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NATIONAL
June 6, 2013 | By David Horsey
First Lady Michelle Obama has shown us all how to deal with the nastiness that has infected American politics: do not indulge it.  At a fund-raiser in a private Washington residence on Tuesday night, a gay rights activist standing only a few steps away interrupted the first lady as she spoke. Michelle's reaction was immediate. She did not try to talk over the heckler or engage the person in a debate or pass it off as a joke or wait until the rant subsided. Instead, she stepped away from the microphone, walked over to the shouting woman and said, “Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I'm leaving.” And then, to the rest of the crowd, “You all decide.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
March 28, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The 40-year debate over affirmative action at state universities generally has been conducted in terms of general principles. At first, advocates emphasized the importance of compensating African Americans (and later others) for the effects of generations of discrimination, while opponents contended that the Constitution must be colorblind. Later, the debate shifted to the claim that there are educational benefits to a racially diverse student body, a rationale for preferences that the Supreme Court grudgingly has accepted.
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OPINION
January 11, 2011
If there's a political lesson to be learned from Saturday's shooting deaths in Tucson, it's eluding the partisans on both wings. On the left, many see the attempted assassination of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as the logical result of overheated anti-government rhetoric from the "tea party" movement and conservative pundits. On the right, outrage is just as keenly felt, only it's directed at left-wing critics who seek to score political points from a tragedy that should rightly be blamed on a deranged individual, not a party or philosophy.
WORLD
September 30, 2013 | By Laura King
CAIRO - In politically fractured Egypt, there's one belief that almost every faction seems to hold in common: God is on our side. (And not, therefore, on yours .) Egypt's social and cultural mix is hieroglyphic in its complexity: Islamists, progressives, conservatives, and those marching in lock step with the powerful military. But in the Arab world's most populous and influential country, the many guises of piety are rarely absent from discourse. More than two months after the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood was driven from power and the country's army chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi, surged to the fore, Egypt remains deeply divided about the role of religion in public life.
MAGAZINE
May 17, 1992
Your ho-hum discourse shed no light on Gates the man, whose only sin is the political animalism that taints his better and analytical, academic judgment. TERRY KING Los Angeles
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 1995
Supervisor Frank Schillo says in his recent letter, "Let's have some positive involvement by citizens in government and some helpful discourse about county issues, not personal attacks." I am offering helpful discourse. Please justify Schillo's spending an exorbitant amount of taxpayers' money for a Thousand Oaks office, since he has been so adamant about cutting costs as a new supervisor. I hope 1,000 people meet him "out front" when he answers this question. MARIE M. REIDY Thousand Oaks
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 1991
West rightly pointed out that " . . . the stability of our social order and the health of our culture depend upon how candid we are in our reflections about race . . . There is a deep hunger across the country for . . . discourse about race. . . ." Unfortunately, the hunger for discourse does not include a willingness to listen to all points of view. Powledge claimed that this stifling of candid expression is an example of progress, but he is wrong. The problems can never be solved as long as frank discussion is impossible.
BOOKS
November 5, 1995 | RICHARD EDER
From the Soviet newspaper Izvestiya, March, 1937: "Imagine the excitement that ran through the crowd standing atop the Volga Dam when the Director of Construction issued the order: 'Close the sluice gates tight. Don't leave even a 25-centimeter crack!' . . . And then the Volga, stopped by the dam, panting heavily through a single narrow crack, began gasping for breath. The 150-ton sluice gates gripped her by the throat." From the diary of Ignat Danilovich Frolov, March, 1937: "There was a light frost with a northeast wind between 9 and 10 it looked like snow.
NEWS
November 12, 1992 | GEOFF BOUCHER
"Vernon, Florida" (1987), directed by Errol Morris. 60 minutes. Not Rated. This bizarre travelogue is a sometimes hilarious portrait of rural life. And though the discourse dips deeply into the inane, the viewer never feels Morris is ridiculing his subjects.
OPINION
October 20, 1991
I have read Cardinal Mahony's theological discourse in his commentary. I fear that he has (unwittingly, I hope) fallen prey to one of the most subtle and pernicious hazards of hierarchical religious thinking--he has succumbed to an ideology. As a result, the needs of real people with real heart are sacrificed for the advancement of an ideology. Compassion has no ideology. MARK GLEBA, San Diego
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2013 | By Joe Flint
The original political shout-fest is coming back. CNN said "Crossfire," which was a staple of the cable news channel for over 20 years before being canceled in 2005, will return to its schedule this fall. “Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that 'Crossfire' did - it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity to host passionate conversation from all sides of the political spectrum.
NATIONAL
June 6, 2013 | By David Horsey
First Lady Michelle Obama has shown us all how to deal with the nastiness that has infected American politics: do not indulge it.  At a fund-raiser in a private Washington residence on Tuesday night, a gay rights activist standing only a few steps away interrupted the first lady as she spoke. Michelle's reaction was immediate. She did not try to talk over the heckler or engage the person in a debate or pass it off as a joke or wait until the rant subsided. Instead, she stepped away from the microphone, walked over to the shouting woman and said, “Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I'm leaving.” And then, to the rest of the crowd, “You all decide.
OPINION
April 23, 2013 | Patt Morrison
It was a fine April day last week that found Elie Wiesel at Chapman University; it was a fine April day too, 58 years earlier, when the gaunt, teenage Wiesel found himself alive and suddenly free to walk out of the Buchenwald concentration camp. In the decades since, Wiesel's impassioned writing and speaking have won him a Nobel Peace Prize, and a large place in the public intellectual discourse about the Holocaust and the human condition. They have also brought him to Chapman each spring for the last three years as a distinguished presidential fellow, meeting with students and faculty to keep the significance of the Holocaust green in their minds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2013 | By Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times
If you're going to talk about a subject most people don't want to talk about, why not do so over tea and cake and cookies? Why not gather in a sunny living room looking out on a lush tangle of green, where you can watch the breeze ruffle the leaves on the trees as you eat forkfuls of blueberry tart? Death comes to each of us, to everyone we love. Couldn't talking about it in a safe, comfy setting make the prospect less frightening? This is what Betsy Trapasso thinks. This is why she's asked friends to come - why on a Sunday afternoon, they've braved Topanga Canyon's twists and turns and climbed the dozens of wooden steps to her end-of-a-rural-road front door.
OPINION
September 29, 2012
Re "Exhibit A-word," Opinion, Sept. 23 Having co-written a book on the "A-word," our research revealed that the world needs these people. It was our contention that being labeled one might be a good thing: a term describing a person who is willing to break a few eggs to get big things done. One of the examples we gave was the first military leader to be tagged with the A-word label, Army Gen. George S. Patton. You wouldn't want this guy in your house, but when we needed someone to march an army 100 miles to save all those soldiers trapped during the Battle of the Bulge (including my father)
WORLD
August 29, 2012 | Chris Kraul and Mery Mogollon
It's prime-time TV in Venezuela and the host is saying that opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, whose grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, is a Nazi and Hitler cultist. "You can say what you want about your ancestors, but you are a Nazi," host Miguez Perez says of Capriles, who has Jewish ancestry but is a practicing Roman Catholic. The program is not some renegade gossip show but one earning pride of place on Venezuela's state-owned VTV channel, which is seen as closely reflecting the views of leftist President Hugo Chavez.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1992
Margarita Nieto's excellent column ("The Intelligentsia Is Anti-Intellect," Commentary, June 30) accurately describes the declining state of intellectual discourse in America, and notes one of its main features. "Intellectuals, like politicians . . . become masters of the commonplace, priding themselves on their mediocre and simplistic self-presentation. . . ." Intellectuals are talking about the world in banal terms, abusing their leadership function. But there's another dimension to this problem that needs to be added to Nieto's analysis--the fashion in intellectual talk is undemocratic.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 2013 | By Joe Flint
The original political shout-fest is coming back. CNN said "Crossfire," which was a staple of the cable news channel for over 20 years before being canceled in 2005, will return to its schedule this fall. “Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that 'Crossfire' did - it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity to host passionate conversation from all sides of the political spectrum.
NATIONAL
May 7, 2012 | By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
PITTSBURGH - Jon Rubin had an important question, and he knew where to find the answer: at the North Korean Embassy in Cuba, which he was visiting in March on a business trip. A man in jogging clothes and flip-flops came to the embassy gate after Rubin and his small entourage of fellow Americans rang the doorbell at the ornate diplomatic mission on a tree-lined street in Havana's Vedado neighborhood. The Americans posed the question: What exactly do they eat in North Korea?
OPINION
December 1, 2011 | Meghan Daum
"Emma Sullivan just became the new Ferris Bueller. " That was the astute observation of a writer for Roll Call, one of countless panegyrics to the 18-year-old Kansan who refused to apologize to Gov. Sam Brownback for sending a not-very-nice tweet about him to her 60-some followers. The tweet in question, which Sullivan composed on Nov. 21 at a Youth in Government Program in Topeka, went as follows: "Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.
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