Wednesday November 26, 2014
October 9th, 2014
The American psyche has taken a serious hit from the jaw-dropping Secret Service scandal that unfolded in the nation's capital this week. Why? Because practically all of us, regardless of our backgrounds or our smoldering anger at political Washington's ineptitude, believed in the myth of the agency's invincibility. And the dismantlement of that myth has left us reeling far more than a typical, bureaucratic Washington mess.
George Orwell was right: "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
When will central banks in the United States and Britain start raising interest rates? The question preoccupies financial markets, and much turns on the answer. What's happening in the two countries' labor markets - and what the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England think is happening - is the crux of the matter.
He's not exactly stepping aside quietly. Reaction to Eric Holder's resignation ranged from hagiographic to diabolical. Civil rights leaders praised him as the strongest attorney general since Bobby Kennedy. Fox News derided him as the nation's all-time worst attorney general, who left behind a "trail of scandals." Maybe we could all agree that Holder's legacy lies somewhere in between.
Last week, Bill Gross, the so-called bond king, abruptly left PIMCO, the investment firm he had managed for decades. People who follow the financial industry were shocked but not exactly surprised; tales of internal troubles at PIMCO had been all over the papers. But why should you care?
Thirty years ago, a college kid in Kentucky was caught growing marijuana plants in his closet. That turned him into a convicted felon, and though he's been on the right side of the law ever since, he still can't vote. On any job application, he must check the box next to "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?"
All this misery for growing a plant whose leaves the past three presidents admit having smoked.
As we fight the Islamic State and other extremists, there's something that President Barack Obama and all of us can learn from them. For, in one sense, the terrorists are fighting smarter than we are.
Lolita Lledo spends all day talking on her cell phone, texting, and checking her Facebook page, though not for the reasons you might think.
As the associate director of the Pilipino Workers Center in Los Angeles, she relies on social networking to keep in touch with home care workers.
When we moved to our Arkansas cattle farm, a friend lent us a book titled "A Straw in the Sun." Published in 1945, Charlie May Simon's beautifully written memoir of homesteading here in Perry County, Arkansas during the 1930s was long out of print -- maybe because the hardscrabble life it depicts is too recent for nostalgia.