Archive

Date

April 27th, 2014

Who Will Influence Whom?

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Religion for $1,000, Alex

    With Easter and Passover freshly behind us, let's test your knowledge of the Bible. How many mistakes can you find:

    Noah of Arc and his wife, Joan, build a boat to survive a great flood. Moses climbs Mount Cyanide and receives 10 enumerated commandments; for all the differences among religious denominations, the Ten Commandments are a common bedrock that Jews, Catholics and Protestants agree on.

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High Plains Moochers

    It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy - the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance - has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken.

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The Gun Supremacist' Folly

    Have we gone stark raving mad?

    The question is brought to mind by the new gun law signed last week in Georgia by Gov. Nathan Deal. You might have thought that since the United States couldn't possibly have more permissive firearms laws than it does now, nothing more could be done to coddle the gun lobby and tip the balance of our statutes away from law enforcement. Alas, you would be wrong.

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Leaning in, the Navy way

    The U.S. Naval Academy presents a challenging venue for Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg's "lean in" pitch.

    On the one hand, the academy's female midshipmen inhabit a post-Sandberg world. They are already the ultimate leaners-in, super-achievers making their way in a traditionally male environment. They might be the last to need to sign up for one of the "lean-in circles" Sandberg urges women to form.

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April 24th

Sweden Turns Japanese

    Three years ago Sweden was widely regarded as a role model in how to deal with a global crisis. The nation's exports were hit hard by slumping world trade but snapped back; its well-regulated banks rode out the financial storm; its strong social insurance programs supported consumer demand; and unlike much of Europe, it still had its own currency, giving it much-needed flexibility. By mid-2010 output was surging, and unemployment was falling fast. Sweden, declared The Washington Post, was "the rock star of the recovery."

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Autism and the Agitator

    What do you call someone who sows misinformation, stokes fear, abets behavior that endangers people's health, extracts enormous visibility from doing so and then says the equivalent of "Who? Me?"

    I'm not aware of any common noun for a bad actor of this sort. But there's a proper noun: Jenny McCarthy.

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The Real Port Authority Scandal

    This is a column about the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but you won't read a word in here about the lane-closing scandal in Fort Lee, N.J. This is about another scandal, one that has been going for on so long that people don't even think of it as scandalous. Indeed, it involves no illegality whatsoever. But that doesn't mean it isn't a scandal.

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A Saint, He Ain't

    There were some disturbing elements to the Easter Mass I attended at Nativity, my childhood church.

    The choral director sang "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "Danny Boy." The pews were half-empty on the church's most sacred day.

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Better Care Can Also Cost Less

    Almost everyone has known or will know the helplessness of caring for -- or overseeing the care of -- a sick loved one. That such situations are often mired in chaos raises the anxiety level for both the patient and others trying to do the right thing.

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