In a Sunday piece timed to mark the 225th birthday of the U.S. Constitution, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post wrote of a recent question-and-answer session with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who conceded that the opening phrase of the nation’s founding document – “We the people” – didn’t originally apply to people like him.
The Georgia native said he often contemplates the gap between America’s promises and its delivery:
“I always think it’s so fascinating to think of these black kids in the segregated school in Savannah reciting the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States or standing out in the schoolyard saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day before school,” Thomas said.
“I mean, everything so obviously in front of you is wrong. You can’t go to the public library. You can’t live in certain neighborhoods. You can’t go to certain schools. But despite all of that, you lived in an environment of people who said it was still our birthright to be included, and continued to push, not only to change the laws, but to maintain that belief in our hearts.”
But as a college student, Thomas admitted, he would often insert “glib remarks” in his recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. “Glad there were not these cellphones,” he said to a crowd at the National Archives. “People couldn’t YouTube you and it’s around forever.”
Salman Rushdie has been under a fatwah – declared “an enemy of Islam” by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini – since the 1988 publication of his book, “The Satanic Verses.” He’s now a professor at Emory University.
Rushdie was on NPR this morning to discuss the rash of violent protests at U.S. diplomatic stations across the world, in response to D-grade, U.S.-made movie about the Prophet Mohammad:
It is the “mindset of the fanatic, mindset of the tyrant” to respond to an insult to one’s religion with violence, Rushdie [said]. “To murder people who had nothing to do with it,” he added, is a “deeply uncivilized attitude.”
“Something has gone wrong inside the Muslim world,” Rushdie continued. Just a few decades ago, he said, major cities in the Arab and Muslim world were outward-looking. But “in the last half century, these cultures seem to have slid backwards into medievalism and repression. … It is one of the great self-inflicted wounds.”
Apparently, the Boy Scout laws have been somehow amended to include a ban on snitching. Look for this article from the Los Angeles Times to have serious repercussions:
Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.
[A] review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.
Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, “chronic brain dysfunction” and duties at a Shakespeare festival.
Georgia Tipsheet reports that, last week, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, gently tip-toed around a move at his alma mater to extend employee health care benefits to domestic partners:
Lest an embrace of the benefits proposal be interpreted by social conservative voters in his district as a softening of his position on gay marriage, which remains broadly unpopular in the region, Barrow specifically reaffirmed his religious convictions on the sensitive issue.
“I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman,” he said. “However, under the 10th amendment to the Constitution, it’s up to the states to decide whether to extend equal benefits as a form of equal pay.”
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s description of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal as a “premium support” plan rather than a “voucher program.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider