The role of the government in disaster relief is the topic of much discussion as Hurricane Irene, now Tropical Storm Irene, pummels New England.
Inevitable comparisons are being drawn to Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and surrounding areas in 2005. The response from government during and after that catastrophe was widely seen as inadequate, ineffective and incompetent. President George W. Bush, especially, was widely criticized at the time for not getting more personally involved in leading the response effort.
“If you look at the polling from 2005, President Bush's approval rating dropped 4 or 5 points after Katrina, and he never recovered those 4 or 5 points,” noted Ron Brownstein of the National Journal on ABC's “This Week.” more >>
Religious leaders will be excluded from the 10th anniversary memorial service of New York City's 9/11 tragedy. Critics of the decision argue that religious leaders played an important role during and after the tragedy and should be included.
Former New York Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, who was serving in office at the time of the September 11, 2001 attack, expressed outrage at the exclusion in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me. I feel like America has lost its way,” Washington said. more >>
Reporters are scrambling to catch sight of Casey Anthony. They’re plotting potential plane routes across country, reporting rumored hideouts, naming people who could, or would, or might be "hiding her." There was even the potential, as reported last week, that Anthony may have landed here in San Diego County.
Whether you have concluded she was wrongly accused or wrongly released, there's no denying the fact that this woman has captivated a nation. Anthony's trial was broadcast live on several cable news channels. The day the verdict was announced, Headline News attracted the biggest audience in its history, exceeding their coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Why are we unable to look away? What bearing does the plight of Casey Anthony have on our individual lives? Aside from our gawking tendencies, there's something more concrete that draws us to this story. more >>
To most people, when the word “Afghanistan” is mentioned the concept of being able to openly criticize the government does not come to mind, unless followed up with the phrase “punishable by death.”
However, post-9/11 Afghan society has been making great strides toward a working democracy and citizens have known greater personal freedoms now than under the Taliban. There is no better sign of a budding democracy than a media not afraid to challenge power holders. With its new television series titled, “The Ministry,” Afghan citizens are able to participate in mocking their own government.
The show is Afghanistan’s version of the U.S. and Britain’s comedy show “The Office,” which pokes fun of incompetent managers in an office environment. In the Afghan version, the show is set in a fictional “ministry of garbage” in Hechland (which translated from Dari to mean “Nothing Land”). The main character (otherwise known as the Afghan version of Michael Scott) is the loveable but incompetent leader of “The Office,” Dawlat, the head minister. more >>
American Atheists may not have anticipated it, but a suit they recently filed in New York to remove a cross in a 9/11 museum has turned even non-conservatives and skeptics against the group’s litigious zeal.
The Washington Post’s On Faith section says few panelists defended the suit filed about two weeks ago to stop the display of a metal cross at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
“Even our own atheist contributors seemed to feel that the lawsuit was ‘frivolous’ and distracted from real church and state battles,” it notes. more >>
For the first time since military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan began using makeshift bombs, there is new research that offers hope for U.S. soldiers wounded by explosions.
Bioengineers at Harvard University can now explain how the blast of an exploding bomb can result in disastrous injuries in the nerve cells and blood vessels of the brain.
Researchers discovered this week that if a soldier is near a bomb when it explodes, it sets off a chain reaction of destructive molecular signals within the nerve cells of the brain. more >>