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William Fisher

Entries by William Fisher

Barbour Burning?

(13) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 10:11 AM

The state of Mississippi, which ranks last in just about everything, is about to be first in something.

And that something is almost as bizarre as who's making it happen.

The "what" of this story: Starting with the 2011-2012 school curriculum, civil rights will be a required course for...

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Bloggers Under Fire!

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2010 | 1:13 PM

Last April, writer and historian Barbara Goldsmith announced that Nay Phone Latt was the winner of the 2010 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith "Freedom to Write" award, which honors international literary figures who have been persecuted or imprisoned for exercising or defending the right to freedom of expression.

But Nay Phone Latt wasn't...

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The Fall and Rise of a Lovely Day

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2010 | 1:42 PM

By William Fisher

So there I was, sitting in my living room, laptop perched on knees, I-Pod across the room belting out tunes from my collection of jazz, blues and gospel. It was September 28, 2010, the sun was trying to peek out, and I was looking forward to a...

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Europe's Great Cover Up!

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 11:42 AM

France is now poised to enact legislation making it illegal to wear the burqa (full body covering) and the niqab (face veil). And a growing number of European countries have already passed or are well on the way to passing similar legislation.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is promoting such...

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An Open Letter To Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen

(17) Comments | Posted May 16, 2010 | 9:42 AM

Dear Senator Allen:

Thanks for publishing your oped in the Austin Capital Times to explain SB 1070, Arizona's new immigration law. Frankly, I think some of the rhetoric applied to this new measure has managed to generate a lot of heat but not much light. Some of the knee-jerk Arizona-bashers...

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Is "Think" Just an Old Bumper Sticker?

(27) Comments | Posted May 9, 2010 | 12:04 PM

Have you noticed that there seems to be a very high correlation between angry citizens in Arizona who favor a major seal-the-border surge to cut off entry for illegal immigrants, and the Tea Partiers who continue to grab the headlines by shouting at the government to get smaller and stay...

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Life After Fifty? Listen Up Ladies!

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 2:58 AM

Reviews "In The Fullness of Time: 32 Women on Life After Fifty." Edited by Emily W. Upham and Linda Gravenson. ATRIA paperback.

I have to admit, this is not my usual book. Generally I'm more comfortable with Sy Hersh or Jane Mayer or Tom Ricks or a history of the...

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Feel Safer Now?

(4) Comments | Posted April 6, 2010 | 9:03 AM

I write a lot of stories, news mostly. They're carried by InterPress News Service. I've been doing this for a very long time, so I'm usually able to separate myself from what I'm writing about so I don't get emotionally involved.

But there are those times when I find...

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Al Haramain: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

(3) Comments | Posted April 3, 2010 | 5:33 PM

As legal experts mull over the long-term implications of last week's court decision declaring illegal the program of warrantless surveillance by the George W. Bush administration, attention now focuses on whether the Obama Justice Department will appeal the controversial ruling.

If it does, says the California lawyer who won...

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Post-Racial What?

(1) Comments | Posted March 25, 2010 | 10:20 AM

Just in case you've bought into the "post-racial" era of "Yes, We Can," consider the plight of Zachari Klawonn.

Klawonn is an Army Specialist, the son of an American father and a Moroccan mother. He is 20 years old.

As told by The Washington Post , "Klawonn was...

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Wittes, Goldsmith, and KSM: "Absurd," "Cynical"

(1) Comments | Posted March 22, 2010 | 10:59 AM

It's been a few days now since Benjamin Wittes and Jack Goldsmith wrote their op-ed in the Washington Post calling the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "dispensable" and proffering that "the politically draining fight about civilian vs..... military trials is not worth the costs."

Their proposal: "Instead of expending great...

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Where is the Outrage?

(36) Comments | Posted February 20, 2010 | 8:46 AM

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the families of two men who died in detention at Guantanamo couldn't sue the government because their imprisonment as enemy combatants had been approved by a Combat Review Status Tribunal -- a CRST.

The same CRSTs the Supreme Court found "inadequate."

Following a...

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The Silence of the Sheep

(8) Comments | Posted February 7, 2010 | 7:40 AM

"In an admission that took the intelligence community and its critics by surprise, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair acknowledged in a congressional hearing Wednesday that the U.S. may, with executive approval, deliberately target and kill U.S. citizens who are suspected of being involved in terrorism."

That's the lead paragraph...

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Well done, Mr. Kennedy!

(8) Comments | Posted January 24, 2010 | 8:02 PM

OK, if you really read Mr. Justice Kennedy's opinion for the Supreme Court's majority in the Citizens United case, you just have to agree with his reasoning.

No one wants to limit free speech. It would be unconstitutional! The First Amendment is one of our proudest achievements.

So of...

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What to do with The UnderBomber

(2) Comments | Posted January 10, 2010 | 4:34 PM

Well, the underpants bomber has now pleaded "not guilty" to a bunch of charges stemming from his unsuccessful efforts to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas day.

The not guilty stuff is a legal formality he will use to try to negotiate some kind of plea deal. If he's...

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Immigration: Emma Lazarus Redux

(2) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 2:36 PM

The United States is a country that has been built on immigration and by immigrants. For more than two centuries, people have come from all over the world to become Americans. And for all that time we have taken pride in our ability to integrate people from many backgrounds into...

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Good News 2009

(2) Comments | Posted December 13, 2009 | 7:32 PM

OK, OK. I know. It's time for my annual good news column.

It's a deal I made with a friend to make up for all the depressing news stories I had to write this year.

This was no easy task. Aside from the end of the Bush era, and the...

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Obama's Dilemma: Prison Corruption a Symptom of How Sick We Are in Afghanistan

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2009 | 7:08 PM

Amid the near-constant speculation over President Barack Obama's strategy for Afghanistan, there appears to be virtually universal consensus that rooting out corruption has to be a top priority if the US and its NATO allies are to have a "credible partner" in the Afghan government.

But corruption takes many forms...

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Most Happy Fella!

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2009 | 8:23 AM

My friends will probably be surprised to hear me say, "I'm a really lucky guy. I'm happy!" They'll think I've developed a marshmallow brain.

Well, maybe so. But here it is: "I'm a really lucky guy!" And happy about it!

And the source of these newfound feelgoods? No, I didn't...

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A Simpleton Tries to Understand the Health Care Debate

(6) Comments | Posted October 23, 2009 | 9:16 PM

Now, the first thing I want you to know is that I'm no health care policy expert. Far from it.

But, like the rest of us, I have a body and a mind that can get sick. So I'm a participant in the debate whether or not I want to...

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