Category Archives: Agora

TRiUMPh

front page of Hamburger Morgenpost

Now that the shock has worn off (and it was only a shock because the supposed pros who do the polls did a piss-poor job of it)—now that the shock has turned to mere wonder, I am filled with almost giddy curiosity about what this guy* is going to do, and how he is going […]

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Warmup

A great way to experience 22,000 years of global temperature fluctuations: From a recent article in the New York Review of Books: The “Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” … recognizes that “climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.” Its objective is to put […]

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Alert

There have been reports of an old man driving around near schools trying to entice students into his car with promises of free tuition.

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Belief

Romney logo

I believe in America. That’s why I voted today for Barack Obama. Yesterday Ana Marie Cox wrote that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if Romney wins. Nor if Obama wins, if your nightmares run in that direction. She also makes the “belief in America” argument, and I agree with her—up to a […]

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Careless

To the surprise of many, Chief Justice John Roberts has saved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Unsurprisingly, his reasoning in doing so was cockeyed. He rejected the Commerce Clause justification in support of the federal government’s authority to enforce participation in health care coverage (the so-called “mandate”), citing instead the government’s fallback […]

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Hitch

Alas, poor Hitchens. I knew him. We all knew him, in a way we rarely come to know other journalists and pundits. I’d also met him, but that doesn’t give me special standing.* He met thousands of people, and they will all lay claim to a piece of Hitchens. Even when he went off the […]

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Generation

Will Occupy Wall Street be able to keep up the pressure through the winter? Well, that depends on a lot of things, and not just the weather. Even if enthusiasm remains high, you’ve got mayors and police forces to deal with. Among the innovative approaches OWS has taken, one in particular caught my fancy: bicycle-powered […]

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WWGD?

There’s nothing like an execution—especially the execution of someone who is probably not guilty of the crime he was charged with—to give the lie to the claim that America is a “Christian nation.” There’s no need to belabor the point. We don’t turn the other cheek; we don’t trust Samaritans, good or otherwise; we certainly don’t […]

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Sharing

I’ve watched with some fascination the arrival of bike sharing in the Washington, DC, area—and its continued growth. I now pass a half-dozen Capital Bikeshare racks on my daily commute, and on many days—especially sunny days—they’re either empty or almost so. The other day, I pulled up alongside a guy in a suit on a […]

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Silliness

Now that Barack Obama has released a copy of his long-form birth certificate (the supposed Holy Grail of birtherism), the predictable reponses are already airborne: “Is it real?” (launched by The Donald), “What about his school records?” (ditto), and “What took him so long?” (courtesy of The Newt). Since the first two questions are incredibly […]

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
    Gravity’s Rainbow

    ‘Is it about a bicycle?’ he asked.
    The Third Policeman