Apr 25, 2017

ACLU head Anthony Romero: Take to the streets or be painted into a nightmare


To understand where the U.S. democracy is at, ACLU boss Anthony Romero says all we have to do is look at a 14th century painting: Ambrogio Lorenzetti's The Allegory of Good and Bad Government.

Free speech for all: Romero notes that the ACLU isn't just arguing for free speech for those on the left, citing recent actions in support for conservative voices like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos.

A scene from Lorenzetti's The Allegory of Good and Bad Government

On one side, Lorenzetti shows a good government where freedom and justice rule, crops flourish, and dancers and tradesman can practice their craft. On the other, a tyrant rules, justice is chained and her scales shattered and fear rules.

He drove the point home by interspersing images of Donald Trump and policies like the border wall and travel ban with scenes from the painting.

"We have to disrupt our lives so we can disrupt the amoral accretion of power by those who would betray our values," Romero said, speaking at the TED conference in Vancouver on Tuesday. "We have a choice. We can either paint ourselves into the worst nightmare of Lorenzetti's bad government or we can stay in the streets."

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

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Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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Bloomberg denies telling a pregnant employee to "kill it"

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage Tuesday denied telling a former employee to terminate her pregnancy.

Catch up quick: Per the Washington Post, a former saleswoman has alleged workplace discrimination against Bloomberg and his company and says Bloomberg told her to "kill it" when he learned she was pregnant. Bloomberg denied the allegation under oath and entered a confidential settlement with the woman.