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Connecticut state police lead children from the Sandy Hook elementary school. Photograph: Shannon Hicks/Newtown Bee
Newtown shootings: if not now, when is the time to talk about gun control?
Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut is shocking and horrifying – the time and the place of these massacres inevitably catch us unawares. But the fact that another mass shooting has occurred is not shocking, any more than the last one was, or the next one will be.


Delegates at the Republican convention in August. Photograph: Benjamin J Myers/ Benjamin J Myers/Corbis
Those who would cancel a promise to black America
One of the rare moments of enthusiasm at the Republican convention this year was when former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice evoked her life story as an example of the innate genius within the American spirit that enables the country to overcome every challenge it faces.
Republicans, welcome to the reality-based community
Dick Morris's twitter feed on election night was a thing to behold. The day before the presidential election Morris, a rightwing pollster, analyst and Bill Clinton adviser, told Fox News: "Romney will win by a very large margin. A landslide, if you will... I think he'll get 325 electoral votes." (Romney lost with 206.) A week earlier he said his "personal hunch" was the Republicans would take the Senate with 53 seats. (They lost, with only 45.)
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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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