Saturday November 01, 2014
May 29th, 2014
The young man approached with an air of furtive urgency, covering his mouth with his hand. "Please can you tell me," he asked, "what happened in 1989?"
In China, there is a single answer to that question: the Tiananmen Square massacre, 25 years ago next week. The quarter-century mark is not auspicious in Chinese culture, but the date itself has acquired iconic significance: 6/4 is to China what 9/11 is to the United States.
Of all the things that have been said in the nonstop chatter since an obviously deranged young man killed six college students here in Southern California last weekend, by far the dumbest comes from Washington, D.C., where The Washington Post's film critic actually said that these mass murders were tied to white men in Hollywood promoting "escapist fantasies" that "revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment."
"Have you heard of Irish amnesia?," a jolly Irish-American friend once joked. "It's when you forget everything but the grudges."
Indeed, I responded, a lot of us black folks can identify with that: We forget everything but our "40 acres and a mule."
Minura Begum has been in labor for almost 24 hours, and the baby is stuck. Worse, it's turned around, one tiny foot already emerging into the world in a difficult breech delivery that threatens the lives of mother and child alike.
For centuries, fishermen around Cape Cod caught…you guessed it: cod. Cod and haddock. The ocean provided a seemingly endless supply of these fish — until a few years ago.
These days, there aren’t so many cod or haddock left for fishermen to catch. Now, if you go to Cape Cod and order cod, you’ll get cod from Iceland.
Sometimes, corporate chieftains actually step forward to apologize for the abuse they inflict on workers, consumers, communities, and the environment.
The word “sometimes” makes such apologies seem more common than they are. “Once in a blue moon” is more like it. Also, “apologize” suggests contrition and a willingness to accept responsibility, neither of which they mean when they use the word. In corporate-speak, apologize is a slick synonym for dodge, duck, and divert.
When we began our Let's Move! initiative four years ago, we set one simple but ambitious goal: to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy.
“No new taxes.” Ah, the sound of spring preening when lawmakers recess.
Despite these claims, it’s amazing how policymakers in “low-tax” states figure out ways to convince voters of their presumed fiscal sainthood.
Often, they do so with revenue devices which don’t impact the many but really sock it to a few.
Another week, another disturbed young man, another mass killing spree. It's come to where episodes like Elliot Rodger's murder of four men and two women near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus have become so frequent in America that the crime scene tapes have hardly been removed before people turn them into political symbols.
I am running out of words.
Some crackpot who couldn't get a date stabs and shoots his way across the Southern California college town of Isla Vista, killing six people and wounding 13 before apparently turning his gun on himself. This happened Friday night. And what shall I say about that?