Prostitutes are People, too. In Canada, Anyway

Let me concede up front that the so-called sex trade is ugly and abhorrent, that it is riddled with such horrors as kidnapping, child abuse and outright slavery. I am sure you’ve seen the documentaries on TV. But why punish the victims? I have been wondering about that for 50 years, ever since I covered […]
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Mid-term Elections Leave me Scratching my Head

I hear talk about an “enthusiasm gap” in the mid-term elections, and I have to say I am not surprised. There’s a lot of enthusiasm on the right, they say, but not much excitement anywhere else. And anyone with two good eyes can see that the “enthusiasm” exhibited by Tea Party protests is powered by […]
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How Can I Politely Describe Crazies and Kooks?

A reader named Steve says he’s disappointed in me because I have “resorted to name calling” in my recent blogs.  He doesn’t think that’s the right way to debate the issues of the day. I agree. But in the interests of accuracy, how am I to describe the conservatives who have been getting all the […]
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The Deceptive Allure of “Privatization”

Ask any American whether private businesses are run more efficiently than government projects and you will probably get a resounding, “Hell yes!” I imagine that’s the mythology behind the Republicans’ current drive for “privatization.” Republican candidates want to put government-run programs like Social Security, Medicare and the VA in private hands. And it seems a […]
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To Try and Perhaps Fail – or Fail to Try?

I can understand why so many American taxpayers are in revolt. Their hard-earned money has been blown away in senseless military adventures, handed over to a bunch of crooked bankers, squandered on hare-brained projects at home and abroad… It’s enough to make the most mild mannered citizen yell, “Enough!” But what I don’t understand is […]
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Mr. Stewart Goes to Washington. Mr. Colbert, Too

I hope the “dueling” Washington marches planned for Oct. 30 by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert attract a million people. I hope the crowd carries hilarious signs, and I hope the speakers say things that make great sound bites. I hope the event gets maximum coverage. Most of all, I hope the idiot right […]
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A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Brainwash

I have lived in the United States for more than three decades, and I am still brought up short by the obvious gaps in American education. Or are they really gaps? Sometimes I wonder whether the bizarre perceptions that surprise me are deliberately spread by missionaries of disinformation – whether students are being brainwashed to […]
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Don’t Expect me to Pat You on the Back, Mr. President

I suppose that outsiders like me automatically assume that black Americans are liberal, that they seek change, justice, reform and all that good stuff. I know that’s how I would be if I were African-American. And I would be quite impatient about it. How many roads must a man walk down before they call him […]
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Danger: Tempting Targets Could Become Celebrities

There’s something irresistible about feeling superior. And, yes, I know I am guilty of that myself. But that doesn’t mean I can’t issue a timely warning to other “progressives.” Mocking people we consider mentally challenged can be a lot of fun, but since half the public has an IQ under 100, the exposure we give […]
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The War on Drugs is a Strange and Futile Crusade

There’s more to it than meets the eye, of course. But even the smidgen we are permitted to know is enough to convince anyone that America is losing the “war on drugs.” For 40 years, the most powerful country in the world has dedicated a huge chunk of its resources to fighting illegal drugs, and […]
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