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.

The Boy Scout Policy on Gays: Looking for Reason in the Middle

gay boy scouts

Steve Hochstadt: Just because there is a long tradition of considering females and gays to be inferior and sinful, just because some of those traditions are religious, does not make that discrimination reasonable.

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.

All I Want for Christmas — Is a Gun

santa gun

Steve Hochstadt: Seeing men all around me carrying guns, or knowing that men at McDonalds, at the library, or at my school are carrying concealed weapons doesn’t make me feel safer.

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.

The Shape of Politics to Come

long voting lines

Steve Hochstadt: It looks like Democrats will have much more hope in their political future than Republicans, because of changes in the American electorate.

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.

Running Out of Energy

wind farm

Steve Hochstadt: Maintaining our wasteful national lifestyle and relying on underground sources of energy means watching other nations take the lead toward an affordable energy future.

Romney and the Drumbeats of War

mitt war

Steve Hochstadt: The Democrats offer a known quantity, the continuation of this cautious foreign policy of the previous four years. What Romney would do in office is much less certain.

Republicans at Home, and at Heart

mitt crossing delaware

Steve Hochstadt: Romney and his campaign advisers know that he was not telling the truth on that Boca Raton tape. But a bigger mistake was to put into the same basket all the people he doesn’t like.

In the Libyan Aftermath: Who Should Make Our Foreign Policy?

bengazi

Steve Hochstadt: Mitt Romney defends foreign Christians who pretend to be Jews as they condemn all Muslims, and he condemns American diplomats in danger who try to explain that “Innocence of Muslims” does not represent US policy.

Dealing with Garbage

recycling bottles

Steve Hochstadt: Nobody who comes to my home smokes. But cigarette butts litter the ground near the curb and the sidewalk in front of my house. If you multiply those butts by every building in town, thousands of acts of littering, constantly repeated, are dirtying our town.

It’s Not Just Warm, It’s Hot

woman cooling off

Steve Hochstadt: Among voters, according to a poll in 2011, party affiliation also determines scientific belief: 80% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans say that warming has been occurring.

Religion and Government

religion

Steve Hochstadt: Liberals in the Democratic Party argue that Biblical support for discrimination against gays or for the teaching of a creationist version of human origins should be irrelevant to government policy.

The Future of Local Government

Steve Hochstadt: When Romney and the Republicans talk about cutting back on government, they mean much larger cuts in local government spending than what has happened so far.

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