Rights and Democracy
The pillars of American conservative thought and action–top officials from over a dozen national groups–assembled along the Potomac last month. At Northern Virginia’s historic Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, these luminaries met to “recommit” themselves to the one ideal they believe all conservatives can share. That ideal: small government.
The United Nations will host a Haiti donors’ conference at the end of March.
This conference will be quite different from last year’s event, of course, coming as it does on the heels of the worst earthquake to strike Haiti in two centuries. An agenda has already begun to take shape: It’s already clear that a future Haiti must be populated with environmentally sustainable, earthquake-resistant buildings, for example, and it’s also clear that the international community must do something to ease Haiti’s massive debt burden.
No one should be surprised by a proposed Utah law that would consider possible criminal prosecution and life imprisonment for women who suffer miscarriages in that state. Appalled maybe, but not surprised. It was just a matter of time.
Anger has fueled a pervasive rage on the right–a rage reflected, as the Southern Poverty Law Center just reported, in the dramatic growth of radical groups. Hate groups last year remained at record levels, despite the collapse of a major neo-Nazi group. Anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80 percent. And, most dramatically, militias and the larger “Patriot” movement came roaring back, with 363 new militias and related groups appearing in 2009 for a dizzying 244 percent increase.
Here’s a constitutional conundrum that the five Supreme corporatists undoubtedly failed to contemplate: Since the 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, which is ownership of a person, don’t we now have to shut down the stock market, which is where corporations are bought and sold? It’s a new civil rights battleground, where we can join hands and chant: “Free the Corporate Slaves Now!”
OK, so you might not be willing to bus from Philly to Denver, but you wouldn’t take a train either. You might, however, bus from Cincinnati to Cleveland rather than fly, if it were done well. In any case, the job won’t get done by high-speed rail, so let’s get working on a practical alternative.
Our country faces a crippling crisis of imagination. The problems we face are enormous: a rapidly deteriorating planet, a broken health care system, millions out of work, so many who’ve lost their homes, children who go to bed hungry, and two wars that grind on with no end in sight.
Like Barack Obama, Avatar has become a Rorschach test for the times in which we live. Everyone interprets it their own way. Nominated for nine Oscars, it’s already the highest-grossing film of all time-having pulled in around $2.5 billion globally. More importantly, Avatar could become a game-changer in our evolving cultural consciousness about the impact of modernity on the world.
Scores of pundits appearing on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and other networks are actually paid corporate lobbyists and public relations pros