Archive

Date

February 13th, 2014

Hoffman and Heroin

    When my kids were little, an older and more experienced mother told me that one key to raising kids safely is to limit the number of "nos" to what really matters and insist firmly on those. Motorcycles and heroin, she said, which seems like a pretty good list. I added driving drunk or getting in a car with someone who had been drinking. I left heroin on the list, even though heroin use is totally foreign to me. I have friends and family who have struggled with alcohol (mostly) and other drugs, but heroin is outside of my life experience.

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Pussy Riot Tells All

    Why in the world did Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, let Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina out of prison?

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Sibling rivalry not fit for a King

    Nothing will ever tarnish the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who transformed a nation. But his squabbling heirs seem to be trying their best.

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The Sochi we've lost

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The Tragedy of Ryan Loskarn

    The horror sounds so familiar, so trite even, that you scarcely pause to pay attention. A successful man with a secret compulsion. In this case, one of the worst compulsions of all, to download and view child pornography.

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The troubling legacy of Obamacare

    Like Watergate before it, Obamacare has become the gift that keeps on giving -- to partisan opponents determined to bring down an American president.

    In 1972, the Republican break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex generated a seemingly endless series of stories on wrongdoing by Richard Nixon and his administration, leading to his resignation in disgrace two years later.

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Two sides to Obamacare, only one has facts

    One of the best features in President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is the freedom that it offers workers from "job lock," a job they can't leave for fear of losing their affordable health insurance coverage. Yet Obamacare foes think that's a bad thing.

    That's the gist of their reactions to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's generally rosy projections last Tuesday of how many people will choose to work less because of the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

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Inside a Mental Hospital Called Jail

    The largest mental health center in America is a huge compound here in Chicago, with thousands of people suffering from manias, psychoses and other disorders, all surrounded by high fences and barbed wire.

    Just one thing: It's a jail. The only way to get treatment is to be arrested.

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Still Mad as Hell

    I often wonder what Paddy would think.

    I wish I could have a pastrami on wry with the late writer and satirist at the Carnegie Deli and get an exhilarating blast of truth about "the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today."

    What would Paddy Chayefsky make of Kim Kardashian?

    What would he think of Diane Sawyer showing cat videos on the ABC evening news?

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Whose Garbage Is This Anyway?

    It was not your usual Holy Land tour, but surely one of the most revealing I've ever had. A team from Friends of the Earth Middle East took me around to see how waste, sewage and untreated water flow, or don't, between Israel and the West Bank. I never realized how political garbage and dirty water could be, or how tracking it could reveal just why making peace here is so urgent.

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