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Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:55 PM PST

The American Sniper As Hero

by FDRDemocrat

The controversy over the movie American Sniper has predictably reopened the divide among many Americans over the Iraq War.  What is more interesting is how the choice made by director Clint Eastwood to choose a sniper as a heroic archetype unravels classic notions of what is considered heroism.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 08:09 PM PDT

Tom Clancy's Dark Legacy

by FDRDemocrat

The passing of Tom Clancy at age 66 is an opportunity not only to mark his legacy as a prolific and successful writer, but also to recall how the views he propagated on American history and military doctrine fostered myths that ultimately undermined the security of the country he loved.

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Make no mistake, the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder is a terrible one.  It is a setback for civil rights as it makes one of the most important tools for equal access to voting - Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act - more or less moot since the coverage formulae has been thrown out.  It may take time to remedy this legislatively.

But in the meantime, the Law of Unintended Consequences may have its say.  For the dirty little secret of Section 5 was how, at the same time it led to major advances by African Americans in particular, it was also manipulated by the right wing to promote Republican white majorities in state houses and in the states of the Old Confederacy.

And so, while work begins on fixing the mess that SCOTUS created, Democrats should aggressively move to not just limit the damage but take back as much of the lost ground as possible.  If done right, this can proceed with minimum retrenchment of minority progress.

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:30 PM PDT

Hillary in 2016

by FDRDemocrat

Yes, its early.  Yes, we only JUST had a Presidential election.  But for those of us who still carry the torch, no time is too soon for the first woman President.  Hillary in 2016!

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Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:53 AM PDT

The Paterno Statue Stays

by FDRDemocrat

Yesterday July 14th, the Penn State Board of Trustees announced that they would not be taking down the famous statue of the late Joe Paterno, an icon in Penn State football and one of the winningest coaches in history.  This decision, coming in the wake of the exhaustive Freeh report, is a disheartening reminder of how child molestation is enabled by the silence of the greater society.

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Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:44 AM PDT

Barry Needs To Be Held To Account

by FDRDemocrat

Airing dirty laundry is never a pleasant thing.  However a recent anti-Asian comment by Marion S. Barry, Jr., Councilman for Ward Eight of the City Council of the District of Columbia, must be brought to light so it can be condemned.  Barry is not only an elected official in our Nation's capital city, he is the former Mayor of that city.  His star has fallen following a string of scandals.  But he continues to be welcomed in many progressive circles.  That needs to end.

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Seventy five years ago, as the Second World War loomed, another conflict began that would have wide consequences on history - the Spanish Civil War.  On one side was the "Nationalists" - a coalition of military insurgents, royalists, fascists and other conservatives.  On the other was the Second Spanish Republic, a coalition of leftists and liberals aided by those security forces that had stayed loyal.  In November 1936, the world was transfixed by the Battle of Madrid, where the forces of Francisco Franco were poised to seize the capital and end the war with one stroke.  But reinforcements arrived in the nick of time to help Spanish Republicans - the International Brigades.

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Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM PST

Another War In The Middle East?

by FDRDemocrat

In 1914, through the operation of traditional power politics and a series of fatal misjudgments, the world was plunged into a devastating war.  The recent decision by the Arab League to suspend Syrian membership is another step on a slippery slope to a major war in the Middle East - one that almost no one wants.

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Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:45 PM PDT

Rick Perry v. Darwin

by FDRDemocrat

As Rick Perry surges in the polling among GOP voters, quite a few of his controversial views are coming to light.  Among these are Perry's critiques of the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin.  If you thought the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 wasn't enough, here is further proof that history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.  In any case, conservatives are already leaping to Perry's defense with attacks on Darwinism.

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Tue May 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM PDT

USS Cesar Chavez

by FDRDemocrat

A U.S. Navy cargo ship is to be named after Cesar Chavez, the famous advocate for farm worker's rights.  The naming of a U.S. naval vessel conveys official recognition of the importance of the life and contributions of the person.  

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As Egypt teeters between the end of the regime and an uncertain future, President Obama has steered a cautious but ultimately wise path.  While every American would prefer a more democratic Egypt, the future of the country will be determined not by us but by internal forces.  But we do have a strategic interest in peace in the region.  And for all his faults, Mubarak has kept the peace of the Camp David Accords.

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The salient reality of the November 2010 congressional elections was the flight of white working class voters from the Democratic Party.  The "Reagan Democrats" support has dropped to the lowest levels since the end of WW2.  Obviously President Obama needs to devise political strategies to improve these dismal numbers.  An excellent starting point would be to replace Joe Biden on the ticket with Senator James Webb of Virginia.  Senator Webb - recently descrived as the Last of the FDR Democrats - has the gut instincts to bring these voters back home.  

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