The “crossfire” mentality that defines public discourse today has the obvious problem of ignoring the fact that most of us land somewhere in the middle, turning every debate into a shouting contest between the extremists who generate passion and ratings, and rarely reflecting the views of the majority in the middle.
In 1952, Sen. Patrick McCarran of Arizona took the Senate floor to warn of the dangers posed by foreigners. The immigration system, he said, is a stream that flows into our society, and “if that stream is polluted our institutions and our way of life becomes infected.” He was not the last person to see those migrating here as a terrifying source of contamination.
Vladimir Putin has become a global menace. There is an irrefutable link between the Russian leader’s reckless policies on Ukraine and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This tragedy is the direct outgrowth of his decision to train and arm Ukrainian separatists with heavy weapons in an effort to destabilize Ukraine.
In a recent confrontation between protesters against the illegal flood of unaccompanied children into the United States and counter-protests by some Hispanic group, one man from the latter group said angrily, “We are as good as you are!”
Denton’s Oak Street is lined with historic homes. Only a fraction of Denton’s historic structures survive, as many were demolished to accommodate changing tastes or the University of North Texas’ growth. Some houses were lost to fire, since building codes and setbacks did not exist. Oak Street could have easily disappeared.
Earlier this month, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated. During the act’s legislative debate, then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey, responding to predictions, promised, “I’ll eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas.”
Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.
“Here’s the difference between us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained recently on Fox News Sunday. ‘‘We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.” It’s a classic talking point. It’s also objectively true, and that truth is very frustrating for Israel’s critics.
Here we go again. Same stuff, different day. Deja vu all over again. A monthly New York newspaper, The WestView News, uses an objectionable headline on a piece in its July edition, which argues that much of the shrill hatred toward President Obama is rooted in racism. Not surprisingly, the headline gets more attention than the argument.
Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the wheel, and the old and infirm vigorously resist giving up the keys.
When it comes to an agreement with Iran about its nuclear program, no deal is better than a bad deal. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the news to President Obama recently that a deal was unlikely by the July 20th deadline agreed to at the beginning of talks last September — which no doubt disappointed his boss, who is desperate for some foreign policy success to point to.
The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a “date” he met on a website that connects “sugar daddies” with “sugar babies” has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman.
There is a point at which firmness of conviction becomes obstinacy, and there is a point at which obstinacy becomes comedy. The latter was on spectacular view the other day when a prominent inflation hawk self-destructed on national TV.
In the film Obvious Child, Jenny Slate plays Donna Stern, a stand-up comedian who specializes in making jokes about her private parts, with the occasional foray into fart humor. She is about to go onstage. Her friend offers her some encouragement: “You are going to kill it out there!”
Despite the growing consensus that mass incarceration is not the way to cure all social ills, there seems to be a new trend toward prosecuting parents who fall short of prevailing ideals.
Whenever Democrats are in real trouble politically, the Republicans seem to come up with something new that distracts the public’s attention from the Democrats’ problems.
On behalf of all liberals — living and dead — I’d like to apologize to Adam Bellow. In 1976, Bellow was at a Michigan State University writing workshop when a feminist publicly rebuked him for saying she had manly attributes. He says he meant that as a compliment.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2012 losses because of personal identity theft totaled $24.7 billion.
Jerusalem used to be safe. It is nearly 40 miles from Gaza and 3,000 feet above sea level. In the last go-round, the Hamas rockets couldn’t reach that far. Now they can.
Once again, an industry responsible for building and supporting all areas of the Texas economy is being targeted by East and West Coast activists seeking to slow responsible hydrocarbon development through fear. Millions of dollars from agenda-driven organizations unconcerned with the well-being of Texas citizens continue to funnel into our state and others across the country to advance anti-oil and natural gas campaigns. If adopted, these ordinances will have unintended consequences for citizens, city governments and mineral owners that far outweigh any perceived benefit.
I’ve heard some crazy claims about fracking in Denton. The industry has said Denton residents are terrorists. The head of Texas’ oil and gas regulatory agency (a man who is funded by the very industry he is supposedly watching over) even implied that Russia was behind our proposed fracking ban. Yet the craziest thing I’ve heard is that Denton should adopt “reasonable regulations” rather than a ban on fracking.
The first signs of my parents’ slippage was puzzling. How did they keep missing lunch dates and doctor’s appointments? Why did they unload the dishwasher before running it? How could they forget how to check their email or set their clock?
Just two pages into the book Unbroken, its protagonist is in the water, hiding beneath the deteriorating life raft in which he has been drifting across the Pacific Ocean for almost a month. Overhead, Japanese bombers are circling back to strafe him a second time. And sharks are approaching from below.
The city of Denton is about to enter into a 50-year, $25 million deal for a convention center to be managed by a company founded in 2007. It currently manages seven hotels and has zero experience managing convention centers. This will be on University of North Texas property, exactly where the last hotel and convention center sat.
I have been in two successful campaigns for City Council in the last three years, which involved about 20 candidate forums. Each time the question of a convention center was raised, I said I was for the concept and would vote for it if the development agreement represented a good deal for the city. All of the other successful council candidates over the last three years took similar positions.
It’s a classic Orwellian nightmare: The government decides to deny you a right it extends to other people, but it won’t tell you why and it won’t tell you what you can do about it. You’re stuck in purgatory, effectively convicted without being tried — or even being told the charge against you.
The boarding pass typically lists two times: the time of departure and the time of boarding. For many airline passengers, the only significant one is time of departure.
The drone has become America’s counter-terrorism weapon of choice. But does drone warfare really further U.S. goals abroad?
As thousands of unaccompanied Central American children stream across his state’s southern border, Texas Gov. Rick Perry took a paranoid turn.
Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience. ‘‘Please do not do any more good in my country,” he said. “We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done.”
Since the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court went up in flames back in 1987, every appointee to the court has understood that when asked at confirmation hearings about how your personal experiences might affect your decisions, the right answer is definitely “balls and strikes.”
During last year’s budget negotiation meetings, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner, “We don’t have a spending problem.”
An undocumented foreigner crossed the Rio Grande near Hidalgo the other day. He had spent three weeks traveling from Honduras, and he was carrying only one thing with him: a birth certificate. He was hoping to find relatives in San Antonio or Maryland. His name is Alejandro, and he’s 8 years old.
Relax. This is not a slippery slope. So Justices Samuel Alito writing for the majority and Anthony Kennedy writing in concurrence, take pains to assure us in the wake of the Supreme Court’s latest disastrous decision.
Paging Elizabeth Warren: This is your moment.
From the happy reports, you’d think that liberals had only to celebrate the tea party’s recent Mississippi defeat. True, Sen. Thad Cochran’s winning strategy — reaching out to Democrats, in particular African-Americans — made for an especially gratifying runoff victory.
Americans recently marked not only the 238th anniversary of the founding of our nation, but also the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The story of Los Jets is quintessentially American. A small-town high school team, cobbled together of outcast and underdog students, struggles to overcome obstacles put in its way by unsympathetic officials and community naysayers. The once ragtag team perseveres with grit, heart, spirit and hope, and wins a state championship. The townspeople finally embrace the one-time outsiders as local heroes.
Organizations concerned with public policy have a habit of hyping developments that relate to their concerns. When the Supreme Court ruled that some corporations are exempt from paying for employees’ contraceptive coverage under Obamacare, both sides loudly trumpeted its importance.
Every four years, at some point in the presidential campaign, one candidate says something that leads the other to accuse him (or her) of challenging his (or her) patriotism, and then we have a 48-hour spat over who called who unpatriotic, and then we go back to the usual political game in which talking heads viciously attack each other 24/7.
Abortion-rights protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building on Monday holding signs that read “Birth Control: Not My Boss’s Business.”
Sen. Richard Russell called it a work of “manifold evils.”Sen. Barry Goldwater called it a “threat to the very essence” of America.Rep. Howard Smith called it a “monstrous instrument of oppression.”
Birthdays are supposed to be times for celebration and gift-giving. But America’s upcoming birthday on the Fourth of July is a time when the gift most needed is an urgent warning about the dangers of losing the things that have made this country America — and have long made “America” a ringing word of freedom, not only in this country but to people around the world.
As we celebrate this Fourth of July, let us take a moment to pause from the backyard barbecues, pool parties and firework celebrations to remember the true significance of the day — our country’s fight for independence.
Acouple of years ago, President Barack Obama, speaking on the economy, told an audience in Osawatomie, Kansas: ‘“The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. ... But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. ... I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.”
Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry rightly criticized an Egyptian court’s conviction of three international journalists with al-Jazeera English on blatantly fake charges cooked up for political reasons.