Columns

SYNDICATED COLUMN: How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition

            From Clarence Thomas to Jerry Sandusky to Bill Cosby to Harvey Weinstein, those who doubt their accusers always ask something similar to what Roy Moore said about those who accused him of sexual harassment and assault: “To think grown women would wait 40 years before a general election to bring charges is unbelievable.” What […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: Call H.R.? Why Not the Cops? The Weird Politics of Sexual Harassment

            When the Kevin Spacey story first broke, he stood accused of one act of wrongdoing: aggressively hitting on a 14-year-old boy. If true, this is wrong. Very wrong. Obviously. Adults shouldn’t proposition children. But this happened more than 30 years ago. The nature of the response — Netflix distanced itself from the star of […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: NYC Attack: Another Reason to Protect Bicycle & Pedestrian Paths

This week’s ISIS-inspired truck attack in lower Manhattan by Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov has prompted discussions on a number of fronts. There is blowback, the foreign-policy-chickens-come-home-to-roost indicated by an increasing number of radical Islamists emerging from the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, a Central Asian nation whose brutal dictatorship is financed and armed by our […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: #MenToo? Even Under Matriarchy, Rape and Sexual Harassment Would Still Be a Big Problem

Post-Harvey Weinstein, the pitchforks are out — and with good reason. Women and girls have been diminished, objectified, exploited, terrorized, discriminated against, sexually harassed forever. Only fools thought sexism and misogyny at the hands of male oppression had been eliminated, but many people had reason to assume things had improved post-Gloria Steinem in the 1970s, […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: Why Girls in the Boy Scouts Feels Weird

I’m not a traditionalist. Progress is good. The fact that we’ve always done something a certain way is no argument for continuing to do it the same way. I’m not a fan of single-sex environments, whether they be schools, workplaces or civic organizations. I’ve worked in all-male spaces (a Wall Street trading room, a taxi […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: What Would the U.S. Look Like If We Built It From Scratch?

Imagine that there was another revolution. And that nothing big had changed. Demographics, power dynamics, culture, our economic system and political values were pretty much the same as they are now. If we Americans rolled up our sleeves and reimagined our political system from scratch, if we wrote up a brand-new constitution for 2017, what […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: Hugh Hefner Said His Critics Were Prudes and Puritans. The Negative Obits Prove Him Right.

  No one has ever accused Ross Douthat of excessive astuteness. “Donald Trump isn’t going to be the Republican nominee,” he wrote in January 2016. Dude is paid to prognosticate politics. Even so, Douthat probably pulls down six figures at The New York Times, which doesn’t grant me the courtesy of a rejection letter. So […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Pledge of Allegiance is anti-American

Right-wingers conflate nationalism with patriotism. But they’re not the same thing. Patriots love their country because it does good things; for nationalists it’s our country right or wrong. A lot of stuff nationalists call patriotic couldn’t possibly be more un-American. The singing of the national anthem before sporting events, and the reciting of the Pledge […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: No Man is Above the Law — Except on College Campuses

Freshman orientation, Columbia University, New York City, Fall 1981: Now as then, there were speeches. A blur of upperclassmen, professors and deans welcomed us, explained campus resources and laid out dos and donts. At one point, the topic of the campus drug policy came up. “You can do whatever you want in your dorm room,” […]

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SYNDICATED COLUMN: Want Real Political Change? Hit the Streets — And Don’t Promise to be Nonviolent

Tired of Trump? Congress can impeach him. But they won’t do anything unless you actually do something. Doing something does not mean signing an online petition. Donating to Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution is nice, but your cash can’t depose the oligarchs. Doing something does not mean voting Democratic; both parties are beholden to corporations who […]

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