Priest’s execution in Syria should be call to action

In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me.

Got Putin, yet?

The new “agreement” between Russia, the United States and our allies is exactly what the former KGB agent ordered.

Snowden humiliates himself

The Edward Snowden leaks were not wholly contemptible. Unlike — it’s now thoroughly clear — Edward Snowden himself.

The vibrancy of today’s American literature

Sales at American book stores rose a measly 1 percent in 2013, according to trade accounts. It remains unclear whether that sluggishness — sales of ebooks have also tapered off — truly represents a further chipping away of the importance of books in our culture.

Kansas, the KKK and hate without end

The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like to imagine that the KKK belongs to a long-gone South and anti-Semitism to a distant 20th century. Sadly, this better reflects a naive faith in the nation’s history of religious tolerance than the realities experienced by many religious minorities. Although the KKK has evolved and its membership has dwindled, it remains part of an American legacy of religious intolerance.

Don’t let Jeb Bush’s moderation confuse you

Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party.

Who pays the most on Tax Day?

Which taxpayers experience the greatest tax burden — and who pays the most in taxes?

Attaching names to torture victims

Are these the torture victims the CIA does not want us to know?

Why so many people die in ferry accidents

Nearly 300 people are feared missing after a huge ferry capsized and sank off South Korea’s southwestern coast. Carrying a group of high school students on a field trip from a high school outside Seoul, the ship was en route to Jeju, a Korean resort island known as the country’s “Hawaii.” Scores of rescue divers have descended on the ship, and it is feared that the death toll will rise sharply in coming days. Survivors say many people remain trapped on the ship’s lower decks; 462 people were on board the ship, 281 of whom remain unaccounted for.

The Cuba embargo is such a bad idea

On a drive across Cuba a few weeks ago, my family and I decided to make a quick detour to the Bay of Pigs. It was hot, and the beach at Playa Giron — where 53 years ago a tragicomic CIA-sponsored invasion force stormed ashore — seemed like a good place for lunch. Plus, who could pass up the opportunity to swim in the Bay of Pigs? I would swim in the Gulf of Tonkin for the same reason.

A deadly decade for environmentalists

According to a report released this week by the London-based NGO Global Witness, at least 908 environmental activists have been killed over the last decade. That number is comparable to the 913 journalists killed in the course of their work in the same period and is likely on the low side — reporting is inconsistent in many countries and full data for 2013 hasn’t yet been collected. 2012 was deadliest year ever for environmentalists with 147 killed.

A battle ahead on ‘personhood’

Some of the most hard-fought Senate races this fall are likely to feature big fights over “personhood.”

The boundaries of Boston Strong

The 118th Boston Marathon, next week, will actually be the first of its kind — the first running of the iconic American foot race after two bombers killed three people, injured 263 (many horribly) and shook the nation a year ago.

Legacy of hate in Kansas shootings

When I learned that the man accused of shooting innocent bystanders Sunday at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement home in Kansas City was a former Klansman named Glenn Miller, I shuddered.

CEO pay goes up, up and away!

At 79, Graef “Bud” Crystal is the grand old man of executive compensation critics. Once a top compensation consultant, he switched sides in the 1980s, becoming a fierce critic of many of the practices he helped institutionalize, and analyzing executive pay for other media like Fortune and, most recently, Bloomberg News. He’s been known to call his second career “atoning for my sins.”

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