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Archive

Date

January 30th, 2014

For The Mentally Ill, It's Worse

    Last week, one of the landmark nonfiction books of the last 50 years was reissued by Vintage Books. "Is There No Place on Earth for Me?" by Susan Sheehan began life in 1981 as a four-part series in The New Yorker; in 1982, it came out as a book, winning the Pulitzer Prize.

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Bill Gates Q&A: 'Capitalism did not eradicate smallpox'

    On Tuesday, Bill Gates released his annual letter commenting on his foundation's work. This year's edition takes aim at the "three myths" that block progress for the poor - the myth that aid doesn't work, the myth that aid is wasted and the myth that aid will just lead to overpopulation. We spoke about the three myths Tuesday morning. An edited transcript follows:

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3 Enemas Later, Still No Drugs

    If you think that protests about overzealous law enforcement are over the top, listen to what unfolded when the police suspected that David Eckert, 54, was hiding drugs in his rectum.

    Eckert is a shy junk dealer struggling to get by in Hidalgo County, N.M. He lives a working-class life, drives a 16-year-old pickup and was convicted in 2008 of methamphetamine possession.

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Marriage Matters, in France and in Texas

    There is a difference between being married and not being married. That difference has come into sharp focus in the romantic life of French President Francois Hollande, a sort of Socialist Sun King around whom women revolve. All of his female companions are reputedly strong, but none seems strong enough to tell him to scram.

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Christie on two levels

    It's rare that you can look at your television screen and see not only what is happening but also what might have been. Chris Christie's inaugural address on Tuesday was at once a masterful summary of the best thinking among Republicans about where their party needs to move and a compendium of proclamations that now carry unfortunate double-meanings.

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The Quality of Accountability

    In the narrative of every political scandal comes the accountability moment. New facts slow to a trickle, and the next, insistent demand becomes: Who is being held accountable?) This is often a dumb question, asked for lack of a more fruitful topic and fueled by partisans more interested in point-scoring than problem-fixing.

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Putting a squeeze on nation's I.Q.

    Football being the fixation of the nation right now, let’s employ a gridiron analogy to understand what’s become of society’s most important pursuit.

    The issue: helmets and brain injury. Ostensibly built to protect the brain, impervious to destruction, helmets allow players to use their heads as weapons.

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No Place to Hide: We're All Suspects in Barack Obama's America

    Barack Obama's speech Friday on surveillance was his worst performance, not as a matter of theatrical skill, though he clearly did not embrace his lines, but in its stark betrayal of his oft proclaimed respect for constitutional safeguards and civil liberty. 

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Is West Virginia a Cult?

    After decades of suffering environmental torture at the hands of polluting industries, West Virginians might regard a chemical spill that poisoned the drinking water of 300,000 residents -- and is still scaring folks after the dangers have presumably passed -- as a last straw. But there never seems to be a last straw for them.

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Gates reflections flawed on America's last 40 years of war

    Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in discussing his new book, has had a lot negative to say about how President Obama and his national security team operated during his own involvement with them. But after having served under several other presidents of both parties, he made another more sweeping observation that warrants sober reflection.

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