Wednesday September 02, 2015
January 1st, 2015
Maybe I'm just projecting, but Christmas seemed unusually subdued this year. The malls seemed less crowded than usual, the people glummer. There was even less Muzak in the air. And, in a way, that's not surprising: All year Americans have been bombarded with dire news reports portraying a world out of control and a clueless government with no idea what to do.
The plot was so bizarre it was hard to believe: The government of North Korea, offended by an adolescent comedy that jokes about assassinating Kim Jong-un, warns Americans not to go see the movie because they might blow up any theatre that screens it.
I once told a favorite pastor of mine that I liked him because he wasn't too pious.
While most citizens were distracted by the holidays, the enlarged Republican majority in Congress was laying golden pavers for its magical kingdom -- a fabulous place where taxes are cut, military spending is not and budgets balance effortlessly. The coat of arms reads, "Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves."
President Obama in Hawaii and Americans elsewhere found an unexpected present under their Christmas trees this week in a surprisingly growing economy, lifting some of the gloom otherwise hovering over the national outlook.
In an ideal world, there would be no contradiction between support for police and opposition to bad policing. But after the coldblooded murder of two police officers in New York, some people find it dangerously easy to confuse one with the other.
Merry Christmas! Yet in this season of hope and holiday cheer, Haiti might not seem the obvious place to celebrate.
Almost five years after the catastrophic earthquake here, this country symbolizes poverty and hopelessness to many Americans. That despair and disdain are misguided. Haitian politics are still a mess, and poverty is deep-rooted, but the economy is rising, more children are going to school, and health is improving.
Queen Elizabeth II's annual Christmas day speech, when the British monarch treats her subjects to a recap of the year almost ended and her aspirations for the one coming, could be more gripping than usual this year.
President Obama's strongest detractors have never decided if he's a tyrant or a weakling. Right up to the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans scorned his fecklessness and inability to lead.
President Obama certainly was right to step in as a defender of freedom of the press in America by criticizing Sony Entertainment's decision to withdraw from theaters its comic movie featuring an assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. After first blaming theater owners who said they were acting out fear for the safety of attendees, Sony tried to recover by saying it would release the film to a limited number of theaters.