BY EDWARD E. BAPTIST AND LOUIS HYMAN: Last weekend we watched the Oscars and, like most people, were pleased that “Twelve Years a Slave” won Best Picture. No previous film has so accurately captured the reality of enslaved people’s lives. Yet though Twelve Years shows us the labor of slavery, it omits the financial system — asset securitization — which made slavery possible.
BY SEN. MARK KIRK: On July 29, 1948, 16 injured British servicemen and women participated in an archery competition at the Stoke Mandeville Games, the inspiration for the modern Paralympic Games. Almost 66 years later, Friday marks the beginning of the 26th Paralympic Games, a tradition that celebrates and highlights athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities from around the world. TheY are showing the world that they refuse to let their disabilities define their lives.
Snow has no respect for the calendar, so the snowfall season for the National Weather Service starts July 1 and ends June 30. So far this season, Chicagoans and suburbanites have already had to dig themselves out of more than 70 inches of snow, and …Read More
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BY PAUL DETRICK: You may already know Juggalos, the fans of Detroit rap group Insane Clown Posse (ICP), from Buzzfeed lists, television shows like Workaholics or music videos like “Juggalo Island.” But you may not know that Juggalos are one of the best examples of a demonized community.
BY ELIZABETH CLARKE AND JOHN MAKI: The solitary confinement of children has no place in a fair system of justice. It is time to outlaw this practice in Illinois.
BY MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS: These were all people who could once command adulation, who graced magazine covers and bedroom walls. Now they’re punchlines — not so much because they’ve dared to get older but for the manner in which they seem to have chosen to do so.
BY RICHARD C. LONGWORTH: Forty years on, Working makes mournful reading. It’s an echo of a better time described by people who didn’t know it was a better time.
Poland remains one of the only allies of the United States excluded from the Visa Waiver Program, and it’s time for that to change.
BY JOHN FUND: The mainstream media says the Tea Party has lost clout and influence. So why are the midterm elections shaping up as a disaster for Democrats?
BY SONALI KOLHATKAR: Does it matter that the Oscars are overwhelmingly white? Yes and no. It matters because the prestige that Academy Award nominations lend to filmmakers and actors can pressure major studios to insist on greater diversity in films. But it doesn’t matter as much because, well, the Oscars themselves matter less and less.
BY EDWIN LYNGAR: To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy.
BY GENE LYONS: Here’s the thing about those melodramatic TV ads attacking Obamacare: In terms of actual policy, they’re as futile as the 40-odd votes to repeal the law that House Republicans have already cast. GOP hardliners are like a drunk in a bar fight, threatening to whip somebody twice his size if only his friends would turn loose of his arms. It’s all over but the shouting.
BY DAVID MERRIMAN: Illinois’ economy has been slow to recover from the Great Recession of 2008. Like in other states, Illinois saw huge drops in housing values and sweeping job losses. But unlike many other states, the Great Recession exposed long festering fiscal imbalances in Illinois. As the 2014 campaign for the Illinois governor’s seat heats up, candidates should articulate detailed, realistic and well-documented long-term plans to bring Illinois to fiscal balance.
MONA CHAREN: The traditional family is dead, so we’ve been informed. It’s been replaced by blended families, cohabitation, single-parent families, etc. This may be overwrought. The only way to sing a dirge for the “traditional” family is to define it exceedingly narrowly.
BY CHARLES C.W. COOKE: If atheism and conservatism are incompatible, then I am not a conservative. I don’t believe there is a God. It’s not that I’m “not sure” or that I haven’t ever bothered to think about it; it’s that I actively think there isn’t a God — much as I think there are no fairies or unicorns or elves. Am I to be excommunicated from the Right?
BY MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL: This week’s announcement that a new state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility will receive $320 million in federal and private funding to build a Digital Manufacturing Design Lab in Chicago makes two things abundantly clear. First, Chicago is about to become the epicenter of a digital manufacturing revolution that will power our city’s economy for decades. Second, we are seeing great dividends from our coordinated strategy to systematically pursue the innovation centers that will define America’s future.
BY ROGER FLAHERTY: Chicago should sell its potholes to the highest bidders, who would be obliged to fill them within 10 days of purchase. Pothole owners then would be allowed to charge motorists a fee for each passage between 7 a.m and 9 p.m. over a repaired hole, with a Sunday-only exemption for motorists driving on downtown streets.
BY MICHELLE REEVES-TWINE: While the legalization of same-sex marriage has been heralded as a gigantic step forward on the continuum of equality and freedom, it has really only done quite the opposite. The legalization of same-sex marriage does not herald freedom; it stifles it. In a country where the idea of religious freedom was once protected and revered, it is now being suppressed.
BY HOWARD A. LEARNER: Politicians oppose raising motor fuels taxes, so some — including in Illinois — are thinking about shifting from a tax on gas to a tax on the number of miles a vehicle travels. That would be disadvantageous and unfair to Illinois motorists and taxpayers.
BY DAVID HARSANYI: Since its inception, the Obama administration has engaged in the deceptive routine of claiming that “economists,” “every economist” or a “consensus” among economists is in lockstep agreement over whatever policy prescription the White House happens to be peddling. Consensus view of economists? Is that true?