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What liberals believe, what conservatives believe

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What liberals believe What conservatives believe “Once upon a time, the vast majority” of people suffered in societies that were “unjust, unhealthy, repressive and oppressive.” These societies were “reprehensible because of their deep-rooted inequality, exploitation and irrational traditionalism — all of which made life very unfair, unpleasant and short. But…

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Joan Didion on Storytelling

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We tell ourselves stories in order to live… We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the…

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The Best Christmas Story of All Time

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My favorite Christmas story is “The Shepherd,” a short story by Fredrick Forsyth about a Royal Air Force pilot flying home from Germany on a dark and foggy Christmas Eve in 1957 when his fighter jet suffers a catastrophic failure of all electrical systems. Emergency procedures fail, his compass goes…

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Dear Christopher Hitchens

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Today the world has lost its greatest rhetorician and I’ve lost a hero. The following is an excerpt from a get-well letter I sent Christopher Hitchens on March 31, 2011. I often disagreed with his views, but few writers ever expressed themselves with more style. Christopher Hitchens, cheers. Dear Mr. Hitchens,…

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