The use of government surveillance to protect the nation against terrorist attack is deeply polarizing. On the one hand, there are those who fervently defend everything the Intelligence Community does. How, they ask, in the light of 9/11, can anyone want to handcuff the Intelligence Community in its critical effort to protect our nation against potentially catastrophic terrorist attacks? It is reckless and irresponsible, they charge, for anyone to restrain the government from taking every possible measure to help to keep us safe. Have you forgotten the lessons of history? On the other side, the critics of the NSA and of what they see as rampant and unrestrained government spying charge that any intrusion into individual privacy is a fundamental infringement of core American values. The NSA, they insist, is a rogue agency that is trampling on core American freedoms. No government agency can be trusted! Have you forgotten the lessons of history?
What can a pickpocket teach us about the art of getting people's attention? A lot - if you can keep up with him. Watch expert thief Apollo Robbins in action and see if you can figure out how he does it.
As president of Wesleyan, and as a historian, I deplore this politically retrograde resolution of the American Studies Assn. Under the guise of phony progressivism, the group has initiated an irresponsible attack on academic freedom. Others in academia should reject this call for an academic boycott.
Celebrity weight loss stories are called out as destructive and anti-feminist. And yet, there's something refreshing -- and, perhaps, even healthy -- about those celebrities who publicly discuss their ups and downs.
While I love homophobes like Westboro Baptist Church for making my job easy, our real work is uncovering the wicked truth hiding beneath those who claim they love us while they bludgeon us with their Bibles.
This is it, guys. The last weekend before Christmas. Malls are open until midnight. There's an abnormal surplus of "safe" last-minute gifts (read: robes, commemorative ornaments and off-brand bath sets) in the front of every store.
And everyone you encounter is pretty much a jerk.
The reality is, motherhood is, while blissful, downright scary and beyond overwhelming -- especially after 40.
I have been talking with homeless kids from all over the country, asking them to help us understand what it means to be left on the streets, asking them to give witness to what they endure. I ask you to look into their traumatized eyes and listen with me to their heartbreaking testimonies.
Yes, things are getting better. But that's not saying much. Republicans have lowered the standards of Congress so much that the completion of a basic task like passing a budget or confirming a non-controversial judge is now cause for celebration.
This year, as Arab Christians gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the promised "peace on earth, good will to men" will appear, at best, as a remote dream.
The state -- at least the state of New Mexico -- does not privilege marriage as a way to make impulsive young men stick by their kids. It sanctions marriage to help strengthen the commitments of couples and families -- real families. And that includes gay ones.
My mother knew that her sister Ida would be shocked, more likely horrified by the Christmas tree. It would be another sign of Lilly, "the American one," drifting away from the customs of their forefathers.
Clearly, we must remain vigilant against the threat of anti-Semitism. But the constant use of the accusation against anyone that we feel is insufficiently pro-Israel (including members of our own community) or against anyone we disagree with is foolish and damaging.
A new study documenting that just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution triggered some pushback in the blogosphere. Blame the likes of BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell for global warming? Not fair!
What is noteworthy is the conversation that is going to take place over the next couple of days on social media. I say "conversation," but really it's mostly going to be a bunch of angry people who are certain that God is on their side typing in ALL CAPS.
Santa is kind of scary, especially when compared to Jesus. Santa is judgmental. Santa gives bribes for being good, and if you're not good, Santa doesn't forgive. He just puts coal in your stocking and moves on. Jesus will forgive you. That's the whole Gospel right there.
George Santayana famously said that those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it. How true this is right now for the U.S., which after years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, now finds itself at a crossroads in its efforts to reach a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the crisis created by Iran's nuclear program.
Praises of the pope are flowing around the world, commentary on the pontiff leads all the news shows, and even late night television comedians are paying humorous homage. But a few of the journalists covering the pope are getting it right: Francis is just doing his job. The pope is meant to be a follower of Christ.
History will judge this president not just for being the first black president, but for being the president that began our nation's course toward a more progressive union.
This man we idolized should have looked more like me. Or, rather, like my father. Because that's who he had been all along.
If approved by Congress, this pact between the U.S. and 11 or 12 of America's Pacific Rim trade-partners would govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports. So far, the negotiations are being conducted under tight security; for good reason, as there are big problems with TPP.
It's not over -- they still have to appropriate their new top-line spending numbers down to all the agencies -- but it looks like the budget deal that quite handily cleared both chambers will soon be enacted. But I've got a few lingering thoughts
As millions of Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas and their belief that God entered human history as a poor tiny baby, let us remember all the poor babies and children who struggle to live and realize their God given potential in our own rich land and all around the world today.
You have to imagine that line in giant letters with a monstrous exclamation point covering most of the bottom third of the front page of theNew York Post. The reference was to a caravan of vehicles on its way to or from a wedding in Yemen that was eviscerated, evidently by a U.S. drone via one of those "surgical" strikes of which Washington is so proud.
I'm not unaware that some men don't prefer us fat girls. They don't have to! It's not offensive that they don't. I'm typically not attracted to slender, skinny guys. I doubt those men feel offended and left out.
Our life chances are now determined to an unprecedented degree by the wealth of our parents. That's not always been the case. The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches -- with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone -- was once at the core of the American Dream.
I do still wish, more than anything, that I had two children: Aidan and Nina. But now I know that longing for the daughter I lost does not mean I want a replacement.
This week, we will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Does that mean we discovered the "secret"? Hardly. Have we learned something? Definitely! And thank goodness for that.
In public, Apple's rivals in the smartphone market have tried to downplay the technological advances Apple introduced in the iPhone 5s. But it turns out that one breakthrough -- Apple's speedy, 64-bit A7 microprocessor -- has set off a panic inside its competitors.