The outsourcing of government labor is nothing new, but the focus on privatization has certainly sharpened under the Bush administration -- as have the levels of attendant inefficiency and abuse. But civil service unions and allied advocates have won a few small victories lately in stemming the tide of outsourcing.
It's been nearly six years since the 9/11 attacks and six months since former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has decided to grace the race for the Republican presidential nomination with his presence. Now unions representing New York's Bravest are popping a tough question.
What on Earth did this man do on 9/11 and in its aftermath that was so breathtakingly heroic?
More accurately, they are campaigning to expose how Giuliani short-changed and endangered the city's 11,000 firefighters over the course of two terms, and then went on to exploit their heroism during and after the 9/11 attacks for his own political advantage.
There can only be a few issues where government policies in countries like Libya and Burma appear more progressive than those in the United States. Juvenile sentencing is one of them.
The United States currently imprisons 2,270 people who have life sentences without the chance for parole for crimes they committed when they were minors, according to both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; in all other nations on Earth, there are a combined total of only 12 such prisoners, HRW says. These are grim figures to prison reform advocates in the United States, who have long battled with the punitive, get-tough ethos that dominates American political discussion about criminal justice issues. But there are notable signs of a turn in the political winds.
Holland: The land of legal pot and unionized sex workers. It's also, of course, a truly diverse society that includes people from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Asia. As author Russell Shorto has argued, Dutch values of tolerance and diversity are what first helped New York -- when it was Dutch New Amsterdam -- to become a diverse, cosmopolitan world center.
A national pro-Israel campus group took a risk when several of its chapters brought former Israeli soldiers to their campuses to expose their country's military practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Now, it might be paying the price.