Archive

Date

March 12th, 2014

March 7

    My father died on March 7, 1977.

    My best friend, Judy, died on March 7, 2000.

    Coincidence, of course, but one that kicks me in the stomach every year when I light the memorial candles for these people I loved who died so young.

    Technically, under Jewish law, they died on different days. Jewish law goes by a different calendar.

    In my heart, it's the same day.

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Pope Francis is listening to what Catholics want

    The Pew Research Center poll released Thursday showing that American Catholics strongly favor allowing the use of birth control - and allowing priests to marry and women to be ordained - comes as no surprise. It has long been thus. Catholics also continue to give high marks to His Humbleness, Pope Francis, whose approval rating remains in the mid-80s, unchanged from a year ago. Even the fact that half of Catholics think the church should recognize same-sex marriage is old news, given past polls.

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The American story of slavery

    Hollywood has finally taken an unflinching look at slavery. It's past time for the rest of the country to do the same.

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The Self(ie) Generation

    A fascinating new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that millennials (defined by Pew as Americans ages 18 to 33) are drifting away from traditional institutions - political, religious and cultural.

    Before we make a value judgment about these changes, let's lay them out and understand how fundamentally they will transform the structure of American society and our conception of societal norms.

    According to the study and to Pew's analysis of it:

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Time to reduce U.S. nuclear force

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What makes Jerry run?

    At age 75, Gov. Jerry Brown, California's onetime political wunderkind, has just announced his candidacy for a fourth term. After three long-ago failed presidential bids, it's not that he's given up the notion of someday occupying the White House. It's just that he's a realist and has plenty he still wants to accomplish right where he is in the Golden State.

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Cloudy and Cold

    People, have you noticed that the news has been really depressing lately? These are the times when you come to understand why there's so much interest in watching kitten videos. Do you think it's the weather?

    Consider Texas, where two more abortion clinics were forced to close this week. If the courts don't intervene, by the end of the year Texas may be down to six places where a woman can go to end a pregnancy. That's in a state of 268,000 square miles, with 26 million people.

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Little R-S-P-E-C-T

    If you can't spell it, you can't get it.

    President Barack Obama pulled a Quayle Thursday night at a White House performance by the women of soul and muffed the title of Aretha Franklin's anthem. "R-S-P-E-C-T," he said, looking a bit confused and eliciting laughter.

    When Patti LaBelle took the stage, she told Obama, "Baby, you've got swag."

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Russia doesn't respect borders. Neither has the US

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The SAT is changing, but not enough

    By now you've probably heard the news.

    The SAT is reverting to a 1600-point scale and making the essay portion of the test optional. The vocabulary words and math sections are changing and the guessing penalty (where you were penalized for getting a question wrong instead of not answering it) has been eliminated.

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