HighÂ finesÂ for nonviolent offenses and highÂ court fees have the effect of trapping poor Americans intoÂ a cycle of poverty. Thomas Harvey, founder of ArchCity DefendersÂ (a St. Louis-area public defender group),Â callsÂ these fees âillegal and harmful practices.â
Needless to say, the media has a lot to talk about. A White police officer shot an unarmed American who happens to be of African decent. Members of the press were detained by the police. The riots and protests are increasingly violent. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is traveling to the site of the altercation while Ferguson police pour tear gas into protesting crowds.
The latest polls indicate that by a very large margin, the American public in this country sides with Israel during this fight. For millions of Americans, the Jewish state is a reflection of our own country. Israel is an outpost of Western-style democracy in an unstable and dangerous part of the world torn by violence and dominated by autocratic regimes and radical groups willing to employ terrorist tactics to achieve their goals.
To hear educators and pundits talk youâd think we are at the dawn of a change in public school education that will herald a new commitment to providing students and parents an education worthy of the tax dollars spent. Yet, until such time that teachersâ unions stop being impediments to success, our education system will not deliver the results we need to prepare todayâs students for tomorrowâs challenges.
Victim mentality only creates helplessness. Helplessness is the most maddening, the most miserable, the most upsetting of mental states. In fact, it is commonly reported anecdotally that nothing triggers madness like a sense of helplessness. It is a cousin of paranoia, a sense that the world is out to get you, that there is some opposition between you and the world, some rivalry. This is a warped, twisted mentality that offers no benefits, and, more importantly, is manifestly false: the world is the world, and you, O man, are a speck of dust.
For most Americans,Â Independence Day is a lot like the beginning of aÂ baseball game. A famous artist sings theÂ National Anthem and everyone in the stadium stands and places their hand upon their heart. Some people sing along or at least mouth the words, but most putÂ on a fake look of sincerity thinking,Â âI canâtÂ wait till the song ends so the game can begin.â
President Obama is doubling down in his defense of his blunder inÂ defying the rule of law, exercising poor judgment, and mischaracterizing (I'm trying to be charitable) the service of Sgt. Bergdahl in his ill-conceived 'deal' to free the lone American serviceman held captive in Afghanistan. Â The proximity of this poor decision to the heat of opprobrium the president was recently suffering for the VA access-to-care scandal is disquieting. Â When it is set against his prior action in jumping at the Joint Plan of Action to "give diplomacy a chance" in the matter of Iranian nuclear ambitions, there is a downright disturbing pattern. Â Is our narcissist-in-chief jumping at available, but poor, deals-in-the-offing to turn the page on his own political difficulties.
âIf it bleeds it leadsâ remarked Janks Morton during our discussion. The media has an obsession with reporting on violent, specifically black, crime. Instead of focusing on the positive developments of the black community, the media loves to tell stories that grab viewerâs attention using a shock factor. The kinds of stories highlighting inner-city black crime possess this shock factor and, according to Jamal Simmons, demonstrate the prejudice that exists among many media outlets.
The leader of theÂ Islamist terrorist groupÂ behind the kidnappingâAbubakarÂ Shekauâhas taken responsibility. He recently releasedÂ a video in which heÂ promisedÂ to sell the girls as slaves in the âmarketplaceâ.Â NaviÂ Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights,Â toldÂ reporters:Â âWe warn the perpetrators that there is an absolute prohibition against slavery and sexual slavery in international law.â
All too often,Â rich individuals in this country areÂ demonized for simply being rich. If some sort ofÂ financialÂ catastrophe happens, such as theÂ latest recession in 2009, the richÂ are to blame. If the government is running large deficits, the richÂ are not paying theirÂ âfair shareâ. If an individual is poor and cannot find employment, it is because the rich hoardÂ all their profits and donât shareÂ with anyone else.