America is a cult. Think about it: a cult is a system of veneration and devotion to a particular figure, object or idea. In this case, the object of veneration is America itself. One of the characteristics of a cult is control of the membership as, for example, by taxing them even if they live outside the country. Another characteristic is shunning as in making it difficult and expensive for members to leave.
They were using their talents and resources to pursue their passions. We often celebrate young people (think Bill Gates for instance) for doing this in other businesses and personal pursuits, but it takes on a very different tone when young black men from stigmatized areas take an unconventional path and invest their energies into it.
Before I talk about the wretched Muslims ruining America, I'm going to admit I'm not American. I am Canadian, which I realize is pretty unfortunate. To make up for this deficiency, I've always pretended to be American. I pretend because it is feels great to be "exceptional" and more civilized than the rest of the world. I pretend because it makes me feel safer to fear others who are different. I pretend because American Republican politicians aren't afraid to demonstrate their overt bigotry by generalizing an entire group of people. Now, it's time to finally stop pretending and fulfill my true destiny.
Sadly, by addressing their reproductive health decisions openly, American women still run social, civil, and human rights risks that Canadian women no longer need to worry about. Additionally, in the U.S., if a woman speaks out about her body, she risks being pinned with moral connotations. Why? Because the subject of a woman's body is still claimed by both church and state.
As I write this, the swell of a Western grassroots outcry against the Nigerian outfit, Boko Haram, appears to be forming across social media. There's a specific aspect of war crimes which it is necessary to emphasize, and that's the use of sexualized violence against women as a tool of war. Can we all agree to stop using the phrase "the forcible sale of women into marriage"? Church bells and nuptials this is not. It's profiteering from rape in a triple currency which is simultaneously economic, military and psychological in nature.
On the evening of March 5, anchor Liz Wahl resigned from Russia Today-America at the end of her 5 p.m. broadcast. While it's not fair to speculate that Wahl made her dramatic exit in order to score a new, and potentially higher paying, job, it is certain that her patriotic exit will likely be rewarded by American media.
The exurban neighbourhods of El Paso County, Colorado seem, to this observer, environments designed for alienation and loneliness: street after street of developer-built houses fronted by enormous, power-operated garage doors, which display an defensive attitude to the street, and to the larger world. It all makes The Netherlands, where I currently live, seem mighty urbane, and civilized.
I love the very philosophy that guides our society: peace, order and good government. Our constitution is wise to mention these principles as foundations of our way of life. Although the American motto of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" explicitly mentions freedom, it is in fact the Canadian incantation that provides for real liberty.
After decades of mistaken policy with the Middle East, the U.S. should do what's necessary to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and get rid of Assad and his sycophancy to Tehran. America has a very poor track record with the Middle East, and will simply, eventually, have to do better than this.
Recently, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies will be hosting a gala event -- the Spirit of Hope Gala Benefit -- to benefit the organization's advocacy, human rights and outreach efforts here in Canada and abroad. There will also be a debate by distinguished Americans on the resolution "Be it resolved, the world is safer under President Obama." Well, is it?