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Body Politic

Why politicians shouldn’t fear getting an F from the NRA

As plenty of unarmed Americans have deduced, our gun-toting brethren live in a propaganda-induced nightmare world. They envision armed, foul-smelling villains either breaking into their snug homes or menacing them on the street.

In response, our gunslingers plan to either whip out their concealed weapons or rush to their basements, unlock their protected pistols, load them, and dispatch their patiently waiting assailants.

That’s not how things work in real life most of the time.

The danger in neglecting Mother Nature

Whether a country’s capitalist or communist, a dictatorship or a democracy, it makes no difference to Mother Nature.

Regardless of the dominant economic philosophy or form of government, the environment is under attack across the globe. In 2013, the Earth’s main adversaries are corporations. They run the world’s mines, plantations, slaughterhouses, chemical industry, power plants, oil companies and transportation powerhouses.

The answer is blowing in the wind

There’s money to be made in wind and solar power, but so far, not very much. And that’s the way fossil fuel giants aim to keep it. As of today, they’re winning the energy battle because federal subsidies for renewable energy are a lot less than Uncle Sam’s giveaways to the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries.

The prohibition of marijuana runs its course

Half a year ago, Colorado and Washington voters approved ballot measures to make marijuana legal in their states. But ending the pot prohibition can’t happen overnight, even after electoral wins like that. Just ask Gil Kerlikowske, the nation’s “drug czar.”

“Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress,” he declared in a mid-April appearance at the National Press Club. Well, help could be on the way — thanks to a California Republican.

The prohibition of marijuana runs its course

Half a year ago, Colorado and Washington voters approved ballot measures to make marijuana legal in their states. But ending the pot prohibition can’t happen overnight, even after electoral wins like that. Just ask Gil Kerlikowske, the nation’s “drug czar.”

“Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress,” he declared in a mid-April appearance at the National Press Club. Well, help could be on the way — thanks to a California Republican.

What post-racial America?

Having an African-American president is convenient. It boosts U.S. credibility in the Global South and makes us look like we’re making progress toward wiping out racism when we’re not.

But it will take more than President Barack Obama’s tenure to vanquish American prejudice and racial injustice. Four years after he took office, it remains perilous to be black or brown. Racial profiling remains rampant. Schools are, if anything, becoming even more segregated. The Voting Rights Act, under attack at the Supreme Court, is as necessary as ever.

What post-racial America?

Having an African-American president is convenient. It boosts U.S. credibility in the Global South and makes us look like we’re making progress toward wiping out racism when we’re not.

But it will take more than President Barack Obama’s tenure to vanquish American prejudice and racial injustice. Four years after he took office, it remains perilous to be black or brown. Racial profiling remains rampant. Schools are, if anything, becoming even more segregated. The Voting Rights Act, under attack at the Supreme Court, is as necessary as ever.

Health-care system is still sick despite Obama’s efforts

 

It’s great living here in our rich country, as long as you’re rich yourself. Take our health care system. Unlike other wealthy countries, our nation’s medical apparatus allows those at the top to receive top-notch care, while the working class has to scrounge to survive.

The sleazy higher education league

 

Once upon a time,  to get into college kids plugged away in high school and saved money from after-school jobs. They studied like crazy, read far into the night and had a good shot at a decent job. Rich kids attended private universities, poorer kids went to state schools. Other students opted for community colleges.

The sleazy higher education league

Once upon a time, to get into college kids plugged away in high school and saved money from after-school jobs. They studied like crazy, read far into the night and had a good shot at a decent job. Rich kids attended private universities, poorer kids went to state schools. Other students opted for community colleges.