Opinion (1090)

Tuesday, 18 January 2022 12:18

OPINION: Of pockets, legs and polarization

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"For the people who actually study the origins of civil wars, not just in the U.S., but as a class of events," says Dr. Timothy Snyder, who does just that as the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, "America doesn't look good right now, with its high degree of polarization, with its alternative reality, with the celebration of violence."

Monday, 17 January 2022 12:45

OPINION: Exit polls offer useful insights

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Every two years, exit pollsters attempt to survey voters who’ve just cast ballots. They post interviewers at hundreds of voting sites across the country. They call and email voters who cast ballots by mail. The resulting exit polls are often roundly criticized and improperly reported (such as when journalists circulate and comment on raw exit-poll totals on Election Night that have not been weighted based on actual election returns).

You’ve likely seen talking heads or social media mavens blasting opposition to critical race theory by linking it to a refusal to teach American history. More specifically, the accusation often states that conservatives merely want to do away with teaching the history of the American civil rights movement or other black experiences in the past, such as slavery. It’s one of the most dishonest pivots in the public square today, particularly given that the American civil rights movement shares many qualities with conservatism.

It’s well past time to try a different approach with COVID, and the Omicron variant in particular. The mainstream media must adjust its reporting, as well, to reflect reality and, well, to infuse some common sense. To stop reporting the rise in cases and hospitalizations, because both are skewed and fundamentally inaccurate.

Thursday, 13 January 2022 12:44

OPINION: Democrats get a little good news

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Things change fast in politics. After months of political pundits predicting doom and destruction for Democrats in November, the narrative may be beginning to change. Redistricting doesn’t appear to be the disaster that so many people, me included, expected. A poll released last week has Democrats leading Republicans in the Congressional generic ballot for the first time in months. Not a bad start for 2022 if you’re a Democrat.

“My boss told me if I didn’t come in, I’d get fired.”

In mid-2020, I mused that if the COVID-19 pandemic ended up producing any silver linings, the most likely bright spot would be its impact on government — so-called "public" — education. Throughout the previous spring, government schools had largely shut down in-person classes, switching to ad hoc and, it seems, fairly lame, "remote learning."

A new year often brings a desire for change. For all the failed resolutions, somebody out there, many even, will alter their lives for the better. We are constantly changing as a society. Fashion, music, cost of living, it’s all changing. How many people born just a half-century ago could have foreseen today’s technological advances?

The year may be new, but its problems are old. As 2022 gets underway, we find our society yet again grappling with pandemic policies, school closings, and the content moderation practices of Big Tech.

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