The Week: Most Recent U.S. Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 20 Oct 2014 09:16:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent U.S. Posts from THE WEEKMon, 20 Oct 2014 09:16:00 -04007 towns that changed their names (and 4 that almost did)<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>In 2010, the city of Topeka, Kansas, unofficially changed its name to Google for a month in an effort to promote itself as an attractive destination for the tech giant to test its new fiber-optic technology. In 1998, the capital city temporarily changed its name to ToPikachu to commemorate Pokemon's debut in the United States. But Topeka isn't the only city to play the name game to garner some publicity, of course. Here are seven other towns that changed their names and four that considered the idea.</p><p><strong>1. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico</strong></p><p>Ten years after welcoming the first contestant &mdash...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Scott AllenMon, 20 Oct 2014 09:16:00 -0400The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p class="graf--p graf--first">Every military in the world worth its epaulets is investing in drones. Now sensing that drones could be a threat to U.S. troops, the Marines are working on a laser to zap them out of the sky.</p><p class="graf--p">It's called GBAD  &mdash;  for ground-based, anti-air directed energy weapon. The Pentagon's Office of Naval Research announced in June it had awarded a series of contracts for the laser, which the Marines hope will augment a looming future shortage of anti-air Stinger missiles.</p><p class="graf--p">ONR has tested some components for the weapon already, and wants to carry out field experiments with a 10-kilowatt laser...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Robert BeckhusenMon, 20 Oct 2014 08:50:00 -0400Punishing a kindergartner for pretending a crayon is a weapon<img src="" /></P><p>School officials in Alabama made a kindergartner sign a "safety contract" pledging not to harm herself or others after she pointed a crayon at a classmate and said "pew, pew." The child's mother was furious that a minor was forced to sign a contract with adult language. "My child said, 'What is suicide, Mommy?'" said the mother. "This isn't right. She is 5 years old."</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 19 Oct 2014 16:00:00 -0400Smash your car, sue the city<img src="" /></P><p>A city worker in St. Paul, Minnesota, is suing the city for up to $1,900 after she crashed a Parks Department van into her own parked car. "Because I was working for the city and driving the city vehicle," said Megan Campbell, "I feel they are responsible for the damage done to my car." Officials said it was "a very unusual claim."</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 18 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400When the experts screw up<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">It is comforting &mdash; and perhaps even necessary &mdash; to believe that the people in charge are far smarter and less fallible than the rest of us. But every now and then, we are reminded that the sublime competency of elected officials, religious leaders, regulators, business leaders, doctors, and scientists is an illusion. And it always comes as a shock. This week, we learned that two health-care workers caring for an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital were infected despite elaborate precautions, and may have infected others. This week also brings the news that when an Air France flight flew...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/william-falk" ><span class="byline">William Falk</span></a>Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:05:00 -0400Ezra Klein totally whiffed on affirmative consent<img src="" /></P><p>Liberal backers of feminists seem to be trading their long-cherished principle that the "ends don't justify the means" for the battle cry of "by any means necessary." How else to interpret the unabashed support that Ezra Klein, one of the country's smartest and most influential young liberals, recently extended to affirmative consent (or "yes means yes") laws that are proliferating across American campuses to deal with an alleged rape epidemic?</p><p>To his credit, Klein unflinchingly and rightly acknowledges that California's law constitutes a draconian assault on the due process rights of men whom...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/shikha-dalmia" ><span class="byline">Shikha Dalmia</span></a>Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:20:00 -0400Are America's special operations forces in crisis?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Frustrations with the never-ending U.S. war on terror are mounting among the country's elite fighting forces. These top-level troops &mdash; called special operations forces &mdash; are fraying at the edges after more than 13 years of near constant deployments, according to public comments by current and former leaders at the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Now, as the U.S. is poised to broaden its offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (better known as ISIS) in ways that will undoubtedly require a heavy presence of special operations forces, there are serious questions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By John KnefelThu, 16 Oct 2014 08:41:00 -0400Why U.S. infrastructure investment is a no-brainer<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>As if the U.S. needed more evidence that investing in its crumbling infrastructure was a good idea, the International Monetary Fund recently released a detailed study indicating that under current economic conditions, debt-financed public works projects will actually pay for themselves &mdash; reducing the ratio of public debt to gross domestic product by spurring economic growth.</p><p>The study, written by a team of researchers led by Abdul Abiad, a deputy division chief in the IMF's research division, found that debt-funded infrastructure projects in advanced economies are particularly cost-effective...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Rob GarverMon, 13 Oct 2014 13:07:00 -0400The most persuasive judicial response to voter suppression laws yet<img src="" /></P><p>Don't read the federal trial court ruling that struck down Texas's voter ID law on Thursday without also reading Friday's dissent in the roiling dispute over a similar law in Wisconsin. They are different sides of the same coin &mdash; one focusing on evidence of voting discrimination in a state, the other focusing on an appallingly blas&eacute; response to such discrimination by the federal judiciary. And taken together they represent the most cogent and persuasive judicial response yet to the new wave of voter suppression laws sweeping the nation.</p><p>The Texas ruling, by U.S. District Judge Nelva...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/andrew-cohen" ><span class="byline">Andrew Cohen</span></a>Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:40:00 -0400If we must have a hugely invasive national security state, let's at least listen to it<img src="" /></P><p>I am no fan of America's national-security state, which continues to grow steadily larger, more intrusive, and increasingly dismissive of civil liberties. The NSA has removed all expectations of privacy in digital communications, and the TSA is, at best, inept security theater. The Department of Homeland Security's "If you see something, say something" campaign imagines a terrorist around every corner, while the CIA is busy spying on Congress and torturing away the rule of law.</p><p>But sometimes, America's intelligence agencies are actually the voice of reason, offering a far <em>less</em> scary view of security...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Bonnie KristianMon, 13 Oct 2014 06:07:00 -0400