Build the Mosque, But Don’t Stop There

carly simon

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.

The End of Encyclopedias?

Encyclopedia

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.

The Presidents and the McGenerals

obama mcchrystal

Kenneth Weisbode: Gen. McChrystal is far from the first general to scoff at the White House. His fate echoes that of Generals MacArthur and McClellan but the comparison ends there, says historian Kenneth Weisbrode, because today there’s a greater reliance on the military in foreign relations.

LA Progressive Articles: June 13 to 19, 2010

Articles by Berry Craig. Tina Dupuy. Michele Waslin. Lawrence Wittner. Ron Wolff. Robert Reich. Anthony Samad. Kamala Lopez. Randy Shaw. Georgianne Nienaber. T. Christian Miller. Andrea Nill. Natasha Minsker. Steve Hockstadt. Mike Price. Tracy Emblem. David Love. Lydia Howell. Blair Fox, Tom Degan, David Love, Seth Hoy, Gary Corseri, Walter G. Moss, Ivan Eland, Joseph Palermo, Georgianne Nienaber, Jim Fuller, Andrea Nill, Michael Sigman

Fight Them Over There, Not Here?

times square bomber

Ron Wolff: All of our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, now spanning about eight years (twice the time it took to win World War II), have not resulted in an ability to keep would-be terrorists outside our borders or foil their plots in advance (no doubt with some exceptions).

A Letter to Tea Partiers and Your Anti-Racist Moment

tn

John Delloro: Lets be honest about your vision of society and admit that you are more comfortable with a white nation so that we can have a real discussion. Just keep in mind these US Census Bureau projections: In 20 years, we will witness the last largest population of white people to retire in the nation and white deaths will outpace white births. In one generation, the nation will be majority people of color. In other words, it will be largely communities of color who will make decisions about your retirement security.

The Bluest Eye Revisited

Sikivu Hutchinson: Perhaps no other book in contemporary American literature has captured the ontology of black female childhood experience and imagination as devastatingly as Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel The Bluest Eye. In the novel, Morrison’s preteen female protagonists bear fierce witness to the psychological disfigurements of racism, sexism, and segregation. They comment on the mystery of adulthood and the savagery of being dehumanized as young black girls in a culture that exalts the blue-eyed Barbie ideal. Speaking from an era in which racial progress was equated with the enfranchisement of black men, the female voices of The Bluest Eye quietly historicize the trials of black women in apartheid America.

Why More Immigrants Is an Answer to the Coming Boomer Entitlement Mess

Boomers

Robert Reich: Sixty years later, we boomers have a lot to be worried about because most of us plan to retire in a few years and Social Security and Medicare are on the way to going bust. I should know because I used to be a trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Those of you who are younger than we early boomers have even more to be worried about because if those funds go bust they won’t be there when you’re ready to retire.

We Must Heal the Human Toll of War

Veteran

Tracy Emblem: As civilians, we have a moral obligation to stand up and ask how we can help heal the wounded hearts and souls of our own people as well as the wounded people and children of occupied countries because war takes its toll upon humanity. As a nation, we must acknowledge that it is our first and foremost duty to help negotiate peace around the world.

American Arrogance Overseas Should End

haiti orphans

Ivan Eland: It’s fine for Americans to try to do good deeds overseas—if no ulterior motives are involved (which many times there are)—but arrogance and contempt for other nation’s laws, culture, and customs should be left at home.

Main Street Needs a Hand

Doing nothing on jobs

Tracy Emblem: Some say government should not be in the business of creating jobs. They are wrong. The government is the custodian of the public land and buildings. All improvements thereto benefit the people. President Roosevelt put people to work improving the public lands with roads and structures when the U.S. had 25-percent unemployment. In 2008, economists warned the government that we could suffer that again if we did not bail out Wall Street. Well, now, Main Street needs a hand.

Honoring Notorious Gladys Bentley

Bentley Bently

Rev. Irene Monroe: A talented pianist and blues singer, and one of the most notorious and successful entertainers during the Harlem Renaissance, Bentley cultivated a large LGBTQ following up until the 1950s. As an African-American woman whose success derived from her raunchy and salacious lyrics to popular tunes, Bentley not only openly sang about sex, but she also openly lived and celebrated her sexual orientation as an out lesbian.

Boehner, Cantor, and Mitch!

John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell

Berry Craig: I’m glad to see Obama starting to show some spunk. His recent performance at the televised Q&A with the House GOP brass was a great start. It got rave reviews at our central labor council. “He looked those Republicans right in the eye and kicked their butts,” said one delegate, a retired Machinist. “But he needs to do more than that.”

Is Wartime a Time to End Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

dont ask dont tell

Mary L. Dudziak: The no-change-during-wartime argument is an example of conventional thinking about war and American society. “Wartime” is imagined to be a temporary condition. It is a special kind of time. Wartime, by definition, is preceded and followed by “peacetime.” American history is thought to consist of the movement from peacetime to wartime and back again. In this conceptualization, wartimes always comes to an end.

The U.S. Can No Longer Afford Its Empire

obama red ink

Ivan Eland: The Cold War is long over, and the concomitant rationale (dubious even then) for using an interventionist U.S. foreign policy to attempt to run the world is now obsolete and even dangerous in an era of blowback terrorism. Many empires throughout history have collapsed or withered away because their aspirations were too big for their wallets; the U.S. is in that perilous position now. Therefore, the United States should dramatically retract its defense perimeter, thus cutting the U.S. security budget by half and saving more than $500 billion a year.

Why Freeze Spending on Only Part of the Budget?

Budget-Pie

Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.

Massachusetts?!! Ask the Model Minority

Japanese-American evacuation during World War II

John Delloro: With a rise in right-wing populism, I am worried. Our history tells us that immigration will become the key hot button issue these next coming elections and, in the past, hate crimes against AAPIs and Latina/os have consistently risen with increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, especially during low economic periods.

Reducing Our Only Existential Threat

Nuclear-nightmare

Ivan Eland: Despite its recession from the headlines, the Soviet Union and now Russia has been and still is the only country to have enough nuclear warheads to pose such a cataclysmic threat to the U.S. homeland.

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

WWI

Of course, a case can be made that it is better for a nation to win a war than to lose it. But perhaps it is time to learn from the world’s tragic, blood-stained history that there is a third alternative: using our intelligence and creativity to resolve conflicts without war.

Obama’s Nobel Speech Comes Up Short

Nobel-Pull

Pardon me if I can’t join in the fawning praise for President Obama’s Nobel address. “It was, as ever, a bravura performance,” one newspaper said editorially. That it was, but I can’t agree with those, including some people with whom I’m usually in agreement, that it was a “good” speech. It wasn’t good at all. [...]

Is Adulation of the Military Really Patriotic?

Soldier-color

And the American public, still feeling guilty over the admittedly terrible treatment of returning draftees from the Vietnam War, has retained its awe of the now voluntary military as an institution, even as it has soured on the Iraq and Afghan Wars.

Democrats and War

War

There is an admirable strain of pacifism among many Democrats, especially among Democratic activists. Every rational, compassionate individual dislikes war and seeks to avoid it whenever and wherever possible. Yet there are circumstances in which war can be justified from a moral standpoint as well as that of national interest.

The Plan for White Slavery

manzanar

Thus after a history of repeated othering of African Americans in the US, it is not unusual for the picture of the black thief climbing through the windows of our homes to evolve into the imaginings of a black man in the White House stealing our healthcare and hard fought freedoms.