September 28, 2013 The Senate passed a budget bill despite Ted Cruz's 21-hour talkathon in which he urged fellow Republicans to block any measure that doesn't derail Obamacare. Mike Peters thinks Cruz has egg on his face, while Eric Allie suggests it's Democrats who are being foolish.
September 27, 2013 How can we think we've made sense of the world if we can't make sense of the role of values in it? Commentator and philosopher Alva Noë says this is one of the fundamental problems of our time and starts in on it by trying to tease out the intimate relationship between science and values.
September 27, 2013 September 2008 marked the beginning of the darkest days of the worst financial calamity to hit the U.S. since the Great Depression. Jen Sorensen caters a fifth-anniversary party, while Eric Allie doubts America has found the cure for its still sluggish economy.
September 26, 2013 Food writer Mark Bittman is advocating what he calls part-time veganism, selling it as good for you, good for animals and good for the Earth. Commentator, and admitted pescatarian, Barbara King cottons to his cause and wishes everyone a bountiful autumn.
September 26, 2013 During his U.N. charm offensive, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani raised the possibility of nuclear negotiations, though a much-talked-about meeting with President Obama did not happen. Lee Judge thinks Rouhani's moderate remarks could inspire U.S. politicians, while Nate Beeler doubts Iran's overtures are honest or peaceable.
September 25, 2013 How far can humans go? Farther than we know. That's one of the lessons we can learn from the Voyager spacecraft, says physicist Marcelo Gleiser. He sees these missions as the embodiment of our hope that we are not alone in the universe, that there may be other beings out there who embrace life and beauty.
September 25, 2013 As the House's "Defund Obamacare" continuing resolution comes before the Senate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has promised to do all he can to pass it. Jake Fuller observes that Cruz's stand has earned him enemies on both sides of the aisle, while Chip Bok accuses President Obama of being equally strident.
September 24, 2013 The authority claimed by science rests on an ever-growing foundation of demonstrable facts. Values, on the other hand, are squishy and human; they have no place in science. But philosopher Alva Noë says it's not quite that simple. Look a little closer and you'll see the entanglement of facts and values shaping science.
September 24, 2013 Is Pope Francis taking the Catholic Church in a new direction, or is he merely giving it a kinder, gentler image? Pat Bagley believes in the power of words, while Joe Heller thinks the new pope is, after a fashion, walking the walk.
September 23, 2013 People get worked up about this question because something about the relationship between science and religion seems to be at stake. Commentator Tania Lombrozo maps out the possible answers before turning the tables on this seemingly intractable argument.
September 23, 2013 For almost half a millennium, the phrase "call a spade a spade" has served as a demand to "tell it like it is." It is only in the past century that the expression began to acquire a negative, racial overtone.
September 23, 2013 The House of Representatives voted to cut $40 billion from the federal food stamp program known as SNAP. Chip Bok believes eligibility for the program has been too lax under President Obama, while Nick Anderson thinks Republicans put political survival over food security.
September 22, 2013 It seems unlikely that the Washington Navy Yard shooting will revive calls for tougher federal gun laws. Signe Wilkinson thinks President Obama has had plenty of times to make his case, while Andy Singer (with help from Bob Dylan) sees little chance that America's culture of violence can be changed.
September 21, 2013 Ernest Hemingway's son turned down an offer from the publication that dismissed his father's work in 1924. Patrick Hemingway calls today's Vanity Fair a "luxury thinker's magazine," so he went to Harper's instead. NPR's Scott Simon suspects Hemingway himself would have sold the story to the highest bidder.
September 21, 2013 The Republican-led House has voted to defund the Affordable Care Act, raising the odds of a federal government shutdown and a default on America's debt. John Deering concludes that the GOP tactic defies reason, while Gary Varvel sees some hypocrisy regarding health law exemptions.