Tuesday, January 20
North Carolina’s protest movement has galvanized the state’s progressives, but couldn’t stop 2014’s Republican tide. Its leaders say they’re just getting started.
“Easy care” sheep, crushed piglets, and starving calves. These are the products of a remote research center where scientists are trying to re-engineer the farm animal to fit the needs of the 21st-century meat industry.
An American writer living in Japan, unread and underpublished, sends an email to a group of writers he doesn’t know informing them that he is committing suicide.
Monday, January 19
Chérif and Saïd Kouachi’s path to the Paris attack at Charlie Hebdo.
On the moral responsibility to break unjust laws.
“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’”
What does satire do? What should we expect of it? Is it crucial to Western culture that we be free to produce it?
The N.S.A. claims it needs access to all our phone records. But is that the best way to catch a terrorist?
Sunday, January 18
Merriam-Webster is revising its most authoritative tome for the digital age. But in an era of twerking and trolling, what should a dictionary look like?
Private planes, caviar lunches and Little League.
Saturday, January 17
Fear, racism, and the historically troubling attitude of American pioneers.