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Opinion

The politics of federal judges

The politics of federal judges
The two conflicting appeals court rulings last week on the legality of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act – one supporting it and the other rejecting the health law – underscore the nexus between politics and the judiciary. All of the judges voting to uphold the ACA were appointed by Democrats. All of the judges voting to strike down the law were appointed by Republicans.
 
We’ve seen this scenario played out at the U.S. Supreme Court, with most controversial rulings decided on a 5-4 vote, with conservatives clinging to a one-vote margin. But the most important appointments might be those of federal appeals court judges, the last stop before a case reaches the Supreme Court.

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The lynching of Eric Garner

The lynching of Eric Garner
It was one of the most difficult scenes in Spike Lee’s classic movie “Do the Right Thing,” the brutal strangulation of peace-loving Radio Raheem by New York City police in a Brooklyn pizza shop.
 
That scene touched a raw nerve as it recalled the 1983 death of 25-year-old graffiti artist Michael Stewart, another choke-hold victim of the New York City Police Department. 

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Our involvement in Iraq ignores an appalling anti-black record

Our involvement in Iraq ignores an appalling anti-black record
Army Specialist David Hickman, an African-American from North Carolina, was the last U.S. soldier to be killed in the almost decade-long war in Iraq.
 
Hickman was only 23 years old when a roadside bomb tore through his armored truck, causing him internal brain hemorrhaging. He was killed on November 14, just weeks away from the war’s end.
 
Hickman was one of 462 black people who fought and died under Operation Iraqi Freedom. A reported 2,727 African Americans were wounded in the war.

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Yes, we camp, and if you don’t, here’s what you’re missing

Yes, we camp, and if you don’t, here’s what you’re missing
When I was growing up in New Jersey, my siblings and I typically spent our summers crammed in the back of my grandmother’s station wagon, heading to the Jersey Shore. With blankets and coolers in tow, we would start our days at sunrise and end them at sunset.
 
But one summer, when I was 11 years old, my grandmother wanted to do something different. I’m not sure why she singled me out, but to this day I’m glad she did.

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Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home
Americans have lost their minds. Forgive me for not expending any of my emotional energy or shedding any tears for those illegals coming into America. No, I can’t get all wrapped up in the plight of all the illegal children whose derelict parents are sending them thousands of miles on a dangerous journey alone.
 
I can’t help but to invest my emotion into citizens who have lost family members because someone in the country illegally was involved in a drunken driving incident; or whose daughter was raped by an illegal; or whose home was broken into by an illegal. I can’t feel sorry for kids in Central America or worry about their plight when you have American kids who are homeless and no one seems to care about them.

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‘Straight Outta Compton’ casting call is a straight up mess

‘Straight Outta Compton’ casting call is a straight up mess
Production has begun on Straight Outta Compton, the biopic about N.W.A. and Universal Studios is looking to cast more people for it.
 
They’re apparently working with Sande Allesi Casting, and the agency posted a call for the film that placed women in the categories A-B-C-D (it was on the agency’s Facebook page but was deleted. Gawker has the text).
 
The casting call created a pyramid of girls needed and ranked it in a way that is so offensive that I almost want to laugh at its wrongness and boldness. Did Donald Sterling write this? I read it and asked Jesus to take the wheel, hold my mule and be a fence.

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Cyber child abuse

Cyber child abuse
I was strolling down a very busy Broadway in New York City a couple of weeks ago.  It was a very nice Saturday and it seemed like everyone was out walking and shopping.  In front of me was a woman and her very young child (maybe 3 or 4 years old). The woman was completely entranced by her cell phone.  She was texting away.  Her daughter was walking a few steps behind her and was meandering around.  My wife and I found this very unsettling.  So, too, did two young men who were approaching us.  They looked at each other and got ready to say something to the young mother.  

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