Amidst a recession and against the rigid political order that dominated New York in the early 1980s, Ed Koch managed to pass a landmark bill for New York City prohibiting discrimination by the government based upon sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing, and education. As the former Mayor explains in today’s Big Think interview, the process wasn’t exactly straightforward; it involved a good deal of clever political maneuvering on his part--something we’ll need to see done in Albany if the state is ever to legalize same-sex marriage.
Koch has some other advice for politicians today, particularly for President Obama: get out of Afghanistan. Fighting a war with waning international support and no real prospect of victory will not only severely damage the Democratic Party, it will make him a single-term president.
Koch also reflected on his time as Mayor of New York, explaining the most significant challenges that came with the position as well as his biggest mistake. The quintessential New Yorker also weighs in on what it takes to be a New Yorker—not ten years, as is traditionally prescribed, but 6 months and a faster stride.
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- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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