The Common Good

Quick Read: Social. Justice. News.

'Mistaken' Deaths

How many more times do we have to read a story like this one?

The American military claimed responsibility and expressed regret for an airstrike that mistakenly killed six members of a family in southwestern Afghanistan, Afghan and American military officials confirmed Monday.  The attack, which took place Friday night, was first revealed by the governor of Helmand Province, Muhammad Gulab Mangal, on Monday.

If it is the U.S. intention to win over the Afghan people, this is exactly how not to do it.

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Media Interest in Occupy Wanes

For SalonNatasha Lennard worries that falling interest in the Occupy movement could have repercussions for the debate on inequality:

As evidenced by the lack of stories about the May Day general strike last week, the mainstream media’s interest in Occupy Wall Street has waned. It’s a shame because, as a new report indicates, Occupy has been central to driving media stories about income inequality in America.

Read her full article here

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Ph.D. in One Hand, Food Stamps in the Other

The Huffington Post reports on the drastic rise in the number of people with advanced degrees who are also reliant on government welfare:

The number of Ph.D. recipients on food stamps and other forms of welfare more than tripled between 2007 and 2010 to 33,655, according to an Urban Institute analysis cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The number of master's degree holders on food stamps and other forms of welfare nearly tripled during that same time period to 293,029, according to the same analysis.

Learn more here

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The Democrat-Evangelical Disconnect

In yesterday's New York Times, professor and author T.M. Luhrmann examined how Democrats can speak to evangelicals more effectively:

To be sure, they won’t connect to every evangelical. But the good news for secular liberals is that evangelicals are smarter and more varied than many liberals realize. I met doctors, scientists and professors at the churches where I studied. They cared about social justice. They cared about the poor. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many of them got into their cars and drove to New Orleans. This is a reachable population, and back in 2008, a quarter of white evangelicals voted for Mr. Obama. Democrats could speak to evangelicals more effectively if they talked about how we could develop our moral character together as we work to rebuild our country.

Read the rest of his article here

 

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Why Getting money Out of Politics is Good for Business

From Newsweek Magazine

It’s worrying to think that shareholder democracy is needed to rectify shortcomings in the real thing, yet this week two of the nation’s biggest corporations will give their investors precisely that opportunity. Motions on the ballots at the annual meetings of Bank of America and 3M will act as referenda on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which handed companies the same freedoms of speech accorded people. Happily, restricting the use of corporate money in politics isn’t just good for democracy, it’s good business.

Read Rob Cox's article here

 

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Christians Rethink Interactions in Public Arena

For USA TodayJonathan Merrit examines the changing nature of "Christian civic engagement":

Christian Millennials are now coming of age and recognizing the flawed strategies and broken agendas embraced by their forebears. They've seen how the religious right (and the religious left, for that matter) has used the Bible as a tool to gain political power and reduced the Christian community to little more than a voting bloc — and they are forging a different path.

Read the full article here

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The Challenge

Glenn Kessler, writer of the Washington Post Factchecker column, issues a challenge to President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney:

"With the presidential election looming in exactly six months, I would like to issue a challenge to you both: Give at least one campaign speech, on a substantive policy issue, lasting at least 15 minutes, that does not contain a single factual error or misstatement. That means no sugar-coating of your record, no exaggerated claims about your opponent’s record, and no assertions that are technically true but lack crucial context."

I’m not holding my breath for the challenge to be accepted.

 

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War and Peace and the President

Yale Professor David Bromwich analyses President Obama's foreign policy for The Huffington Post:

President Obama, it has been said, is a master of having it both ways. Nowhere is this truer than in foreign policy. He ended the torture regime at Guantanamo, in line with rulings handed down by the Supreme Court. At the same time he assured impunity to the lawyers who justified torture and the agents who executed it. He publicized his intention of closing the prison itself as a matter of principle; but when resistance sprang up, he scuttled the plan. To facilitate the extension of the war in Afghanistan, he allowed American diplomats and military officers not to inquire too closely into the treatment of enemy combatants at Bagram and elsewhere.

Read the full analysis here

 

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Making Better Use of Food Stamps

On the Politico opinion pages, Jason Ackerman examines how food assistance programs could be better utilized:

Americans who depend on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — known as food stamps — are unable to buy groceries from online vendors. The Electronic Benefits Transfer, the system that allows SNAP recipients to pay for groceries, does not support Internet transactions. But Congress now has a unique opportunity to change this and bring some relief to millions of people.
 
Learn more here

 

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Sudan Promises to End Hostilities

From the BBC

Sudan has promised to cease hostilities with South Sudan and comply with a UN Security Council resolution. However the foreign ministry also said that Khartoum reserved the right to respond to "aggression" from the South. The statement came hours after Juba alleged fresh bombing by the Khartoum government's forces.

Learn more about the situation in Sudan and South Sudan here

 

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