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NEWS WORTH READING

U.S. Senate passes ban on torture (reuters.com)
Terrorism / Human Rights
>As a largely bipartisan amendment to Defense Authorization, the measure requires “restricts interrogation techniques for all U.S. entities to what is included in the U.S. Army Field Manual,” among other things. House has to agree.
The many, many things that are ‘great,’ according to Donald Trump (washingtonpost.com)
2016 Elections / GOP / Clown Car
>His use of the word great is as ubiquitous as his ego is large.
Leonard Pitts Jr.: Dolezal controversy is about our racial delusions (miamiherald.com)
Rachel Dolezal / N.A.A.C.P.
>”[A]fter mapping the genetic codes of five [racially diverse] people… researchers announced they could find no difference among them. ‘The concept of race,’ one of them said, ‘has no scientific basis.'”
Baptists declare ‘spiritual warfare’ over gay marriage (ajc.com)
Marriage Equality / Civil Rights / Religion
>They’re afraid the government will make them officiate over a gay wedding.
NSA’s Bulk Collection Of Americans’ Phone Data Is Illegal, Appeals Court Rules (npr.org)
Patriot Act / Section 215
>Court “punts” on Constitutional issue, echoes Congressman who created the bill in criticizing agency’s overreach.

FRESH CUTS

Of heroes and liars – from Atticus Finch to Rachel Dolezal

DolezalFinch

“[I]f you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things form his point of view…Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 3, by Harper Lee

Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane, Washington, civil rights advocate who pretended to be the progeny of a mixed-race marriage, has gotten into a lot of trouble for taking Atticus’ advice literally. No one doubts her level of commitment.

That does not mean we are unable to draw our own conclusions from her choice to be inauthentic about her background, despite her ability to fight for a cause. She obviously strongly identifies with African American culture and history. One can choose their religious identity. One can choose their gender identity. Her misrepresentations not withstanding, Dolezal has chosen a cultural identity.

Read the post

The surveillance state is on hiatus, sort of, except not really

rand_nsa

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Despite fighting setbacks, a doomed GOP still a distant dream

CapitolStylized

OTHER RECENT ESSAYS

TPP headers-markup

Rumors of a Democratic rift are greatly exaggerated

Common Cause calls on IRS to stop ALEC’s charity status

culturecontest

The Most Dangerous Game, institutionalized

HK Central Statue Square Legislative Council Building Themis

Don’t justify and call it justice; confront truth and discover justice

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On the Video

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies, punch and kick a suspect who appears to be surrendering (NBC-LA)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “The lobbyists are there…to make sure that the tender fannies of the rich and the powerful are always protected.” (The Daily Show)

Edward Snowden explains surveillance to John Oliver, using dick pics as exemplar (HBO)

Obamacare-getcovered
JuliannaForlano
ChallengingTheRhetoric

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