Warren Peace

Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation is stirring up a controversy, mostly because of Warren's public support of Proposition 8 in California.The Huffington Post is calling it Obama's "first real rift with the left." The Human Rights Council is encouraging Obama to "reconsider" in a strongly worded letter. And Matthew Yglesias wonders if this might be analogous to an Iranian politician promising a new direction and then "elevating a cleric who's well-known for his high-profile endorsement of assassinations."Proposition 8's passage was a civil rights setback, no doubt about it, but Warren's views on the issue of homosexuality are pretty nuanced. In this video he says he doesn't believe we should have "unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles" but is opposed to "a redefinition of a 5,000-year old definition of marriage." His arguments don't convince me (definitions of words are in constant flux and civilization survives) but he's not unreasonable. His views don't compare to endorsing assassinations and I'd argue he's a moderating force in the debate.The complaint from some gay rights activists, of course, is more just that Warren shouldn't be given such a prominent role in the inauguration. But, while Obama could have picked an evangelical with views that are isomorphic to progressives' (a Jim Wallis, perhaps), that wouldn't have represented the same sort of olive branch to those with whom progressives disagree: the pro-Prop-8 folks. And what's wrong with an olive branch?In the Human Rights Council's letter they say:" inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table."I'd say that by inviting Rick Warren, Obama is making a public demonstration of his commitment to the idea that there's room at the table for camps that disagree-even on the most emotional issues.
via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

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North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

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