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The only reason we know about mass surveillance by the government is because of journalists who relied on informants leaking classified information at great personal risk
4/18/2019 5:07:35 PM

By Robert Romano   When you get right down to it, the only reason the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was ever adopted in 1978 in the first place was after disclosures by reporter Seymour Hersh in the New York Times on Dec. 22, 1974 of a highly classified domestic spying operation. The report, entitled, “Huge C.I.A. operation reported in U.S. against antiwar forces, other dissidents in Nixon years,” uncovered surveillance on U.S. soil of antiwar protesters, members of Congress and others. Hersh relied on informants disclosing the classified program...

Change the currency to reflect all of us in America
4/18/2019 5:06:11 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   Every day I wear a pair of medallions around my neck with portraits of two of my role models: Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. As a child I read books about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. She and the indomitable and eloquent Sojourner Truth represent countless anonymous slave women whose bodies and minds were abused and whose voices were muted by slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and sexism throughout our nation’s history. Although Harriet Tubman could not read books, she could read the stars to find her way north to freedom. And...

What it was, was a hummingbird
4/18/2019 5:05:13 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Even as old as I am, there are still things I fear. I do not want to make a list, I’m afraid to. When I have conquered one fear, another one knocks on the door and introduces itself to me. Out of respect, I fear that fear. This is not true of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. As far as I know, she fears nothing, but many things and people fear her. I am the president of that Fear Group. She has a subtle way of expressing her fear and each day I am learning more of that subtlety. I am not sure why, but most of her fear has to do with...

I’m Really Enjoying My Naivety
4/11/2019 10:07:56 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Someone recently said to me, “You sure are naïve.” I’m not sure what the incident was about at the time, and I was a little bit hurt by that saying. What did he mean that I am naïve? I have been giving this some thought and at this point, I remember quite a few people labeling me as naïve. Therefore, if people are right, it must be true. Yet, is it really that bad? Leaving the house the other day the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Drive carefully.” I stopped, turned around, put my hands...

450 miles of wall by end of 2020, Army Corps reports to President Trump
4/11/2019 10:07:07 PM

By Robert Romano   “Around Dec. 2020, the total amount of money we will have put in the ground in the last couple of years will be about 450 miles. That’s probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 projects.” That was Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, giving President Donald Trump a report at Calexico, Calif. on how much new wall would be constructed by the end of 2020. Semonite broke down the figures: That’s 82 miles as of right now mainly from renovating existing...

Jobs report signals steady economy in first quarter
4/11/2019 10:03:57 PM

By Rick Manning   Why was I eagerly anticipating at the Labor Department job report for March? Job reports are boring and they are usually more of a trailing indicator of the nation’s economic direction as the last thing that employers do is lay off employees when heading into tougher times.  However, two factors made the April 5 report different. First, the February establishment report showed what could have been a trend setting flattening of the number of jobs created with a meager 20,000 reached after acceleration into the 300,000s the previous two...

Toward a Living Wage
4/4/2019 6:24:10 PM

By Julianne Malveaux   It is unfathomable that the federal minimum wage has not been increased in more than a decade, since 2007. That the wage, at $7.25 per hour, has remained flat through recession and recovery, through extremely high unemployment rates and much lower ones. Republicans have absolutely refused to consider minimum wage increases, and in early March rejected a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. Still, with the Democratic majority in Congress, the bill came out of committee on a 28-20 party line vote. While the federal...

I Don’t Miss My Teacher’s Hickory Stick, but She Never Did
4/4/2019 6:22:29 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   I am not sure why I think of some things, however, every occasionally I remember something that happened a million years ago. Or so it seems. This week for some reason, I happened to think of my fifth grade elementary school teacher. Her name was Miss Ammon. She was a wonderful teacher in many regards and taught me quite a bit or at least she tried. As a fifth-grader, I looked at her as a very old woman. She might’ve been 50, I’m not sure. One of my friends joked and asked her, “Miss Ammon, how was Noah as a student?” I...

American Exceptionalism at Its Worst
4/4/2019 6:18:18 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   On March 15, a terrorist carrying two semi-automatic weapons and three rifles attacked worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 men, women, and children—some of them refugees who had fled war zones seeking safety. In the hours that followed nearly 70,000 New Zealanders signed petitions calling for gun control reform, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the nation’s elected leaders in vowing to take swift action. On March 21, less than a week later, Prime Minister Ardern announced the...

African American Heart Health Is Vital
3/29/2019 5:05:33 PM

By Dr. Anisa Shomo   Last month, February 2019, was not only Black History Month, it was also Heart Health Awareness Month per the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Generally, heart disease is considered a man’s disease, but more Black and White women die of heart disease than all cancers combined. About 610,000 men and women die of heart disease each year and it accounts for 1 in 4 deaths in both genders. Coronary Heart Disease is the most common type and accounts for over half of these deaths....