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Op-Ed: Is the best of all possible worlds left-handed?

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Not way back, I used to be at a gathering when a colleague started to take notes. As I watched her clasp a pen in her left hand, I couldn’t assist myself. “Ah,” I mentioned, “one other lefty” — as if we had been each members of a particular membership.

In a way, after all, that’s true; left-handed individuals make up about 10% of the inhabitants, though we’ve additionally had 5 of the final 9 U.S. presidents. And it’s not solely within the Oval Workplace the place we stand out. Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah Winfrey, Babe Ruth and Jimi Hendrix — all are lefties who’ve performed an outsize position.

As to why that is, there are a selection of theories, starting from how we course of data (“Whereas virtually all right-handers course of language solely within the left hemisphere,” the New York Occasions has reported, “about half of all left-handers have language facilities in each side of the mind”) to the hurdles lefties have to beat. Being left-handed means adapting to a world constructed for righties; from faculty desks to fountain pens to notebooks, from sporting a watch to stringing a guitar. Once I was a child, my father — additionally a lefty — taught me to bat right-handed, as he too had been inspired to do when he was rising up. As for fielding, don’t get me began on the restricted choices, in that period no less than, for left-handed baseball gloves.

For me, left-handedness has at all times been a badge of honor. It’s a trait I’m happy to share with my dad. Maybe the one remorse I’ve about my kids is that each are right-handed; I really feel as if I’ve let down the aspect. When he was a boy, my grandfather was retrained to make use of his proper hand — he ended up ambidextrous — and in elementary faculty, there have been by no means a couple of or two of us. Being a lefty, then, has at all times felt unique, like an figuring out model.

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Society, nonetheless, has typically thought of it in another way. Historically, lefties have been derided as unreliable, even suspect. The phrase “sinister” comes from “sinestra,” which in Latin means “left.” In sure cultures the place the left hand is used for private hygiene, it is named “the unclean hand.”

After which, after all, there’s politics, wherein, relying the place you sit alongside the ideological spectrum, “left” takes on one other complete set of contingencies. Over the last a number of election cycles, as partisanship has turn into super-ionized, we’ve seen the phrase thrown round like some form of slur. I flinch each time I hear it used that manner, as if it represented a direct assault.

Partially, that’s due to my dominant hand, and partially due to how I vote. I’m certainly, a political lefty, dedicated to variety, fairness and inclusion, to immigration reform and same-sex marriage, to abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. I do know loads of right-handers who share these values; how may I not, given their majority? All the identical, I take a particular delight within the hyperlink between the hand I take advantage of and the beliefs I maintain, as if this represented an alignment of my physique with my soul.

Throughout this month’s midterm elections, Individuals in lots of jurisdictions — together with loads of independents and apparently some Republicans — leaned left, or left sufficient, to assist forestall the anticipated “pink Republican wave” from swamping us all. As a lot as I’d wish to suppose this represents the start of an ideological shift, I’ll accept appreciating the just-in-time emergence of an affordable voters.

As for me, I’ve been on that aspect from the outset. I made a selection about the place I stand and what I imagine way back.

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A minimum of I believe I made the selection. In keeping with a 2009 Stanford College research, “The way in which we work together with the bodily world impacts our judgments.” The research didn’t correlate bodily asymmetry with political opinions but it surely did conclude that “righties have a tendency to guage objects on their proper aspect as constructive and objects on their left aspect as unfavourable. Lefties do the alternative.”

Does this recommend we want extra lefties? Maybe in a Panglossian better of all attainable worlds. In the true world, although, I’ll take belief in our elections and respect for a girl’s proper to decide on. If that sounds left, so be it; it’s solely frequent sense to me.

What I imply is that at this second in our historical past, we may do loads worse than to embrace our personal left-handed tendencies.

David L. Ulin is a contributing author to Opinion.

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Politics

Brittney Griner Is Freed as Part of a Prisoner Swap With Russia

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That set in movement a set of extremely choreographed actions in each Russia and the US, all finished with strict secrecy.

Two days in the past, Russians moved Ms. Griner from the penal colony to Moscow, in preparation for a attainable swap, based on a senior White Home official. On Thursday morning, Russians put Ms. Griner on a aircraft and flew her to an airport within the United Arab Emirates, whose authorities had agreed to function the situation for the swap.

In a video posted by the Russian state information company RIA Novosti, Ms. Griner is proven boarding a aircraft within the snow with two duffel baggage. As soon as aboard and in her seat, she is requested by an unidentified particular person, “What’s your temper?”

She replies, “Completely satisfied.”

Late on Wednesday afternoon, American officers put Mr. Bout on a aircraft headed to the U.A.E. One other video launched by Russia’s state media exhibits the second of the swap. Ms. Griner, sporting a pink jacket and trousers, walks with three males in fits towards one other man and Mr. Bout, who’s clutching a brown envelope and holding a coat over one arm.

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One man shakes Mr. Bout’s hand and embraces him, after which a second man additionally shakes his hand. Ms. Griner then veers off towards one other group of males, together with what seems to be an U.A.E. official clad in flowing robes, as they shake her hand.

As soon as American officers confirmed that Ms. Griner was able to return to the US, the president signed a conditional grant of clemency to Mr. Bout, who was captured in Bangkok in 2008, extradited to the US in 2010 and sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in jail.

Across the time that Mr. Bout took off, the administration despatched an official to Chappaquiddick, Mass., to let Elizabeth Whalen, his sister, know what was about to occur, a step they didn’t take when the federal government agreed to the same swap in April for Trevor Reed, an ailing U.S. Marine veteran held for 2 years on what his household thought of to be bogus prices of assault.

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Politics

Oops! White House press secretary Jean-Pierre reads wrong script during briefing

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White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, recognized for studying scripted solutions throughout every day press briefings, bought her statements combined up on Monday earlier than catching and correcting herself.

A reporter requested Jean-Pierre about New Hampshire Sen. Jean Shaheen, a Democrat, not attending a ball that night time as a result of President Biden endorsed a proposal to place South Carolina forward of New Hampshire within the main schedule.

White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds the every day information convention within the Brady Press Briefing Room on the White Home in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Photos)

The transfer, the reporter stated, had Shaheen involved that it could make New Hampshire susceptible through the primaries.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE RIDICULED FOR CLAIMING ‘THERE WAS SUPPRESSION’ IN GA ELECTION: ‘CONSPIRACY THEORY MUCH?’

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Jean-Pierre instructed the reporter the White Home honors the Hatch Act, which handed in 1939 to limit political exercise involvement by federal staff.

“However wanting backward is the final word irony,” she stated. “You already know, the 2020 election was confirmed by the Trump administration’s homeland…oops. Sorry. I believe I bought forward of myself right here.”

Jean-Pierre then continued and stated the White Home takes the Hatch Act very critically, including she wanted to watch out in what she says because the 2024 election approaches.

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Is the Supreme Court About to Upend American Election Laws?

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Amicus briefs poured in, together with from conservative authorized students who, breaking with proponents of the unbiased state legislatures principle, stated the Republican lawmakers’ case was rooted in unhealthy legislation and a slanted studying of historical past. Others argued that the justices would discover themselves pulled more and more into petty political squabbles if North Carolina lawmakers had their manner. The Biden administration warned {that a} wrongly determined case would “wreak havoc within the administration of elections throughout the nation,” confronting voters with one algorithm for state elections and one other for Congress and the presidency.

Going into this week’s oral arguments, not less than three justices, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, had expressed sympathy for the Republican Get together’s place, however the views of the courtroom’s three others conservatives had been much less clear. So on Wednesday, Neal Katyal, a former appearing solicitor normal representing teams who oppose the doctrine, proposed a compromise: that the Supreme Court docket set a “sky-high” customary earlier than overruling its state counterparts. “It’s the final affront to sovereignty of a state,” he stated, “to say its personal state courtroom acquired issues incorrect.”

It may be hazardous to guess what the Supreme Court docket will do. However as Adam Liptak, the chief authorized correspondent for The New York Occasions, famous in our dialogue, a majority of justices is perhaps able to make some large modifications to the way in which American democracy works.

Listed below are a number of noteworthy factors from my dialog with Liptak:

It sounded to me like six justices had been skeptical of the argument that state legislatures can’t be sure by state courts in relation to federal elections. Principally, everyone however Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas. Does that sound correct?

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That’s one strategy to put it, and it’s not incorrect. There didn’t appear to be a majority able to undertake essentially the most excessive model of a principle that will bar state courts from reviewing state legal guidelines regarding federal elections below their very own constitutions.

However a majority of the courtroom did appear ready to take what would nonetheless be a giant step: to let federal courts second-guess state rulings on state legislation in not less than some circumstances the place federal elections are at subject.

Lots of liberal teams had been panicked that the Supreme Court docket took up this case. The gist of their concern was {that a} conservative majority would throw out a long time of established election legislation and strip state courts of their capability to examine what they view as a variety of harmful, undemocratic legal guidelines coming from Republican-controlled state legislatures. Primarily based on what you heard, is there nonetheless cause for them to fret? Or was that concern exaggerated?

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