Wednesday December 17, 2014
February 6th, 2014
Let's cut to the chase: If Big Brother wants you, he's got you, telephone metadata notwithstanding. This disconcerting fact of modern life has been true more or less since the invention of the camera, the microphone and the tape recorder.
It is pretty clear now that Secretary of State John Kerry will either be Israel's diplomatic salvation or the most dangerous diplomatic fanatic that Israel has ever encountered. But there isn't much room anymore for anything in between. This is one of those rare pay-per-view foreign policy moments. Pull up a chair. You don't see this every day.
Somewhere in the lowest reaches of hell, Adolf Hitler and his coterie of lesser dictators must be tormented by the knowledge they did not live long enough to get their hands on "Angry Birds." How much diabolical power they would have had, not playing the game, but rather mining the data freely volunteered by its billion unsuspecting customers.
Another insane cold wave -- not the infamous "polar vortex," but its evil twin -- is bringing sub-zero and single-digit temperatures to much of the nation. And global warming may be even more extreme, and potentially more catastrophic, than climate scientists had feared.
"The not so Golden State" is how a recent issue of The Economist magazine tags California's business climate. It's the latest in a trove of conservative literature trying to dance around the fact that high-tax, highly regulated, bureaucratic states can be economic powerhouses. The writers deal with the "problem" by burying reality under a pile of "buts" and "howevers."
There's a lot of giggling in Colorado, and about Colorado, these days.
Except by the state's leaders, who are like uneasy chaperones at a rowdy school dance.
"It's insane," says Sen. Michael Bennet.
The following are verbatim excerpts from emails sent by the National Rifle Association.
Sept. 12, 2013
Subject: Obama wants to ban guns, but N.R.A. is giving guns away!
Announcing N.R.A.'s "BANNED GUNS RAFFLE." Your chance to win 12 guns that Obama, Biden, Feinstein and Bloomberg want to Ban! 12 great guns - 12 chances to win! (Hurry - raffle ends October 21, 2013.)
The campaign for student body president at the University of North Carolina here has just begun, and there's nothing unusual in the number of candidates - five - or the fact that two are Morehead-Cain scholars, an elite designation.
College campuses, movie theaters, elementary schools and shopping malls.
Are there any safe public spaces left in America?
It feels like the spree shootings are coming more and more frequently. Unless it's in our neighborhood, we may not even click on the news alert that comes to our smartphones anymore.
Rising inequality has obvious economic costs: stagnant wages despite rising productivity, rising debt that makes us more vulnerable to financial crisis. It also has big social and human costs. There is, for example, strong evidence that high inequality leads to worse health and higher mortality.
But there's more. Extreme inequality, it turns out, creates a class of people who are alarmingly detached from reality - and simultaneously gives these people great power.