Saturday December 20, 2014
The civilian death toll in Gaza from Israel's latest incursion is appalling. The right to self-defense is inalienable, but it is not free from moral constraints.
Congressional midterm elections, the poor cousin to presidential voting in the American political system, will take on a critical role for President Obama in November. The results may well determine whether he will become a premature lame duck two years before his second and last term expires.
I will readily admit that I have been all over the map when it comes to the death penalty.
As a young lawyer and law professor, I was opposed to it. Actually, it was easy to be against it. The evidence that it was being administered arbitrarily and unfairly was so overwhelming that the Supreme Court had effectively placed a moratorium on it. When it came back, in the late '70s, I was there, literally.
Roger Angell takes off his brown J. Press sports coat and blue cap, yanks out his hearing aids, stashes his cane, and sits down for a shave and haircut at Delta barbershop at 72nd and Lex., the same spot he's patronized for 40 years. "I don't see Henry Kissinger doing any interviews in a barbershop," he says dryly.
You need to stop sending your kids to Ivy League schools.
In brief, according to an article in the New Republic by William Deresiewicz, who taught at Yale for 10 years, the students who are sent there are conformist, over-privileged overachievers. They emerge from homogeneous backgrounds and grow up to be elitist little twits. (He also went to an Ivy League school, but he is different now.)
As the politics of immigration play out, grimly so, and with the send-'em-all-back crowd and the build-bigger-walls cabal vying for control of the outcome, little attention goes to the justice-seeking lawyers in the border states. As an admirer of their work, I confess to partiality: My father, born in 1888, was an immigration lawyer.
Travel season is here, when so many Americans decamp to Cape Cod or the Jersey Shore. All of which is wonderful, and someday I plan to do a 10-part series on the world's best beaches.
But travel can also be an education, a step toward empathy and international understanding. So for those with an adventurous streak who want to get beyond the madding crowd this summer, here are a few little-known travel spots that I recommend.
With the world going crazy, I tried running away from the news. It didn't work.
In recent decisions, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has made clear its view that corporations are people, with all the attendant rights. They are entitled to free speech, which in their case means spending lots of money to bend the political process to their ends. They are entitled to religious beliefs, including those that mean denying benefits to their workers. Up next, the right to bear arms?
Remember how Democrats rushed into passing President Obama's Affordable Care Act back in 2010 while they still had the votes? Now health care for millions teeters on a typo.
The fate of ACA, also known -- thanks to clever conservative wordsmiths -- as "Obamacare," was thrown into jeopardy last week by two Republican-appointed judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who struck down a key part of the law.