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After baseball, America’s favorite pastime may be the process of reinventing itself, continuously redefining its identity and searching for its soul.

Brenda Payton

The Dog-Eared Page

A Politics Of Hope

It is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, and yet still come together as one American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

The Sun Interview

It’s Easier Than We Think

Ralph Nader On How We Can Change Society

But it’s not that hard to turn the country around. Most people, whatever they call themselves — conservative, liberal, libertarian, progressive — have a deep sense of fair play and justice. They’re not sadists. They care for other people. We see this during a national disaster. All labels go out the window, and everybody helps rescue people from floods or fires. That’s what we want to tap into. That’s why I say fewer than 1 percent of the people, if they represent a majority opinion, can make a lot of changes. It won’t produce a utopia, but it will certainly produce a better country than we’ve been experiencing.

The Dog-Eared Page

The Optimism Of Uncertainty

There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people’s thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.

The Sun Interview

An Unlikely Friendship

An Israeli And A Palestinian Make The Case For Peace

Do not give up hope. Despite the Holocaust there is now a German ambassador in Israel, and an Israeli ambassador in Berlin. Fortunately the Palestinians didn’t kill 6 million Israelis, and the Israelis didn’t kill 6 million Palestinians. There is hope that we can reconcile, too.

Fiction

When They Came To Us

We went to sleep, and in the morning they were here. We saw them on our screens as they emerged from a grove of trees a hundred miles west of us. Their ship had crashed. It was made of a rose-gold metal and looked like a claw with a broken tip. Within hours the government had moved these beings — the “blues,” we eventually came to call them — to a holding station outside the nearest city. There we could watch them whenever we wanted, because of the cameras in each room.

Fiction

The Unified Conspiracy Theory

I had been coming to the Nite Owl almost every day, because it was the only place I could get my research done. It was nice of my sister to put me up in her apartment and everything, but living with her was making it difficult to continue looking for the Pattern, because her television didn’t work. I’d tried the electronics store, but they’d gotten wise to me real quick. The only place I could watch free cable TV for as long as I wanted was that diner where pretty much no one ever came.

Fiction

Due To Vandalism

The copper is the easiest, isn’t it, vandal? You can clear the whole house with a hammer and a hacksaw. Start in the basement at the water heater. If the property has been properly winterized, the water will be shut off, and even if it hasn’t been, it takes hours for a basement to flood and days for someone to notice. (Just make sure the power is off, for real. In April they found a fried vandal in a cellar in Pontiac, Michigan, his body bobbing as high as the window well.)

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