The best thing about Bernie -- need I explain, in the year of grace 2020, which Bernie? -- is how a frosty-haired old coot, old enough to have been a high school classmate of mine, fires up kids who never heard of our era's icons: Leo Durocher, say, or Robert Q. Lewis.
This happens, coincidentally, to be the worst thing about Bernie. A ...Read more
So. Another decade behind us, another in front.
Journalists love nothing more than the opportunity to gaze analytically in either direction. "Fills up the paper," we used to say, back when newspapers needed constant filling to complement the ads on which our business model rested.
The fun part was looking ahead; no reader could say to a jury ...Read more
Memorizing the Middle English of Geoffrey Chaucer -- as required in the senior English curriculum of long ago -- I found sheer repetition the ticket to success. "Whan that Aprille ... whan that Aprille...whan that Aprille ..." over and over and over. Then, finally, the achievement: command in some sense, however limited, of the tongue of another...Read more
Pretty much every American lacking a cemetery address understands the purpose of the rhetoric of the House Judiciary Committee's report this week on impeachment: "betrayed the nation," "threat to the Constitution," "engaged in a pattern of misconduct." And so on.
It is how prosecutors talk, knowing the need to throw the kitchen sink at the ...Read more
A history professor I once studied under tended to offer weary responses to technical and highly dispensable questions of the sort that arise in weary seminars. To wit: "But what's that got to do with the price of eggs?" Or, more pointedly sometimes, "the price of eggs in Arkansas?"
I thought of this aptly characterized boredom threshold as I ...Read more
The Anglican Church of Canada clutches its throat at the prospect of -- Lord have mercy -- shutting down its ministries and works 20 years from now. You know -- putting up the "Closed" sign, the public demand for said ministries dwindling more with every passing year. So sharply have Anglican membership rolls declined since 2000 that, according ...Read more
Beyond the impeachment mess surrounding President Donald Trump, which is due to be settled one of these days -- I think in Trump's favor, but what do I know? -- beyond the impeachment mess, I was starting to declare, sprawls before us ... what, exactly? More messes of similarly degrading character?
I shouldn't wonder. Impeachment, successful or...Read more
There are large historical differences between America's two major political parties in how they choose their presidential nominees.
Consider this: Since 1952, there have been 11 presidential elections where there wasn't a Republican president running for reelection. In 10 of those 11, the Republican candidate who led in the major polls in the ...Read more
"Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" -- a pretty flat declaration as reported by the Apostle Paul, leaving few gaps for politicians to fill at their own discretion. But you know politicians. Here we go with the impeachment hearings, an intended spectacle meant more as payback to President Donald Trump for winning the election than ...Read more
Beto O'Rourke's pullout from the presidential race leaves the Democrats with, oh, a mere dozen and a half or so candidates available to run the country. The country's corresponding task is to keep awake for the remainder of the race.
The pressing question is, or should be, what goes on here? What's the mission -- to can President Donald Trump ...Read more
So, you're surprised? Sorry not to join in the sentiment.
Our eyes and our instincts have noted silently the growing disappearance of religious commitment, as revealed in a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The famous "nones" -- whose interest in religion approximates mine when it comes to superhero movies -- are a quarter of the U....Read more
A New York Times opinion column acquaints humanity with the injustice of forbidding the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds -- who, nevertheless, would gain the franchise once a budding movement to that end came to fruition and then would impose the superior wisdom of the young by handing the presidency, so we are entitled to infer, to Sen. Bernie ...Read more