The Culture Wars are Alive and Kickin’

wendy davis

*+-Joseph Palermo: In Texas, Governor Rick Perry, the Religious Right, and their Republican allies, following Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis’s courageous filibuster last week, are literally working overtime to criminalize women’s reproductive rights.

“Don’t Tread On Me!” Unless You’re the NSA

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*+-Joseph Palermo: Our political leaders and courts are clearly incapable of providing the needed “check” on the inevitable abuses that will occur when the government chooses to keep a domestic spying behemoth behind a veil of state secrecy.

Reagan, Genocide and Guatemala

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*+-Joseph Palermo: Now that a Guatemalan court has convicted General Erfrain Rios Montt of “genocide” maybe we can better come to terms with the history of the early 1980s when the Reagan Administration was determined to vanquish communism in Central America.

Ten Years Since Mission Accomplished: Let’s Review the Imagery

mission accomplished

*+-Joseph Palermo: In U.S.-occupied Iraq, every car bomb, every I.E.D., every suicide bomber, and every sectarian killing that followed that sunny day in May off the San Diego coast made a mockery of Bush’s premature spiking of the proverbial football and brought deserved derision from the rest of the world.

Getting College Wrong: Pedagogy of the Depressed

online courses

*+-Joseph Palermo: It’s as if the baby boomers, having gotten their own quality schooling for a fraction of the price students pay today, are kicking the ladder out from under their children and grandchildren and substituting it with a shoddy, privatized product to which they, in their youth, never would have succumbed.

Iraq: A Ten-Year Anniversary We’d Rather Forget

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*+-Joseph Palermo: And after throwing away so many lives and so much money we’re now being told (by many of the same people who sold us the Iraq War) that we have no resources left to ensure that our children get a good education, or that our elderly can retire in dignity, or our poor people are given hope for a better future.

President Hugo Chavez and America’s “Backyard”

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*+-Joseph Palermo: The simple fact remains: Chavez, who died of cancer at the age of 58, was the only president of Venezuela in modern memory who did ANYTHING for the poor people of that country who make up the vast majority of its nearly 30 million citizens.

The Sequestration Snooze: Californians Know It by Heart

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*+-Joseph Palermo: Many of the same Washington “journalists” who ten years ago failed us miserably in their foreign policy reportage leading up to the Iraq war by serving as stenographers for those who hyped the WMD scare are now failing to report accurately on domestic policy. Now they’ve become stenographers for the deficit scolds, most of whom are Republicans.

Kerry, Hagel: Vietnam, Iraq

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*+-Joe Palermo: Kerry and Hagel (like Colin Powell) missed their historical moment. Had they opposed Bush’s war they might have made a difference. Now perhaps they can use their cabinet posts to implement a policy or two of atonement.

Desiline Victor and Black History Month

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*+-Joseph Palermo: Desiline Victor’s travails in trying to vote last November bring to mind Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964 when white vigilantes tortured and killed Micky Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney who had volunteered to register black voters.

The “Gun Wage”

rush limbaugh

*+-Joseph Palermo: Like the old Jim Crow “race wage” the “gun wage” allows lower middle-class white men to feel a little less besieged by immigrants, feminists, blacks and Others.