I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.

A teen-ager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America.

High drama in Texas governor’s office

As moments of high political drama go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Indicted Gov. Rick Perry, we’re ready for your close-up.

The ones left behind

The fire this time is about invisibility. Our society expects the police to keep unemployed, poorly educated African-American men out of sight and out of mind. When they suddenly take center stage, illuminated by the flash and flicker of Molotov cocktails, we feign surprise.

Whistle blower’s tale with happy ending

Late last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an oblique news release announcing that it was awarding an unnamed whistle-blower $400,000 for helping expose a financial fraud at an unnamed company. The money was the latest whistle-blower award — there have been 13 so far — paid as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which includes both protections for whistle-blowers and financial awards when their information leads to fines of more than $1 million.

Tunnel mappings could have reduced deaths in Gaza

Israel wrapped up its ground offensive in Gaza last week and declared its tactical objective achieved: All of Hamas’ known “terror tunnels” were destroyed.

Who had the worst week in Washington

Washington’s chattering class tends to care an inordinate amount about the relative ups and downs of the city’s pundits. And the chattering was turned all the way up to 11 with Monday’s Politico Playbook report blaring that NBC’s Meet the Press would “announce (a) new moderator soon.”

What are we seeing in Ferguson?

“Did one look at what one saw or did one see what one looked at?”

What black parents tell their sons about police shootings

When I was growing up, my parents often gave me pep talks that were different from the ones my white male friends got from their parents.

To fix foreign policy mistakes, Obama must first admit them

“What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision.”

When our gadgets go on strike

I used to know how things worked. Now I don’t have a clue.

Why is Ferguson’s government so white?

Ferguson, Missouri, is a majority-black city governed mostly by whites. The mayor is white. The police chief is white. The police force is 94 percent white. Only one of its six city council members is black. These facts, as much as anything, have shaped the protests over the police shooting of Michael Brown. Ferguson, with a 67 percent black population, is a place where the largest community has little political voice.

Are we ready for another Revolution?

The woman was pointing to my book on the American Revolution. She was inquiring if I believed people were fed up with the way the country was being run and ready for a repeat of 1776.

Let Congress vote on Iraq War III

Last week, we were told there were 40,000 Yazidis on Sinjar Mountain facing starvation if they remained there, and slaughter by ISIS if they came down.

What students want from professors

If you want a good education, you need to have good teachers. It seems ridiculous to have to say as much, but such is the state that matters have reached, both in academia and in the public conversation that surrounds it, that apparently we do. Between the long-term trend toward the use of adjuncts and other part-time faculty and the recent rush to online instruction, we seem to be deciding that we can do without teachers in college altogether, at least in any meaningful sense. But the kind of learning that college is for is simply not possible without them.

President Barack Obama’s vacation from hell

On the eve of his departure late last week, Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq to beat back Islamist militants from committing genocide. Then as he wrapped up his first round of golf on the Massachusetts island Saturday night, The Atlantic interview with Hillary Clinton hit the Web, sparking days of speculation about the fraying Clinton-Obama relationship.

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