Archive

Date

December 11th

Abusing Chickens We Eat

    If you buy a Perdue chicken in the grocery store, you might think it had lived a comfortable avian middle-class existence.

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A needed accommodation

    Peggy Young's Supreme Court case sounds like a throwback to the "Mad Men" era, when employers weren't expected -- or required -- to welcome women in general and pregnant women in particular.

    Unfortunately, Young's situation reflects the reality, especially for lower-wage workers, that many companies continue to balk at reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.

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The question we can't answer

    Michael Brown's death was part of a tragic and unacceptable pattern: Police officers in the United States shoot and kill civilians in shockingly high numbers. How many killings are there each year? No one can say for sure, because police departments don't want us to know.

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The Gift That Keeps Giving

    Flying into New York the other day, I got my first good look at the Freedom Tower, now known as 1 World Trade Center, the skyscraper that sits atop 9/11's ground zero. It does, indeed, scrape the sky, topping out at a patriotic 1,776 feet. Thirteen years after 9/11, I appreciate the nationalist pride that, while terrorists can knock down our buildings, we can just build them right back up. Take that, Osama bin Laden.

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Obamacare and the Middle Class

    Few truly appreciate the enormous economic benefits the Affordable Care Act will deliver to the American people over time, the middle class included. But you'd expect New York's seasoned Democratic senator, Charles Schumer, to "get it" rather than belittle the 2010 federal health care law as a political inconvenience for his party.

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Learning is not a political process

    Maybe the most insidious modifier in the ongoing disservice we call education reform is “outcome-based.”

    As in, “To make students voracious readers, use this method.”

    As in, “To prepare students for four-year colleges, use this method.”

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A Pox on Campus Life

    In college you're supposed to be testing a new altitude of independence. So why join a club whose demand for fealty is such that it often comes with a hazing ritual?

    You should be cultivating the kind of sensibility that makes you a better citizen of a diverse and distressingly fractious society. How is that served by retreating into an exclusionary clique of people just like you?

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The tyranny you haven't heard about

    You could call it a stealth North Korea: a country in the same league of repression and isolation as the Hermit Kingdom, but with far less attention paid to its crimes.

    The country is Uzbekistan, one of the Central Asian nations that emerged out of the wreckage of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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The NCAA's Big Bluff

    Not long after the NCAA came down on Penn State three years ago, after the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, a small group of rabid Penn State supporters began circulating emails to each other. A few journalists were also among those receiving the emails, myself included.

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Once a cop, now an outcast: A Chinese tale of abuse and a craving for justice

    For 12 years, the dark blue police uniform has stayed in Tian Lan's closet.

    She held onto it after she was arrested for accusing two fellow officers of corruption, through beatings in interrogation and during a prison sentence that followed. She kept the uniform even as she lost her family and savings and began sleeping under a bridge.

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