Wednesday October 07, 2015
April 30th, 2015
There's been some tense back-and-forth over the Canadian mother who said she had stopped opposing vaccinations after all seven of her kids came down with whooping cough. Some say we should loudly thank Tara Hills for publicly disowning her anti-vax campaign. Others -- me, for instance -- are feeling less grateful.
Admittedly, it's early. But it's still amusing to see the difference between how Republicans and Democrats are lining up for 2016. No fewer than 19 -- count 'em: 19! -- Republican self-declared candidates showed up in New Hampshire last week to strut their stuff. They'd no sooner left the Granite State than Hillary Clinton showed up -- as the lone Democratic candidate. There's the difference: Republicans have too many candidates and Democrats have too few.
All of us would like to live in a world where people always do the right thing — without anybody looking over their shoulder. But that world doesn’t exist and never will. So every society on our planet has penalties. You break the rules, you pay a price.
But penalties only work if the wrongdoer feels that price. A ridiculously tiny penalty amounts to no penalty at all.
The trial of Oskar Groening, a 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard, goes far beyond questions of absolution and punishment for a single German. Groening, after all, is not likely to serve out any prison term the court in Lueneburg may hand down -- or enjoy a surprise acquittal for long. The trial's aim is to send a message to future generations while not seeming like a show trial -- a difficult task for Judge Franz Kompisch, born in 1967.
It’s futile to hope that the GOP’s gaggle of corporate-hugging, right-wing presidential candidates will seriously address the issue of rising inequality in our land. How about the Democrats?
Well, Hillary Clinton has warned that “extreme inequality has corrupted other societies.”
As Earth Day approached, fossil-fuel divestment actions rattled college campuses large and small. Targets ranged from Harvard University’s $36-billion endowment to the University of Mary Washington’s $46-million nest egg.
Baseball has spring training, football’s got its training camps. But for a political junkie like me, nothing compares with the opening of the presidential primary season.
Some 19 candidates, give or take, recently swarmed a Republican forum in New Hampshire in search of a kind word and a smile from voters there. They spent much of their time arm-wrestling each other over who hated Hillary Clinton more.
The provocative animal rights group PETA famously despises cages.
Press statements from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have described birdcages as a “death sentence” for avian pets, likened crating dogs to incarcerating them, and condemned the cruelty of fencing animals into tiny spaces on factory farms.
One of the funniest conversations I've heard took place among a small group of Arkansas women who'd done their best to clue the newlywed Hillary Rodham in on a basic fact of Southern life she'd been reluctant to accept in the 1970s: cute counts. It's not necessary to be a beauty queen, but a woman who doesn't look as attractive as she can is often suspected of being too "authentic" for her own good.