Ben Smith

19 Flips | 3 Magazines | 6 Likes | @BenSmithv90o | Keep up with Ben Smith on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Ben Smith”

Six Problems With Our Democracy… And Who’s Working To Fix Them

As another Presidential debate looms, issues ranging from gerrymandering to political influence, to representation and even voter registration, probably won’t be on the agenda.<p>But in Silicon Valley and beyond there are several companies that are working to change the systemic problems with our …

U.S. lawsuit raises question: does religious freedom trump gun laws? | The Star

Lately, Americans have argued both about their right to bear arms and whether the free exercise of religion allows businesses and state officials to …

Texans Voting on Very Texas Constitutional Amendment — as Well as Six Others

Until Friday, Texans will have the opportunity to participate in early voting on seven new state constitutional amendments — including an amendment that would protect their right to hunt.<p>According to KLTV, Texas has the highest number of paid hunting license holders in 2015. One of the seven …

Nepal just elected its first female president

A month after adopting a new national constitution, Nepal has elected Bidhya Devi Bhandari as its next president. She will be the country’s first female president and only the second president since Nepal became a democratic republic in 2008.<p>The new constitution required an almost entirely new …

Forced cannibalism, gang rape and mass graves: Anatomy of South Sudan's terrible war

In what could become a landmark for African justice, an African Union report on South Sudan's war has found evidence of gross human rights atrocities and recommended an African court be set up to prosecute those responsible.<p>The cruelty to civilians during South Sudan's two-year war shocked the AU …

Republican debate: Marco Rubio hobbles Jeb Bush

<b>Boulder, Colorado (CNN) —</b> Marco Rubio shined on the debate stage Wednesday night — and the timing couldn't have been better.<p>The Florida senator brought his A-game to the third Republican presidential debate of the campaign season, sharply attacking his rivals and the media, swatting away criticisms …

Explaining the 2016 Conservative Apocalypse

Why so glum?<p>Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson is the latest to ponder the apocalyptic cloud hovering over conservative America, warning that …

Former Iranian President Reportedly Makes a Big Admission About Nuclear Program

Former Iran President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in an interview with Iran’s state-run news outlet published this week that, while Iran initially aimed to use its nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, it “never abandoned” the plan to one day develop a nuclear weapon, an Iranian opposition …

Japan's military is undergoing a radical shift, but it won't do one thing the US wants

Those two scenarios show both how far Japan will have come in loosening the constraints of its pacifist constitution on its military and how far it will remain from being a "normal nation", unconstrained in overseas military operations by legal limits and a deeply rooted public anti-war …

United States

Russia could have a dark ulterior motive with its moves in Syria

Kremlin authorities reportedly have an ulterior motive other than supporting the regime of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad: getting jihadists out of Russia, where they may attack the homeland, and sending them into Syria.<p>Russia recently escalated tensions with the US by sending elite …

Middle East

Syria’s president is blaming the West for the refugee crisis that he caused

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad took to the Russian airwaves to offer Europe some advice on the refugee crisis—and ended up blaming everyone but himself for the brutal conflict in his country, and the plight of more than 4 million people who were forced out by war.<p>“Actually, it’s like the West …

Finding Putin’s Dead Soldiers in Ukraine

An exclusive excerpt from a new report shows how Russia has covered up its dirty war in Eastern Europe.<p><i>On September 17, The Interpreter, a special</i> …

Why is religion privileged over philosophy?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that, at least in the U.S., and certainly in Canada, the government defers far more to religious beliefs than …

Rand Paul: "Real Mistake" And "Step Back" To Jail Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis

The Kentucky senator told CNN's Brianna Keilar that its "absurd" to jail Davis for exercising her religious beliefs.<p>Rand Paul said Thursday that its a "huge mistake" to jail Rowan county clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses out of her opposition to same-sex marriage on religious …

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Is About to Get Filthy Rich

It's Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? time down at the federal courthouse.<p>She may not realize it at the moment, although I suspect she has realized it all along, but Kim Davis just became a political television star and a very rich lady besides.<p>The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, was ordered …

Twitter conservatives lose it after Kim Davis is jailed: “The federal government’s incarceration of Christians has begun”

<b>(AP/Timothy D. Easley)</b><p>“Kim Davis is in jail and Hillary Clinton is running for president? Unreal,” wrote Erick Erickson<p>Scott Eric Kaufman<p>September 4, 2015 2:25pm (UTC)<p>Judge David Bunning's decision to jail Kim Davis for refusing to comply with the Supreme Court's order to issue same-sex marriage …

Hillary Clinton

Republicans vs. the Constitution: Would-be presidents endorse Kim Davis’ brazen illegality

<b>(AP/Denis Poroy/Timothy D. Easley/John Minchillo/Photo montage by Salon)</b><p>Which 2016 GOP candidates are lining up behind a Kentucky clerk’s illegal and discriminatory behavior?<p>Simon Maloy<p>September 3, 2015 3:31pm (UTC)<p>Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis will appear in federal court today to explain why …

LGBTQI