Pray Like I Do

women of the wall

Steve Hochstadt: Americans typically know little about the nature of the Israeli state that we support so generously. Would Americans so willingly support a state that discriminates against women? Or that makes rules about how one must pray?

Play Ball, Jackie

jackie robinson

Steve Hochstadt: I don’t know how my parents’ political views, our family’s history during the Holocaust, rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Jackie’s own nobility and fearless civil rights activism mixed together to make me hate racism.

Terrorizing an American City

boston media

Steve Hochstadt: If Adam Lanza had managed to leave Sandy Hook Elementary School and drive towards New York, an hour away, would that city have been shut down? Under what circumstances should our government close down a city? If the perpetrators were not born in the US? If they hate America, not just their neighbors? If they have bombs?

Tipping Points

happy couple

Steve Hochstadt: TThe shifts away from conservative positions on gay and interracial marriage and immigration signal the decline in the attractiveness of major elements in traditional Republican ideology.

Saving Schools: Research Backs Ward-Based Idea

school recess

Steve Hochstadt: The message from the proponents of at-large voting, at all the forums I have attended, is that the School Board has failed, but let’s do nothing. Let’s not change the voting system. And let’s not talk about anything else.

Why I Need Police Protection

censorship

Steve Hochstadt: Extreme conservatives talk a lot about liberty. But their definition of liberty doesn’t always include my liberty. I want my police force to protect me from all kinds of threat, including those of the far right.

Do Clothes Demean the Woman?

sexy high heels

Steve Hochstadt: I have to admit that I’m still surprised to see bare breasts on a daily basis. Women’s chests are more on display than any time I can remember. I can’t think of any reason to prefer tight, low cut tops for indoor wear other than for display.

Is Health Care Too Expensive?

nursing care

Steve Hochstadt: If the public had perfect understanding of the elements that we examined, the proportion of Americans who favor “Obamacare” might increase from the current level of 32% to 70%.

Seeking True Representation

gloria ruben

Steve Hochstadt: Ward-based elections for School Board members would insure that each part of the city is represented. Campaigns in single wards are much cheaper to run, and elections would be determined by candidates who know each ward.

Women in Movies and Life

Photo courtesy Bigstockphoto.com

Steve Hochstadt: Alison Bechdel published a comic strip entitled, “The Rule” in 1985 that sets a standard to determine if a movie is worth watching. The Bechdel test is just a reality check for whether a film portrays life as we know it.

What Ails American Higher Education?

female prfoessor

Steve Hockstadt: In recent decades, three major problems have developed in American universities which threaten the whole system: exorbitant funding of athletics, replacement of full-time faculty with temporary part-time staff, and the growth of for-profit institutions.

America’s Growing National Debt

golden egg

Steve Hochstadt: The total debt that American consumers have signed up for was about $11.3 trillion at end of 2012. About three-quarters of that comes from mortgages, with the rest on credit cards, from student loans, or as home equity loans.

Why Some Americans Want Big Guns

impeach earl warren

Steve Hochstadt: Imaginary patriotism of right-wing extremists has been translated into a surge in demand for assault weapons, not for hunting or for protection against criminals, but to make war against our government.

Ghost of Christmas Presents

xmas turkey

Steve Hochstadt: Our family likes to eat, make and give good food. Homemade jams, granola and pickles were exchanged; during frequent breaks in present-opening, we ate freshly baked coffee cakes, thanks to my nieces.

The Lost Art of Reading and Writing

grandfaterh reading

Steve Hochstadt: Books are an endangered species. Reading itself, as entertainment and education, has long since been replaced by more visually stimulating pastimes: Television, video games, smart phones.

Corporations Are Not People

buy elections

Steve Hochstadt: The problem with treating corporations as people for the purpose of political speech is that it provides another opportunity for rich and powerful corporate executives to magnify their speech with money which belongs to others.

Red State, Blue State

carriage tour

Steve Hochstadt: The few people who are signing petitions to secede from the U.S. are the same ranters who call everyone else traitors, who don’t let facts get in the way of their opinions, and who keep trying to convince some Americans to hate other Americans.

Givers, Takers, and Voters

mitt-style

Steve Hochstadt: So we end up with the same racial profiling that conservatives have been using to win votes since Richard Nixon’s southern strategy. The euphemisms change, but the intent is the same.

Tradition and Change at Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Steve Hochstadt: Maybe because it happens slowly, we don’t notice how often we must re-create our habits, our daily routines. Jobs change, neighbors move, and the great events of family life add and subtract loved ones from our lives.

Why the Democrats Will Win This Election

obama paralympic teams

Steve Hochstadt: Despite the continuing economic disaster, despite lingering racism across white America, despite the daily uncertainties of the world outside our borders, Barack Obama wins again. His victory in 2012 means that Republican ideology is a failure.

Ideology and Politics

ideoloogy

Steve Hochstadt: onsiderable pressure has been brought on Republicans at the federal level to make ideological promises which exclude political compromise. The most notable is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge not to raise taxes ever on anyone, promoted by Grover Norquist.

Collectivism vs Individualism

ryan and rand

Steve Hochstadt: The individualist quest for personal benefit is not in itself admirable. Individualism must be judged by its relation to the collective or it is just selfishness.

Romney’s Lies

romney lies

Steve Hochstadt: I think the many untruthful claims that Romney made were the most notable feature of this debate, because he got called out on most of them.

How to Win the Debate on Taxes

etch a sketch romney

Steve Hochstadt: epublican proposals in the Senate and House, created mainly by Romney’s VP selection, Paul Ryan, lower taxes on the wealthy in two whopping chunks: the top tax rate drops from 35% to 25%, and all taxes on capital gains disappear.

Romney’s Poverty of Thought

romney red alert

Steve Hochstadt: Romney thinks that the people who got the jobs he says he created are those irresponsible parasites who are hopelessly dependent on government. That is ironic.

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