BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — As fuel prices fall below $3 per gallon in much of the country, it is tempting to think gasoline is so plentiful that we no longer need regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles. We believe such thinking is unwise.
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When was the last time you heard of a grand jury decision causing a riot? Well … never. That’s because grand juries are obscure relics of past practice, not designed to bear the full weight of a politically and symbolically important decision like the nonprosecution of police officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The decision by St. Louis County Chief Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to put the issue neutrally before the grand jury was intended to create a sense of public legitimacy for whatever result followed, and also no doubt to deflect blame from the prosecutor’s own exercise of discretion. It failed on both counts — and with good reason.
I don’t think anyone can come away from Rolling Stone’s article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia without feeling sickened by it. If the events as narrated are true, a boy brought a freshman girl to a fraternity event as a date, then shepherded her upstairs to be gang raped by a number of his fraternity brothers. This is not some “he-said, she-said” about whether intoxicated sex constituted rape; it was a forcible violation by a gang of strangers who left her bloody and shattered. Her friends encouraged her not to report the rape, lest they be shut out of UVA’s powerful Greek scene. The dean she went to was carefully neutral on the topic of whether she should go to the police.
Thanksgiving ought to be a time for all Americans to relax and enjoy themselves.
If Thomas Jefferson could be faulted for one thing in composing the Declaration of Independence, it might be his inclusion of the words “the pursuit of happiness” in the text.
Even as the president, live from the White House, said “there is inevitably going to some negative reaction and it will make for good TV,” the news channels split their screens to show police shooting tear gas canisters at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri — a presidential appeal for calm competing against frightening scenes of angry confrontation.
After weeks of anticipation, protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, heard on Monday night the news they had feared: A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager shot dead by Wilson this summer.
The shameful mockery of judicial process that has transpired in Ferguson, Missouri, is widely viewed as a matter of racial politics. Of course, in one sense, that’s right: Race underlies enormous and well-documented inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. But in another way, it’s a pity, because this system now borders on the tyrannical, and ought to scare all Americans, regardless of skin color.
When I first moved into my tiny apartment, I didn’t have much to work with. The apartment was empty with walls that still smelled like paint and a floor plan that didn’t leave much to the imagination.
SEATTLE — Officer Darren Wilson will not face criminal charges for shooting and killing Michael Brown, according to the decision by a grand jury. It’s a controversial ruling, one that seems almost certain to fracture that community and the country.