This week, Ebola arrived in New York City -- America's most crowded and most media-saturated metropolis. So, as word spread on Thursday, so did the hysteria. But thankfully, Ebola (or "Ebowla," as some christened it in honor of the infected doctor's sporting foray the night before his symptoms appeared) remains much harder to spread than rumor and misinformation. As threats go, Americans have a greater chance of dying from a bee sting than catching Ebola. Meanwhile, Canadians are dealing with this week's deadly shooting in Ottawa. The media response there stood in stark contrast to ours. Any changes, The Globe and Mail wrote, should not be "as a panicky reaction to a very small number of men" who "are not an existential threat." We could learn much from our northern neighbors. As we heed NY Mayor de Blasio's warning to stay calm, we should also remember Montaigne, who said, "There were many terrible things in my life, but most of them never happened."
On the whole, is American exceptionalism a force for good? The question shouldn't be hard to answer. To make an exception of yourself is as immoral a proceeding for a nation as it is for an individual. When we say of a person (usually someone who has gone off the rails), "He thinks the rules don't apply to him," we mean that he is a danger to others and perhaps to himself.
I have worn Oscar de la Renta's signature fragrance, Oscar, my whole adult life, and I will stay forever devoted and will wear him to my grave. Gentle, soft, feminine, chic, elegant. His style. My scent. Words I attribute to us both.
If there is ever going to be a solution to the problem of the Islamic State that has a hope of preserving the current geo-political structure of Mesopotamia and the Levant, it rests with the survival of Bashar al-Assad's regime and the resurgence of Syria as a viable national player in the region.
We live in a world where as many as 440,000 Americans die each year because of preventable medical mistakes. With Prop 46, California voters can do what the politicians and the status-quo crowd won't: Nudge our healthcare system toward safer practices, deter doctor substance abuse and hold negligent physicians accountable.
The VA's shortage of therapists and difficulty reaching rural veterans means even those diagnosed may not get all the help they need. But even those who were diagnosed and treated find that at some point, therapy has done all it can do. More sessions won't necessarily help. From that point on, veterans say, their lives become a matter of coping.
The conversation about privilege threatens to cut off the legs of the feminist movement before it can even crawl (yes -- crawl, we're in 2014 and birth control is seen by many as a dirty word.) Privilege is weighing us down. By us I mean all of us -- all feminists.
Indictment for criminal acts should not be directed at one particular religion. The ultimate culprit is our human natures -- individual and social. Or, if you prefer, the Heavenly Father who created such conflicted and flawed creatures.
When you cover the story, don't forget to mention West Africa. Lead with it, focus on it, keep people up to speed with what's happening there. Talk to the people fighting the disease there. Ask policymakers tough questions about what they're going to do about it. And if you write some listicle about Ebola, end with it. Because that's where the media can do the most good right now.
The claims coming from the mouths of our elected representatives showcase an incredibly wide array of pseudo-scientific criticism directed at the contemporary understanding of climate change.
Think of Ebola as the universe's unfair challenge to everything that war bred in our governmental system. As it happens, those things that the U.S. did, often ineffectively and counterproductively, to thwart its enemies, potential enemies, and even its own citizenry will not be an antidote to this "enemy" either.
Doing something stupid is not always better than doing nothing. And imposing a travel ban is high on the list of stupid things. Apart from what this would do to efforts to contain Ebola in the countries now suffering from the epidemic, there is the more basic problem that it won't work.
We have seen everything from historic droughts and extreme wildfires ravaging communities in California, to vanishing wildlife habitat in Alaska, to toxic algae blooming out of control and contaminating drinking water supplies in America's heartland. How much more do we need to know about the devastating effects of climate change before Congress takes action?
While gun violence can happen anywhere, as Ottawa shows, it happens much more in the United States than any other developed country. Why the discrepancy? The full answer is complicated, but one of the driving factors is not.
The new generation of women at work has been peeled, prodded and parsed from every angle -- their education, their numbers, their issues, their needs, their frustrations. But you would be hard-pressed to find one illuminating equivalent study on the male side of the gender divide.
I'm not worried about Ebola. I'm worried about America. I'm worried about our confidence and courage.
For the past five years, I essentially suffered in silence because I wanted to believe I was the same person I was before the attack. I refused to acknowledge it because I didn't want to be known as the girl who was raped her freshman year.
At this moment there is no Ebola epidemic in the United States. But some have tried -- quite intentionally -- to create an epidemic of fear and panic for their own political gain. That is irresponsible and reprehensible.
Immigration enforcement officials, or ICE, took my husband, after having overstayed his visa by 20 days. He was caught going ten miles over the speed limit, and now awaits deportation after a month-long incarceration.
When will there be a good news day? One news day where the news is so good that it is the story of the day. A day that excites all Americans, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or any other political persuasion. The news is so good that all the news coverage is overwhelmed by this wonderful event.
For the first time in 13 years, the DOE now makes clear that states, school districts, and schools must make education resources equally available to all students without regard to race, color, or national origin. This is some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement and a giant step forward for poor children, often children of color.
While it is true that, by far, the overwhelming percentage of black people in the South were doomed to spend their entire lives in slavery prior to the Civil War, it is also true that a small percentage lived as free citizens. And some were even able to prosper.
Ebola-hawking candidates are trying for a bait and switch, but my bet's on women. Voting for someone who plays on Ebola fears while denying female workers a chance at equal pay is a fool's game -- and female voters are not fools.
As a gay man who has been with my partner for almost 13 years and married for almost two, it felt nice to hear these two Christian groups making an effort towards gay people. But the feeling didn't last long.
Many take our freedom of speech for granted, especially in a noisy election season, or when the Supreme Court denigrates its importance through decisions like Citizens United. But for too many victims, the freedom to speak up about the nightmare of domestic violence is still a dream.
When I have an opportunity to mentor someone, I find the most important thing is to listen to them when they tell you about themselves. That will always give you an idea of what type of support they need.
One of the greatest deceptions we can fall victim to is the lie that we should need someone else in our life in order to be complete. We are set up waiting for Mr. or Mrs. right to come along so that we can begin our life and be truly happy.
With continued officer-involved shootings, attempts at voter suppression, and ongoing racial and economic disparities, it is easy to push voting to the side. But it is precisely because of tragedies like the deaths of young Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island, and because of an unequal educational and employment system, that we need to show up at the polls.
As a first-time mom, I've come to this simple realization: If you are worried that you're not a good parent, trust me, that makes you an amazing parent. It's the parents who don't worry that we should be worried about.
In its structure of combining selection and election, the emergent Hong Kong system is a kind of middle way between democratic consent and the idea of meritocratic guidance. In fact, the mechanism proposed to choose a chief executive is not so different from the Electoral College designed by American democracy's Founding Fathers. The idea, spelled out in Federalist Paper #68, was to "refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens." But there needs to be a proper balance not yet achieved in Hong Kong.
I thought it was all about big boys, who should have known better, shaking me down for candy. Then again, some things don't make sense until you've lived them with your own child -- and not a moment sooner.