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Public Discourse

Fact Checking Should be a Debate Requirement

Constantine Tzanos | Posted 10.10.2016 | Home
Constantine Tzanos

The formation of informed public opinion requires a scrutinized public discourse. In political debates, fact checking by the moderator, assisted in one way or another by a panel of fact checkers, is the closest approximation to such a discourse and should be an integral part of the debates.

Weak Job Numbers Will Delay Fed Rate Hikes

Dean Baker | Posted 06.06.2016 | Politics
Dean Baker

The weak employment report for May should eliminate any possibility that the Federal Reserve Board will raise interest rates at its June meeting next week. At least for this purpose, the bad news is good news. But we should still be asking why the Fed has its finger on the trigger in the first place.

You Never Know Who You Are Talking To: Making Stigmatizing Assumptions About Health

Chelsea Jack | Posted 01.22.2017 | Healthy Living
Chelsea Jack

I have lived a privileged life made rich by an education and resources that helped me flourish. These privileges separate me from the suffering people in Appalachia who I think and write about. But since my diagnosis, for the first time in my life, I have an immature, but nontrivial, inkling of how social stigma feels.

Let's Talk About Love -- Seriously

Tiziana Dearing | Posted 01.21.2017 | Politics
Tiziana Dearing

If being hateful, or at least fearful, is core to our public discussion, then love should be, too. Every ying deserves its yang, especially one that works. After years of working on poverty and inequality, I know that love works.

Recreating the Refugees Narratives: From Sympathy to Dignity

Lara Zahabi-Bekdash, MD, PhD | Posted 11.25.2016 | Home
Lara Zahabi-Bekdash, MD, PhD

In Toronto, the community event Supper with Syria, is a social experiment to allow Syrians, some of whom are refugees, to become co-creators of the narratives on Syria and refugees, by showcasing their culture and their stories.

The Unexpected Legacy of Cecil the Lion

Anna Giraldo Kerr | Posted 07.31.2016 | Politics
Anna Giraldo Kerr

Let's honor those we mourn--animal and human--and the causes we hold dear by empathizing, strategizing and mobilizing. Let the killing of Cecil be a catalyst for moving all issues forward and not use it as an excuse to stay in the merry-go-around of anger, judgment and contempt.

#1 Many Liberals Don't Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse

Andy Schmookler | Posted 11.09.2014 | Politics
Andy Schmookler

In America right now there's a battle that needs to be fought and won in our political arena. It's a battle over what kind of country, and what kind of planet, our children and grandchildren will live in.

Ferguson: Taking Steps to Support a Path Forward

Richard C. Harwood | Posted 10.28.2014 | Impact
Richard C. Harwood

As events continue to unfold in Ferguson, Mo., there are three questions we must ask ourselves: What are we to make of what is happening there? How can Ferguson not be the victim of empty promises of aid and justice that so often come after tragic events? And how can the community productively move forward?

Our New Goal: 5,000 Trained Public Innovators Ready to Change the Country

Richard C. Harwood | Posted 04.27.2014 | Impact
Richard C. Harwood

We've put this stake in the ground to counter the growing toxic public discourse, division and mistrust in our society. There is an urgent need to make community a common enterprise.

How Can Journalists Repair Our Public Discourse?

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 03.09.2014 | Media
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Americans blame the media for creating a level of incivility that is undermining their faith in journalism and deepening our nation's political dysfunction. The Civility in America 2013 survey found that 70 percent of Americans believe incivility has reached crisis proportions.

Preventing Gun Violence a Year After Newtown

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 02.08.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

A group of thoughtful clergy is taking it upon themselves not just to talk the talk, hold the hands, and hug the grieving, but to walk the walk -- and in this case take the flight and try new approaches to preventing gun violence.

The Twitter Delusion

Greig Lamont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Technology
Greig Lamont

Whether it's validation, narcissism, or even the upsurge in anonymous online vitriol and abuse, all of these criticisms seem to miss the mark. So, what's the rub?

Hinduism in the Public Square

Anantanand Rambachan | Posted 10.07.2013 | Religion
Anantanand Rambachan

The contemporary public square is not to be thought of as " my square," or " your square," but as "our square." Excluding voices in the public sphere, done in the name of religion or secularism, guarantees that the public square will not be a place where the common good can be pursued in earnest.

Food Stamps Debate Deserves Facts, Not Myths

Andrew Collins | Posted 09.16.2013 | Impact
Andrew Collins

Food stamps are the bottom layer of the social safety net. Even if you think government generally does too much, surely it can step in to prevent the elderly, poor, and sick from going hungry. A society that leaves these people to die is hardly a society at all.

The New Illiteracy -- Obfuscation -- Hinders Progress

Richard Steiner | Posted 09.07.2013 | Impact
Richard Steiner

Much has been discussed, rightfully so, about the global problem of illiteracy -- the inability to read and write. But recently, a new and perhaps mo...

Finding Common Ground -- Are There Enough Grownups Yet?

Susan Rhea | Posted 08.12.2013 | Politics
Susan Rhea

So what does work? Short of going to war and wearing everyone down with death, misery, grief, infrastructure and economic ruin, what works? Negotiation. Mediation. Education that you will never get exactly what you want, and I won't either.

No Comments? Internet Trolls and Women Writers

Colleen Glenney Boggs | Posted 04.01.2013 | Women
Colleen Glenney Boggs

As COO for one of the largest tech firms in the world, Facebook, Sandberg has a curious blindspot: She portrays communication as interpersonal.

Looking at Newtown: Gun Laws Alone Will Not Fix Society

Richard C. Harwood | Posted 02.17.2013 | Politics
Richard C. Harwood

At the heart of the nation's gun challenge is how to create a good society. People long to make a better effort to be in one another's lives. They want to join in give-and-take to identify solutions that will work. They want to focus on concerns larger than themselves. And they want to take action, together.

Why I Came to Occupy Wall Street and Why I Left: an Introduction

Max Bean | Posted 06.02.2012 | Politics
Max Bean

There are so many things about the movement that people ought to understand but that never get properly expressed in the public discussion or the mainstream media.

Philosopher Christopher Robichaud on Truth and Knowledge In the American Political Context

Matt Bieber | Posted 05.06.2012 | Politics
Matt Bieber

On Obama's birth certificate, on climate, and in lots of other areas, I think we tend to see people speaking out of need or desire, not clear thought. Tribal, partisan interests dominate discourse much more than an honest pursuit of truth.

Not Just a Fluke, Rush's Remarks Sting

Marjorie Gilberg | Posted 05.05.2012 | Media
Marjorie Gilberg

I am proud that Break the Cycle had the opportunity to work with Sandra. As often seems to be the case, we have learned much more from Ms. Fluke than we could ever teach her.

An Invitation to The Great Conversation

Cathleen Falsani | Posted 03.08.2012 | Religion
Cathleen Falsani

At the dawning of 2012, we find ourselves in nervous, troubling times not unlike 1943.

Writing About Science And Religion Within The Promise Of Rosh Hashanah

Noah Efron | Posted 11.29.2011 | Religion
Noah Efron

The promise of Rosh Hashanah is that sometimes you can do the same thing, with courage and faith and maybe a sense of humor, and different results will come. Which is why I'm writing again about religion and science.

I Am Not A Bible-Waver

Rev. Anne Howard | Posted 09.05.2011 | Religion
Rev. Anne Howard

We sure don't need any more screaming. My inbox and my Facebook feed fills up every day with screams from my favorite progressive organizations and people, faith-based and otherwise.

Washington Post, New York Times Fail on FOIA

Brec Cooke | Posted 07.16.2011 | Media
Brec Cooke

With much editorial commentary frequently limited to no more than 750 words, one would think that two of the nation's premier news organizations would jump at the chance to educate the public on the ins and outs of public disclosure laws.