Archive

Date

June 4th, 2015

Ireland's 'social revolution'

    Consider the stunned disbelief, perhaps of a somewhat aggressive sort, that would have greeted anyone who might have told a tavern crowd in Dorchester or Southie three decades ago that Ireland would be the first nation in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote.

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A red-blue divide for workers

    Like the universe itself, which, the Hubble Space Telescope informs us, is flying apart at an accelerating rate, the United States is - actually, the United States are - made up of distinct entities zooming away from each other. We are two nations, divisible, with liberty and justice a matter of where you happen to reside.

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Polluted Political Games

    I've admired the Clintons' foundation for years for its fine work on AIDS and global poverty, and I've moderated many panels at the annual Clinton Global Initiative. Yet with each revelation of failed disclosures or the appearance of a conflict of interest from speaking fees of $500,000 for the former president, I have wondered: What were they thinking?

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Let's Do Some Railing

    Just before Congress slunk away for the three-day weekend - which it was, of course, planning to stretch into a week - senators from the Northeast held a news conference to denounce Republicans for underfunding Amtrak passenger rail service.

    "Amtrak has some infrastructure that is so old it was built and put into service when Jesse James and Butch Cassidy were still alive and robbing trains," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

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In quest of a wartime leader

    Sixty-three years ago, the country turned to a military hero, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, to extract it from the Korean War. Now, with bogged-down wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria, the circumstance might suggest the time is ripe for another such warrior, but none is in sight.

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Candidates, what do you propose?

    It's far too early in the campaign season to bemoan the absence of serious policy proposals from the presidential candidates -- but not too soon to set out some parameters of what those proposals, whatever the candidate's ideology, should be expected to address.

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A Failure Of Intelligence

    Contrary to Jeb Bush, it wasn't actually too hard to see through the propaganda barrage that led the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. Key aspects of the Bush administration's case for war were transparently false, and would have been comically so if the consequences hadn't been so terrible.

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Why Do So Many Eggs Come From Iowa?

    An outbreak of bird flu has forced American farmers to kill millions of egg-laying chickens, 32 million in Iowa alone -- hence the rise in egg prices.

    But why so many? Because our eggs are now produced by a handful of gigantic farms. When one of their birds gets sick, the farmers have to kill them all.

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Smoking, Vaping and Nicotine

    "We need a national debate on nicotine," said Mitch Zeller.

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On Same-Sex Marriage, Catholics Are Leading the Way

    Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.

    They don't share a continent, obviously. Or a language.

    But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does.

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