Sun, Sept 25

2008—Somali pirates capture the MV Faina, a 500-foot freighter whose cargo includes 33 Soviet tanks. 2007—Because Judge Sharon Keller refuses to work overtime, Texas kills Michael Richard on schedule. 2003—An early draft of an interim report from weapons inspectors in Iraq says no WMD have been found. 2002—Disregarding facts, George W.[MD] Bush says, “You can’t distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.” 1966—The White Sox beat the Yankees 4-1, at Yankee Stadium. Attendance is 413, the lowest ever. 1962—Vivian Stanshall and Rodey Slater form the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, while listening to the first Sonny Liston/Floyd Patterson fight. 1959—The …

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Ten Million Bottles of Water in the Dump…

To the editor: Humans may be a self-screwing species—genetically disposed to solve one problem by making another one worse. Maybe the biologists will find something to confirm this as they continue to develop a better understanding of our genome. ln the 21st century, Jackson, Mississippi, the capital of one of the fifty states in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, with a population of 150,000, has been unable to provide water to its residents. Yes, there was some flooding there recently, but we can’t just blame the weather. The New York Times reports: “…state officials offered a more dire outlook, saying the city’s …

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A shorter workweek may increase worker productivity—but that’s not why we need one

by Robert Raymond Studies show that a shorter workweek is healthier for people and the planet—but much of the conversation is focused on its impact on worker productivity or efficiency. This is a big mistake. With the average worker in the United States clocking 47 hours a week, Americans are among the most overworked populations in the world—in fact, they work more hours per year than workers in almost any other industrialized country. Advocates of a shorter work week had a brief moment of excitement in California last April when state Democrats proposed a bill that would have required private-sector employers with more than 500 …

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Conspiracy theories are dangerous even if very few people believe them

by Keith Raymond Harris There is an open question among pundits and researchers: Do more Americans believe in conspiracy theories now than ever before? But as a scholar of conspiracy theories and their believers, I am concerned that focusing on how many Americans believe conspiracy theories can distract from their dangers. Even if most people dismiss conspiracy theories or accept them only in some limited sense, leaving very small numbers of true believers, the high visibility of these false ideas can still make them dangerous. Association Without Belief Philosophers often suppose people can explain their actions in terms of what they want to do or …

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Republicans Betting the Farm

New Hampshire’s Republicans have spoken. On Primary Day, September 13th, their voters picked, for both Congressional districts and for the Senate, the Trumpiest candidate on the ballot. Summer this year seemed to suddenly flip into fall. So it is with our politics. Our primary elections come late, dictating only a brief season for the general election. In a little over six weeks we should know how this all turns out. That assumes, of course, that our civic wheels stay on the rails laid down by law and custom. Here in the newsroom, making assumptions comes naturally; we are, after all, entering out 267th year in …

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