WASHINGTON -- For every dissident and defector I've encountered, there is a moment when observation begins to feel like complicity -- when remaining a bystander involves culpability.
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.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to prominence in the 1990s as an expert in political renovation, transforming the Labour Party from a creaky, socialist relic to a modern, center-left, governing institution. Before Blair, Labour had not won back-to-back victories in a hundred years. Blair secured three.
How curious to watch "60 Minutes," the famously hard-hitting TV newsmagazine, bless JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon with prime-time beatification for hiring some interns from poor backgrounds. The segment's headline is "Jobs program benefits Fortune 500 and underprivileged youth."
Cover your eyes and hide the kids: A Republican is talking poverty.
Mark Twain complained that there were lies, damn lies and statistics. I've also heard that 90 percent of statistics are wrong. This comes to mind when thinking about a recent study published in Forbes magazine that rates Mississippi number one in the nation for government corruption.
It appears the Mississippi Development Authority has come to its senses on the subject of drilling in the Mississippi Sound and near the barrier islands.
In a place haunted by ghosts, on a thoroughfare of the damned, standing upon ground once watered by blood, Breanna Mitchell lifted a camera to take her own picture. She smiled a sunshine smile.
I will readily admit that I have been all over the map when it comes to the death penalty.
In 1993, Lois Lowry wrote a slim book for youth about totalitarianism, euthanasia, suicide, sexual awakening and infanticide. "The Giver" created a blooming genre -- the dystopian youth novel -- and considerable controversy.
An aspiring rapper posts his lyrics on Facebook, suggesting a Halloween costume with his estranged wife's "head on a stick."
It swallowed people up. That's what it really did, if you want to know the truth. It swallowed them up whole, swallowed them up by the millions.
The "crossfire" mentality that defines public discourse today has the obvious problem of ignoring the fact that most of us land somewhere in the middle, turning every debate into a shouting contest between the extremists who generate passion and ratings, and rarely reflecting the views of the majority in the middle.
Artist Christopher Wool must be really good at texting. His stencil sign paintings, according to the Guggenheim Museum, "freely stripped out punctuation, disrupted conventional spacing and removed letters."
It is often said, believed and undoubtedly right that the Republicans' ace in midterm elections is apathetic Democrats not showing up at the polls. But that once predictable waltz into November is threatened by blabbermouths of the right's seeking self-aggrandizement by hurling darts at the sleeping Democratic bear.
Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience. "Please do not do any more good in my country," he said. "We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done."
WASHINGTON -- It was one of those important-but-dull hearings that don't even get broadcast on C-SPAN 3. An obscure subcommittee was taking expert testimony on patient safety Thursday, and only four of its 14 members bothered to show up. Several of the public seats were empty, too.
Here we go again. Same stuff, different day. Deja vu all over again. A monthly New York newspaper, The WestView News, uses an objectionable headline ("The N----r In The White House") on a piece in its July edition, which argues that much of the shrill hatred toward President Obama is rooted in racism. Not surprisingly, the headline gets more attention than the argument.
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