Today is the day we honor the men and women who died in our nation’s wars. I’d like to honor three very different World War II vets today by telling you my recollections of them. I don’t remember Mr. Roberts’ first name, and only learned it at his funeral while I was in college. I […]
Part five in a series from China It may be the cleanest alley in the world. Walls of ash-gray brick rise three stories on either side, running straight and tight and true. The alley is otherwise nondescript except for the gold-colored manhole covers, ornamented with intricate patterns. No papers litter the ground, no gum wrappers, […]
Alexander Zaitchik’s Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance is on the shelves. Beck seems to dislike the book as much as i liked it, calling it “despicable, yellow journalism.” Alexander was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and Beck. And it turns out that at times it really […]
In a focused interview this afternoon, US President Barack Obama opened up about the future of offshore oil extraction for the US in the wake of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. S&R: President Obama, thank you so much for meeting with us. Clearly the people of the US will not accept the risk of […]
Part four in a series from China “Smooth as silk,” it seems, isn’t as smooth as I’ve always been lead to believe. “Is little rougher than polyester,” our guide tells us. “Has texture.” She’s standing in front of us in a small, neat seminar room at the No. 1 Silk Factory. She has passed around […]
The story so far: By Ann Ivins Pushed out of his rightful place by invidious, freedom-hating and downright evil forces,* one man dares to take a stand. One man defends God, country and family values.** One man rises in near-holy defiance of those who would undermine the self-assurance, certainty of purpose and irrefutable moral superiority […]
How did the denizens of another planet survive an era when its states, federations, or territories were armed with nuclear weapons or their extraterrestrial equivalent?
So I’m watching a lot happen on the BP ROV monitor, with several things that look vaguely like R2D2 floating around, lots of lights that look as if they’re in the sky, many cables that look as if they’re stretching out into infinity, and strange looking contraptions giving each other the occasional whack. It definitely […]
I saw a New York Times headline reading “The Randslide and Its Discontents” and assumed it was about the South African currency (which I hadn’t known was in trouble … it isn’t). This introduced me to one Rand Paul, a self-declared “libertarian”? I use the term by which he calls himself advisedly because that sure as […]
The Agonist’s “A Poem for Tuesday” feature raises an interesting issue today (doesn’t it always?). To wit: what’s the difference between a poem and prose. The example is a great one. Have a look.
As Jack Bauer finishes his complete melt-down at the end of his eighth season, I’ve had 2 revelations: 1) he seemed to confirm 3 weeks ago the opinion of experts that torture “isn’t working” and 2) we’ve all been sold a lot of security myths that people want to believe are real.
This should provide hours of an equal mix of horror and fascination. Good commentary can be found here and here, although none of it will make you feel better. Including the stuff about the ocean floor dropping. Update: Here’s a more colorful one, which appears to be from a different angle. Another update (May 25)–I […]
The Cold War was like two winos who’d dragged themselves from the gutter and stopped drinking. But, hedging their bets on sobriety, they carried around pints of Everclear 190 proof grain alcohol.
Part three in a series from China China is larger than life. It boasts the world’s largest population. It has the world’s fastest growing economy. It embodies the most dramatic social contrasts. But on the day we visit the Chinese pavilion at the World Expo, China becomes larger than larger-than-life. The pavilion itself is China […]