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April 19th, 2014
thesmithian

Mayors are now pairing with moms. Together they’ll crib directly from the playbook of the NRA. They’ll focus on statehouses if Congress won’t listen. And under a new umbrella group, “Everytown for Gun Safety” — backed by $50 million of [former NYC Mayor Michael] Bloomberg’s own money — they’re aiming to create the elusive political counterweight to the NRA.

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April 19th, 2014
thesmithian

To speak of diversity, in light of this country’s history of racial recidivism, is to focus on bringing ethnic variety to largely white institutions, rather than dismantling the structures that made them so white to begin with. And so, sixty years after Brown, it is clear that the notion of segregation as a discrete phenomenon, an evil that could be flipped, like a switch, from on to off, by judicial edict, was deeply naïve…For the tragedy of this moment is not that black students still go to overwhelmingly black schools, long after segregation was banished by law, but that they do so for so many of the same reasons as in the days before Brown.

more.

To speak of diversity, in light of this country’s history of racial recidivism, is to focus on bringing ethnic variety to largely white institutions, rather than dismantling the structures that made them so white to begin with. And so, sixty years after Brown, it is clear that the notion of segregation as a discrete phenomenon, an evil that could be flipped, like a switch, from on to off, by judicial edict, was deeply naïve…For the tragedy of this moment is not that black students still go to overwhelmingly black schools, long after segregation was banished by law, but that they do so for so many of the same reasons as in the days before Brown.

more.

April 17th, 2014
thesmithian

Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, didn’t start out Republican. She and her husband…had always been Democrats. But she’d long dreamed of running for office, and when word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney’s seat, two local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story goes, her suitors didn’t talk about party affiliation or ideology. They zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty. Afterward, Martinez got into the car, turned to her husband, and said, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”

more.

Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, didn’t start out Republican. She and her husband…had always been Democrats. But she’d long dreamed of running for office, and when word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney’s seat, two local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story goes, her suitors didn’t talk about party affiliation or ideology. They zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty. Afterward, Martinez got into the car, turned to her husband, and said, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”

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April 16th, 2014
thesmithian

'…perhaps the most striking claim…went mostly overlooked: the argument that gentrification is not inevitable.'

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April 7th, 2014
thesmithian

'…what’s left is the pressure to sand down the corners of your speech while looking for the rough edges in the speech of your adversaries. Everyone is offended. Everyone is offensive. Nothing is close to the line because close to the line is over the line because over the line is better for clicks and retweets and fundraising and ad revenue.'

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April 7th, 2014
thesmithian

'Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been moved from a fed prison in North Carolina to a minimum-security prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., after clashing with prison officials and being placed in solitary confinement…The…former Chicago congressman, 49, had been advising other inmates in North Carolina about their rights in prison…who said a guard took exception to that.'

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April 7th, 2014
thesmithian

…if the intelligence community thinks the controversy over our legacy of torture is the result of silly girlish feelings, then we haven’t even begun to deal with the consequences of those years.

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April 7th, 2014
thesmithian
I often wonder what will be the defining moment for those on the right. What will it take to get them to accept people as they are?
April 7th, 2014
thesmithian

White House lawyers have spoken with officials at Samsung about the selfie that Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped this past week with President Obama…

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April 6th, 2014
thesmithian

He embarked on the task intending not just to rely on historical research but to track down living witnesses to the many tragedies and upheavals that Congo has endured. His efforts were well rewarded…he managed to find Congolese veterans with memories of early white missionaries and colonial officials, and tales of religious uprisings and resistance movements. His witnesses from more modern times include musicians, footballers, political activists, warlords and child soldiers. The result is a vivid panorama of one of the most tormented lands in the world.

more.

He embarked on the task intending not just to rely on historical research but to track down living witnesses to the many tragedies and upheavals that Congo has endured. His efforts were well rewarded…he managed to find Congolese veterans with memories of early white missionaries and colonial officials, and tales of religious uprisings and resistance movements. His witnesses from more modern times include musicians, footballers, political activists, warlords and child soldiers. The result is a vivid panorama of one of the most tormented lands in the world.

more.

April 6th, 2014
thesmithian

When we think about the Civil Rights Act, our minds are drawn to scenes of obstructionist Southern politicians and presidential arm-twisting. But we often forget the broader context of activism and protest in which the bill’s long journey across Capitol Hill took place…These two stories—the political theater inside the Capitol, and the violent tumult of civil rights protests outside it—did not happen independently. Each drove the other. Few pieces of legislation in American history have been as intimately connected to its social context as the Civil Rights Act.

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April 6th, 2014
thesmithian

‘The “right to oblivion” (le droit à l’oubli) or “right to be forgotten” is a privacy measure put in place by the European Commission that allows Internet users to choose which of their data survives online. It has been defined as “the right of any individual to see himself or herself represented in a way that is not inconsistent with his/her current personal and social identity.” The law asserts an individual’s right to their online persona: If you tell Facebook to remove certain unflattering photos that you uploaded, the company is legally obligated to delete them.’

April 4th, 2014
thesmithian

'…our growing geopolitical divide—between the part of America where officials are trying aggressively to help poor people get health insurance, and the part where officials are not.'

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