Archive

Date

April 30th, 2015

Shooting cop videos? Be nice

    What if you happened to record video on your smartphone of a police officer as he shot an unarmed suspect in the back? What would you do with it?

    That disturbing question faced Feidin Santana, the Dominican immigrant said on NBC's "Today Show," after he recorded police officer Michael Slager's fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott after a traffic stop in North Charleston, S.C.

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Hollywood Trumps Harvard

    Call me an idealist, but I'd like to think that the halls of higher education are less vulnerable to the siren calls of fame and fortune than other byways of American life are. I'd like to believe in a bold dividing line between academic virtues and celebrity values, between intellectual and commercial concerns.

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Government of the people, by the contractors

    War is the biggest big-government endeavor.

    So riddle me this: Why is it that the politicians quickest to salute the power of war tend to be the most anti-government?

    That’s right. Those most prone to swear by government in war say our government can’t possibly facilitate, say, health coverage for its own people.

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Flawed FBI testimony no surprise for Curly's clients

    Faith in our justice system is scant in some communities - often the ones with the most direct experience with police, prosecutors and judges.

    Like in Curly's Barbering Services, a little shop in a Prince George's County strip mall always packed with customers who talk long and loud way after their hair is done.

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Fighting Robots With Robots

    So machines are now able to assess a human's mood. "Emotion detection software" has put robots one step closer to replacing the humans who work -- or used to work -- in what we in the olden days called "customer relations."

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Deal or No Deal?

    The Obama team's effort to negotiate a deal with Iran that could prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear bomb for at least a decade is now entering its critical final stage. I hope that a good, verifiable deal can be finalized, but it will not be easy. If it were, we'd have it by now. Here are the major challenges:

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Confirm Loretta Lynch now

    In a sane world, the Republican-led Senate would have confirmed Loretta Lynch as attorney general months ago. But sanity hasn't been seen around here in some time.

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The Giant Rats That Save Lives

    I'm walking in a minefield here in rural Angola, tailing a monster rat.

    This is a Gambian pouched rat, a breed almost 3 feet from nose to tail, the kind of rat that gives cats nightmares. Yet this rat is a genius as well as a giant, for it has learned how to detect land mines by scent - and it's doing its best to save humans like me from blowing up.

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That Old-Time Economics

    America has yet to achieve a full recovery from the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Still, it seems fair to say that we've made up much, though by no means all, of the lost ground.

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Starving For Wisdom

    "We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom."

    That epigram from E.O. Wilson captures the dilemma of our era. Yet the solution of some folks is to disdain wisdom.

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