Archive

September 10th, 2015

The Myth of Quality Time

    Every summer for many years now, my family has kept to our ritual. All 20 of us — my siblings, my dad, our better halves, my nieces and nephews — find a beach house big enough to fit the whole unruly clan. We journey to it from our different states and time zones. We tensely divvy up the bedrooms, trying to remember who fared poorly or well on the previous trip. And we fling ourselves at one another for seven days and seven nights.

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Refugees Who Could Be Us

    Watching the horrific images of Syrian refugees struggling toward safety — or in the case of Aylan Kurdi, 3, drowning on that journey — I think of other refugees. Albert Einstein. Madeleine Albright. The Dalai Lama.

    And my dad.

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Let's call a cease-fire in the war on hard cash

    Last summer, London buses stopped accepting money. To pay your fare, you now have to wave either a prepaid Transport for London Oyster card or a contactless payment bank card at a receiver. For some, not having to dig out a handful of coins is a welcome relief.

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Trump's practical pledge

    Now we'll see whether the magic works inside the Republican Party's big and unruly tent as well as it did outside.

    Donald Trump's decision to sign a GOP loyalty oath -- pledging to support the party's eventual nominee, even if it's someone else -- was more practical than partisan. But does it make the ultimate outsider look like, pardon the strong language, just another politician?

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Jeb Bush: A sacrificial lamb?

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, ridiculed by Donald Trump as a "low-energy" candidate, is finally taking up the challenge in an effort to revive his lagging presidential campaign. He seems to have no choice now, and in the process may be offering himself as a sacrificial lamb for the good of the Republican Party.

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How are you parenting wrong?

    What ill-advised method of parenting have you embraced that is now ruining your kids for life? With so many fads, it is hard to keep it straight. A few options follow.

    HELICOPTER PARENTING: You hover frantically over your child at all times, shredding pigeons in your rotating blades.

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A Silver Lining to Brazil’s Troubles

    Of all the BRICS, Brazil would seem, on the face of it, to be in the worst shape.

    BRICS, of course, stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a catchphrase that was meant to connect their rapidly growing economies. But that was then. Today, their economies are sluggish at best, and their prospects no longer seem so bright.

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The fatal Hillary Clinton email scandal

    After another big dump of Hillary Clinton emails received and written when she was secretary of state -- this time, 4,368 emails, filling almost 7,000 pages -- we finally know all we need to know about what conservative commentators are calling the "fatal Hillary Clinton email scandal:" It's not a scandal. And it's not fatal.

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Peace In Our Time?

    Back when I studied history we were taught that it was those other bad countries that were always fighting. We were the good guys, pure in motive. Of course the country was founded in war but it was a just one, we claimed.

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Other People’s Dollars, and Their Place in Global Economics

    Soon after arriving here, I stopped at an ATM; I needed some dollars, and all I had were dollars.

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