Today is Tax Day. Most of us will dutifully pay our taxes to a government that no longer represents us. Policy decisions on nearly every issue, regardless of public opinion, are decided in favor of a select few who can afford to write massive checks, host campaign fundraisers, and hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists. That might read as an exaggeration to some, but it's a verifiable fact of the American political system. A new analysis of 1,779 recent policy outcomes by researchers at Princeton and Northwestern found that "economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," while average citizens -- the people in "We, the People" -- "have little or no independent influence." Why? Because if you want representation in today's Washington, you must buy your way in.
You might think the 1 percent pays a much higher tax rate than everyone else. But you'd be wrong. Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans.
Any violence that is committed in the name of religion comes from extremists. These people masque their political or power agendas in false religious doctrine. We must make that distinction - between religion and extremists -- and combat the extremists.
You want to know how the working poor really live? My husband works an average of 50 hours per week just so we can barely make it paycheck to paycheck. We are the in-betweeners. Not making enough to live "comfortably" -- but not "poor" enough to get any assistance either.
Our choices have implications, not only for how much we enjoy lunch today, but also for longer term goals like fitness and health. But how do we choose? What are the basic cognitive processes that lead from initial hunger pang to this soup or that sandwich?
In a world where breaches and identity theft have become the third certainty in life, jealously guarding our privacy must be our individual missions.
The Climate Action Plan that President Obama announced last year is full of good ideas, and his administration has already done more to address carbon pollution than any other has. Unfortunately, a hard look at the numbers shows that all this progress could be undermined by one bad choice -- expanding fossil fuel production.
Not a single Republican voted in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and many Americans no longer know what to think, either. The problem is that the message has been greatly muddled, twisted, and usurped, mostly for political gain.
As women, we do a wonderful job blaming ourselves for the lack of romance in our marriage.
Like the Yuppies of the 1980s, the Muppies of today are driven by ideals of success, status, power and the search to do and be what is "important" (read: "cool"). And were it not for the financial crisis, the Muppies might very well have followed their Yuppie predecessors to the suburbs.
Drag is punk and should never be subjected to politically correct ideals. The moment it stops provoking is the moment it fails as an art form. Trans people are forever indebted to drag for the mainstream explosion of gender as we see it today.
There are now 10 times more people with serious mental illness in state prisons (207,000) and county jails (149,000) than there are in state mental hospitals (35,000). In 44 of the 50 states, the largest single "mental institution" is a prison or jail. How can this be possible?
But as the night runs as late as your twenties, the dishes are cleared, the coffee is drunk and you begin to part ways. As your friends meander out full of good food and new beginnings, you can feel doors closing all around you.
I learned to have a thicker skin. I have learned how to tell the difference between innocent curiosity and a person who is intentionally being disrespectful. I have learned that every person and every day is beautifully different.
On April 15, 2013, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and walked to Mass General Hospital to begin my ER shift. It was the day of Boston marathon, and we were prepared for the usual influx of people with heatstroke and dehydration. Just before 3 p.m., we received the call that nobody could have predicted.
Since December 28, 2.3 million Americans have lost their unemployment insurance, with the expiration of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Every week, on average, an additional 72,000 Americans are cut off -- the equivalent of one person every eight seconds.
We assign a cultural significance to sex; it is for procreation and the preservation of the family unit. We are told it is to be cherished and not commodified, but meanwhile sex screams at us from every billboard and TV channel. It seems sex can be used to sell everything except for sex itself.
This fall, Democrats have the ability to motivate the voters to turnout at levels adequate to replicate the 2012 turnout mix -- just as they did in Virginia last year. But we need to focus 100 percent of our energy on motivation. That requires that we follow several important rules.
I say nothing. I am in the passenger seat of the car of a rapist. I am wearing my seatbelt. I am firmly affixed to his car. I wonder if he moved 3,000 miles away from the divorce or his victim?
The single most important step the US government can take to reverse discouraging economic trends is to mount a concerted, large-scale program directed at renewing our national infrastructure.
Throughout all seasons of Breaking Bad, the science was strong; at times it seemed as if science was a separate character, such as the scene in which Walter and Jesse use thermite to break into the chemical storage building to obtain methylamine.
Steeped in history and politics, Real Madrid versus Barcelona is the world's greatest sporting rivalry. It may also be killing La Liga.
As so much of the current gun debate is generated by fear -- fear of crime, fear of violence, fear of government -- physicians should bring their clinical experiences in managing fear to this debate and thus provide patients with sound and effective alternatives to picking up a gun.
In January 1941, FDR's State of the Union address made it clear that a fight was inevitable, a fight to preserve, protect and defend four essential freedoms: freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion.
I feared sleep and its absence equally. Away from home, I suffered from terrible nightmares, dreams of a woman with long fingernails and a black, forked tongue sitting at the edge of my bed, of witches who emerged in the moonlight.
The hedge fund managers' tax break is different from other tax breaks in that it has no economic rationale. With most other tax breaks, there's at least an argument as to how it serves some socially useful purpose. This is simply a case where the rich don't feel like paying taxes and are saying to the rest of us, "what are you going to do about it?"