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Uninsured and fighting blazes: Welcome to the life of a federal firefighter

Right now, wildfires of “epic proportions” are tearing through the Colorado forests. Thousands of federal firefighters charged with taming the blazes do not have health insurance. That includes 27-year-old John Lauer. He’s a member of a Colorado-based “hotshot” crew, one of the teams of the most skilled federal fighters that gets deployed where fires are the worst. In six years, he has fought fires in Utah, ...

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America’s Aversion to Taxes

It's amazing. America is slipping behind the industrialized world. Our democracy, our very way of life, is threatened. But we stubbornly refuse to pay higher taxes -- we even refuse to allow the wealthiest among us, who have gotten disproportionately wealthier in recent years -- no matter how much it hurts us. Goodbye, America. Goodbye, light of the world. August 14, 2012 ...Italy may be in a funk, with a s ...

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At the Fair, Do Calories on a Stick Count?

The Iowa State Fair is a vast, sweet, savory, shameless wonderland full of battered treats — including deep-fried butter on a stick. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/dining/at-the-iowa-state-fair-deep-fried-butter-on-a-stick.html?smid=pl-share ...

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Ben Heineman, Multifaceted Businessman, Dies at 98

August 10, 2012 Ben W. Heineman, a lawyer and corporate leader who took over railroads, created one of the nation’s first conglomerates and became a close confidant and adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson, died on Sunday in Waukesha, Wis. He was 98. While he worked in law or business, Mr. Heineman often held various government jobs in Illinois, nearly all unpaid, serving Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson and Mayor ...

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New Orleans Celebrates the Life of a Bandleader

Lionel Batiste, who died on July 8, was stylish, unhurried and full of music, just like the city where fans paraded in his honor, as is the local tradition. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/us/new-orleans-celebrates-life-of-lionel-batiste.html?smid=pl-share ...

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Things Go Swimmingly in Brooklyn

Empty About 3 Decades, Pool From the Depression Era Reopens to Cool Off Brooklyn As the giant McCarren Pool in north Brooklyn deteriorated — amid arguments, some racially tinged, over its future — the neighborhood changed. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/nyregion/mccarren-pool-in-brooklyn-reopens-after-28-years.html?smid=pl-share ...

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Grow the Vote — Before It’s Too Late

In the past year, Republican legislatures throughout the country have enacted laws that will likely suppress the Democratic vote in the 2012 presidential election. Falsely claiming that they are battling voter fraud and protecting the electoral process, they have made voting more difficult and imposed identification rules that will disproportionately effect the poor, elderly, and ethnic minorities. They clo ...

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This Column Is Not Sponsored by Anyone

Thomas Friedman May 12, 2012 Politics may have America divided, but markets do, too, especially in a society where everything is up for sale. Excerpts: PORING through Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel’s new book, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” I found myself over and over again turning pages and saying, “I had no idea.” ..."I knew that stadiums are now named for corporations, but had ...

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© 2012 ZD30

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