Among Republican presidential hopefuls, several – such as Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry – have stressed their commitment to fundamentalist Christianity, which bases its approach to cultural issues on a literal reading of the Bible. But the Rev. Howard Bess notes that many of those ancient traditions are repugnant to modern society.
The massacre of 77 people in Norway by a Muslim-hating extremist has prompted soul-searching among some Christians and Jews, but also has provoked rationalizations from some in Israel and elsewhere who view fear and loathing of Muslims as key to their political cause, writes Lawrence Davidson.
One enduring lesson of the Reagan administration is that it makes no sense to negotiate with hostage-takers; they only take more hostages. That is a lesson that President Barack Obama and the Democrats must learn in dealing with the today’s right-wing Republicans, writes Michael Winship.
Western governments are stepping up their demands for public “austerity” hitting the middle and lower classes, even as extravagance remains the watchword for Wall Street and the rich. In Spain, a determined movement of “indignados” has emerged to challenge this political/economic dynamic, Pablo Ouziel reports.
The debt-ceiling crisis has revealed that Republicans have found a valuable hostage and Democrats have shown they will pay the ransom. So, the prospects that the federal government will address other problems, like joblessness and a staggering middle class, are even dimmer, as Danny Schechter notes.
The dispiriting battle over the debt ceiling has set many to wondering how America’s profoundly dysfunctional political/media system can and must be overhauled to serve the interests of the broad population, not just the privileged elites and their deluded defenders. Poet Phil Rockstroh addresses that dilemma.
Exclusive: The painful resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis shows that Republicans and the Right know how to play hardball – and that the Democrats and President Barack Obama know how to get rolled. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is thinking about other options.
An article of faith on the American Right is that the “free market” can solve pretty much all problems and the government should simply get out of the way. After the debt-limit crisis, the Republicans turn to the environment, writes Don Monkerud.
A small flotilla carrying human rights and peace activists to Israel-blockaded Gaza was itself blockaded in Greece after intense diplomatic pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv. But the Israeli news media continues to heap ridicule on the passengers. Two of them, retired U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright and Israeli-born Hagit Borer, respond.
Christian nationalists, like confessed Norway mass-murderer Anders Breivik, insist that a violent defense of Christendom is needed to shield Western Christianity and its culture from encroachments by Muslims. But Gary G. Kohls writes that such ugly intolerance is an affront to Jesus’s teachings of peace and forgiveness.