The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for October 18th through October 25th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for October 18th through October 25th:

  • A More Perfect Union: Being Gay in America – In the preamble of the Constitution, we are told that we are constantly moving toward a more perfect union. And while people in every age think they're living in a time of transition, ours truly is an age of transition when it comes to the rights of gay Americans. It's in the zeitgeist — in the courts, in pop culture, in the business world and in people's voices online and offline. You can hear the echo of Frederick Douglass' truism: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
  • 22 Countries Where The Gender Gap Is Smaller Than In The U.S. – As of this week, estimates are that 28,177 Americans have died of gun violence since the Newtown, Conn. school shootings. That’s 90 people every single day.
  • The Science of Tea Party Wrath – If you want to understand how American politics changed for the worse, according to moral psychologist and bestselling author Jonathan Haidt, you need only compare two quotations from prominent Republicans, nearly fifty years apart.
  • My Cancer, Obamacare, and the Still Necessary Fight for Medicare-for-All – Some say I should never call it "my" cancer. But after three rounds of this fight waged and two won so far, I think I am entitled (yes, I said entitled) to call this whatever I wish to call it. So, it is my cancer. It is my cancer struggle, and the lessons I have learned are my cancer lessons.
  • The ‘Merchant of Death’ Lobby – The U.S. gun industry doesn’t want any restrictions on its profit-making role as a global “merchant of death,” so its lobby has whipped half the Senate into line opposing a treaty aimed at curbing human rights crimes by regulating the illicit flow of weapons around the world, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
  • Ted Cruz isn’t the only Tea Party nut. There’s plenty more of them – It’s instructive to remember that when the Tea Party first began to gather steam, the name referred to a “party” in the celebration sense – the Boston Tea Party, specifically: an event of planned chaos, a protest that masqueraded as an Indian attack. Over time, the name has lost its punny puckishness much as the movement has steadily shifted from a proudly anarchical – even populist – response and rebellion within the GOP to a smoothly functioning alternative to it.
  • A Rising Empathy Gap Hurts the Poor—But Also the Economy – Discussion is growing of an empathy gap rooted in our society's dramatic increase in inequality. As David Madland argues in Democracy, "Studies across U.S. states, of the United States over time, and across countries all find that societies with a strong middle class and low levels of inequality have greater levels of trust of strangers." This trust brings about economic advantages.
  • The Lies That Will Kill America – Here in Manhattan the other day, you couldn’t miss it — the big bold headline across the front page of the tabloid New York Post, screaming one of those sick, slick lies that are a trademark of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media empire. There was Uncle Sam, brandishing a revolver and wearing a burglar’s mask. “UNCLE SCAM,” the headline shouted. “US robs bank of $13 billion.”
  • Shutdown takeaway: the US wants a fair society, not ‘defund Obamacare’ crazy | Mark Weisbrot – As Obama looks for a budget deal to forestall another shutdown, he should know a majority of Americans backs economic justice

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