News & Features

Robots Are Paving the Way of Our Aging Future

Elizabeth Payne

Paro, which has been used in Japan and through Europe since 2003, has helped demonstrate that technology can be used and embraced in previously-unheard-of ways for eldercare. The robot seal, which responds to touch and makes eye contact, has been found to reduce patient and caregiver stress, to stimulate interaction between patients and caregivers and to improve the socialization of patients. 

When Did Democrats Become the Party of Elites?

Leonard Steinhorn

From the New Deal through the ’60s, the Democrats were able to show that government was an essential tool to correct market inequities, protect the little people from unchecked power and special interests and ensure that the American birthright included safeguards against crippling poverty and misfortune. Government, most Americans believed, was their defender and their voice. 

How Hate Speech Became a Movement

Andrew Lam

Indeed, if political correctness was an effort to police offensive language in institutional settings – in school, at the workplace, in the media – the backlash against such restrictions is a kind of bacchanalian road rage that took root in cyberspace and is now in full bloom on and off line. It is as if, constrained in real life, America’s id knee-jerked itself into virtual space, making a permanent home there.

Will Mike Pence Pardon Donald Trump?

Marty Kaplan

But bullies like Trump are cowards at heart. However appealing he finds sliming his prosecutors like a stressed hagfish, the thought of running away to spend more time with his 9-iron might prove irresistible. Would Pence trade the Oval Office for Trump’s holding his resignation hostage to a pardon? Pence could use the same reason Gerald Ford gave for pardoning Richard Nixon in 1974: To write the ending of a nightmarish chapter in our history. 

McCain’s Health Battle Casts Ugly Glare on GOP Healthcare Assault

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The high-risk pools that McCain touts supposedly would move thousands of medically indigent persons in pools to ensure low cost access to coverage. In fact it would do just the opposite. The bulk of those in the pool would be the sickest and most in need of continuous medical treatment. They would pay more, not less for that coverage. To cover the high cost of maintaining these pools, states would have to pony up more tax dollars or impose premium assessments on insurers who in turn would simply hike their prices to cover the assessments. 

Why We Need Thoreau Now More Than Ever

Hasan Zillur Rahim

Thoreau is relevant today because we continue to confirm his observations. He taught us that treating the environment with respect not only made economic sense, it made even more sense as a moral imperative. “We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander,” he wrote. “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

Donald Trump’s Populism Decoded

Leonard Steinhorn

Politicians may troll the white working class for votes, but except for an occasional art deco version of working-class heroes and their machines, our cultural arbiters have deemed them benighted and even bigoted throwbacks to a rusted-out, less enlightened era. Much as farmers of the earlier populist moment resented their own loss of status as our culture drifted away from the agrarian ideal, today’s white working-class men stew over their diminishing place in the contemporary American pantheon.

Trump's Ugly Midyear Record on Civil Rights

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

His first nomination out the box was Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department, the umbrella agency that the Civil Rights Division is under. The total remake of the department was a top priority for Trump. Sessions hit the ground running. He demanded the delay, if not the end, of federal consent decrees on police misconduct, a new war on low-level drug offenders, silence on criminal justice reforms, and a full-throated endorsement of private prisons. Given Sessions’ intense dislike of the Voting Rights Act, enforcement of the law is even more imperiled.

Where Slang Words Go to Die: The Dictionary

Russel Morse

Now hella has gone where slang words go to die: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I admire Webster for having the courage to change the spelling of colour to color all those years ago in an attempt to create an American vernacular, but plucking an obscure Northern California slang modifier from the internet (along with TMI and FOMO) and putting it in the dictionary (what even is a dictionary anymore?) is only chasing it to the grave. 

The GOP Healthcare Mess

Paul Kleyman

Starr worries that congressional Republicans are not only acting to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), but aim to restructure Medicaid into a program with federal-budget caps so tight it would break down one of the principal Great Society health protections of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Medicaid and the Medicare program have been fundamental to health care in the United States since 1965. 

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