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What do Hannah Arendt, Sandra Bullock, Mary McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy have in common?
No servant can serve two masters.
The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, July 4:
As the Egyptian military bowed to millions of demonstrators in the streets to end the presidency of Mohamed Morsi, familiar naysayers reemerged to claim that the protests and the coup show the futility of seeking democratic reform in Egypt and, by extension, the rest of the Arab world. They could not be more wrong. Quite the contrary, the Egyptian people have proved extraordinarily adept students of democracy.
Once the dust settles from Egypt's military coup Wednesday, the main victim won't be President Mohamed Morsi or the Islamists, who are survivors by nature. The real casualty will be democracy and people's faith in it. Egyptians will have lost their best chance at being an active part of their country's governance in more than 5,000 years.
The May jobs report shows that the American economy added 175,000 positions. Positive employment growth is welcome news, of course. But May's gains weren't big enough to make a dent in the national joblessness rate, which actually ticked up to 7.6 percent.
Almost exactly 20 years ago, I became the first death row prisoner in the United States to clear my name through DNA evidence.
The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Thursday, July 4:
Hollywood had a chance to break barriers by showcasing Latina actresses in a new television series.
After months of back-room wheeling and dealing, the Senate passed a "comprehensive" immigration bill that proponents say solves all the big problems so wisely that the House would be shortsighted not to do likewise.
If America's medical schools were failing to offer their students the academic content and practical experience necessary to provide high-quality health care, we would be outraged.
The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday, July 3:
Hold the applause for the Senate's immigration bill.
The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Thursday, July 4:
The Arab Spring has come full circle.
The White House delayed for one year a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that small businesses provide health insurance to its employees.
Most of us wake up in the morning, adjust our eyes to the light, wash off the residue of slumber and steady ourselves for the day's work. Sometimes it's a happy prospect, sometimes drudgery, but for the vast majority it's neither joy nor sorrow. It's just life.
The United States is making a mess of Haiti.
Free enterprise has been the foundation of America's economy and society for more than 200 years. It's been the platform for unprecedented prosperity, opportunity and advancement for generations. It's the reason our nation remains a beacon of hope for people around the world who wish for a better life.
After five years of abnormally high unemployment since the Great Recession began, it is strange to hear people with access to major media still claiming that the solution lies in smaller government for America.
The following editorial appeared in the Seattle Times on Tuesday, July 2:
Latin America has had a good decade. Over the last 10 years, economic growth averaged 4.2 percent, and 70 million people escaped poverty. Macroeconomic stability, open-trade policies and pro-business investment climates have supported and will continue to support strong growth in the years to come.
I saved a man's life.
It certainly is crowded down here at the bottom of history's dustbin. There's very little breathing space, what with those of us who reject a woman's right to destroy the child growing within her body, those who believe that religious principles deserve respect in the face of overbearing health-care mandates and those who consider starving someone to death because they're in a so-called "vegetative state" to be a criminal act, not an act of mercy.
The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, July 2:
The only thing more aggravating than Christmas shopping ads before the Fourth of July - yes, I saw one over the weekend - is a journalist making "best of the year" lists with six months still to go. I'm not going to go quite that far, but I am willing to declare a sure winner for The Most Tedious Phrase of 2013:
Earlier this month, researchers and advocates from 40 countries formed a global alliance to enable the secure sharing of genomic and clinical data, aiming to end the era in which only the people who collected your genetic data had access to it.
Before Tony Soprano, there was J.R. Ewing.
When it comes to race relations, this past week was one that suggested things aren't getting any better. First there was celebrity chef Paula Deen in a professional tailspin after acknowledging in a sworn deposition that she had used the N word. Worse, I thought, was her admission that she once had thoughts of planning a plantation-themed wedding for her brother, Bubba. ("Yes, I did say that I would love for Bubba to experience a very Southern-style wedding, and we did that. We did that.")
Now that the Senate has passed its immigration bill, the future of reform lies in the hands of the GOP-led House, where the debate will center on allowing a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants living in this country without legal status. Opponents of this path often claim that low-skilled Mexicans, who make up the largest subgroup, are not fitting into U.S. society - that they don't want to assimilate and are fated to remain a permanent underclass.
Last week was bittersweet for the cause of human dignity.
The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, July 2:
The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, July 1:
The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, July 1:
I've often heard people repeat an adage spoken by a character in a Robert Frost poem published almost 100 years ago.
At a time when American troops are leaving Afghanistan and U.S. officials are trying to talk to the Taliban, I recommend that you read a book called "A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story."
Last year, the town of Narrowsburg, N.Y., canceled its Fourth of July fireworks display. Some people complained, but the town's decision made the holiday much safer for another American symbol: bald eagles. In previous years, the bald eagles who make their nests along the Delaware River in Narrowsburg were apparently so terrified by the fireworks' deafening booms and flashing lights that some chicks fled their nests. One eagle fledgling was even found with a broken leg the next day.
The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Monday, July 1:
With vacation season well under way, we were pleasantly surprised recently when our book, "The $10 Trillion Prize," was named to J.P. Morgan's annual summer reading list, the so-called "billionaires book club."
On Thursday, my students and I visited a high school here in Ghana. When the headmistress told us that her students were "losing their culture" and "becoming too Western," we asked for an example. "Homosexuality," she said. "To us, it is an abomination. It comes from elsewhere."
Decisions in two blockbuster cases announced in the final week of the Supreme Court's 2012-13 term invalidated critical provisions of federal statutes. In United States v. Windsor, the court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as a union between a man and a woman. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, effectively eliminating the requirement that certain jurisdictions submit proposed election-law changes to federal officials for review before implementation.
The fiercest fireworks may not come around July 4, but later this month. Like our independence struggle, they may develop on the other side of the Atlantic.
This column is dedicated to my Uncle Curtis, a gay man.
In this age of Instagram and Twitter, it is easy to forget how recently postcards were a principal way of sending images and short messages. Nothing about postal communication seems appropriate for that today: Someone once confessed to me that he hand-delivers postcards after he returns from a trip because they arrive more quickly that way.
Not every terminated employee wins a $10,000 settlement, but Jeff Richmond did. The West Virginian utility worker refused to donate to his union's political action committee. So the Laborers International Union had him fired.
Abortion rights supporters may as well put away those champagne glasses.
The following editorial appeared in The Baltimore Sun on Friday, June 28:
The following editorial appeared in The Miami Herald on Thursday, June 27:
There's a new front in the fight over gay marriage: state-by-state reciprocity.
In justifying the decision to quash the protections of the Voting Rights Act for African-American, Latino and other voters of color, the chief justice of the Supreme Court wrote "things have changed." And, in a sense, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. is correct: As this nation has tumbled through time grappling with its own history, the persistence of states of the former Confederacy in suppressing African American voting power has adapted, shape-shifted and adopted clever disguises. Efforts to extend voter suppression against Latino, Native, and Asian-American voters in these states have also proliferated. Indeed, things have changed.