News & Features

We Believed Our Constitution Would Always Protect Us - Until It Didn’t

Wolfgang Mack

To sum up, some of the compromises that our Founding Fathers had to make may have been necessary at the time they formulated our Constitution but the reasons for these compromises simply no longer exist. As recent events have shown, these obsolete compromise provisions can be exploited by less-than-trustworthy politicians to undermine our democratic institutions -- a clear and present danger to the future of our republic.

The Uncertain Heavens: Christiaan Huygens’s Ideas of Extraterrestrial Life

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Huygens then turned his attention to intelligence and technology. His planetary beings would surely have science, and especially astronomy, as this study was said to have arisen as a consequence of the fear of eclipses, which would also occur on other planets. They would doubtless have some of our inventions, “yet that they should have all of them is not credible.” In particular, Huygens could not credit that they would possess telescopes, since he considered those which he had used himself as being so fine that other intelligences would not be able to equal them. Instead, he invested the denizens of the planets with far superior natural eyesight.

Joe Biden and John Kerry Can Rebuild U.S. Global Climate Leadership

Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America’s reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as climate envoy, a position Biden plans to include in the National Security Council. It won’t be easy, but Kerry’s decades of experience and the international relationships he developed as a senator and secretary of state may give him a chance of making real progress.

Why Was Someone Like Donald Trump Even Elected?

Spencer Critchley

On Election Night 2008, at an Obama campaign party, I had cried tears of joy. It wasn’t just because my side had won. It was because I believed the whole country had won, no matter how they had voted, because of the inspiring values Obama stood for and — as his campaign staff knew well — lived by. I cried in 2016 too, for very different reasons. But across the street, the Arizona Republicans were holding their election night party. From there, I heard a rising roar of exultation.

 

From the Fringe to the Mainstream: The Disturbing Rise of American White Supremacy

Angelo Franco

All of these seemingly random acts point to the fact that white supremacy isn’t just a “white is better” belief ingrained in misguided and stubborn opinions; but rather that white supremacy takes many forms. Some white supremacy groups are specifically anti-government; others don’t mind other ethnicities too much, but despise Jews; others are rooted in religious fanaticism (see Christian Identify above); while others still renounce the rigidity of religion (see Hitler and his ambivalent stance on Catholicism and religion in general).

What Joe Biden’s Victory Means for Race Relations, the Supreme Court, and U.S. Foreign Policy

Brian J. Purnell, Morgan Marietta, and Neta C. Crawford

One area that the Biden administration will surely address is policing and racial justice. The Justice Department can bring accountability to police reform by returning to practices the Obama administration put in place to monitor and reform police departments, such as the use of consent degrees. More difficult reforms require redressing how mass incarceration caused widespread voter disenfranchisement in Black American and Latino communities.

Steve Bannon, the Right-Wing Prince of Darkness, on Politics and Fate

Adam Gravano

That mystique -- and controversy -- still cling to the movie producer, investor, and political adviser. With his one-time employer Donald Trump now in the fight for his electoral life, and Bannon embroiled not only in a fraud case but the uproar of the discovery of a computer alleged to be Hunter Biden’s, now is an opportune time to revisit Bannon and look for that vital spark imparted on the 2016 Trump candidacy through the lens of Errol Morris's interview documentary American Dharma.

How a Town in Norway Copes With Winter Depression

Linda Geddes

Even so, there’s some evidence that light therapy may have a similar effect on the brain to many antidepressants. In a study published in 2016, 11 patients with SAD treated with two weeks of light therapy saw plunging levels of serotonin transporter binding – a measure of how quickly serotonin’s activity is curtailed. Their levels became similar to those seen during summertime. There is other evidence, besides. At the back of our eyes, an unusual type of photoreceptor has been found that seems to help synchronize our circadian rhythms to the 24-hour cycle of light and dark.

Joseph Pilates’ Lasting Legacy in the World of Fitness

John Howard Steel

Some people, dancers mostly, knew him as a savior—the person who kept them dancing, or stopped their back pain, or put a zip in their step, or some other career enhancing or enabling therapy. He helped professional golfers eliminate pain in their swing; he helped hairdressers and barbers work pain-free all day with their arms raised. He improved singers’ breath control. As the person who worked his obscure magic to solve a physical problem that ofttimes doctors, chiropractors, or massage therapists couldn’t, he was a medicine man.

How COVID-19 Changed America and the World Forever

Kenneth Foard McCallion

So what would have happened if the federal government had acted with the degree of vigilance that we had come to expect from the Ebola crisis and other pandemic threats? What if those sweeping measures imposed on or after March 15 — a federal warning against large gatherings, health screenings at airports, states of emergency declared, etc. - had been announced one or two weeks earlier?

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