fiscal problem becomes pretty simple. Our debts can’t be the cumulative result of multiple tax cuts. The crisis has nothing to do with our ongoing, unnecessary and counterproductive wars. It can’t be the fault of the bankers and brokers who defrauded millions with securitized debt obligations based on bundling large numbers of “liars’ loans.” It probably has nothing to do with our failure to tax most Internet sales, and it certainly can’t be because hedge fund managers are allowed to treat a portion of their income as capital gains.

Instead, the cause identified by most Republican governors, legislators and pundits is simple; government spends too much, and a lot of the blame falls on the public service unions. Indeed, at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., one panel was titled “Bleeding America Dry: The Threat of Public Sector Unions.” That’s right: The firefighters, the police and the teachers are bleeding the country dry.

An inspiring former teacher of mine takes on anti-union sentiment in Truthdig. (via cmonstah)

Honestly, why isn’t this guy running for Senate somewhere?

(via cmonstah)

It was a society in stagnation, if not decline. Despite ostensible stability, its people — especially its young people — faced a future bleaker than the dark side of Pluto. For decades, the richest grew even richer, as national debt mounted, middle-class people tried to make ends meet, and upward mobility fell. Government failed to address these problems, and the governed felt increasingly disenfranchised — and partisan. Mass unemployment metastasized from a temporary illness to a chronic condition. One of its major cities decided to erect a permanent tent city, for a permanently excluded, marginalized underclass.

This isn’t Tunisia, or Egypt — but America.

Umair Haque, in an interesting HBR article, “Egypt’s Revolution: Coming to an Economy Near You.”  (via joshsternberg)
High-res inothernews:

The old Homeland Security color-coding system will be phased out by April, replaced by the new National Terrorism Advisory System, which will have two alerts: “elevated threat” and “imminent threat.”
When the threats aren’t in effect, our official state will be termed “readiness.”  And when the threats come from a mythical creature, we’ll be “LochNess.”
(Graphic via NBC News)

Um, where’s “No Threat”? Or “Made-Up Threat for Political Gain?”

inothernews:

The old Homeland Security color-coding system will be phased out by April, replaced by the new National Terrorism Advisory System, which will have two alerts: “elevated threat” and “imminent threat.”

When the threats aren’t in effect, our official state will be termed “readiness.”  And when the threats come from a mythical creature, we’ll be “LochNess.”

(Graphic via NBC News)

Um, where’s “No Threat”? Or “Made-Up Threat for Political Gain?”

High-res scribnerbooks:

babylonfalling:

Indian Tribal Lands 1493.
Click here to zoom.

Amazing and depressing. One of our favorite books last year? “Empire of the Summer Moon” which details the rise-and-fall of the Commanches. Here, they are just a section of a map. In reality, they were the best horseman who ever rode.  They “rolled the frontier backwards” defeating the Spanish, French, and Texans… but only for a time.

Second the Empire of the Summer Moon recommendation; a really nice read, and the story of Quanah Parker (and his mother, Cynthia Ann, who was the real-life inspiration for The Searchers) is amazing. 

scribnerbooks:

babylonfalling:

Indian Tribal Lands 1493.

Click here to zoom.

Amazing and depressing. One of our favorite books last year? “Empire of the Summer Moon” which details the rise-and-fall of the Commanches. Here, they are just a section of a map. In reality, they were the best horseman who ever rode.  They “rolled the frontier backwards” defeating the Spanish, French, and Texans… but only for a time.

Second the Empire of the Summer Moon recommendation; a really nice read, and the story of Quanah Parker (and his mother, Cynthia Ann, who was the real-life inspiration for The Searchers) is amazing. 

(via theatlantic)

I’ve heard district attorneys say something like “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we are going to ask you for the death penalty, because that is the only way to show how much we respect the innocent life that’s been taken.” Most people who make those kinds of rhetorical statements have never been there in the final hours and watched what it means to take people who are alive and strap them down to a gurney or in a chair and kill them. They are removed from the results of their actions.

Sister Helen Prejean, in an interview with The Sun, on one of the many twisted facets of the death penalty in America (via utnereader)

As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to [U.S. embassy economic officers] on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.

A recently leaked U.S. diplomatic cable from November 2008.  (via officialssay)

In which we learn the GOP has perhaps been taking cues from the Israelis…

Today in Excellent Investigative Reporting

This, from Washpost's Dana Priest and William Arkin on the U.S. government’s increasingly vast monitoring of its citizens, is pretty great. The toplevel bullet points:

* Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America.

* The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. It is accessible to an increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal investigators, increasing concerns that it could somehow end up in the public domain.

* Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies.

* The Department of Homeland Security sends its state and local partners intelligence reports with little meaningful guidance, and state reports have sometimes inappropriately reported on lawful meetings.

  • Washington Post