Name the victims; shame the Congress

Slain WDBJ reporter Alison Parker's father, Andy Parker, has become the latest grieving parent calling for gun control. We are all seduced by the notion that simply understanding the impact on real people of the failure to create meaningful universal background checks will somehow lead to a rational response by Congress. We were certain this …

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Summer reading: there’s still time, pt. 2 – fiction

Summer reading 2015 would not be complete without Go Set a Watchman, the book that Harper Lee reportedly wrote before she published To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is told from the perspective of Atticus Finch's daughter Scout (now Jean Louise) some 20 years after the time frame of To Kill a Mockingbird. The Guardian and other critics …

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Summer reading: there’s still time, pt. 1 – non-fiction

A late Labor Day and temporary physical disability have extended my usual orgy of summer reading, with both non-fiction and fiction  offerings to share with you. Because time is running out, I'll keep the list short.  In the first category, the book Frank seeks to answer the question of "how did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay …

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Kerry Havana speech: clear-eyed, optimistic

Friday morning, a glorious day in Havana with the sun sparkling on the water along the Malecon sea wall, marked an historic event for the United States and Cuba. After 54 years of enmity,  the U.S. Interests Section (for half a century under the auspices of Switzerland) was once again the American Embassy.  The three marines who …

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Fox big winner in the debate

The big winner in last night's "big boy" (top ten Republicans in polls, all male) debate was Fox News itself. While the network isn't my default choice, the moderators, stalwart defenders of Republican orthodoxy,  and the format wrung the most out of the sometimes unruly lot and provided some illuminating moments.  Megyn Kelly, flanked by Chris Wallace …

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David Mofenson stood tall, reached down to help others

Most weekend mornings, a small group of men gathers at the front table of Peet's coffee in Newton Center to gab about breaking news, politics and whatever else catches their fancy.  It's hard to imagine the gathering without one of its regulars, former State Representative David Mofenson, who died suddenly on Sunday morning just steps away from Peet's.  …

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The Holocaust through a child’s eyes

In 1990, my husband and I visited Prague, including the old Jewish section - the synagogue, the cemetery, and the tiny adjacent museum displaying drawings done by Prague children during their imprisonment in Terezin, the Nazi concentration camp outside the Czech capital. The children signed the drawings, and scribbled their ages - nine or 10 years …

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What kind of animal would kill this lion for sport?

Walter Palmer's pleasure in life is apparently  hunting and killing large animals, legally or illegally. In the last few days, millions of people around the world have come to know that the American "sportsman" has slain Zimbabwe national treasure Cecil, a magnificent 13-year-old black-maned lion, whom tourists came from far and wide to see. Palmer's guides illegally strapped …

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