November 28, 2013 |
One hundred and fifty years ago, with the country still torn by civil war, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for all Americans to observe a common day "of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. " That's when Thanksgiving evolved from a holiday celebrated by states and the federal government on their own timetables into a national one held on the fourth Thursday of every November. We are far less divided as a country now than we were in Lincoln's day, but we're still split sharply, even bitterly, on some major issues.
November 15, 2013 |
Cursive handwriting - when is the last time you used it to write something other than your signature? With so much of our lives online now, the occasions to get out the pen and paper are getting fewer and fewer. And even when we do, do we need to write in connected letters? That's under debate right now as some states work to ensure cursive is still taught in the classroom. Some of the 45 states that have adopted the Common Core - a set of K-12 public school course offerings that don't include penmanship classes - want to make sure cursive is still a required course.
November 1, 2013 |
The Times' editorial Friday about insurance policy cancellations struck a nerve with many readers, who objected both to what it said and what it didn't say. On the latter front, the editorial board wrote that President Obama "overpromised" when he pledged, repeatedly, that the new law wouldn't force anyone who liked their insurance plan to change it. Wrong, wrote "RicoPanadero," in words shared by many other commenters. "The president did not overpromise. The president lied," "RicoPanadero" wrote.
October 17, 2013 |
Back when the Houston Chronicle endorsed GOP candidate Ted Cruz to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, it largely expressed admiration for his Democratic opponent, whom it seems not to have supported mainly on the grounds that he didn't have a lot of campaign support and obviously wouldn't win. This week, the newspaper has drawn national attention - a mix of praise and scorn - for a new editorial that has been described as a withdrawal of...
October 16, 2013 |
Pride, it is said, goeth before a fall. Now come the recriminations. Repeated national surveys have shown public support for the Republican Party tanking since GOP lawmakers banded together to shut down the federal government and bring the U.S. to the brink of financial default. On a more personal level, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, one of the highest-profile supporters of the impasse, has seen his appproval ratings plunge at home - a conservative stronghold that delivered President Obama a mere 25% of the vote in 2012. Now, in a rare statement of second thoughts, the hometown newspaper of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has expressed its regrets for endorsing him a year ago. Cruz was one of the chief architects of the impasse.
September 7, 2013
Editing a letters page provides some insight into the random topics that push hot buttons you didn't know existed. While most of the commentary sent to email@example.com focuses on the big-item issues of the day (a possible military strike on Syria drew the most letters for the second week in a row), occasionally a less weighty subject will prompt impassioned responses. For example, cursive. Reacting to The Times' editorial Wednesday warning that the "handwriting may be on the wall" for cursive instruction in schools, nearly a dozen readers rose to script's defense.