And We’re Off!

Posted on March 26, 2015 in Countdown
Tea Party luminary Ted Cruz charismatically launched his bid for the presidency this week. And boy, the champion Princeton debater raised the bar high for those who will follow, even if he did immediately hit his head on that very same bar upon resuming his Senatorial duties. Ted Cruz put together quite a show for the 10,000 Liberty University students who were required to attend.
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Spy Games

Posted by Margaret Lowry on March 25, 2015 in Blog
A new game, TouchTone, released this week to the iTunes app store puts you in the shoes of a National Security Agency analyst. To move through the levels, you must solve puzzles in order to intercept communications from potential security threats, all while answering to your handler, codenamed “patriot”. The game is unsettling, after solving a puzzle correctly, you’re able to read private emails and make an assessment on whether to report them as suspicious activity. The more of these messages you read, the less sure you are of your ability to distinguish threats, and the less agency you feel you have in making your assessments.
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Legislation Over Lamentation

Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Blog
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a group of law makers and policy advocates to discuss the current state of civil and human rights in this country. Led by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the hearing focused on the need to reform several aspects of the United States’ criminal justice system and law enforcement agency practices that target and negatively impact minority populations.
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America’s Orwellian Conundrum

Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Blog

“Fomenting fear stifles serious debate and constructive solutions … this nation deserves more than that,” stated Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) after the USA FREEDOM Act was voted down 58 to 42 in the Senate on November 18, 2014. The vote revealed a rare display of bipartisanship in what has typically been a partisan Congress. Unfortunately, this bipartisan apparition resulted in a significant setback for civil rights and liberties activists as well as opponents of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance practices.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued that under the USA FREEDOM Act...

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Lost In Translation

Posted on October 24, 2014 in Countdown
Last weekend, the Supreme Court denied a request to stop a Texas voting requirement that necessitates all voters to show specific forms of ID before they cast their ballot. The law would disenfranchise an estimated 600,000 people – primarily African Americans and Hispanics – in the State.
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Ready or Not

Posted on October 16, 2014 in Countdown

Ebola Spreads to the Midterms

For some politicians, the first question that comes to mind as the nation attempts to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from spreading isn’t how to go about doing so, but how can I use this to my advantage? That’s right – the global Ebola outbreak now qualifies as election material. Michigan Republican Senatorial candidate Terri Lynn Land used the outbreak to reflect on President Obama’s management skills, saying that both the president and her Democratic challenger Rep. Gary Peters need “to lead and come up with a...

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Know Your Audience

Posted on October 03, 2014 in Countdown
We haven’t even finished with the 2014 elections and candidates are already posturing on foreign policy as Middle East issues take the spotlight. You’ve probably heard of Ted Cruz’s controversial comments to Middle East Christians last month. Well, we are surprised to see Rick Santorum’s lengthy and strong statement against Ted Cruz’s actions at the summit.
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American Muslims 13 years after 9/11

Posted by OpEdNews on September 27, 2014 in News Clips

The seven-million strong Muslim American community remain under pressure, 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Alarmingly, mainstream American opinion of Muslims is getting worse. According to the July survey of Arab American Institute (AAI) there has been a continued erosion in the favorable ratings Americans have of both Arabs and Muslims. For example, in 2010 favorable ratings for Arabs were 43 percent. They have now declined to 32 percent. For Muslims, the ratings dropped from 36 percent in 2010, to 27 percent in the 2014 survey.

Not surprisingly, a direct consequence of this disturbing downward slide can be seen...

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AAI Virtual Brownbag: “Civil Liberties in Jeopardy: Profiling, Surveillance and the Way Forward”

Posted by on September 02, 2014 in Blog
Since President Obama’s January speech on government surveillance and despite numerous incidents of discrimination by law enforcement and other agencies, the Arab American community in particular continues to be dealt numerous blows when it comes to surveillance and profiling. Whether online or on-the-ground, these threats and infringements seriously undermine faith in our government and leaders.
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On And On

Posted on August 22, 2014 in Countdown
As Arab Americans, we understand the real life impact of profiling and discriminatory law enforcement practices. We know how it can range from “minor” inconveniences while traveling to destroying someone’s professional career. But the death of yet another young African American teenager demonstrates how truly grave the consequences of profiling can be. We stand in solidarity with all victims of profiling and against the militarization of police forces. We stand with those seeking justice in last week’s shooting of Michael Brown, in which we saw the most extreme impact of profiling. There is so much work to be done.
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