Saturday December 07, 2013
Archive - Jun 20, 2013
My column last month about the dangers of nostalgia inspired many readers to write to me about their family memories of the 1950s and '60s. Some shared poignant stories about the discrimination they encountered as blacks, women, gay men or lesbians. Others described how much easier it was for their working-class fathers to support a family back then.
I have many questions for and about the "gay lobby" in the Vatican, but I'll start with this: How can you be so spectacularly ineffective?
With just two Mondays of decision left this month, somewhere deep in the Supreme Court, the nine justices are sitting at a table, staring at a whiteboard. The board is blank except for the bullet points "DOMA," "VRA," "Affirmative Action (this is BIG!)" and the word "Constitution???" in large, uneven letters from when Antonin Scalia was taking notes earlier. Around them are empty Chinese food containers, coffee mugs and the refuse of several days in a room without sleep.
Just as they say that the poor are always with is, so it is with Richard Nixon, arguably the most tormented American president, who comes back to us in the new book "Ike and Dick" (appropriately subtitled "Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage").
Can a state do fracking right?
Can it use the new shale-gas drilling technology to deliver thousands of jobs, revive depressed industrial zones, spark new high-tech industries, feed state coffers -- and still not mess up its countryside, imperil water supplies and possibly release dangerous amounts of methane gases?
This month the Supreme Court will issue raptly awaited decisions about affirmative action and gay marriage. But what's been foremost in my thoughts isn't race, sexual orientation or our country's deeply flawed handling of both.