News & Features

Iraq Replaces Vietnam as a Metaphor for Tragedy

Andrew Lam

Two-and-a-half years after the U.S. pulled out of Iraq the country has crumbled into a bona-fide failed state, with Baghdad under siege by ISIS (jihadist militants from the Islamic State), who are having a run of Iraq, and some analysts now worry that ISIS will commit mass genocide against Iraq's Shi'a population if Baghdad falls. The war in Iraq started with Operation Shock and Awe but ended in a fizzle and, some would argue, in an epic exercise in human futility. 

Murder Rate Down, But Other Crimes Are on the Rise in New Orleans

Louisiana Weekly

You’re more likely to be raped, robbed or become a theft victim than to become a murder victim in New Orleans, according to crime statistics released last week by the New Orleans Police Department. The NOPD, which is undergoing the implementation of sweeping, federally mandated reforms, said in a news release last week that the “statistics represent a continued downward trend in murder and show that the number of murders in New Orleans is at a historic nearly 30-year low.”​

Pope Francis’ Gentle Revolution

Angelo Franco

Even with the incredible speed in which he has managed to shake believers and skeptics alike, Francis has generally observed an equally orthodox attitude towards Catholic teachings, albeit with a somewhat more broadmindedness that borders on the reformist by the standards of the Church as we know it.  From a decisively focused stand on interreligious relations to controversial claims about contraception and homosexuality to political opinions about the Maldives, Francis both kindles and quenches hope with reverberating strength, which helps capture his image as a highly influential game-changer. 

New Graduates: Welcome to a World of Debt

Ben Novotny

Outstanding student debt across the United States has reached $1.2 trillion according to Forbes, and is increasing at a faster rate than mortgages and auto loans. Seventy-one percent of 2013 college graduates had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower, and more than half of Californians have student debt with an average of $20,000, according to data compiled by the Institute for College Access and Success.

A Sunni-Shi’a War in the Middle East? Not Likely

William O. Beeman

The success of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in capturing large territories in Syria and Northern Iraq, and now threatening Baghdad, has raised once again the specter of a Sunni-Shi’a war in the Middle East. Such a scenario is possible, but unlikely. That’s because Sunni and Shi’a believers throughout the world are divided into many factions living under different social conditions and with different religious, social and political agendas. 

Reparations for North Carolina’s Sterilization Victims

Jazelle Hunt

Victims who were sterilized in North Carolina between 1929 and 1974 – approximately 7,600 people – have until the end of June to file a claim with the state, according to government officials. This month marks the final push to identify victims and their families, who will receive reparations in June 2015 from a $10 million fund. North Carolina is not the first state to publicly acknowledge this practice, but it will be the first state to offer compensation for it.

Does the White Male Need a Movement?

Stephanie Stark

To break it down, Pew and other research institutions predict that by 2040, the white race will be a minority; currently, men of the white race make up only 31 percent of the population.  White men are the only combination of race and gender that are decreasing in number of college degrees. They are more likely to use depressant drugs such as pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers and heroin than any other combination of race and gender. When will the white men’s movement not be seen as a joke? 

In Remembrance: A Pacifist Opposed to the First World War

Hal Gordon

Bertha believed passionately that an individual could indeed change the course of history and, for a brief shining moment, it seemed as if she actually might. In his book, Professor Dolmetsch describes a massive peace rally that Bertha staged in Vienna in 1898. She managed to secure Mark Twain as a speaker on this occasion, but the principal address was given by one Lt. Col. Manfred von Egidy, a Prussian officer who had been dismissed from the army for writing and circulating an antiwar pamphlet.

Democrats Could Win Eric Cantor’s Seat

Charles D. Ellison

Translated for a state that was once the Confederate capital, states’ rights nostalgia equals Voter-ID restrictions; Judeo-Christian principles means Bible-thumping; and free market sounds like predatory lending and sticking it to the working and middle class. That’s reason enough that African-American voters in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District should and can try to win that seat back for Democrats.

The Power Struggle Behind the Teacher Tenure Lawsuit

Kitty Kelly Epstein

The L.A. court decision striking down California teacher tenure laws was financed by the foundation of Silicon Valley millionaire, David Welch, who argued that the laws harm children. If allowed to stand, the court decision, like NCLB, is likely to hurt both students and teachers in two ways. First, it does nothing about the real issues of teacher availability and support. And second, its actual impact has more to do with political power than education.

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