Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage. Oral argument in the Supreme Court can be opaque, especially for those who aren't well versed in the legal issues at stake or the precedents likely to be considered. During oral argument, the justices aren't interested in educating the citizenry. They are trying to gain a better understanding of the case or to subtly influence the votes of their colleagues, so the questions and comments fly quickly -- and usually right over most people's heads. To help out, here are five things to look for in Tuesday's oral argument.
Powerlessness comes from a lack of meaningful choice. Big institutions don't have to be responsive to us because we can't penalize them by going to a competitor. And we have no loud countervailing voice forcing them to listen.
My mother refused to be intimidated by the many threats, acts of violence, having her home bombed on two occasions, or even the assassination of her husband. Never did she waver from her and my father's shared determination that America must honor its sacred promise of equality and justice for citizens of every race.
Have you ever seen one of those movies in which someone wakes up as a ghost but they don't know that they've died? I couldn't make a sign or a sound to let anyone know I'd become aware again. I was invisible -- the ghost boy.
The Supreme Court decision, when it happens later this year, is quite likely going to set off an argument within the Republican Party -- or, at the very least, that subset of the party who are running for president.
Hillary Clinton is between a rock and a hard place. She was President Obama's secretary of state, and she is counting on him to provide tacit support for her candidacy. They share many of the same top advisers and Wall Street supporters. At the same time, Clinton needs to distance herself from Obama, and is under pressure from party activists to demonstrate that her embrace of Elizabeth Warren style populist rhetoric is more than window-dressing.
For politicians, the message is clear: making the rounds on the Sunday morning news programs is no longer good enough. The lesson is no less clear for advertisers who rely on the same eyeballs. The advertising industry should take this as a sign that online video is a worthy investment.
If Bruce had told me about his gender issue when we first began getting romantically involved, I would not have married him. Pure and simple. But looking back, I'm so grateful to God, the universe, and Bruce that I didn't know, and that Bruce played the role in my life that he did.
President Obama must be having trouble getting the votes for fast-track authority since the administration is now pulling out all the stops to push the deal. Obama insisted the deal is not secret, but googling "TPP" will not get you a copy of the text.
Enter Scott Walker's politics of fear. For the party that rhetorically champions self-reliance, the emphasis on creating fear and despair in the electorate is ironic, but effective. Why blame yourself for economic insecurity when you can blame a faceless immigrant plotting to take away your job?
The cause of sleep paralysis isn't known. But it appears likely that many instances of sleep paralysis occur because of difficulty transitioning between different sleep stages, particularly moving in and out of REM sleep.
Unless we understand the powerful cultural forces behind the turn to violent extremism, we will fail to address the threat. When, as now, the focus is on military solutions and police interdiction, matters have already gone way too far. If that focus remains, we lose the coming generation.
The truth is that the group that attempts to impress the world with the name "Islamic State" is neither Islamic nor a state. The global community would do better to look at this organization and call it by a name that refutes its lies and exposes its true nature.
Gays and lesbians have been subjected to a long history of invidious discrimination, sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, gays and lesbians have consistently had their interests dismissed and overridden in the political process, and sexual orientation has nothing to do with an individual's ability to perform in society.
In a show that both heightens and subverts stereotypes, this seems like a particularly uninspired approach to such a timely, polarizing issue.
Much of the dysfunction that now poses a lethal threat to our politics and government is ultimately about money, and the media it buys. From time to time, campaign-finance reform comes up -- Hillary Clinton says it's a big issue for her -- but the Washington press corps treats the cesspool like old news.
If The New York Times has decided to throw its hat into Murdoch's ring this campaign season, even just occasionally, as with Clinton Cash and The Tangled Clinton Web, the results for Democrats could be troubling. Conservative misinformation is always most dangerous when it's given legitimacy it doesn't deserve.
Can reasonable people disagree about the issues at hand in the TPP and TTIP? Absolutely. The president is wrong to suggest that his supporters in Congress and beyond are irresponsible when they question these agreements -- particularly given that his administration continues to keep them classified as a "national security" matter.
Sea level rise, ocean acidification, species extinctions, erratic weather events, decreased agricultural yields, harm to human health and lower worker productivity are real and costly consequences of climate change. It is past time we reclaim the spirit of Earth Day and make 2015 a year of bipartisan action to preserve our natural resources and the health of our planet.
The ballroom is packed with hundreds of people, some recognizable as actors and others as politicians or reporters we've all seen covering the biggest stories on television. It's a flurry of activity and selfies everywhere.
Within seven years -- about when the iPhone 11 is likely to be released -- the smartphones in our pockets will be as computationally intelligent as we are. It doesn't stop there, though. These devices will continue to advance, exponentially, until they exceed the combined intelligence of the human race.
There is certainly something about being transgender that is incompatible with being Republican. Across the country, Republican leadership have chosen to go to war against transgender people.
Yemen is the latest mishap where the American assisted Saudi bombardment of the Houthis (along with killing 1,000 civilians) has skidded to a sudden stop just short of the abyss. Washington policy is now stranded in no-man's-land with no way forward or back -- yet having already incurred major damage.
The first poop in the bathtub. Bonus points if this occurs while you're bathing other siblings at the same time.
Since the discovery of sound recording, and especially since its digitalization, concerts have become increasingly more monotonous: it is increasingly rare that musicians can get on the stage and deliver what the legend, or the recording, promises.
This week we mark the 40th anniversary of those final days of the war. We will once again surely see the searing images of terrified refugees, desperate evacuations, and final defeat. But even that grim tale offers a lesson to those who will someday memorialize our present round of disastrous wars.
The Greater Europe project, which many politicians, experts and opinion makers from many European countries have been trying to promote since mid-1980s, now looks like a fantasy completely detached from reality. Neither Russia nor Europe can afford a new "Cold War."
To give voice to 35 workers killed on the job over the past 35 years at a massive refinery in Texas City, hundreds of surviving family members, co-workers and friends gathered there last month to erect white crosses marked with their names.
I want to caution that for all the drama, excitement, enthusiasm and analysis sparked by the political dimension of the marriage equality debate, there is also a deeply personal dimension that is easy to overlook. It is the collateral damage of systemic homophobia that accelerates when marriage equality is in the news cycle.
As much as we'd like to be starting our own businesses, finishing our novels, selling our albums, or getting out to those casting calls, we feel chained to our chairs, shackled to our spreadsheets, drowned in our dead-end day jobs.
Clearly the South Carolina Supreme Court did the right thing by assigning a special prosecutor to the Walter Scott case. And if South Carolina can do it, then the rest of the nation can do the same.