Thursday November 26, 2015
April 16th, 2015
When my brother Michael was a Senate page, he delivered mail to John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, who had offices across the hall from each other.
He recalled that Kennedy never looked up or acknowledged his presence, but Nixon would greet him with a huge smile. "Hi, Mike," he'd say. "How are you doing? How's the family?"
I had heard about all of the dying, about all of the grief, and still I didn't immediately understand what I was seeing when, at a railroad crossing here, I spotted a man in a blaring orange vest, the kind that road crews and public-safety workers wear. He wasn't carrying any equipment. He wasn't engaged in any obvious activity. He shuffled his feet, staring into the distance.
Equal pay. Child care. Paid family leave. An end to pervasive domestic violence and sexual assault on college campuses and in the military.
You know who's going to make the breakthroughs on these issues happen? Men.
Imagine him in the last week of his life, 150 years ago this month. Shuffling, clothes hanging loosely on the 6-foot-4-inch frame, that tinny voice, a face much older than someone of 56. "I am a tired man," he said. "Sometimes I think I am the tiredest man on earth."
In the continuing competition among 2016 Republican presidential aspirants, freshman Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is out front in his bid to be the party's Un-Romney.
In his formal declaration of candidacy, Paul indicated he had no intention of re-defining himself the way Mitt Romney did in declaring himself in 2012 to be "severely conservative," in order to woo the party's doubting conservative base.
You thought, perhaps, that we were making this stuff up? That the whole "Black Lives Matter" thing was probably overblown? That the idea of African-American men having to fear routine encounters with the police was being exaggerated by self-serving activists?
Let's go to the videotape.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, writing about Iran in the New Jersey Jewish Standard on April 1, sought to alter perspectives on that country with some speculation about race. "Imagine if Ayatollah Ali [Khamenei] was threatening to murder all blacks in the Middle East," he wrote. "What if he tweeted regularly that people of dark skin are of the devil and must be annihilated. Would the American government be negotiating with him?"
Some people foolishly believe the purpose of a college education is to further one’s education. To explore new cultures and views. Perhaps to help make a difference in the world.
They, of course, are wrong.
The purpose of going to college is to party, make contacts, and get a job.