"This series explores the black spots in American law: areas in which our laws are routinely and regularly broken and where the law enforcement response is … nothing. These are the areas where, for one reason or another, we've decided to tolerate lawbreaking and let a law—duly enacted and still on the books—lay fallow or near dead." The first two entries are prescription drug abuse
and internet pornography
posted by ND¢
on Oct 15, 2007 -
Never Coming Home
is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate
presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
posted by ND¢
on Jun 12, 2006 -
The Year in Culture:
a different kind of 2005 roundup—influentials are asked to mention significant cultural points of the year. Hitchens on intelligent design ruling: "Just for once…one can hear the lucid tones of reason, detachment, culture, and irony"; Gladwell on the Streets: "the British take an African-American musical form and wonderfully reinvent it" (again); others muse about rare high points in South Park, or of Brokeback Mountain and the future of movies, or the Rove-esqueness of Cindy Sheehan, et cetera.
posted by Firas
on Jan 7, 2006 -
in Slate urges Democrats to grow a spine, and use the Alito hearings to provide the American public with some liberal talking points for a change.
"If the Scalias, Thomases, Alitos, and Borks of the world had their way ... there would be no meaningful gun control. States could have official churches. Hard-fought federal worker, environmental, and civil rights protections would disintegrate. What you currently think of as the right to privacy would disappear. These are the questions Senate Democrats need to ask of Sam Alito: Should property rights trump individual rights? Should the right to privacy be interpreted as narrowly as the framers might have intended? Do you believe that a return to the morals and mores of two centuries ago is in the best interest of this nation?"
posted by snoktruix
on Nov 7, 2005 -
In the summer of 1995 there was a week-long heat wave in Chicago
. Over 700 people died. Most of them were the elderly, poor, and African-Americans. Link above is a Slate article by Eric Klinberg who wrote the definitive Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago
(2003) in which he concludes that "a city, in its decision to operate like a corporation, experienced the breakdown of massive social services" and the resulting "widening cracks in the social foundations of America's cities".
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 9, 2005 -
is Malcom Gladwell's latest short, concept driven book about how instant judgements are often correct, but equally often dangerous. Two reviews on S****.com
[ad thingie to watch] make for great reading themselves. Gladwell's long been a favorite
of mine, and I don't think I'm alone here
. Previously cited works include one of the best essays I've ever read, about the ultimate pitchman
posted by allan
on Jan 13, 2005 -
Linguists Gone Wild
Linguists from The American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America recently met to vote for the Words of the Year, in various categories—Most Useful, Creative, Unnecessary, Outrageous, and Euphemistic; Most and Least Likely To Succeed; and an overall Word of the Year... no one really cares unless we pretend that These Are Important Words That Define Us as Americans. Still, that's marginally better than the alternate interpretation: This Is How Scholars Waste Their Time When They Could Be Doing Real Work.
posted by weepingsore
on Jan 12, 2005 -
The Road To Abu Ghraib A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq... It was a direct—and predictable—consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration, by senior White House officials and lawyers, in the weeks and months after 9/11. Yet the administration has largely managed to escape responsibility for those decisions; a month from election day, almost no one in the press or the political class is talking about what is, without question, the worst scandal to emerge from President Bush's nearly four years in office... Given the particular conditions faced by the president and his deputies after 9/11—a war against terrorists, in which the need to extract intelligence via interrogations was intensely pressing, but the limits placed by international law on interrogation techniques were very constricting—did those leaders have better alternatives than the one they chose? The answer is that they did. And we will be living with the consequences of the choices they made for years to come.
posted by y2karl
on Oct 27, 2004 -
Slate translates Kerry to English.
A lot of the argument lately is that Kerry doesn't really offer up a concete stand on his viewpoint. This article from William Saletan sums up what he believes Kerry is trying to say based on the speech he gave in New York earlier, and how he really stands in opposition to President Bush. Thoughts?
posted by daHIFI
on Sep 21, 2004 -
In a series of essays at Slate (1
) a journalist in his mid-20s lightheartedly recounts the experience of escorting a 17-year-old girl to her high-school prom (purely for journalistic purposes, it's worth noting). Posters at Slate's reader discussion forum, in spite of its supremely cumbersome interface
, express their strong (and not always coherent) disapproval, based mostly on the age difference between the author and his prom date. The author of the essays responds
: "As the film critic Richard Roeper (who is much older, and much more influential than myself) pointed out in Esquire recently, this is indeed a strange cultural moment, one made all the stranger by the fact that we're not supposed to admit [it] actually exists."
I'm not the biggest fan of journalists who engage in seemingly socially taboo behavior for the sole purpose of writing an article, but this made for interesting reading nonetheless.
posted by Prospero
on Jun 17, 2004 -
How to get out of
the quagmire that is
To implement this exit strategy, we will have to practice running quickly. It is further recommended that, while running, the eyes be cast down, to avoid witnessing any last-minute people trying to kill us. We will have to establish excellent communications so that the moment that final person begins dying, we can all begin running quickly at the same time, eyes cast down, quickly, to our vehicles, to get to the airport and get out of the country.
posted by dayvin
on May 25, 2004 -
Why $2 Gas Is Amazing
Gasoline is now selling at more than $2 a gallon, which, after inflation, is higher than it's been since 1981. But that's not the amazing part. Actually, there are three amazing parts.
posted by Postroad
on May 22, 2004 -
Jesus Christ: Choose your own savior
Everyone claims their Jesus is the "real" one, the only authentic Christ unperverted by secular society or religious institutions... Nowadays, even nonbelievers assert a superior understanding of who the actual Jesus really was and what he stood for.
posted by moonbird
on Apr 15, 2004 -
Derailing The Friedmans.
An interesting Slate piece on the neutrality of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Capturing The Friedmans." It starts: "When a documentary filmmaker uncovers overwhelming evidence that the subject of his film was wrongly convicted, shouldn't he take a stand on the man's innocence?"
posted by adrober
on Mar 1, 2004 -
Screwing the young.
American government benefits will give a typical man reaching age 65 today a net windfall of more than $70,000 beyond what he paid in. A luckless 25-year-old, by contrast, can count on paying $322,000 more in payroll taxes than he will ever get back in benefits.
posted by NortonDC
on Dec 10, 2003 -
What's really undermining the sanctity of marriage?
Dahlia Lithwick has an interesting piece in Slate commenting on the real threats to marriage in light of Massachusetts Supreme Court's declaration that gay marriage is protected by the Constitution. Lithwick lists:
1. Divorce (~43-50% of all US marriages end in divorce)
2. Frivolous marriages (i.e. it is easier to get married than it is to drive a car, buy a gun, buy alcohol, etc.)
3. Birth control (is marriage "only for procreation"?)
4. The various challenges to our time and attention that take away from quality time with our spouses
Can MeFiers please share with those of us yet to be betrothed your secrets in keeping a marriage successful?
posted by gen
on Nov 26, 2003 -
This guy has hit the nail on the head.
I've been marveling at how it was possible to completely screw up the sequels to what I consider the greatest action movie of all time. Matt Feeney has precisely and eloquently pinpointed everything wrong with the Matrix sequels.
posted by aznblader
on Nov 10, 2003 -
Morality and Logical Coherence
A case in point.If stem-cell research is morally questionable, the procedures used in fertility clinics are worse. You cannot logically outlaw the one and praise the other. And surely logical coherence is a measure of moral sincerity.
And failing that test would be a measure of what?
posted by nofundy
on Oct 24, 2003 -
Google: the God that failed?
is the title of the article on MSN Slate
. All of us know Microsoft is working on a new search engine technology. Till date everyone considers Google
to be the Guru
. MS obviously doesn't like that, so what it is doing? Well, the same thing it always does - to survive competition, eliminate it.
The reasons being given by the article are pretty silly and more aimed at 'faming down' Google.
posted by jayantk
on Jul 22, 2003 -