Archive

Date

August 7th, 2014

Close to Home

    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. No reason. No connection. Ji managed to struggle back to his apartment, where his roommate found him the next morning, dead in a pool of blood that police traced back to the spot where he was attacked.

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Communist roots of capitalist corruption in China

    What turns so many cadres bad in contemporary China? Busy purging a generation of corrupt officials from the Communist Party, Chinese President Xi Jinping may not have much time to worry about causes at the moment. This week he's concerning himself with political fallout from the detention of Zhou Yongkang - China's retired (and still-feared) security chief and formerly ninth-ranking member of the Politburo - for "serious discipline violations," as the state newsmedia describes them.

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Congress: The Road to Roads

    Well, all I can say is thank God we've got that Highway Trust Fund fixed.

    Congress raced for its August break in a mad scramble, with many complaints about voting on legislation nobody had ever seen ("What bill are we talking about?") and plaintive cries of: "We can do better than this!"

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Give Kerry a break

    Secretary of State John Kerry was right to push for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. All outside parties should do everything they can to end a war in which both Israel and Hamas seem willing to fight to the death of the last Palestinian civilian.

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Republicans shocked -- shocked! -- at speculation over Obama impeachment

    House Republicans were rushing out the door for Congress' five-week summer recess Thursday divided for once on how to oppose President Barack Obama: impeach him for failing to "faithfully executive the laws" or just sue him for it?

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Sympathy for the Devil

    What does it mean for a company "to do the right thing" after an industrial accident?

    It used to be standard operating procedure that when something went wrong, companies immediately took to the courts to fight over who got compensated and for how much, trying to minimize their own financial liability. Those fights could take years to resolve, with no guarantee that the plaintiffs would be compensated justly.

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Go Take a Hike!

    Escaping a grim world of war abroad and inequality at home, I fled with my teenage daughter here to the mountains of Oregon to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and commune with more humane creatures. Like bears and cougars.

    The wilderness is healing, a therapy for the soul. We hiked 145 miles, and it was typical backpacking bliss: We were chewed on by mosquitoes, rained on and thundered at, broiled by noonday sun, mocked by a 20-mile stretch of dry trail, and left limping from blisters. The perfect trip!

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How This War Ends

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Senate newbie Cruz stirs more trouble for Boehner in House

    No one could have been more pleased to see the arrival of Congress's five-week summer recess than House Speaker John Boehner. It offers a welcome breathing space in the seemingly endless civil war between his Republican caucus's far-right conservatives and its moderate establishment members.

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Throw the Book at Him

    I can't wait to read the book W. won't write.

    Not since Beyoncé dropped a new digital album online overnight with no warning or fanfare has there been such a successful pop-up arts project.

    Crown Publishers startled everyone Wednesday by announcing that the 68-year-old W. has written a "personal biography" of his 90-year-old father, due out in November.

    I guess he ran out of brush to clear.

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