Reading came late for me. I was eight years old and being home schooled (bad idea!) when the tumblers fell into place and reading began. My Dad was teaching me how to read with Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea. Apparently, he thought I was smarter than I was. Meanwhile, my Mom was teaching me how to read with a children’s book about Daniel Boone. Mom won. I was a huge fan of the TV show Daniel Boone, starring Fess Parker, at the time, and the children’s book was way easier than Hemingway, for an eight year old.
A rule for Republicans, credited to the iconic William F. Buckley, suggests voting for the most conservative candidate who can win. This sounds reasonable at first. What good is there in expending time, energy and money behind a principled conservative if the candidate is doomed to fail?
The Benghazi Select Committee, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, has formally requested that Hillary Clinton turn over the private server she used to keep under her control all of her communications while secretary of state. That assumes that the server hasn’t been reduced to subatomic particles by now.
Yesterday, Pamela Geller was good enough to take a minute from — literally — saving the world, to cross-post Aleksandra Rebic’s open letter marking March 24th. She preceded it with the following introduction and my note to her:
Madonna has been dissed, and she is not happy. The 56-year-old proclaimed Queen of Pop, with more record sales than any woman in history, received a distinctly unroyal reception by the British radio station BBC Radio 1, which recently banished her latest single, “Living For Love,” from its playlist.
We all know that the only reason you would deliberately and premeditatedly set up a private email address and server is to have total control over your communications — to keep people away from those communications and to retain the ability to edit and delete your content.
For the past few days, the Times has been particularly consumed with the issue of income disparity and extreme inequality. First came Paul Krugman who found the presence of this disparity in Israel to be the worst in the advanced world with portentous consequences in store. On Wednesday, the lead editorial with the noxious headline “An Israeli Election Turns Ugly,” bemoaned the fact that “although the economy has grown, the country (Israel) itself has experienced widening income disparities and is now one of the most unequal societies in the advanced world.” (NYT 3/18) So it is with a proper degree of head-scratching that I call your attention to today’s review in the Food Section of Eleven Madison Park, a four-star restaurant which offers a tasting menu for $225/per each one-percenter.
Perhaps it was because Jodi Rudoren had the day off on Monday that Paul Krugman took up her usual cudgel and declared that “Israel does less to lift people out of poverty than any other advanced country - yes, even less than the U.S.” (Israel’s Gilded Cage, NYT, 3/16).
All these years later, we are still fascinated and flummoxed by the Kennedy assassination. Was there are conspiracy? Was it the act of a lone gunman? Were Lee Harvey Oswald and his killer, Jack Ruby, connected beforehand in some way? Was it the Mob? Castro? Rogue elements of the CIA?
A better title for this latest film from David Cronenberg would be “Shooting Fish in a Barrel,” as there is not one target of this tired satire of Hollywood that hasn’t been done to death too many times over. Every single character - the obnoxious addicted teen star, the middle-aged actress desperate to retain her valued perch, the fraudulent therapeutic huckster to the damaged over-privileged, the stage mother submerged in guilt and fear of losing the family’s cash cow, the schizoid arsonist who is the spawn of incest - is an over-the-top cliché that cries out for condemnation Of the writer and director, that is, not the characters themselves as they are simply exaggerations of cartoons that were stale forty years ago. Not one among them elicits any emotional reaction from us save disdainful incredulity.
Remember the kudos that Target got last month over its employees going above and beyond by teaching a teen how to tie a tie? It’s a no-brainer that the story got some of its virility from the gush we feel, especially in racially charged times, when the helpful employees are white and the teen is black (and vice versa). But think of the kvelling that ensued — by media and Target alike — when it was learned that the black teen’s name was Yasir.
Americans are a punitive bunch. We love to punish people. Nearly 3 percent of American adults are in prison, jail, probation or parole, a figure far beyond any other industrialized nation. But that’s only the beginning. We entertain ourselves with elaborate revenge fantasies on TV and in the movies, and of course arm ourselves in order to deliver swift justice to anybody who might cross us, changing the laws to better encourage each other to stand our ground. While vengeance feasts, forgiveness starves, which is part of what drew my interest to a thin new book—155 pages—by Jeanne Bishop titled Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and
The conventional wisdom at the moment, is that the 2016 presidential election is going to come down to Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. On the bright side, the conventional wisdom on national elections is almost always wrong.
Of his many disgraceful blow-offs of our key allies — returning the bust of Winston Churchill to Great Britain, refusing to march in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline coming from Canada — President Obama’s epic dis of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week takes the cake.