Rights and Democracy

Massachusetts: The Democrats Blew It

The Democratic Party, starting with the political wizards in the White House on down, simply blew it in Massachusetts. It wasn’t just Coakley who took a vacation in the middle of the campaign, the entire party did.

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Change Can Be Tougher Than Hope

On the campaign trail, On the campaign trail, Barack Obama electrified Americans with his bold call to transform despair into hope, and voters elected him in a landslide. Democratic candidates for Congress rode his broad coattails to large majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that his party hadn’t held in a generation. The stage was set to transform hope into change, for jobs, health care, climate change, and many other fundamental challenges.

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The State of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream in 2010

Over 40 years after Dr. Over 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, his words still speak to the social conditions that so many Americans face. Our unemployment rate is hovering at 10 percent, and the wealthiest 10 percent of us control over 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. Economic inequality remains a barrier to greater racial equality. The national commemoration of King’s birthday, therefore, is more for reflection than celebration.

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What If We Were Judged by Our Jails?

It looks like locking people up is a hard habit to break. The American prison population quadrupled in just the last 25 years. We’ve even surpassed China and Russia in the percentage of citizens in the clink. Meanwhile the rest of the world just scratches its head. “What are those crazy Americans up to now? Their country isn’t crime-ridden.”

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Mind-Reading Technology Threatens Our Liberties

Exposing the human brain to these new devices creates both physical risks and political ones. Mind-reading by authorities or the private sector could easily mean a potential loss of freedom. There are then many questions to be resolved before the government or the marketplace adopts this technology. What kind of an informed consent should be granted? What kind of information would be divulged?

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Lessons from Sweden for the Immigration Debate

Growing up in Minnesota as the granddaughter of a Swedish immigrant, I got to enjoy all the trappings of Scandinavian picture postcard holidays. Straw ornaments and Swedish flags decorating a tree stacked high with gifts. The Lutheran church’s St. Lucia breakfast, where girls with crowns of candles serve lefse and other pastries.

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