Visual source: Newseum
Memorial Day was, in its beginnings, a popular observance that developed spontaneously after the Civil War, when families began the custom of decorating the graves of their Union and Confederate dead on one particular day or another in springtime. These were people who could have had no illusions about the glories of war or the greatness of any Cause — not after approximately 620,000 dead and who knows how many more physically maimed, disabled or “casualties of the spirit.”Tom Manion:
Memorial Day was not then, and is not today, about victories won, national glory or the greatness of the armed forces. It is essentially the fulfillment of a personal obligation to remember — to say of someone we knew, or loved or whose name we read on a plaque or whose troubled face we see in a long-ago documentary film: You lost all, or nearly all, before your time had come, but you shall not be forgotten.
I served in the military for 30 years. But it was impossible to fully understand the sacrifices of our troops and their families until April 29, 2007, the day my son, First Lt. Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq. [...]Bobby Shriver wants the administration to match its words on behalf of veterans with more action:
As the father of a fallen Marine, I hope Americans will treat this Memorial Day as more than a time for pools to open, for barbecues or for a holiday from work. It should be a solemn day to remember heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and also a stark reminder that our country is still at war.
According to the latest count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the number of homeless individuals in Los Angeles County dropped by 3% between 2009 and 2011. The numbers declined for all groups except one: veterans. There were 9,000 homeless veterans here in 2011, a 24% increase over 2009. And the number of chronically homeless veterans — individuals who are homeless because of severe mental disabilities — increased by more than 100%, from 1,243 to 2,520.Paul Krugman:
Here’s the story: For some time now Mr. Christie has been touting what he calls the “Jersey comeback.” Even before his latest outburst, it was hard to see what he was talking about: yes, there have been some job gains in the McMansion State since Mr. Christie took office, but they have lagged gains both in the nation as a whole and in New York and Connecticut, the obvious points of comparison.George Will claims liberals' "clumsy attempts to bend the chief justice [in the decision on health care coverage] are apt to reveal his spine of steel."
Yet Mr. Christie has been adamant that New Jersey is on the way back, and that this makes room for, you guessed it, tax cuts that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
Last week reality hit: David Rosen, the state’s independent, nonpartisan budget analyst, told legislators that the state faces a $1.3 billion shortfall. How did the governor respond?
First, by attacking the messenger.
Linda Chavez does a bit of overreach by saying Walker's "medicine" has made Wisconsin economically healthier:
If Walker does survive the recall election June 5, it will put the state of Wisconsin in political play for the GOP in the presidential election. It seemed unlikely that Wisconsin, which went for President Obama by 14 points in 2008, would be a tossup this year. But the Republican base has been energized by the unions' attempt to oust Walker. Independents, and even some fiscally conservative Democrats, may also jump ship from Obama in the fall. If so, the electoral map looks better for Mitt Romney, which is why some in the Obama campaign are worried that their friends in the labor movement may have overreached.Adam Serwer:
[L]iberals' uncritical embrace of the Obama administration's widespread use of targeted killing represents a significant departure from their stated values. Although the ethics of targeted killing don't parallel the ethics of torture (except as far as disclosure is concerned), they do resemble the ethical debate around detention. For most of the Bush administration, liberals fought against President Bush's attempt to place suspected terror detainees in a legal black hole without habeas rights. Bush's critics understood that the concept of membership in a terrorist group is far more nebulous than being a soldier in a uniformed military. Establishing that the individuals we're treating as terrorists are actually terrorists is therefore a moral imperative.Greg Kaufman:
With targeted killing, the same issues are at play. Unlike detention, however, the results of targeted killing are irreversible. Dead is dead. And the collateral damage is considerably greater, because civilians can be killed along with the target. Osama bin Laden's death was the most justifiable use of targeted killing in the past decade, but he's obviously also a unique case.
For two years running Houston has added more millionaires to its population than any other city in the United States. Near-millionaires are enjoying some nice upward mobility, especially those involved in the oil and gas industry.Katha Pollitt:
Low-wage workers, on the other hand, aren’t faring too well in the city. In fact, a recent report from Houston Interfaith Worker Justice (HIWJ) estimates that low-wage workers lose $753.2 million annually due to wage theft. Wage theft can occur in many ways, including: workers being denied the minimum wage or overtime pay; stolen tips; illegal deductions from paychecks; people being forced to work off the clock; or workers getting misclassified as independent contractors so they aren’t entitled to overtime or benefits.
Earlier this spring, Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” for arguing that contraception should be covered by health insurance. This week, Larry Flynt PhotoShopped a picture of conservative pundit S.E. Cupp to look like she had a penis in her mouth and published it in Hustler as “satire’—Cupp wants to defund Planned Parenthood, you see. No? I didn’t either. This degrading image has nothing to do with political satire and everything to do with wanting to put an outspoken woman in her place—on her knees with a dick in her mouth to shut her up. It’s a pornographic version of “Iron my shirt” and “Make me a sammich.”Alexandra Petri:
Hustler may not be a beacon of the liberal media, as conservatives are gleefully claiming—but it’s all too maddeningly true that misogyny can be found all over the political spectrum, and needs to be denounced, by both men and women, wherever it appears. When it comes to women exercising their right to participate in public debate, we are all Sandra Fluke, and we are all S.E. Cupp as well.
Is there any public figure so deeply and uniformly despised as John Edwards?Nicky Clark:
This is a rhetorical question. The answer is no.
Offered the choice of taking a cross-country road-trip with a human-sized cockroach or the former Kerry vice presidential candidate, most people, after a brief moment of internal struggle, would choose the cockroach. “Maybe we could discuss Kafka,” they would suggest, timidly.
Banter is a very odd thing. As an activity it provides a handy shelter for bigots to flex their anti PC brigade muscles and to prove to their friends that they fell out of the funny tree and hit every branch on the way down. What it is not alledgedly is subjective. Anyone who questions the banter status quo is immediately deemed humourless. I’ve seen it used to shield people from accusations of racism, homophobia, disablism and sexism and it’s the latter, which as a 45 year old woman, I’ve witnessed most.
After a particularly unedifying spectacle of banter bigotry (or to use one of its correct title – sexism) on Twitter recently, I decided to compile a satirical list of rules on banter bigotry for sexists. One for every year I’ve been a justifiable punchline, by virtue of my gender.
Posted: 2012-05-28 07:30:05
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