Gunmen carried out two assassinations in the United States in 12 days proving that “home-grown” terrorists are ready to act out their hatred of women, African Americans, Latinos, immigrants and people of Jewish background.
President Obama is back from his trip abroad. It was a remarkable tour, during which he spoke of peace, democracy and progress, and then, in Germany, he confronted some of the greatest crimes against humanity ever perpetrated, crimes that were the direct result of fascism and war.
“Americans have been constantly redefining their national identity from the moment of first contact on the Virginia shore,” historian Ronald Takaki wrote. When our first African American president addressed the Arab and Muslim peoples of the world in Cairo, I think the Japanese American historian would have been deeply moved by the president’s compelling “redefinition” of America’s identity.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, walls were shattered, houses were torn off from their foundation, neighborhoods were decimated, and the city was left in ruins. It scarred, touched lives and united a country in ways that our country had not seen in centuries.
When West Virginia coal overlord Don Blankenship’s company lost a $50 million verdict to one of its competitors, Blankenship set out to buy a judge. Rather than appeal his case to a fair tribunal, Blankenship spent $3 million to elect a friendly lawyer to the West Virginia Supreme Court, even running ads accusing the lawyer’s opponent of voting to free an incarcerated child rapist, and of allowing that rapist to work in a public school.
As the health insurance industry and its defenders in Congress lay out their case against permitting a public option in a reform bill, perhaps their most curious argument is that some 119 million Americans are ready to dump their private plans and jump to something more like Medicare – and that’s why the choice can’t be permitted.
Vietnam’s Vaccine and Biomedical Product Company No. 1 (VaBiotech) has developed a new cholera vaccine that is superior to others currently in use. “The new vaccine offers 90 to 100 percent protection after two oral doses in comparison with 60 to 70 percent with the current vaccine,” said Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien, Director of Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
Once upon a time the American auto industry was the star of a seemingly limitless consumer economy in the land of opportunity. American cars were the stuff of dreams. We even had pet names for them: Caddy, Chevy. And workers on Detroit’s assembly lines brought our country and the world the Motown beat.
Are we living in France? To hear critics of Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, we are living under something like the Code Napoleon, the massive body of French statute law which is very different from what we use in the United States.
The Obama administration recently proposed resuming semi-annual talks on Cuban migration to the United States. The State Department referred to “commitment to safe, legal and orderly migration” and to President Obama’s desire “to support the Cuban people in fulfilling their desire to live in freedom.”