Archive

August 24th, 2016

Great cities must protect their watersheds

    The world's great cities could hold the key to the prosperity of the human race. Yet a comprehensive new study points to a worrying trend: The water they need to grow is getting more expensive, because they're failing to protect the nature that purifies it.

    Cities are amazing engines of productivity. As the hubs of our modern societies, they mix together people with a diversity of skills and create fertile ground for learning and invention. In many respects, bigger tends to be better. Larger cities have more patents and inventions per person, and achieve better energy and resource efficiency thanks to economies of scale. For example, they require less conducting cable per person to carry electrical power where needed.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

End all ivory sales worldwide

    Throughout my life, I have been an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. I hunt quail, wild turkey, dove and other birds. I've been on safari in Africa a number of times to hunt Cape buffalo and other plains game. I hunt elk in the Rocky Mountains every year. In my native Texas, I fish the Gulf Coast's bays for redfish and trout, and I fish Wyoming's cool streams for freshwater trout.

    Like most sportsmen, I am also a conservationist. From the days of Teddy Roosevelt, American hunters - and, indeed, the Republican Party that Roosevelt represented - have held a deep reverence for nature and the wildlife found there. Roosevelt had a hand in the creation of 23 national parks. A half-century later, President Richard Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Asking judges to decide who's bisexual is messy

    There's something very awkward about a panel of judges ruling on someone's sexual orientation. But that still happens in immigration asylum cases -- and Wednesday, a divided appeals court rejected a Jamaican's claim that he should not be sent home because he was bisexual and subject to harm there. The applicant found an unusual defender in Judge Richard Posner, whose dissenting opinion was characteristically acerbic, entertaining and problematic: He cited Wikipedia entries, dancehall lyrics and a YouTube video, and suggested that, as a bisexual, the applicant might be targeted by gay Jamaicans on his return to the island.

    The case arose after Ray Fuller, a 51-year-old Jamaican, was ordered removed by federal immigration authorities. Fuller immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 on a fiance visa. He and his wife divorced in 2002; in 2004, he pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault. He originally got a suspended sentence, but he violated the terms of his probation and got four years in prison.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

An Open Letter From Mr. Trump

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Trump is sorry. Trump is humble. Trump is scared. Trump doesn’t want to get crushed.

    So if I have offended anyone, or because I have offended everyone, I’m sorry.

    I’m sorry that I realized too late that all the great put-downs that helped me put away the 16 dwarfs don’t translate well to the general election.

    I’m sorry that I’m causing the Republicans to lose control of the Senate, and I’m sorry they wish I’d never been born.

    I’m really not that sorry to be causing trouble for Paul Ryan, who’s going to lose seats in the House. He’s a prig, and I wish he had lost his primary to that tattooed guy who likes me.

    I’m sorry I pretended I was going to release my tax returns. Of course I didn’t pay any taxes. I have the all-time greatest real estate deductions and depreciations.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Why Putin wants a Trump victory

    Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to see Donald Trump become the next president of the United States. To that end, Putin and his government have taken unprecedented steps to influence our electoral process to help the Republican Party's nominee. Whether Russia's interventions will succeed is not obvious. But it's clear that Putin's government has the motives - and the means - to try.

    Putin has rational motives for wanting Trump to win: Trump champions many foreign policies that Putin supports. Trump's most shocking, pro-Kremlin proposal is to "look into" recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. President Barack Obama and nearly every member of Congress - Republican and Democrat - have rejected that idea vigorously. Only Afghanistan, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela have recognized Russia's annexation of Crimea. Naturally, Putin would love to see the United States join that list.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

We’re Winning!

    Looking for refuge from the gust of insanity blowing across the fruited plain, I went to the highest perch I could reach in North Cascades National Park. I needed a break from the politician who has roused the lowest impulses of the American character.

    What better escape from the primordial muck of Donald Trump and company than an alpine aerie of America’s Best Idea? Still, the stench of his recent provocations followed me to the far northwest corner of the contiguous United States. Hints of assassination from those “Second Amendment people.” Claiming that President Barack Obama founded the Islamic State. Sidling up to dictators who kill political opponents.

    I could hear the bark of his soulless pessimism. “We are a country that doesn’t win anymore,” he said, time and again. “When was the last time we won?”

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

The Fed's effect on black Americans

    The U.S. Federal Reserve appears to be paying more attention to how its policies affect black Americans. This is a wise move, because blacks stand to gain a lot more than others from the Fed's efforts to support economic growth.

    The minutes of the Fed's July policy-making meeting noted that officials had discussed unemployment rates and other measures of labor utilization for specific groups, including black Americans. It's a subject worthy of attention: The black unemployment rate has been about 1.9 times the overall rate for more than 40 years. While the unemployment rate isn't always exactly 1.9 times the overall rate, what matters is that the ratio between the two is much more constant than the difference. This means that -- even though the reasons for the long-term unemployment multiple are almost certainly beyond the reach of monetary policy -- the Fed's choices can have a very different effect on black Americans than on the economy as a whole.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

In Rio, U.S. swimmers win gold but show tarnish

    Sports fans boo for many reasons. Brazilians, maybe more than most. Jeers, catcalls and heckling have been staples of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and the habit has stirred a storm of comment and consternation.

    The barrage from the bleachers has brought a Russian swimmer to tears, unnerved a French pole vaulter and targeted a Vietnamese marksman (booing at a shooting match?). Thomas Bach, the International Olympics Committee president, has made his disapproval public, saying, "This is unacceptable."

    That may be so, and the boors from Brazil deserve a dressing down. But now a quartet of U.S. Olympians may have won the competition for most galling behavior.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Five myths about the web

    As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, it gets more and more difficult to imagine life without it - or without cat videos. And although our world certainly has been transformed by the web's capabilities, its history includes some persistent myths and comically naive predictions.

 

    Myth No. 1

    We know who invented the web and the Internet, and when.

    Ask Google who invented the web and the Internet, and it will give you an answer. But the concept of "invention" does not map well to the actual histories of these technologies, which arose from collaborations among large numbers of people and whose development features very few moments that were obvious transformations.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Even Trump enablers are thinking of voting for Clinton

    It's rare that a single op-ed piece can encapsulate a political party in crisis. But Richard J. Cross III, a longtime Republican operative, has achieved that feat accidentally.

    Cross is the latest member of the GOP to join the ranks of the Never Trump movement. His arguments in a Wednesday piece for the Baltimore Sun are familiar: He doesn't like Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. He thinks his party's nominee does not embody the hopeful conservative ethos of Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower. He may just have to vote for Hillary Clinton. You've read all this before.

    What makes Cross's op-ed so astounding is that he is the author of a prime-time speech less than a month ago that faulted Clinton for the murders in Benghazi, Libya. The speech was delivered at the Republican National Convention by Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans who perished there in 2012. The speech included the unforgettable line: "I personally blame Hillary Clinton for the death of my son."

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!