Archive

Date

May 22nd, 2014

Don't Privatize the Veterans Hospitals

    President Obama can do himself a big political favor this month by saying simply this: "I will not privatize the VA hospitals."

    That's the bottom line for the current right-wing crusade mixing patriotic posturing with loathing of government in general and Obama specifically. We speak of allegations that a Phoenix hospital (and perhaps others) run by the Department of Veterans Affairs hid deadly delays for treatment by using secret waiting lists.

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This Smart Girl Says Thank You

    In 2011, a malnourished 14-year-old Vietnamese village girl named Phung arose in the wee hours each morning in a herculean struggle to get an education. After I wrote about her, readers responded with a torrent of $750,000 in donations to Room to Read, the aid organization helping her.

    So I decided to drop in and see what had become of this inspiring girl.

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Democrats struggle to get voters interested in midterm elections

    In terms of public interest in elections, the voting for members of Congress in off-years, when no presidential candidates are on the ballot, is historically low. The stakes generally seem not very great, and familiarity breeds success for incumbents, who are re-elected at a rate of about 90 percent.

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May 18th

The Fracking Prostitutes of American Colleges

    Part 1: Lackawanna College, a two-year college in Scranton, Pa., accepted a $2.5 million endowment from Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. to strengthen that college’s programs and ties to the oil and gas industry. Part 2: Problems with academic integrity in other Pennsylvania colleges.

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Freedom to trivialize one’s religion

    It’s always odd to see how some whose allegiance to Christ is most explicit seem allergic to much of what Christ said. About materialism. About militarism. About inclusiveness. About forgiveness.

    Then there’s Christ’s comment about public piety – about those who “pray that they be seen by men.”

    He called them hypocrites.

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Cutting The Fool

    When I was growing up in the South we had lots of colloquialisms, one being "cutting the fool" to explain inexplicable behavior. I know of no more appropriate term to describe today's Republican actions. Their abhorrence of anything connected to President Obama and the Democratic Party goes far beyond any normal politics of the out of power party.

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'Catch 22' finds a home in China

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Battle for Reddit's soul reflects opacity behind the scenes

    Think of Reddit, the Internet's self-proclaimed front page, as the plankton of the digital information ecosystem. The vast, labyrinthine network of forums, founded in 2005, is the site where all other sites go to feed on memes, news stories, ideas or whiffs of them.

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This generation of kids is just the worst . . . again

    Blanket generalizations are like souffles: easy to make, if you don't mind watching them collapse spectacularly when someone blows on them. Especially when they concern a whole generation, like most of what is said about Millennials.

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Before there was Piketty

    The year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States. The Allies liberated Paris 70 years ago. And, of course, it's been 135 years since "Progress and Poverty," by the American journalist Henry George, was published in 1879.

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