I’ve never understood why students and adults today carry backpacks that can hold enough for a weekend camping trip whereas my septuagenarian generation carried briefcases that had 1/4 the volume. When we boarded subways and buses, our bookbags were either held discreetly at our sides or in our arms - either way, we were in control of them. If you’ve been on public transportation during any rush hour, you know how many times you’ve been banged on the head or the body by someone’s backpack torpedoing thru a crowded vehicle, its owner totally oblivious to its collateral damage. A simple rule insisting that people flip their backpacks into frontpacks before boarding any transportation would greatly reduce the hazard of bruising and its resultant animosity. If people could see where their oversized packs were aimed, and if they were forced to make eye-contact with their targets, we’d undoubtedly increase the safety and civility quotient of our city. I know that some of you are saying it would be difficult to make people comply, but we quickly learned to pick up our dog poop and to stop blowing our smoke into public faces and spaces - it’s now time for reforming backpack attacks.
Why the panic? The short answer is Syria. Iran sees Syria as lips to its teeth in the same manner that China sees North Korea as lips to its teeth. The more vulnerable the Assad regime looks, the more exposed Iranian regime feels.
Let it not go unrecorded that the New York Times did respect the mourning period for Evelyn Lauder before launching a front page non-story about how the Lauder Family shelters its enormous wealth. Even the Times had enough dignity to think twice after raking in all that money from paid obituary notices and full page ads in memory of the woman who put breast cancer front and center on the philanthropic map. No, the Lauders haven’t done anything illegal or corrupt; yes, they have taken advantage of the all the ways our government provides for people to get deductions and manage their businesses and estates, much the same as the Sulzberger, Soros, Kennedy and Clinton families undoubtedly have. Though the Times may not have hacked in to anyone’s cell phone to get this information, the front page huge and brooding headshot of Ronald Lauder in front of his 135 million dollar Klimt comes from the same management directives as any Murdoch tabloid: make the subject look powerful, ominous and suspiciously evil…..
Newt Gingrich: Newt is the master of detail, history and policy. Nobody can lay a glove on him when he gets on a roll. He dispatched all questions with ease and expertise. His answer about allowing children of law-abiding, longstanding illegals to stay in the U.S. may embroil him in some trouble, but perhaps his gamble was to try to humanize himself. Not sure, but it may be risky. What conservatives like about Newt is that he ISN’T warm n’ fuzzy. Maybe he’s already running a general election campaign, targeting independents??
This is the 48th anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy. Yes, it’s been almost half a century. For members of a particular generation, November 22, 1963, has the same impact that December 7, 1941, had for their fathers and mothers.
The young man from Dallas was a medical boy wonder. He graduated from the local medical school at the unheard of age of 22 and headed to Boston to study surgery at the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital under some of the world’s greatest surgeons. This was right after World War II, when those surgeons revolutionized trauma care and resuscitation, refining what they had learned on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.
Over the years, most effective conservatives have been subjected to withering and unfair criticism that they were dummies, that they lacked the intellectual gravitas of, say, an Al Gore, a John Kerry or a Barack Obama. Obama, in particular, was held up as an example of an extraordinarily brilliant and agile mind: smart, educated, contemplative, deliberative and elegant.
Criminals are stupid. Not all of them, of course. I suppose there must a few Prof. Moriarty masterminds out there, living quietly in splendor in Monaco, having pulled off whatever heists they managed to get away with, unapprehended.
I once had the chance to interview Charles Kuralt, the late CBS correspondent famous for his “On the Road” series. I asked him this question: “In all your years of traveling around the United States, what is the single most important thing that you learned?” Without any hesitation, Kuralt replied, “I was always impressed at how well informed Americans are.”
With Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Khadafy swept into the dustbin of history and the full US withdrawal from Iraq in the works, there’s a prevailing sense that, for us, all’s reasonably right with the world.
Clint Eastwood’s new movie “J. Edgar” opens Wednesday, and anyone who saw its star, Leonardo DiCaprio, deliver his touching portrayal of the deeply weird Howard Hughes in “The Aviator” a few years back will be looking forward to what he does with another deeply strange figure in American history: J. Edgar Hoover.
I asked Google for information about athletes who have fathered many children by different women and was bowled over when numerous pages of results appeared. To summarize the first few websites, here is a partial list of the top offenders: Calvin Murphy - 14 illegitimate children by 9 women; Travis Henry - 9 kids by 9 women; Antonio Cromaartie - 9 kids by 8 women; Jason Caffey - 8 kids by 7 women; Shawn Kemp - 7 kids by 6 women; Derrick Thomas - 7 kids by 5 women. There are more than 70 other names with less dramatic numbers - fewer than 5 illegitimate children per athlete, but by any yardstick of measurement, these are staggering statistics for people who are heroes to a vast majority of American boys and men. Their reputation as deadbeat dads doesn’t hurt their careers or their fan base, yet the role models they project to youth are surely as dangerous as tobacco to the 70% of African-American women who are single mothers.
First, Tehran formed an alliance with the Assad regime in Syria. Next, Hezbollah was established in Lebanon and later, in 2003, penetrated Iraq’s Shia communities. Now, Tehran is about to achieve its most important goal since the inception of the Islamist regime— a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal capable of delivering nuclear and other lethal warheads. Military historians will undoubtedly debate the ins and outs of the Iran’s long trek to join the nuclear club. What they will find is a Western world that was fooled for decades. It remains to be seen whether the West’s current leaders will be able to stop this final phase in Iran’s jihadist strategy.
The Occupy Wall Street Performance is a perfect example of what happens when people in charge deign to make tough decisions promptly and put their collective fingers to the wind instead. At the outset, Mayor Bloomberg wholeheartedly supported the encampment under the rubric of freedom of speech and assembly. Despite the fact that the squatters at Zuccotti Park had hijacked private property, the mayor insisted that their right to protest trumped all other considerations. As the weeks wore on and the mayor realized that his refusal to exercise his authority had succeeded in growing the numbers of Woodstockers, he devised a plan to get the squatters out under the guise of health and sanitation. Overnight, that plan was sacked as the mayor caved once again, letting the squatters clean up after themselves, rather than risk their ire at being even temporarily displaced. For weeks on end, the neighborhood was swamped with crowds of onlookers, sympathizers, hangers-on, the homeless and special interest groups exploiting the situation for their own agendas. Local stores and businesses were sorely affected - one restauranteur had to lay off 20% of his staff because foot traffic was diminished by the barricades lining Wall Street. Eventually, even the mayor began to acknowledge that other people in the city had rights that needed to be protected as well. The matter was taken up by Community Board 1.
Many of the Occupy Wall Street protests—which began with generalized calls for anarchy—have now slipped into anarchy themselves. Anarchy and violence. Rampant drug use, rapes, theft, smashed windows, public urination, defecation and sex, and physical clashes with police have made these demonstrations into hotbeds of chaos—which is what the organizers would like to export to the rest of country. Forget a chicken in every pot. These radicals want urine in every street.
What journalist wouldn’t want to be Paris Bureau Chief for Time magazine, or anything else? Sounds so glamorous. But look closer and the job qualifications — sharia-compliance — are more than a little off-putting, certainly as exemplified by the man with the job, Bruce Crumley, on weighing in on the bombing of Charlie Hebdo. Poor man. Full-blown, late-stage and terminal Dhimmitude.
Many professional political observers have puzzled over the rise of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Here he is—a non-politician, successful businessman running a non-traditional insurgent campaign on a shoestring. And here he is—ahead of the pack in many polls or running even with the traditional political choice, Mitt Romney. Many of these professional political analysts are scratching their heads, wondering why GOP primary voters seem inclined to the unconventional candidate who sings gospel, admits he doesn’t know things when he doesn’t know them and otherwise tells it like it is.