Walter Brasch: It is still be the responsibility of the mass media–of radio, television, newspapers, and magazines–to give in-depth coverage and analysis of the events. But, for millions worldwide, it is no longer the mass media that establishes the first alerts.
John Peeler: Nationally, Democrats have been lukewarm at best in their defense of labor unions, but Republicans have been, and are increasingly, solidly opposed to unions.
Dick Price: “I was a child of the Great Depression. It never occurred to me our strong and vital nation could fall and fail as it has today,” he says. “I was brought up to have a sense of justice and truth as a basis of our country’s governance. That belief has been shattered, particularly in the past decade.”
William Lorenz Katz: Was not Martin Luther King, Jr. reaching beyond Vietnam when he warned of “approaching spiritual death” and called for “a significant and profound change in American life and policy” and insisted “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.” Was he only speaking of Vietnam when he said, “War is not the answer?”
Berry Craig: My town — and many more like it across the South and in border states like Kentucky — was deeply divided by the color bar. I didn’t see it because it didn’t affect me. Before meeting Cecil Horton, black people were invisible to me, as in the title of Ralph Ellison’s famous novel.
Omer Bartov: The revelation that Rich Iott, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat in Ohio and a Tea Party favorite, has been in the habit of dressing up as a Waffen-SS soldier, is just one more sign of the heroic ignorance that characterizes large sectors of American politicians, the media that covers them, and the public that votes for them.
Ivan Eland: Although David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recently peddled the notion that senior Taliban chieftains had made contact with senior Afghan government officials about the possibility of starting reconciliation talks, such talk of peace in our time is likely to be hype.
Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?
James C. Cobb: Members of this abandoned Southern proletariat may still live far better than the average Bangladeshi can imagine, but their shattered self-esteem and dashed hopes are surely at some level a universal indication of what to expect when economic development is allowed to become an end in itself rather than the means to a developed society.
John Peeler: Obama appears determined that the wars not overwhelm his domestic agenda, even as, pragmatically, he cannot walk away from either without exposing himself to withering political attacks. If Bush saw himself as a war president, Obama wants to be a reformer with two wars to manage.
Charles Hayes: Today I feel very differently about the Vietnam War than I did in my youth, but my own feelings of guilt during that time give me a unique kind of insight into the psychology of courage and commitment. America has never had a shortage of courageous citizens willing to take up arms and fight to the death for reasons and causes beyond their own understanding. Arlington Cemetery in Virginia serves as proof. But my sense of the decades since the end of World War II is that America has and is experiencing a courage crisis of shameful origin and of tragic consequence.
H. Scott Prosterman: The proposal calls for more than a mosque. It’s really an Islamic Community Center, modeled after the Jewish Community Center and YMCA. Make it a Global Spiritual Community Center with small houses of worship adjoined to the parkland, pool, basketball courts and performance hall.
Steve Hochstadt: Conservapedia is mainly silly, reflecting Schafly’s cranky ideas, such as that vaccines are a conspiracy to poison us. But the wider idea that science, and other kinds of knowledge, can be “liberal” or “conservative” is dangerous. This is exactly the argument that German Nazis and Soviet Communists used to reject “Jewish” or “capitalist” ideas.