Month: June 2016

Hill’s emails: lying in plain sight

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Speaking in San Francisco last week, Hillary Clinton told supporters that Donald Trump is not fit to be president. “He roots for himself,” the former Secretary of State proclaimed, “and that’s the type of person who should not be president of the United States.” By that standard, Clinton herself has no business running to win the White House. Recently the State Department’s independent watchdog, the Office of the Inspector General, issued a report on Clinton’s “email records management.” The report includes information that shows that practically everything Clinton has said about her use of a private server is false. Last year, Clinton said that she used the private server “for convenience.” She talked as if she had not given the matter much thought. That claim was unbelievable at the time. Given the family’s extensive history of being under investigation, she of all lawyers had to know that government correspondence belongs to the people, not the place holders. As the Washington Post editorialized, the new report shows that Clinton’s decision “was not a casual oversight.” The Secretary of State was so busy trying to protect her self-interest that she repeatedly ignored warnings about cybersecurity risks. Even after the inspector general’s report was released, Clinton continued to spin lies. She told ABC News and CNN that her use of a private server was “allowed.” It was not. Indeed,...

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Obama and Hiroshima’s moral lessons

By E.J. DIONNE JR. Unless you are a pacifist, you accept that evil acts—the destruction of other human lives—can be justified, even necessary, in pursuit of good and urgent ends. But unless you are amoral, you also acknowledge the human capacity for self-delusion and selfishness. People are quite capable of justifying the utterly unjustifiable by draping their immoral actions behind sweeping ethical claims. And if you are a responsible political leader, you must recognize both sides of this moral equation and still not allow yourself to be paralyzed. As a student of Reinhold Niebuhr, the great theologian who was at once a liberal and a realist, President Obama has spent many years pondering this tension. He has sought out occasions on which he could preach about the ironies and uncertainties of human action—and also our obligation to act in the face of them. This habit can annoy those who prefer to see a world in which good guys with few flaws confront the bad guys. Obama is constantly being criticized for “apologizing” for the United States when he is in fact attempting to hold us to the very standards that make the U.S. the “exceptional” nation his critics extol. Judging ourselves by our own standards is the best way to prove that our commitment to them is real. It is thus not at all surprising that Obama chose to...

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Art should reflect the good of society

Anyone who has lived in these United States can be excused if they agree that there has been a general deterioration in American morals and related behaviors. There are, arguably, many reasons for the decline in our ability to enjoy our lives free of bullets flying everywhere, rampant drug addiction, the inability to trust anyone save those who have proven they are honorable people. There is also a lack of consideration for the property and safety of our fellow citizens due to the willingness of others who choose to steal rather than work. One can believe that a chief contributor to these negative changes in American society is due to what all of us who view television and see movies have as influences. Almost everything possible human behavior is nowadays presented on the screen with evermore sex, drugs, violence and murder. An individual can escape the personal effects of these matters by avoiding theatre of all kinds but is never safe any longer from what his neighbor, the couple down the street, the unsupervised children raising themselves and the wandering legions of persons doped up or unwilling to be responsible citizens who live to take from someone else. An old argument reads ‘life imitates art,’ with its counter argument that ‘art imitates life.’  There’s very little to debate when it comes to how much influence art has had on American life in our time. People see movies and TV shows that display behaviors not in their...

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“The Fireman” by Joe Hill

“The Fireman” by Joe Hill c.2016, William Morrow $28.99 / $35.99  Canada 753 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Your family has a good contingency plan. You all know what to do if there’s a blaze or a flood. You know where to go, what to grab if there’s time, and what not to do. You’ve practiced – at least in your mind. But what if your Plan A fails?  In “The Fireman,” the new novel by Joe Hill, that’s the burning question. Harper Willowes Grayson couldn’t quite believe that she’d gotten infected. As a nurse, she knew the dangers. She knew that those who got Dragonscale died horrible deaths in fire that consumed them from within. Millions of people world-wide had been reduced to ash, and she’d taken strong precautions against Draco incendia trychophyton but there it was: a filigree trail snaked black-and-gold around her hips and up her arms. A sign of infection. A death sentence. Her husband, Jakob, had sentenced her to death already, though, hadn’t he?  He forced Harper into agreeing to a suicide pact, should either of them fall sick. Would he really make her go along with it, now that Harper was pregnant? The answer was yes, but on the day Jakob became crazed with fear and tried to kill her, Harper learned that her months as a nurse offered her something unique: the friendship of a tall, mysterious man,...

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