Civil libertarians were stunned last week when the Senate approved a
measure that would allow government officials to essentially bypass the
courts and lock up people suspected of terrorism without trial. Will
cooler heads prevail?
It cannot be easy being God these days, what with so many of His self-proclaimed followers launching wars in His name.
So the last thing that the Almighty needs is a whackjob calling down the wrath of, er, well, God on communities that fail to follow the instructions in the "Christian Coalition Voter Guide."
But that's what God's got in the person of Pat Robertson, the religious broadcaster who frequently uses his 700 Club television program to pray about weather patterns or to encourage the assassination of foreign leaders.
Medea Benjamin and Gayle Brandeis ask a good question for today's holiday in a new piece for The Nation online: "On Veteran's Day, when we honor all of those who have served our country through the military, it's helpful to take a closer look at three words that have become so familiar: What does it mean to truly support our troops?"
The best way, of course, to support the troops is to bring them home. After that, making sure they come back to viable jobs, legit educational opportunities and proper healthcare and counseling are all high on the list.
Benjamin and Brandeis also offer a series of concrete suggestions, including sending care packages to Iraq with books, food and other everyday items difficult to find in a war zone; donating to organizations, like the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, that provide help for returning soldiers struggling to put their lives together and supporting groups like United for Peace and Justice, CodePink, Gold Star Families for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War, who are out there in the trenches of the antiwar movement.
We did it! With the support of thenation.com's loyal readers, Nation Books has just published The Dictionary of Republicanisms--an attempt to call out and decode the right's well-funded efforts to transform American political discourse to suit its political ends. I want to personally thank the hundreds of readers, from forty-four states, who submitted literally thousands of definitions. They were strong, smart, and funny. The book itself is a distillation of my favorites.
Check out a few definitions:
Dick Cheney, n. The greater of two evils [Jacob McCullar, Austin, TX]
It was a Super Tuesday for Democrats. Gubernatorial candidates Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) trounced their Republican counterparts, and California voters terminated all four of Arnold's initiatives. Buried beneath the headlines, however, was another crucial victory for the progressive movement: Maine became the sixth and final New England state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The ballot measure in question--which was was backed by conservative religious groups--would have repealed an amendment to the Maine Human Rights Act passed earlier this year by the state legislature. Yet, 56 percent of Mainers voted to uphold the amendment, which protects gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and transvestites from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education.
For gay rights activists, the victory has been a long time coming. The first gay rights bill in Maine was introduced in the state legislature 28 years ago; and in 1998 and 2000, voters struck down similar measures that would have banned discrimination against gays and lesbians. The movement to defeat the measure was led by Maine Won't Discriminate, a coalition composed of grassroots progressive groups, the Democratic Party, union members, and local business associations. "On Tuesday, we ended a 28-year struggle in Maine to make sure all Mainers are treated equally and fairly under the law. We are so thrilled that it's finally happened," said Jesse Connolly of Maine Won't Discriminate.
Former U.S. Senator Max Cleland, the Georgia Democrat who lost his right arm and both legs in the quagmire that was Vietnam, explained a few years ago that, "Within the soul of each Vietnam veteran there is probably something that says 'Bad war, good soldier.' Only now are Americans beginning to separate the war from the warrior."
Cleland's wise words need to be recalled on this Veterans Day, when it is more necessary than ever to separate a bad war from the warriors who are required to fight it.
The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is an unfolding disaster with such nightmarish consequences that is not merely easy, but necessary to be angry with those who are responsible. And Americans are angry. Overwhelming majorities of U.S. citizens now tell pollsters that they believe the decision to invade Iraq was a mistake, and a substantial proportion of them say that the continued occupation of that Middle East land is a fool's mission.
If Samuel Alito is confirmed to the US Supreme Court, his impact on
limiting reproductive rights would be certain and swift, due to his
record and to two key abortion rights cases making their way to the
It's easy to slap a magnet on your SUV and feel like you're supporting
American soldiers fighting a brutal, far-off war. But the way to really
support them is to work to extricate us from the conflict.
Anthony Shadid's Night Draws Near is a moving
account of life in Iraq before and after the US occupation. Liberal
hawk George Packer's The Assasins' Gate delves into the history
behind humanitarian intervention.
Maureen Dowd has done her best to declare feminism dead. But by
insisting that men are scared of spunky successful women, it doesn't
occur to her that she is promoting, rather than reporting on, the
problem she describes.
Shades of Iran/contra: Since the indictment of I. Lewis Libby,
Washington is abuzz about presidential pardons. If officials who
violate the law and lie about it know with certainty the will escape
legal sanction, we no longer have a government.
As Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel becomes the latest in a long
line of publisher/owners of The Nation, Victor Navasky looks
ahead to his new role as publisher emeritus and member of the
magazine's editorial board.
Democratic gubernatorial wins in Virginia and New Jersey gave the lie to
the GOP contention that "conservatism is on the march." But infighting
among Dems doomed electoral reform in Ohio, gay marriage is still
illegal in Texas and there's a long way to go to mid-year elections.
Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile leader whose Iraqi National Council peddled bad intelligence on WMDs prior to the war and who is now a deputy prime minister ...
As the site of a trial on including intelligent design in biology
textbooks, Dover, Pennsylvania, is a focal point of a national debate
on science and religion. But a look at the town and its residents show
that the battle may not be so clearly defined.
With a new wave of activism against sweatshops sweeping college
campuses, student interest in the morality of their clothing choices
can set a standard for the rest of us.