Newsweek Oct-03-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


working-class white men make democrats nervous

It was a memorable, violent day in lower Manhattan. No, not that day—but another. In early May 1970, America was bitterly divided about everything from hot pants to Ho Chi Minh, but especially the Nixon administration’s bombing of Cambodia, which escalated and expanded the Vietnam War. On May 4, four students protesting the invasion were killed by National Guardsmen during a demonstration at Kent State University in Ohio. New York’s mayor, John Lindsay, sharing the sadness and outrage of many Americans, ordered flags at City Hall to be flown at half-staff. In lower Manhattan, antiwar demonstrators marched peacefully. Construction union leaders, who were zealous backers of Nixon’s Vietnam policies, organized a counterprotest. Workers—or “hard hats,” as they were known—left their girders and skyscrapers with their clenched fists held high and hit the streets…

the age-old old age problem faced by baby boomers

Ever since Matthew Drake was a boy, he dreamed of joining the Army. His mother, Lisa Schuster, had always been supportive. Then 9/11 happened. “I knew that would change everything for where our service members would be deployed and what they’d do,” she says. But the 9/11 attacks were just the catalyst Matthew needed to enlist. “He said, ‘Mom, I grew up never being afraid or thinking something like this will happen.... Somebody has to be the good guys, and I want to be one of them.’” On October 15, 2004, in Al-Qaim, on the Iraq-Syria border, a suicide car bomber drove into an armored vehicle filled with five American soldiers. Matthew, then 21, was the only survivor. He was rushed to an Army hospital in Baghdad, where he received emergency brain…

isis’s forgotten hostages: islamic state still holds thousands

The names of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the British aid worker David Haines have become well-known since their gruesome deaths at the hands of the Islamic State, more commonly known as ISIS, as have Alan Henning’s, the British aid worker named as ISIS’s next victim, and John Cantlie’s, a British journalist snatched by the extremist group two years ago. But no one knew the names of the 49 Turkish diplomats, consulate employees and soldiers—including two small children—who were taken hostage by ISIS in Mosul in June. The incident was barely reported in the Western press until they were released and the full details of how and why ISIS should have agreed the release remains unclear. It is believed that more than a hundred other Turks remain in…

volunteering in america is on the decline

The United States has a long history of volunteering. Enshrined in the United States Constitution, the right to form voluntary associations has been a treasured aspect of American life since the nation’s birth. Alexis de Tocqueville noticed the propensity for Americans to join civic organizations when he traveled the country before the Civil War. By 1944, Arthur Schlesinger would famously refer to America as a “nation of joiners.” But in recent years, the percentage of Americans volunteering has dwindled and is now at its lowest level in a decade. Last year the volunteer rate was 25.4 percent, or 62.6 million people, compared with 29 percent of the population in 2003, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Official statistics on volunteer rates go back only to 2002.) The BLS counts…

putin’s ‘last and best weapon’ against europe: gas

In the cornfields of the Donbass, the war between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-backed rebels has sputtered to an uneasy stalemate. But as winter approaches, a new battle-front in Moscow’s proxy struggle with the West is opening up - and though it will not be as bloody, it could be no less politically dramatic than the recent shooting war. On the face of it, the battle lines are clear enough. Russia needs the West for loans, financial services, foodstuffs, and technical expertise - all of which are being choked off by economic sanctions over the Kremlin’s intervention in Ukraine. Europe, for its part, relies on Russia’s majority-state-owned gas giant Gazprom for up to a third of its gas - and about half of that is piped through Ukraine. Should the Kremlin…

textbook case of bad textbooking

It is not elitist to believe your cable guy shouldn’t be performing heart surgery. Or that an archaeologist shouldn’t be representing the defendant in a murder trial. Or that a lawyer shouldn’t be engineering the electrical system of a nuclear power plant. Each of these activities involves special skill sets honed with years of education and experience. Hopefully, everyone understands that those untrained in specialty fields have no business thinking they are qualified to do the work. But somehow America has reached a stage where real estate brokers, dental hygienists, restaurant franchise owners, college dropouts turned radio talk-show hosts, journalists, politicians and assorted other flibbertigibbets believe they know more about history, the natural sciences and other forms of scholarship than do those who spent decades earning advanced degrees, conducting original research and…