Saturday December 07, 2013
September 26th, 2013
We've been here before, of course.
Anyone who shoots up a military base, an elementary school or a movie theater, or walks up to a member of Congress and pulls the trigger, is deeply disturbed. Before he gunned down 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis spoke of insomnia and hallucinations. He told police that he heard voices and that people were chasing him and microwaving him through the walls of his Newport, R.I., hotel.
There were two great speeches at the 2004 Democratic Convention -- and, in a way, they complemented each other. The first, by a young state senator from Illinois, rejected the notion that America is hopelessly divided politically into blue states and red states: "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America," declared Barack Obama, "there is the United States of America."
The war against Obamacare: All the rationality of a Justin Bieber fan riot, and all the restraint of "Saw VI."
On Wednesday, leaders of the House of Representatives announced their plans for a 42nd and 43rd vote to thwart the new health care reform law. If they don't get their way, they're threatening to defund the government and crack the debt ceiling.
The coming battles over budgets, the debt ceiling, a government shutdown and Obamacare are not elements of a large political game. They involve a fundamental showdown over the role of government in stemming rising inequality and making our country a fairer and more decent place.
A new Senate bill to protect journalists has stirred up a hornet's nest of criticism over an old nagging question: Who in the age of WikiLeaks is a "journalist"?
A bill called the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 was sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week to the full Senate for a vote.
Early this year, Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, made headlines by telling his fellow Republicans that they needed to stop being the "stupid party." Unfortunately, Jindal failed to offer any constructive suggestions about how they might do that. And, in the months that followed, he himself proceeded to say and do a number of things that were, shall we say, not especially smart.
College lifts us from the mob,
But not all do a nifty job.
Before World War II, college was mostly for the rich. Starting with the GI Bill, which gave thousands of WW II vets a shot at getting an advanced degree, education became a more common route for upward mobility.
Now, we’re slipping back into the bad old days.
Those Americans who count themselves as "war-weary" should meet Fawzia, a middle-aged woman who made perhaps the most difficult decision any parent can.
The future just keeps getting brighter for Americans with unique specialties.
Randy Stearns has one such specialty: “home-tech integration.” Stearns helps people install and maintain high-tech gadgets. But we’re not talking “Geek Squad” agents and hooking up home networks here. We’re talking rich people — and electronic toys that can cost more than houses.
I spent a few months on food stamps this year. As a single woman in San Diego, I qualified for $70 a month — less than a dollar per meal. But I’m lucky and I’m unusual because many of my friends are farmers and gardeners and I know how to forage wild foods.