Americans are nonplussed by NSA leaks, Snowden – but why?

NSA leak indifference in US, a theory

Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began spilling the beans on the dirty little secrets behind US intelligence operations, opinion among Americans on the whole matter has remained divided. Consensus on whether Snowden is a “hero” or a “traitor” remains elusive. Many Americans likely don’t have an opinion, at all. So why is the news of widespread, privacy-violating snooping by the NSA not enjoying common outrage among Americans? As Huffington Post points out in this recent article, polls show that Continue reading

Talk is cheap, but it’s also deadly – How to incite violence with careless rhetoric

Wave one of these around and you're guaranteed freedom! (Image courtesy Zvon)

This Wednesday, it was confirmed by the FBI that letters sent earlier in the week to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control lobby group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, were laced with ricin, a deadly poison. Since then, the Secret Service has confirmed that a third laced letter, intended for President Obama, have been intercepted. All three have also been found with this statement: “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my Continue reading

A different way to think about how we can “support our troops”

Those bumper stickers are helping them a lot. (Image courtesy of Afghanistan Matters.)

Now that most of the country has gotten its fill of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad, and sunshine on that lovely extra day of government mandated relaxing – aka Memorial Day – is over, maybe we can talk a little about our troops. We hear plenty of times how we should “support our troops” but how best can we do that? Is it by setting aside one day a year for people to go into a grilled food Continue reading

Ignoring race doesn’t make racism go away, it perpetuates it

Because Mexicans do not have ladder technology. (Photo by Wonderlane.)

There’s a popular sentiment – especially, but not exclusively, among individuals who might identify as “left leaning” or “liberal” – that even the acknowledgment of or discussion regarding “race” or ethnicity perpetuates racism and bigotry. This phenomenon is usually referred to as “colorblindness” – a naïve, albeit, on the surface admirable, attempt to de-fang racism. While I am often an advocate of a mindful use of discourse and the power it can have, culturally and socially, all colorblindness truly does Continue reading

Has austerity encouraged the come-back of European fascism?

50 million mark bill. At the worst of it, it was worth less than 1 US dollar.

In an alarming manner, several groups that are arguably of the fascist persuasion can been seen gathering political currency and even winning elections in several nations in Europe – between the Golden Dawn in Greece, who have popped up in recent years with increasing support or the British Nationalist Party, which has been making steady gains in the UK. While these neo-fascist movements are still relatively benign, the fact that they are making strides forward (and why that is) are Continue reading

Legitimate reasons to be outraged at Obama (Benghazi and IRS not among them)

Now a permanent fixture of our foreign policy.

If you’ve been following mainstream media (or just Fox News) lately, you’re probably aware of the recent increase in Republican ire. While it’d be legitimate to ask “When are the Republicans not full of ire, especially with respect to Obama?” Fair enough. But since President Obama’s successful re-election, there’s been a concerted effort to find some major scandal with with to justify impeaching the President. Here’s why the big ones right now, Benghazi and the IRS are pseudo-scandals – and why Continue reading

The problem with demolishing Sandy Hook

Police at Sandy Hook. (Courtesy WikiCommons)

Earlier this month a group of community leaders from Newtown, Connecticut, met to discuss the options pertaining to Sandy Hook Elementary School, eventually agreeing unanimously to tear down the building. The elementary school made national headlines this past December when a lone gunman entered the building and killed 26 children and teachers, shocking the country. The task force began with the question of whether to return to the building or not, deciding against doing so after an emotional plea from Continue reading