Archive

Date

April 30th, 2015

The Divestment Dividend

    As Earth Day approached, fossil-fuel divestment actions rattled college campuses large and small. Targets ranged from Harvard University’s $36-billion endowment to the University of Mary Washington’s $46-million nest egg.

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That Whiff of Hypocrisy

    Baseball has spring training, football’s got its training camps. But for a political junkie like me, nothing compares with the opening of the presidential primary season.

    Some 19 candidates, give or take, recently swarmed a Republican forum in New Hampshire in search of a kind word and a smile from voters there. They spent much of their time arm-wrestling each other over who hated Hillary Clinton more.

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PETA’s Cruel and Unusual Crush

    The provocative animal rights group PETA famously despises cages.

    Press statements from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have described birdcages as a “death sentence” for avian pets, likened crating dogs to incarcerating them, and condemned the cruelty of fencing animals into tiny spaces on factory farms.

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Hillary Clinton and the Burden of Authenticity

    One of the funniest conversations I've heard took place among a small group of Arkansas women who'd done their best to clue the newlywed Hillary Rodham in on a basic fact of Southern life she'd been reluctant to accept in the 1970s: cute counts. It's not necessary to be a beauty queen, but a woman who doesn't look as attractive as she can is often suspected of being too "authentic" for her own good.

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Does Tsarnaev deserve to die?

    How should we think about whether Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty?

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Count on GOP candidates to gang up on Hillary

    For one reason or another, some Democratic friends and foes alike of Hillary Clinton contend that she needs a serious challenger for their party's 2016 presidential nomination. She will benefit, they say, from having a punching bag who can clarify her positions on key issues and bring out the best in her personal qualifications for the job.

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Beyond Education Wars

    For the last dozen years, waves of idealistic Americans have campaigned to reform and improve K-12 education.

    Armies of college graduates joined Teach for America. Zillionaires invested in charter schools. Liberals and conservatives, holding their noses and agreeing on nothing else, cooperated to proclaim education the civil rights issue of our time.

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Shooting cop videos? Be nice

    What if you happened to record video on your smartphone of a police officer as he shot an unarmed suspect in the back? What would you do with it?

    That disturbing question faced Feidin Santana, the Dominican immigrant said on NBC's "Today Show," after he recorded police officer Michael Slager's fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott after a traffic stop in North Charleston, S.C.

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Hollywood Trumps Harvard

    Call me an idealist, but I'd like to think that the halls of higher education are less vulnerable to the siren calls of fame and fortune than other byways of American life are. I'd like to believe in a bold dividing line between academic virtues and celebrity values, between intellectual and commercial concerns.

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Government of the people, by the contractors

    War is the biggest big-government endeavor.

    So riddle me this: Why is it that the politicians quickest to salute the power of war tend to be the most anti-government?

    That’s right. Those most prone to swear by government in war say our government can’t possibly facilitate, say, health coverage for its own people.

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