Nowhere has Washington dysfunction shown as quickly and powerfully as in the post-Paris debate about taking Syrian refugees. In a working democracy we would be able to absorb two apparently contradictory impulses, and address them both. That's not how we're behaving recently.
Scrutiny? Who needs it?
Polls, fundraising and basic logic pertaining to recent Clinton scandals show Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination. Nobody goes from less than 1 percent nationally to over 30 percent without serious momentum and unprecedented energy among grass roots supporters.
In a TMFS sketch, the founder of Cops Are Always Right is thrilled with Sean Hannity comparing BlackLivesMatter to the KKK, Bill O'Reilly comparing them to the Nazis, and the head of the FBI, James Comey saying videos of police violence increase violence.
FBI Director James Comey wants is to put a backdoor in all encryption software so he can read and listen to scrambled messages, with a court order of course. What government doesn't want that?
When asked what keeps him up at night, Comey responded without hesitation, "What keeps me up at night probably these days is the ISIL threat in the homeland, and I worry very much about what I can't see."
The "security vs. liberty" strawman argument remains the rhetorical weapon of choice for National Security State officials terrified by the spread of public encryption technologies. They argue that, absent some form of technological "back door" to break into private encrypted communications, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies will be blinded, unable to fend off potential terrorist attacks here at home.
The demands for justice in Ferguson, coupled with the recent speeches by New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and FBI Director James Comey, are indeed reasons to keep hope alive!
These tragic incidents received a mere fraction of the attention they should have. While the focus of late has been on #BlackLivesMatter, it is important to address the violence visited upon other groups, including religious and ethnic minority groups -- whether by terrorists, vigilantes or police who believe they have a right to monitor and take not only black lives, but brown lives too.
The achievement gap will never close until we as a society, especially educators, tackle the justice gap head-on.
I believe that Comey had a very specific goal in mind for his speech, and that goal is to change the behavior of police officers. What is the most effective way Comey could get cops to really hear his message? Before we go there, let's start by discussing a way that would not work.
Now that the FBI Director and a sitting Supreme Court judge have spoken, maybe people will stop name-calling and let us deal with the gravity of the issue. Now it is our job to make this renewed attention lead to sustainable results. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who the messenger is, as long as those that are the hardest to reach can hear it.
I first met Eric Holder during the Clinton years when he was serving as Deputy Attorney General. Back then, my community was deeply troubled by FBI harassment, the government's use of "secret evidence" to detain individuals and profiling of Muslim or Arab-looking individuals at airports around the country.
Does this mean some criminals will be able to hide from the cops? Yes. Yes, it will. But it will also mean that cops can't just root around in your data and trample any citizen's rights for no reason -- which is precisely what the Constitution intended.
The FBI could greatly expand its applicant pool, thus increasing the quality of its hires, if it simply threw out the rules barring past drug use and focused instead on preventing on-the-job impairment.
Gay marriage is becoming legal in so many states, it's hard to keep up these days. As federal court after federal court strikes down laws against marriage equality, some politicians have realized it's a losing battle.