Saturday February 28, 2015
Along with falling leaves and first snows, it's time for my annual holiday gift guide, offering suggestions for presents with meaning.
At a time of racial division and inequity in America, Equal Justice Initiative, eji.org, fights on behalf of low-income people snared unfairly by the justice system. The group is led by Bryan Stevenson, an African-American lawyer whom Desmond Tutu has called America's Mandela.
A loaded pun can be deadly.
And now, in China, the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is cracking down. "Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms," it said in a press release.
The decisions by two grand juries not to indict police officers in the deaths of black men mark an opportune moment -- both depressing and uplifting -- to write about civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson.
The story about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity may have fallen apart Friday.
But it doesn't mean that everything at U-Va. is OK. It doesn't mean that rape doesn't happen. It doesn't mean that Virginia and other universities treat rape, sexual assault, non-consensual sex or whatever they want to call it as serious crimes that deserve serious criminal investigations and serious punishments.
Herta Kriegner, a graphic artist from Austria, likes the German word "über." It conveys, she told me recently, both a European sensibility and a sense of going "above and beyond" for a customer. In fact, she likes the word so much that 15 years ago, when she started her own small New York design firm, that's the name she gave it: über.
Today, let's take a look at the Little Bill That Couldn't.
Say hello to the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act. It's sort of shy, but if you look over there behind the ottoman, you may see it peeking out.
Two disparate news items caught my eye recently that demonstrate how our government can act in ways that mystify and anger the taxpayers who support it with their hard-earned money.
The first was the report from the new prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, that about 50,000 Iraqi men were on his broken military's payroll who weren't even in the army, but were drawing as much as $600 a month in salary.
It’s now been about a week after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
During the four-day spree, about 133.7 million shoppers spent about $50.9 billion, according to AP and TIME magazine.
This thanksgiving season in our nation is a welcome pause from the sorrows of the world, although we dare not forget that much of the world has little to celebrate. While many of us revel in our plentiful sustenance and, despite the results of this last election, recognize how fortunate we are, much of the planet is again tied up in war. As for this nation, political division within is rife.