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Only in America

The local 2 Political Junkies quotes Brooklyn freelance writer Syreeta McFadden on the George Zimmerman trial:

"Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder."

Black Twitter-ed

Shani O. Hilton at Buzzfeed: "[J]ust hours after news broke that as-yet-unidentified 'Juror B37' from the George Zimmerman trial had found a book agent, the agent decided to drop her. Shortly after dropping the budding author, the agent, Sharlene Martin, released a statement from Juror B37 that said she wouldn't write the book after all: Being sequestered had 'shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case.'

"If only Juror B37 had turned to Black Twitter before deciding to cash in. Because Black Twitter watchers know the power of the swarm. That obsessive and focused online conversation has gone from being a source of entertainment -- and outside curiosity -- to a cultural force in its own right.

"Black Twitter began making jokes at Paula Deen's expense in order to keep from crying -- but ultimately drove the narrative around her and sped her demise. ... Now, black folks on Twitter aren't just influencing the conversation online, they're creating it."

Lawless Florida

Satirist Andy Borowitz after the Zimmerman verdict: "Arguing that its current system of laws is out of step with life in today's Florida, a growing chorus of lawmakers in the state are arguing for a measure that would eliminate laws altogether. 'Florida is rife with laws that say "Do this, don't do that," ' said Gov. Rick Scott, a supporter of the measure. 'Speaking as a Floridian, I have found it exhausting pretending to obey them.' "

"There is broad support in the state for abolishing laws, according to a poll commissioned by ... Citizens for a Lawless Florida. ... For those who fear that eradicating Florida's laws would wreak havoc on life in the state, Gov. Scott offered this reassurance: 'Honestly, I don't think you'll notice a difference.' "

Pa.'s captive legislators

Steven Malanga at PublicSectorInc.: "Two prominent initiatives of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's recent legislative session, privatization of the state's liquor monopoly and pension reform, both failed thanks to strong union opposition. Readers wondering how a Republican governor with a Republican legislature could come up short might learn from this Philly.com piece which explains how unions maintain a hold on both parties in the Keystone State. As one critic notes, the GOP might not be bought, but:

" 'There are enough Republicans who are rented by the unions that they can squash anything that is remotely pro-taxpayer,' said Leo Knepper of the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania. 'The Pennsylvania GOP is not based on ideas or principle, it's about maintaining powers.' "

Be careful, GOP

Via Atlantic Wire: Jorge Ramos of Univision calls immigration reform "a political no-brainer" for Republicans. "If Republicans in the House of Representatives vote against the immigration reform legislation ... they will lose the presidential election in 2016," Mr. Ramos writes (as translated).

George W. Bush needed Hispanics in Florida to get elected and Mitt Romney lost without them, as will the next Republican candidate, he argues. If Republicans withhold a House vote on immigration reform, "how many years will they have to wait for Hispanic voters to forgive them?" Quite a few, he suggests.

Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos says Republicans should heed Mr. Ramos, writing, "Jorge Ramos is to the Latino community today what Walter Cronkite used to be in U.S. media."

The most interesting man

Elias Groll at Foreign Policy writes about how Matthew Barrett created a Twitter sensation by linking to the obscure bio of British army officer Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart and claiming, "This guy surely has the best opening paragraph of any Wikipedia biography ever." To wit:

"Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880 - 5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He fought in the Boer War, World War I and World War II, was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip and ear, survived a plane crash, tunneled out of a POW camp and bit off his own fingers when a doctor wouldn't amputate them. He later said, 'frankly, I had enjoyed the war.' "

opinion_commentary

Compiled by Greg Victor (gvictor@post-gazette.com).


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