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The TPP is a bad deal

Friday night I attended a town hall meeting on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Bethesda, MD.  The TPP is:

a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty. As of 2014, twelve countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region have participated in negotiations on the TPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

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Do Women Desire Peaceful Gentle Partners

According to Washington Post book reviewer Joanna Scutts, anthropologist Melvin Konner argues in Women After All that we can look forward to a peaceful future because women will increasingly mate with "caring, committed partners" rather than "feckless brutes". 

At least three assumptions underlie Konner's conclusion:  1) Going forward, young women will have a greater degree of agency when it comes to selecting reproductive mates.  2) Women with agency will choose caring unassuming mates.  3) The offspring of gentle empathic men will be gentle and empathic.  While the truth of each assumption may be questioned, this post briefly examines the second and finds it dubious.

Botched Rollout

For married-with-children New York suburbanites in the 1970s and 80s, nothing spelled success like a Mercedes S-Class Sedan in the driveway.  After the big promotion, hot shot investment bankers, law firm partners, and ad agency execs headed over to Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.  There they handed Hans a fat check and the keys to the family's now superfluous Gran Torino before cruising back to Scarsdale or Darien in 450 SEL splendor.

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Maybe Divestment is the answer

Princeton University president emeritus William G. Bowen argues in Sunday's Washington Post against those calling for colleges and universities to divest their holdings in fossil fuel companies.  I have done the same here and here.  But after reading Bowen's unconvincing justification for continued investment in the corporations responsible for our planet's ever-worsening climate crisis, I am seriously reconsidering my position.

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Hillary Clinton's no Henry IV

In a mean-spirited op-ed that's apparently part of an on-going twenty-year jihad against the Clintons, Maureen Dowd likens Hillary Clinton to an "annoyed queen".  While I have been first very critical, then somewhat less critical, of Hillary's response to reve

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HillarEmail2

I'm struggling with various somewhat contradictory reactions to Hillary Clinton's spoken announcement last Tuesday and the nine-page document she released subsequently that explains her use of private email address when she was Secretary of State.  On balance though, my sense is that Clinton has provided a re

HilarEmail

That the cover-up is worse than the crime is a Washington truism I've never fully believed. In 2013, Republicans chastised former IRS director Lois Lerner for subjecting groups with the words "tea party" in their name to additional scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status. Subsequently, conservatives alleged Lerner was covering up her "crime" because emails that could have shed light on the IRS practice had been deleted.

Don't sell. Buy!

On Sunday September 21, over 300,000 people rallied in Manhattan at the People's Climate March.

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Playoff Baseball on Yom Kippur

As a newspaper columnist, celebrated Jewish filmmaker Aviva Kempner is a very good baseball documentarian.  In the Washington Post's 2014 Yom Kippur edition, Kempner blasts the lords of baseball for scheduling games on the holiest of Jewish holidays thus forcing those “who have to follow [their] conscience” to miss playoff games “[t]hanks to the insensitivity of Major League Baseball”.

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The Case of Steven Salaita

Generally, I am skeptical of claims of anti-semitism in the academy. I think that people for a variety of reasons confuse legitimate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. Accordingly, I was inclined to side with former University of Illinois Professor Steven Salaita and CUNY-Brooklyn Professor Corey Robin who claim that Salaita was wrongly terminated from the University of Illinois because he tweeted critically of Israel.

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