'The history of the Reformation is very largely a history of books and publication," writes Marilynne Robinson in an essay on the schism within Western Christianity and one of the great seismic movements of the last millennium. On the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation comes this volume by the British historian Andrew Pettegree, which demonstrates how the writings of the seminal figure in the movement, Martin Luther, electrified Germany, recasting religious thought and revolutionizing the printing industry. What Robinson calls the "bookishness" of the Reformation can be attributed to Martin Luther and his proficiency with the written word: his style, his output, and his fascination for (and close involvement with) theRead more
On December 7, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a federal investigation of the Chicago police department. Recent history shows that the Obama Department of Justice cannot be counted on to perform a competent investigation, but at least this particular inquiry is not without cause. The city has earned the nickname "Chiraq," because by international standards, certain Chicago neighborhoods have some of the highest murder rates anywhere in the world. Even as the city has become an abattoir, police have been routinely abusive—a series of troubling investigations suggests the police were operating a "black site" out of an off-the-books warehouse where cops were holding and interrogating suspects without due process.Read more
Under three different CEOs, Walmart has done all kinds of somersaults to appease left-wing critics. In 2005, Lee Scott set goals of “zero waste” and “100 percent” conversion to renewable energy. In 2009, Mike Duke, the next CEO, took on Obamacare—as an outspoken supporter of the unpopular health care bill. This was “a stunning metamorphosis,” the Wall Street Journal declared in a company profile.Read more
Attorney General Loretta Lynch reponds to the violence in Baltimore:
“I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore. Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones, and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.Read more
Baltimore police are warning that there is a "credible threat" to "take-out" law enforcement officers, according a press release from the Baltimore Police Department.
"The Baltimore Police Department / Criminal Intelligence Unit has received credible information that members of various gangs including the Black Guerilla Family, Blood, and Crips have entered into a partnership to 'take-out' law enforcement officers," the warning reads.Read more
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the press that her city "gave those who wished to destroy space to do that" at last night's protest. Watch here:
"I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech.Read more
In a Capitol Hill hearing about President Obama's proposed Authorization of Use of Military Force, Secretary of State John Kerry was heckled by anti-war protesters:
The protesters appear to be from the left-wing group Code Pink.Read more
A "die-in" protest greeted Democratic Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar yesterday in St. Paul, Minnesota, at an event marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Other notable politicians present include Governor Mark Dayton and Rep. Keith Ellison.
Local photographer Ben Garvin posted a picture of the protest on Twitter:
New York Police Department chief Bill Bratton said that "some people get caught up" in the "anti-police" movement:Read more
With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing safely over and regional leaders departed, China’s new strongman Xi Jinping decided to lower the boom on Hong Kong. Police there began clearing the barricades last week from the city’s main thoroughfare with the students in apparent retreat. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, widely perceived as Beijing’s puppet, was quoted by Reuters as promising “resolute action” and warning students not to return to occupation sites.Read more
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick explained on CNN that part of the point of protests yesterday in Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. was to be "disruptive."
The CNN host asked, "What is the goal here?"Read more
President Obama held a townhall today in Burma where he was met with signs that read "Reform is fake" and "Change." He commented on the signs before getting on with the program.Read more
President Obama responded tonight to an immigration heckler in Wisconsin by telling her to protest Republicans:
"The young lady, the young lady is expressing her concern about immigration and the fact that, that we don't have a comprehensive immigration bill. The problem is, she should be protesting the Republicans who are blocking it in Congress," Obama yelled. "That's what she should be doing."Read more
Representatives of the student led democracy protests in Hong Kong are due to enter into a dialogue with the Hong Kong government on Tuesday. The prospects for success are not good. The two sides are far apart, with the government saying it will not even discuss the protesters’ chief demand – the democratic election of the chief executRead more
Should it matter to the rest of us that Hong Kong has erupted this past week with demonstrations for democracy? China’s rulers say this is an internal matter. Western leaders, while expressing concern, seem inclined to agree.Read more
The State Department is warning of a protest in Malaysia on Friday, one day before President Obama is expected to arrive there on Saturday.Read more
An office building manager in downtown Washington, D.C. is preparing for the 9/11 "Million Muslim March" by explaining to the tenants of the building what's expected for tomorrow.
"Below is information relating to Wednesday’s Million Muslim March," the memo begins.Read more
Women Speak for Themselves, a grassroots organization of more than 40,000 women for religious freedom, gathered today at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. to protest enforcement of the Health and Human Services mandate, which requires employers (including some religious institutions) to cover contraceptives for employees. The mandate went into effect for for-profit organizations a year ago today.Read more
The spirited debate over suspension of aid to Egypt has given rise to a good argument over how to encourage progress in Egypt toward stable, responsible, and democratic government. We know what we would, as Americans, like ideally to see there: respect for civil liberties such as freedom of speech and press, an independent judiciary, religious freedom, free elections, and so on. And we would like to see an end to violence, whether by the state or by political and religious factions. We would like to see a system based on law, rather than on mob action or military fiat.Read more
President Obama called President Morsi of Egypt today to say that " the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group." Obama "stressed that democracy is about more than elections," according to a readout of the call provided by the White House.Read more
Protesters gathered at the American embassy in Amman, Jordan to signal opposition to the U.S. and President Barack Obama, according to the Jordan Times.
"Scores of Jordanians demonstrated on Thursday in front of the US embassy in Amman against US President Barack Obama’s visit to the Kingdom, according to news websites," the report reads.Read more
Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, encouraged folks to "keep fighting!" after her side lost the labor dispute that will now give union members the right-to-work.Read more
They had me at “street theater.” Last week at the GOP convention, the AFL-CIO sponsored a “Mitt Romney’s America” protest. It wasn’t just an ordinary march, though. It was billed as a “parade.” In addition to consciousness raising and “making their voices heard,” the union press release promised there would be “street theater.”Read more
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