Category: LA Times

Op-Ed: Society’s never been more polarized. How storytellers could help heal our divides

At the end of a fancy dinner for Commonwealth dignitaries in London, Winston Churchill spotted a fellow guest about to steal a valuable silver saltshaker from the table. Caught between the desire to avoid an undignified contretemps and the equal and opposite desire to not let the scoundrel get away with it, Churchill did something ingenious.

He picked up the matching silver pepper shaker, slipped it inside his coat pocket, wandered over to the dignitary in question, set it on the table and whispered conspiratorially: “I think they’ve seen us. We’d better put them back.

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Second Opinion: “Grand strategy” has a bad rep. To fix it, go beyond hard power and traditional statecraft

The term “grand strategy” has acquired something of a bad reputation in global affairs. It sounds pompous, and as a buzzword, it can serve as a mystification, tempting leaders to formulate glib doctrines or to rely excessively on reputed wise men, like George Kennan or Henry Kissinger. Some have seen it as a cover for American adventurism or even imperialism.

More charitably understood, though, constructing a grand strategy is a way for policymakers to think analytically, with an eye toward long-term goals, about how nations and peoples should engage with one another.

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Op-Ed: Why meat and dairy corporations are the Achilles’ heel of Biden’s climate plan

President Biden cannot deliver on his climate pledges if his administration keeps allowing meat and dairy corporations to emit vast amounts of planet-warming pollutants unchecked.

Greening the energy, transportation, manufacturing and housing sectors — the focuses of Biden’s American Jobs Plan — is not enough to prevent devastating temperature rise.

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Op-Ed: How doctor culture sinks U.S. healthcare

Over the last pandemic year, we’ve seen doctors work heroically to save lives. Their dedication, expertise and work ethic represent the best of medical culture. But as we return to normality, we need to acknowledge that the same culture that turns doctors into heroes is also contributing to a healthcare crisis of rising costs and decaying standards.

Physicians, policy experts and academics all insist that American healthcare suffers from systemic issues. By “systemic,” they mean bureaucratic.

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Editorial: The trouble with ‘civilian review’ over LAPD

Watching L.A.’s elected leaders last year as they scurried to align themselves with Black Lives Matter protesters and criminal justice reformers, you’d think they were longtime police skeptics who had spent their careers pushing for tougher discipline of officers who use excessive force or commit other serious misconduct.

But in fact, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council had just a few years earlier sent voters a ballot measure that moved sharply in the opposite direction, eroding the police chief’s powers to fire or otherwise penalize bad officers.

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Op-Ed: Israel needs to talk to Hamas to stop the bloody conflict

Israel must talk to the Palestinians — including Hamas — instead of continuously trying to crush them. Attempts at getting Palestinians to surrender have proven to be futile, so why not trying dealing with your adversaries in a logical manner? At this point, the idea of deterring conflict has become elusive because of the absence of a serious negotiation process.

Short of surrender, no conflict in the world can be solved by military means. Any resolution depends on negotiations — and naturally that means talking with your enemies, not your friends.

The U.S.

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Heffernan: The GOP hivemind keeps it doubling down on its biggest loser

There’s a mental phenomenon known among gamblers as tilt. It’s a brain-hijacking that happens after an ego blow. Rather than taking a break, a gambler on tilt becomes absolutely convinced he should have won the hand or the slot-machine tug. He starts to risk greater and greater sums of money to offset shame, regain honor and prove he was right.

Don’t try to reason with a tilting brain. As a wild-eyed gambler’s losses compound, he won’t be stopped. Hit me, hit me, hit me.

This is the Republican Party right now.

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Goldberg: Remember the Freedom Riders — and how police and the FBI colluded in the attacks against them

In the spring of 1961, a group of Black and white civil rights activists set off on a trip through the American South, aiming to test recent federal court rulings banning racial discrimination in interstate travel. They sat where they pleased on the buses they rode. They entered the waiting rooms in the terminals, sought service in the depot restaurants and used the bathrooms.

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