Archive

Date

March 26th, 2014

Fred Phelps, the face of hate, advanced the cause of love

    Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church died Wednesday.

    Who will picket the funeral of the man who picketed so many?

    Let's hope no one.

    First because there probably won't be a funeral to picket and second because, well, we're better than that.

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Everything you know about social mobility is wrong

    Gregory Clark's startling new book, "The Son Also Rises," asks you to rethink everything you thought you knew about social mobility. His research, if it's correct, isn't good news. It says that socio-economic status is mostly a matter of nature not nurture, and suggests that trying to help the disadvantaged move up won't make much difference.

    These findings defy the prevailing consensus, and one wants them to be wrong. But what if they're not?

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Geraldine Ferraro's lasting legacy

    On Friday, the Showtime cable- television channel will air "Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way," a documentary about her 1984 race for vice president. Although she was defeated, it was a seminal moment in politics that was validated by the subsequent extraordinary leap in the number of female officeholders.

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Has Putin lost Ukraine?

    There is a grim logic to the shotgun referendum in Crimea that leads toward an expansion of Russia's land grab into eastern and southern Ukraine.

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A midterm imperative

    Here is what Democrats should learn from their party's loss in a special House election in Florida last week: Wishy-washy won't work.

    Republicans are obviously going to make opposition to the Affordable Care Act the main theme of their campaigns this fall. Democrats will be better off if they push back hard -- really hard -- rather than seek some nonexistent middle ground.

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Another Tale of Two Cities

    The tremors may have had morning TV anchors diving under the desk, but it takes more than a 4.4 quiver to rattle Eric Garcetti.

    "I don't lose my head," said the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, who was in bed with his wife, Amy Wakeland, when the earthquake struck at dawn Monday. "I've always kind of enjoyed the small ones. The small ones are kind of fun."

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People Sin, Not Music Festivals

    A curious discussion followed the tragedy at the recent South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Many of the festival's fans and critics turned the awful event into a call for "soul-searching" about what the festival had become.

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A Recipe for Better Disaster Movies

    It’s hard not to love mediocre, bad, or even awful movies that portray a post-apocalyptic or utterly dysfunctional future. If you’ve watched Logan’s Run, Water World, The Day After Tomorrow, AI, or Soylent Green more than once, you’ll know what we mean.

    But there’s nothing to love about the real-life disasters that flit across our headlines and quickly vanish from consciousness.

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Don't ban 'bossy,' own it

    Sometimes a clever catchphrase can work too well. Backlash against the name of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's "Ban Bossy" campaign threatens to overwhelm its girl-empowering message.

    At least Sandberg knows how to get people talking. A year ago she popularized "Lean in" with a best-selling advice book -- "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" -- and a nonprofit national Lean In network to build women leaders.

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How to change minds about climate change

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science is trying to awaken more Americans to the dangers of climate change, with a report Tuesday that focuses on a clear and accessible explanation of the evidence. It's a commendable and necessary effort, but what if the problem goes deeper than language?

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