Who are we?

Arlen Specter: I would say that the values that we articulate of freedom, opportunity, equality, justice, that there is a gap between what we say and even how we regard our actions in the United States with so many problems. Certainly there is an enormous gap with the way other nations view the United States as to what we stand for. I come down to the structure of our government, separation of powers and checks and balances. We eventually get it right because Americans are decent people, and we really do prize the concept of liberty, and equality, and opportunity, and justice. When the country was founded we had slavery. We certainly didn’t include or comprehend Thomas Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence of liberty. It took us more than a century to have votes for the women. So we didn’t have really an extensive democracy. We have problems today at Guantanamo. The constitutional right of habeas corpus. We have problems with immigration, but we are working with them. And ultimately I think we will get it right. And our structure of government with separation of powers and checks and balances is really, in a large sense, the greater symbol of what America stands for.

 

Senator Arlen Specter on reconciling what America stands for and its standing abroad.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less