William K. Wolfrum's picture

    This conversation is a conversation worth having

    We are living in perilous times. Now, more than ever, it is time for America to have a conversation.

    This is why I am here. This is my job. To start this conversation. To get America talking. All I do is present you with the facts. Facts that are perfect conversation starters. Facts that - deep inside - hold truths. Truths that need to be discussed.

    Wattree's picture

    Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Set You Free

    "IF YE WERE ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN, YE WOULD DO THE WORKS OF ABRAHAM"

    Every since I wrote the column "Crabs in a Barrel," the gross hypocrisy of South Carolina State Senator, Rev. Darrell Jackson, has lingered with me. In that column I describe how the Black, South Carolina State Senator, who was also the pastor of the 10,000 member, "Family Way Bible Life Center Church," came out against Senator Barack Obama afer selling his support to Senator Hillary Clinton for $10,000 a month--a dollar amount that corresponded exactly with the number of members he had in his church.

    Now, as I drive through the Black community and see the magnificent "houses of God" towering over the community in the midst of poverty, social need, and in some cases, squalor all around them, I can't help but wonder how many of them are really doing God's work.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Bloomberg's Gun-Control Campaign: Right Idea, Wrong Guy

    Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has a bold plan. He hopes to single-handedly revive America's comatose gun-control movement with a $50 million cash infusion and a fresh political strategy. He has money, connections, and an astute appreciation for what it will take to counter the gun-rights mania that has hijacked national politics. Too bad he's not the guy to pull it off.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Freedom to Defend...

    I had high hopes for this op-ed called "Freedom to Offend Everyone" but Nesrine Malik has completely confirmed my otherwise irrational belief that non-Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works at all, ever, in any context. Malik concludes, wrongly:

    "Those who fancy themselves defenders of free speech must be consistent in their absolutism, and stand up for offensive speech no matter who is the target."

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    Wattree's picture

    Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer a Democracy; It’s Now an Oligarchy

    A scientific study done at Princeton University indicates that the United States is no longer a Democracy. The country has now morphed into an Oligarchy. That means that the nation is no longer controlled by the people. It is now controlled by a handful of wealthy and powerful puppet masters. It also means that we are no longer in a race war; we are now in a class war. Thus, the poor and middle class, of EVERY race, are now the new niggas. So wake up, America, while you still have a chance of fighting back.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Charming Tax Receipt

    If you'd like to see where your tax dollars are going, the White House will show you. When I entered the median income of $50,000 for a filer with one child, that the filer paid $1,776 in income tax, assuming non-itemized filing. What an auspicious number.

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    Richard Day's picture

    DIAPERS FOR 15TH AMENDMENT PURPOSES

    DO NOT THROW ASPERSIONS ON MY ASPARAGUS!

    During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom.

    Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.
    Michael Maiello's picture

    How To Misread Flash Boys

    Be David Brooks

    One lesson of this tale is that capitalism doesn’t really work when it relies on the profit motive alone. If everybody is just chasing material self-interest, the invisible hand won’t lead to well-functioning markets. It will just lead to arrangements in which market insiders take advantage of everybody else. Capitalism requires the full range of motivation, including the intrinsic drive for knowledge and fairness.

    This is the reasonable sounding "just getting started" paragraph, but you no doubt see the problem...

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    Ramona's picture

    Will the Real God Please Stand Up

    I don't know God personally, of course, but it's a good bet He isn't looking kindly upon His follower, Tristan Emmanuel, who was out there defending His Good Name by calling for the flogging or hanging of a comedian (a comedian) because this "pugnacious degenerate" made some jokes about God and the proven nature of His wrath. (Proven, I should mention, because the Old Testament is full of stories about a God who is just scary angry. It's all in there.)
     

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Copyright vs. Truth

    The family of the poet Ted Hughes has just "withdrawn permission" for Hughes's biographer to quote from his papers and letters, including papers and letters that the family has already sold to the British Library. The biographer, who's been working on this book for years, has already read those papers. He knows what's in them. But he is no longer allowed to tell us what he knows. How can this be? Copyright law.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Conservatives Should Be Angry At Brendan Eich

    Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla, his donation in support of Prop 8, a proposed anti-same sex marriage in California came to light, many Mozilla employees and users loudly objected to the boss's politics and Eich stepped down.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Welcome to the Age of Narcissism

    Humans have always been an extremely narcissistic bunch. Look at religion. A large swathe of humanity believes that there is a God - an actual God - who knows their name, address and Social Security number. And this God - with all the options of a God open - chooses to spend its time thinking about them.

     

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    Wattree's picture

    About the Value and Excellence of Jazz

    BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

     

    Mother guilty of felony poverty-loses kids, goes to jail

    Faced with the policy conundrum that is posed by the choice of directing public funds towards free childcare or prison for mom and institutionalization for kids, Arizona makes the predictable and catastrophic choice.

    Most of you will have heard the devastatingly sad story of Shanesha Taylor, an unemployed and homeless single mother of two, who miraculously was granted an interview for that job that Bill Clinton decided was the answer to ending "welfare as we knew it."

    She had no place to leave her toddler and infant for the 45 minute interview, so she took a desperate chance.

    Richard Day's picture

    CONSENSUS

    ANTHROPOLOGY

    I recall in the late 1960's that Anthropology professors discussed the problem involved in 'aging' the primates in this NEW WORLD.

    Well the 'consensus' was that 13,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens crept into our New World via the Siberian whatever....

    The latest ice age gave a land cross from Siberia to the Americas (read Canada) and from that land cross, people from the East found a new home.

    Wattree's picture

    WHY I LOVE BEING BLACK

    I absolutely LOVE being Black - and I'm not just saying that because it's expected of me. While I have the ultimate respect for the unique character of every race and ethnicity, if I'm reincarnated a thousand times, I want to come back Black each and every one of them.
    .
    Being Black in America gives one an education and perspective on life that you can't get anywhere else. That's not widely recognized, because public attention is often focused on the most dysfunctional in the Black community. But contrary to popular belief, that might not be an altogether bad thing, because it allows the excellence within the Black community time to incubate, untainted by the public eye. That's what allowed Barack Obama to explode upon the world stage as a fully developed powerhouse, and there are hordes of others just like him who are currently incubating in Black cocoons in suburbs and inner cities all over America.

    GOP Backs Casino Mogul's Nanny State

    Republicans team up with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to meet a major threat to America and Americans in the 21st century. A problem that can no longer be ignored, delayed or kicked down the road. Not outdated infrastructure, or collapsing bridges. Not climate change. Not immigration reform or health care reform. Not skyrocketing student debt loads. Not a myriad of other issues you might think deserve attention.
     
    Internet gambling. And internet poker too, which the GOP believes is wreaking havoc from coast to coast!! Believe it!!
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Crowdrobbing

    Today, Mark Zuckerberg took some of the money raised in Facebook's IPO and used it to buy the immersive experience of Oculus, something of an iPad that you jam onto your face so that you can wander around in your own personal Holodeck.  That's right, I'm old and this technology scares me. What's next, laser swords?

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