Independence Day’s Importance
Jul04

Independence Day’s Importance

Independence Day’s Importance By Tom Purcell “Beer, family gatherings and fireworks! Gosh, I love the Fourth of July!” “Ah, yes, you unwittingly illustrate a growing challenge with Independence Day: too many Americans are unaware of the holiday’s real importance.” “That there are also terrific mattress sales?” “A few years ago, a Marist Poll asked Americans which year the United...

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Trump: A farce to be reckoned with
Jul04

Trump: A farce to be reckoned with

WASHINGTON — Anxiety-ridden GOP masterminds will eventually find a way to solve the Trump Problem. Until they do, however, the Republican Party threatens to become as much of a laughingstock as what David Letterman used to call “that thing on Donald Trump’s head.” Suddenly, according to recent polls, the iconically coiffed mogul has to be taken … how, exactly? Obviously it’s not possible to take...

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Happy 4th of July
Jul03

Happy 4th of July

OK, yes it is the same picture I use every year but I really don’t have a better one.  It represents the soul of this aging hippie.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this country.  I just don’t always like what it...

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George Takei Apologizes for Offensive Remarks about Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jul03

George Takei Apologizes for Offensive Remarks about Justice Clarence Thomas.

This post started out as a critique of two of the Supreme Court Justices who dissented on the same-sex marriage decision –especially Justice Clarence Thomas’ misuse of the “human dignity” concept in is dissent. It was quickly overtaken by emotional and offensive comments by actor and gay rights advocate George Takei. See Updates II and III below. Takei has now finally posted an apology on his FaceBook page. It is posted below....

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Greek catastrophe and Euro creditor’s rage (Grexit, Part 1/2)
Jul03

Greek catastrophe and Euro creditor’s rage (Grexit, Part 1/2)

Greece is on the edge of economic and social catastrophe which all the kings men may not be able to put together again for decades. Experts and historians will strive for years to apportion blame for the unfolding human tragedy in the cradle of European civilization. It is happening despite Europe’s longest ever era of peace, prosperity and broad-based social uplift. All financial spigots for Greece have been firmly turned off. The...

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Grexit and the stakes for Europe (Grexit, Part 2/2)
Jul03

Grexit and the stakes for Europe (Grexit, Part 2/2)

A Grexit would strike at the heart of public perceptions about Europe’s most inspiring project to finally end wars and build peace through voluntary cooperation among peoples long divided by blood-soaked mistrust. That project was the 28-nation European Union bolstered later by a 19-member Euro currency zone. It is a monument to the political will of peoples to erase enmities that caused the death of at least 70 million in Europe’s...

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Greece: with referendum looming ‘Yes’ vote ahead, opinion poll suggests
Jul03

Greece: with referendum looming ‘Yes’ vote ahead, opinion poll suggests

Just days before Sunday’s (July 5) referendum in Greece, a new opinion poll suggest the ‘Yes’ camp has pulled 1.4 percent ahead in what has been a close-run race. A previous poll put the ‘No’ vote in the lead. In a referendum which could determine the country’s future in Europe, Greeks will be asked to...

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High Court strikes a blow against congressional gerrymandering (Guest Voice)
Jul03

High Court strikes a blow against congressional gerrymandering (Guest Voice)

In case you missed it — and most Americans did — there was a third significant ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court at the end of June. It received the least media attention, but it may eventually affect more citizens directly than the decisions upholding Obamacare and greenlighting same-sex marriage. The case in question weighed...

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Liberated by grace
Jul03

Liberated by grace

WASHINGTON — For those who see religion as primarily an opiate, African-American Christianity offers a riposte. For those who see Christianity itself as a faith that encourages quiescence and conservatism, the tradition of the black church is a sign of contradiction. Over the last few weeks, white Americans who never paid much attention to the religious convictions of their brothers and sisters of color have received an...

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Marriage: What does love have to do with it? (Guest Voice)
Jul02

Marriage: What does love have to do with it? (Guest Voice)

Marriage: What does love have to do with it? by David Robertson To people born and raised in modern-day Western societies, marrying for love is considered a given. After all, doesn’t everyone marry for love? Well, no. Actually, the idea of marrying for love is a rather modern concept. Ghose (2013) writes, “Marriage is a truly ancient institution that predates recorded history. But early marriage was seen as a strategic alliance...

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ISIS Threats Cause Law Enforcement to Boost July 4th Security
Jul02

ISIS Threats Cause Law Enforcement to Boost July 4th Security

Law enforcement agencies are beefing up security nationwide this July 4th holiday due to ongoing terrorist threats from the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, among others. Additional police are being sent to prominent locations, such as Washington, D.C., to closely monitor potential targets, like landmarks, houses of worship and theaters. Radiation detection units, bomb-sniffing...

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Politix Update: The Republican Party’s Very Bad Case Of Future Shock
Jul01

Politix Update: The Republican Party’s Very Bad Case Of Future Shock

How can Republicans avoid losing the popular vote in 2016 for the sixth time in seven elections when the party is not only increasingly out of step with public opinion but seems determined to look back and not forward? Polls show widespread support for increasing the minimum wage. The Republican Party is opposed. For a more inclusive immigration policy. Ditto. For access to health care. Ditto. For addressing climate change. Ditto....

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No backlash, Mr. Chief Justice (Guest Voice)
Jul01

No backlash, Mr. Chief Justice (Guest Voice)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a fill-in column for a vacationing columnist, so it’s in the original byline spot. No backlash, Mr. Chief Justice by Ruth Marcus Washington Post Writers Group Columnist WASHINGTON — Writing a judicial opinion can be like fencing. One of the most effective ways to jab at an opponent is to use his — or her — words to make your own case. Thus, Chief Justice John Roberts, warning in the...

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Greece In Arrears
Jul01

Greece In Arrears

The International Monetary Fund confirmed Tuesday that Greece missed its scheduled $1.5 billion debt repayment, becoming the first advanced economy to default in the IMF’s seven-decade history. In a statement, the IMF also confirmed that it had received a further bailout request from the Greeks, “which will go to the Executive Board in due course.”...

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Religious and gay rights must coexist (Guest Voice)
Jun30

Religious and gay rights must coexist (Guest Voice)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a vacation replacement column for Eugene Robinson. Due to technical issues it’s run in the slot for his column. But it’s by Michael Gerson. Religious and gay rights must coexist by Michael Gerson WASHINGTON — It is often the fate of conservatives to be concerned about the fire code and occupancy limit at someone else’s party. Never more conspicuously than concerning the Supreme...

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NBCUniversal Says ‘Adios’ To Donald Trump; Cuts Ties With Presidential Candidate
Jun30

NBCUniversal Says ‘Adios’ To Donald Trump; Cuts Ties With Presidential Candidate

Not even a week has passed by since Univision made the decision to cut ties with Donald Trump. Now, NBCUniverseal has taken the same step. The network announced Monday that it’s ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump following the recent remarks he made about Mexicans during his presidential kickoff speech, where he referred to...

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Greece in shock as banks closed after snap referendum call
Jun29

Greece in shock as banks closed after snap referendum call

By Karolina Tagaris and Michele Kambas ATHENS (Reuters) – Stunned Greeks faced shuttered banks, long supermarkets lines and overwhelming uncertainty on Monday as a breakdown in talks between Athens and its international creditors plunged the country deep into crisis. With Greece’s bailout expiring on June 30 and an IMF payment falling due at the same time, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pleaded by phone with European...

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The acceleration of history
Jun29

The acceleration of history

WASHINGTON — Sometimes history speeds up. Rarely in our nation’s 239 years of life has a single week brought such a surge of social change and such a sweeping set of challenges to past assumptions. The move against the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina quickly cascaded into a national effort to cast aside commemorations of secession, slavery and white supremacy. This was more than symbolism. It represented...

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Politix Update: Fuggedabout The Here And Now, It’s All About The Legacy, Dude
Jun29

Politix Update: Fuggedabout The Here And Now, It’s All About The Legacy, Dude

The lineage of the term Obamacare pretty much tells you all you need to know about how history will view President Barack Obama. That is to say, what his legacy will be. In a (relatively) short five years, Obamacare has morphed from having a Republican-driven derogatory connotation to being an appropriate honorific for the man who against formidable odds has finally brought meaningful reform to a vastly dysfunctional sector of the...

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Eastern Washington town threatened by wild fire
Jun29

Eastern Washington town threatened by wild fire

2:05 am Pacific A fire that started around 2:30 p.m. in 108 degree heat on Sunday threatens homes and businesses in Wenatchee, WA. My initial photos from the brush fire threatening 60 homes near Sunnyslope https://t.co/jUcfMK2YBW #wenworld pic.twitter.com/NsavuKX9u5 — Reilly Kneedler (@reillykneedler) June 29, 2015 The #SleepyHollowFire has spread to more than 1,800 acres. According to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office,...

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