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Hollywood’s stance on abortion makes the 1980s look liberal Print E-mail

A still from Fatal Attraction

Hollywood’s stance on abortion makes the 1980s look liberal

Hadley Freeman

The film Obvious Child tackles abortion head on, and lays bare a studio system scared of startling the conservative horses.

Film producers I have spoken to have said that the increasingly vocal anti-choice pressure groups in the US also affect what studios feel they can show. Meanwhile, the American political system has also moved to the right, with the Republican party focusing on socially conservative issues as opposed to just economic ones. Studios are not interested in making the kind of mid-size films they made in the 80s: they now make “tentpoles”, or blockbusters, and that means they need to have mass appeal, which means nothing that scares the conservative horses. In seeking to appeal to all audiences, Hollywood blands down its movies so that they feel “meh” to everybody, and deeply misrepresent the lives of many.

The New Editors of the Internet Print E-mail

The New Editors of the Internet

In Silicon Valley, decisions are being made about what people should and shouldn't see online.

By Dan Gillmor

In a small number of Silicon Valley conference rooms, decisions are being made about what people should and shouldn't see online—without the accountability or culture that has long accompanied that responsibility.

 Guess what, journalism companies? Facebook is going to be your biggest competitor in the long run. Twitter is a media company, too.

Is Notre Dame Football Too Demanding? Print E-mail

Is Notre Dame Football Too Demanding?

By Sharon Terlep

Latest Academic Incident Raises a Difficult Question for the Fighting Irish

For years, Notre Dame football fans had an easy target when it came to assigning blame for the mediocrity of their storied Fighting Irish.

The university's notoriously stingy admissions standards, a picky admissions director and onerous academic demands, they said, kept out the best players.

While the school touted its teams' stratospheric graduation rates and high grade-point averages, fans and analysts fixated on stories of spurned superstars such as T.J. Duckett, a top prep player who, after a prickly interview at Notre Dame, went on play for Michigan State and become a 2002 first-round draft pick in the NFL. In 2012, Notre Dame radio announcer Allen Pinkett was suspended from his job for three games for suggesting the Irish could benefit from "a few bad characters" on the team.

Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley Print E-mail

Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley

By Anna Mulrine

US intelligence officials still know relatively little about the workings of Islamic State militants. James Foley may have been traded by insurgent groups before ending up in IS hands, which complicates the intelligence picture.

WashPost: The ‘Redskins’ name is a slur. Print E-mail

The ‘Redskins’ name is a slur. We will no longer use it.

Washington Post Editorial Board 

The Post’s editorial board will no longer use the insulting nickname.

This page has for many years urged the local football team to change its name. The term “Redskins,” we wrote in 1992, “is really pretty offensive.” The team owner then, Jack Kent Cooke, disagreed, and the owner now, Daniel M. Snyder, disagrees, too. But the matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves. That’s the standard we apply to all offensive vocabulary, and the team name unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too.

We were impressed this week by the quiet integrity of Mike Carey, who recently retired after 19 seasons as one of the NFL’s most respected referees. As recounted by Post columnist Mike Wise, Mr. Carey asked the league not to assign him to officiate any Washington games and, since 2006, the league granted his request. He never made any announcement about it. “It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me,” Mr. Carey said.

When immigration policy served the national interest Print E-mail

Bipartisan Immigration Reform Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

When immigration policy served the national interest

By Robert W. Patterson

Jeff Sessions, meet Barbara Jordan.

Mr. Sessions, the conservative Republican senator from Alabama, would seem to have little in common with Jordan, the late liberal black Democratic representative from Texas. Yet the Senate Budget Committee’s ranking Republican is channeling the renowned civil rights leader, not merely Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge, on immigration. Mr. Sessions and Jordan would agree: Put Americans first.

Appointed by Bill Clinton to chair the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, Jordan articulated that bedrock principle in testimony before Congress in 1995: “It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest."

Executions in Gaza of Accused Collaborators Print E-mail

Hamas militants prepared to execute a person suspected of collaborating with Israel on Friday in Gaza City. Credit Reuters

Executions in Gaza of Accused Collaborators


Witnesses said over a dozen were executed as recent Israeli attacks on Hamas leaders most likely led the militants to send a harsh public message to potential informants.

One day after an intelligence coup enabled Israel to kill three top commanders of Hamas’s armed wing, as many as 18 Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel were fatally shot in public on Friday, in what was seen as a warning to the people of the Gaza Strip.

Fears grow as California water crisis intensifies Print E-mail

Fears grow as California water crisis intensifies

Joby Warrick

As the West faces a historic drought, aquifers — a backup during these tough times — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are historic and unsustainable.

 When the winter rains failed to arrive in this Sacramento Valley town for the third straight year, farmers tightened their belts and looked to the reservoirs in the nearby hills to keep them in water through the growing season.

When those faltered, some switched on their well pumps, drawing up thousands of gallons from underground aquifers to prevent their walnut trees and alfalfa crops from drying up. Until the wells, too, began to fail.

Now, across California’s vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state’s epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.

One state-owned well near Sacramento registered an astonishing 100-foot drop in three months as the water table, strained by new demand from farmers, homeowners and municipalities, sank to a record low. Other wells have simply dried up, in such numbers that local drilling companies are reporting backlogs of six to eight months to dig a new one.

Williams, depression and suicide Print E-mail

Robin Williams in Las Vegas

Williams, depression and suicide

While many people who kill themselves have been experiencing extreme distress, depression is rarely the whole explanation

The War on Terror Is Back Print E-mail
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