Words matter — and never more so than when race is involved. For a while now, we have been repeatedly told that a white police officer shot and killed an “unarmed black teenager” on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. The words conjure the image of a kid gunned down because of the color of his skin by a trigger-happy white cop.
One of the unsung blessings of Twitter is the way it continually reminds us that willful ignorance is alive and thriving in the American body politic.
Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to be in the minority.
There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: “lame duck.” He’s in year six of his eight-year run. His biggest accomplishments are all in the past; his remaining proposals are stymied by Congress. His popularity is mired near 40 percent, and voters tell pollsters they see him as a leader “who can’t get things done.”
When the school bell rings on Monday, our students will be attending one of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas.
The shooting of Michael Brown and its turbulent aftermath have renewed an old question: Why does the black community raise a ruckus when a white person kills a black person, which is rare, but not when a black person kills a black person, which is far less rare?
The laboratories of democracy are blowing up. A rash of relatively convoluted, thoroughly unsexy political scandals involving governors is moving through the country. So many of them involve Republican presidential hopefuls that conspiracy theorists could argue they must be manufactured, or at least overhyped, by wily Democratic strategists. At least one Democratic governor has also been implicated, though.
The events in Ferguson, Missouri, have launched a familiar spectacle: the race to be wrong first. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American man, was shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson. The Washington Post had more on the story about what one witness called an “execution-style slaying”:
When the news rippled out recently that Robin Williams had committed suicide, even I thought — for a moment — “but he had everything.”
I don’t know why we are spending our hard-earned money paying taxes to support a criminal justice system, when issues of guilt and innocence are being determined on television — and even punishment is being meted out by CNN’s showing the home and address of the policeman accused in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents.
A riot can be many things. It can be an act of communal madness, reflecting the emotional imbecility of those who believe the best way to express joy at their ball team’s win is to overturn a car.
WASHINGTON — Grade deflation is dead. Long live grade inflation! Starting around the mid-20th century, a pandemic of meaninglessly high grades swept the nation. Steadily, the Gentleman’s C was replaced by the Gentleman’s B-pluses. Soon even B-pluses’ grew ungentlemanly, with more and more grades compressed into the narrow band spanning from A-minus to A-plus.
Hillary Clinton has obvious attractions for liberals. She offers a solid chance of extending Democratic occupancy of the White House for four or eight years.
World War I started one century ago. Wait! Don’t stop reading.
One in five? Yeah, right. Sounds way too high. That’s a common reaction to the oft-cited statistic about the share of women who experience an attempted or completed sexual assault during college. The number can’t possibly be right, the Doubting Thomases (or, less frequently, Doubting Thomasinas) argue. It’s based on a small sample of schools, after all, and must not be representative of the full melange of colleges out there.
New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves “progressive,” is gung-ho to solve social problems.
“I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama Bin Laden — he’s a very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him.”
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge’s website of “the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever” for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration.
It matters not whether you are sizing up, sizing down or sizing sideways. Merchants have products to help you on your way to the life you think you want.
A diplomat was once defined as someone whose job is to lie for his country. That’s apparently what makes them different from intelligence officers, whose function is to lie to their country.
OK, in the first place: “tortured some folks?” Really? Was there not something annoyingly breezy in the president’s phrasing recently as he acknowledged the abuse of suspected terrorists in the wake of Sept. 11? Was there not something off-putting in the folksy familiarity of it?
With the usual fanfare and self-regard we have come to expect from The New York Times editorial board, the prestigious paper has changed its mind about pot.
Next week I’m scheduled for a cervical spinal fusion that costs upward of $100,000, but I won’t be paying for it.
The emergency immigration bill House Speaker John Boehner initially proposed recently was never going to become law — and he knew it. President Barack Obama had already promised a veto, so the bill was mostly a political message, designed to show that House Republicans could act decisively in a crisis.
As the Gaza conflict drags on, Iraq has faded from the headlines, even though the country is falling to pieces. So it was intriguing to meet a terrific group of Iraqi college students at Temple University on a State Department exchange program that introduces them to religious pluralism in America.
WASHINGTON — Sometimes, under certain circumstances, McDonald’s Corp. might be held partly responsible for its franchisees’ bad behavior. Maybe. So announced the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, a sort of independent prosecutor, recently.
On Thursday night, July 24, Xinran Ji was walking home from his study group meeting, four blocks from USC, where he was a graduate student in engineering. According to police, four teenagers, three boys and a girl, beat 24-year-old Ji with a baseball bat and a wrench.
Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era.
A few words about the “poor door.” Maybe you already know about this. Maybe you read on Slate, saw on Colbert or heard on NPR how a developer qualified for tax benefits under New York City’s Inclusionary Housing Program by agreeing to add to its new luxury building on the Upper West Side a set number of “affordable” apartments.
Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has accused both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the Gaza conflict.
The pictures are horrific: schoolroom walls covered in blood, parents running with injured children against a backdrop of bombed-out rubble, women with outstretched arms imploring heaven. But they do not tell the full story of what is happening in Gaza any more than the casualty or rocket tallies printed daily in The New York Times and elsewhere do.
If we want to do something about sexual assault on college campuses, first we have to deal with the excuse makers.
“Sorry to email you late on a Friday, but I need your urgent support,” Nancy Pelosi wrote me. The House minority leader went on to explain that “for the first time in history, Congress voted to sue a sitting president.” And, “Today: the White House alerted us that they believe ‘Speaker Boehner ... has opened the door to impeachment.’
So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again. You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unlikely to get pregnant because her body “has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
NEW YORK — Something strange happened here recently: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.
The numbers are small for a large country like this, but the alarm is big over the influx of Central American children coming over the southern border. People are merging this special case involving about 57,000 children with generalized anxiety about a broken immigration system that has resulted in an estimated 11 million illegal residents.
On my refrigerator door I keep a photo of an exceptional Palestinian woman who ran kindergartens in Gaza in the 1990s for the Philly-based American Friends Service Committee. Mary Khaas, who died more than a decade ago, would drag her teachers from their refugee-camp homes to visit her Jewish friends at a kibbutz just across the Gaza border. She believed in two states and wanted each side to stop demonizing the other.