Tuesday September 23, 2014
March 20th, 2014
I wrote a few paragraphs of this column between school drop-off and an appointment. I sent a bunch of emails between making dinner and taekwondo. Bedtime reading with the kids, then more writing at 1 a.m., after a few hours of sleep. Then back up at 4 a.m. to write and sign up for summer camp.
There's a name for this. It's called "time confetti." It's miserable. And it's part of why we are all Overwhelmed.
I (sort of) understand about Angela Merkel and Americans who are just "two hops" (connections) from suspected terrorists. I understand mining all of our data to look for word patterns that could point to plans to make airplanes fall from the sky. Indeed, as half of the world continues to search for one lost aircraft, I really do understand that piece.
But CIA agents searching the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee members who oversee them?
We now have even more proof that our burgeoning intelligence agencies, which were given unprecedented latitude to wage war against terrorists, are dangerously out of control.
The shocking level of income inequality in this country has set off alarms that grow louder by the day, but little seems to be underway to reverse the trend.
As a January International Monetary Fund paper points out:
I'm delighted to announce that the winner of my 2014 "win-a-trip" contest is ...
Oh, hang on. Maybe I should first exhort students to travel on their own - and cite Utah.
Utah may well be the most cosmopolitan state in America. Vast numbers of young Mormons - increasingly women as well as men - spend a couple of years abroad as missionaries and return jabbering in Thai or Portuguese and bearing a wealth of international experience.
In advance of St. Patrick's Day, I went time traveling, back to the 1840s and Ireland's great famine. On one side of the Irish Sea was Victorian England, flush with the pomp and prosperity of the world's mightiest empire. On the other side were skeletal people, dying en masse, the hollow-bellied children scrounging for nettles and blackberries.
President Barack Obama is surely the first president to be accused of acting in foreign policy like Pollyanna, John Wayne and Henry Kissinger in the same month.
Sadly, the American public does not have a thunderbolt to throw at Congress to get its members to quit acting like petulant children and focus on doing the work of the nation.
Scott Brown, the Republican who admitted he wore pink leather shorts on his first date with his wife-to-be, is back.
And Democrats are scared to death.
It's not that Democrats are particularly scared that the 54-year-old former Massachusetts senator is going to get elected as a New Hampshire senator - although it's conceivable that a charming, carpetbagging, middling politician could jump across the border and unseat Jeanne Shaheen.
In American domestic politics, messing with Social Security is known as "the third rail," referring to the power source for trains that is fatal to the touch. In foreign policy discussions, invoking the name of Adolf Hitler promises the same lethal result.