February 5, 2014 |
Despite persistent polarization in Washington, a bipartisan consensus is emerging around the proposition that too many Americans are incarcerated for too long. Democrats tend to emphasize the injustice of excessive sentences that disproportionately affect racial minorities. Republicans are more likely to stress the cost of over-incarceration. But the common ground is real and significant. Last week, by a vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Smarter Sentencing Act, sponsored by Sens.
July 19, 2006
Re "First Kyoto, now the World Cup," Current, July 16 Michael Skube's defense of the "American exceptionalism" that so many Americans use to justify ignoring, or ridiculing, soccer neglects a couple of issues. Exceptional works both ways: We can be taking exception, which we seem to be with regard to soccer, or we can be exceptional at it, which might be more in keeping with our collective national ego. For Americans, winning the World Cup, or even doing well in it, is really the point.
September 20, 2009 |
The documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has a story he clearly loves to tell. He was walking in New York City a few years ago -- on a date -- when he heard a man he'd just passed yell violently back at him: "What about Mingus?!" Preceding the name of the protean jazz bassist was a pungent (and unprintable) expletive. Burns turned to his date and reassured her. "It's just about 'Jazz,' " he said, referring to his 10-part history shown on PBS in 2001, which drew big audiences and critics' complaints that he overlooked key figures.
September 21, 2012 |
The outcome of November's presidential election will affect the entire world. Yet until the attack on our consulate in Libya, issues of foreign policy and globalization were nearly absent from the political discourse. There was talk at both parties' political conventions about American exceptionalism and the nation's exalted place in the world, but little was said about the need for common action with other nations to secure our imperiled common planet. Even former President Clinton stuck to the domestic agenda at his party's Charlotte, N.C., convention.
March 2, 2004 |
By the end of his career, the Pulitzer Prize-wining historian Daniel Boorstin, who died last weekend at 89, had come to be derided in some quarters as a conservative. In an age that viewed national myths with skepticism, Boorstin celebrated American exceptionalism and touted Western achievements.
September 17, 2013
Re "The end of U.S. exceptionalism," Opinion, Sept. 12 Apparently vexed by the "oddness" of President Obama's speech on Syria last week, Timothy Garton Ash's commentary is an odd piece itself. The term "exceptionalism" was used in the title but never again appeared or explained thereafter, hence leaving the reader guessing. "Exceptionalism" in this article could mean "isolationist" at times and "interventionist" at others, or both, depending on the zeitgeist. Parenthetically, for your "average" American reader, "exceptionalism" has often been thought of as American material and cultural superiority.
December 2, 2011 |
If you want a gauge of an America on the downward slope, you could look at the recent poll commissioned by the newspaper the Hill, in which a startling 69% of respondents said they considered the country to be in decline. Or you could just consider the soaring language of this season's presidential candidates. Mitt Romney, in a recent Republican debate on foreign policy, was typical, insisting that "this century must be an American century" in which "America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
September 10, 2012 |
It can sometimes take a tragedy to reveal a truth. Who does not remember where they were on Sept. 11 when they heard that the towers had come down? But terrible times also can provide insight that might otherwise never come. In 2001, I was teaching in Chicago. My main break from work was frequent participation in a daily pickup soccer game that I stumbled onto soon after arriving in town. It was a virtual United Nations, with players from Argentina, Russia, Germany, Iran, Italy, Turkey, Georgia, Brazil, Poland, Korea, China and Mexico.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2003 |
Activists gathered in Redondo Beach on Saturday for an Amnesty International conference concluded that they don't have to venture overseas to find human rights abuses. Instead, they said, there are plenty here at home. The group's annual western regional conference, which began Friday and ends today at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach hotel, discussed different faces of discrimination around the globe -- everything from violence against women and gays to the ravages of AIDS in Africa to U.S.
April 20, 2011
The winning electoral coalition assembled by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s has been compared to a three-legged stool, the legs being social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and national security conservatives. As the 2012 Republican race takes shape, another leg has been added to the stool — the "tea party" movement. Last week, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced that he was setting up an exploratory committee (though it's hardly a secret what he'll discover), as did former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.