We were left wondering why a man who served 16 terms in Congress and who bravely came out as gay all the way back in 1987 felt the need to hide his atheism until he was out of office. Was it really harder to come out as an atheist politician in 2013 than as a gay one 25 years ago? Incredibly, the answer might be yes. For starters, consider that there is not a single self-described atheist in Congress today. Not one.
posted by Chrysostom
on Dec 10, 2013 -
The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected
, marijuana legalized for the first time
in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters
in four, and even the first openly gay senator
. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America
as the long-fabled 51st state
How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama
and Republican leaders
have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit
to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state
, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]
And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state
, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative
governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño
appears headed toward a narrow loss
. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag?
(Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 7, 2012 -
There is a bitter feud
between the two women who are trying to gain supremacy in the battle to make all of the Tea Party's travel arrangements.
posted by reenum
on Aug 9, 2010 -
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 14, 2009 -
A simple question shows how complex the issue is.
Chris at "Cynical C" asks his fellow citizens where they get thier health care (insurance) from and the incredible diversity of the current options and situations is immediately apparent. Quite spontaneously (but surely not unexpectedly), the question of "How much does it cost you?" becomes an essential part of the answers. Outsiders opine and tell stories and commiserate. [more inside]
posted by sid abotu
on Aug 4, 2009 -
The Iron Heel
, published a century ago this year, is a novel by Jack London about socialist revolution in the United States. It is set mostly between 1912 and 1932, with a foreword and numerous footnotes written from the point of view of a historian who has just discovered the manuscript some 700 years later. Here is an excerpt (which is printed on the back cover of some editions) from chapter five:
"This, then, is our answer. We have no words to waste on you. When you reach out your vaunted strong hands for our palaces and purpled ease, we will show you what strength is. In roar of shell and shrapnel and in whine of machine-guns will our answer be couched. We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain. As for the host of labor, it has been in the dirt since history began, and I
read history aright. And in the dirt it shall remain so long as I and mine and those that come after us have the power. There is the word. It is the king of words--Power. Not God, not Mammon, but Power. Pour it over your tongue till it tingles with it. Power."
posted by finite
on Oct 10, 2008 -
has the only unicameral, non-partisan legislature in the United States. Created by constitutional amendment in 1935, Nebraska's legislature gained brief influence as a model of legislative politics after the "one man, one vote"
Supreme Court rulings in the mid-60s. Many states had not reapportioned their districts for years, creating an imbalance
in state and national legislative politics. The Supreme Court ruling
which sparked the brief campaign for unicameral legislatures.
posted by Captaintripps
on Nov 7, 2005 -
A Nation of Faith and Religious Illiterates
The sociologist Peter Berger once remarked that if India is the most religious country in the world and Sweden the least, then the United States is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. Not anymore. With a Jesus lover in the Oval Office and a faith-based party in control of both houses of Congress, the United States is undeniably a nation of believers ruled by the same.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 19, 2005 -
John Edwards: "No military draft if Democrats win"
- which comes as a relief to me today as my own son turns eighteen. However, as it stands, the Selective Service System has been ramping up its ability to begin a draft as early as Spring 2005
, especially a possibility should Congressional Bills S. 89
and H.R. 163
, known as the "Universal National Service Act of 2003
" pass in the House and Senate. Many people who have been in the military feel a draft would actually degrade the quality of our military forces
. Nonetheless, this time around, a draft would include men and women. And the Selective Service is also looking for a few good people to become a Selective Service System Local Board Member
, one of the tasks of which is to guarantee
"that each CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR is properly CLASSIFIED, PLACED, and
posted by jackspace
on Sep 15, 2004 -
The battle the US wants to provoke
Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr (by Naomi Klein in Baghdad).
posted by acrobat
on Apr 6, 2004 -
Friday Doublethink Fun.
"An extraordinary communication
from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"
But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Apr 4, 2003 -
Michael Moore is making a deal with Mel Gibson's Icon Prods. to finance "Fahrenheit 911,"
a documentary that will trace why the U.S. has become a target for hatred and terrorism. It will also depict alleged dealings between two generations of the Bush and bin Laden clans that led to George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden becoming mortal enemies.
posted by archimago
on Mar 31, 2003 -
How does one assure global stability in a world where there is only one strong power? John Perry Barlow (previously mentioned here
) thinks Dick Cheney has the answer
posted by ashbury
on Feb 26, 2003 -
Australia and Europe incensed over U.S. lies on free trade
Bush: "The final provisions of the farm Bill are also consistent with America's international trade obligations, which will strengthen our ability to open foreign markets for American farm products".
In other words, free trade good when we sell to you, bad when you sell to us.
posted by magullo
on May 3, 2002 -