February 06, 2006
BORDER PATROL John B.
December 12, 2005
Once upon a time, the Democratic family consisted of two basic types of politicians--those who supported the Iraq war and those who were against it. As the war dragged on and the political climate changed, however, varied new species began to evolve, with all manner of ideas and opinions about the occupation. For months, these different Democratic factions lived more or less in harmony. But Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha's dramatic call last month for a fast U.S. exit from Iraq was like a climate-altering asteroid event.
October 10, 2005
BULL CONNOR BULL Last Thursday, at a New York town-hall meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Charles Rangel took the stage vacated minutes earlier by Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and declared, “George Bush is our Bull Connor.” This comment is preposterous enough on its own—Bull Connor, the Birmingham police chief who turned hoses and dogs on civil rights marchers in 1963 and became a symbol of Southern racism, would never have had a black secretary of state.
May 23, 2005
It's show-and-tell day in 50 Birge Hall. At least as close to it as you get at an elite university like Berkeley. George Lakoff, the instructor for this introductory cognitive science course, has asked students to bring in examples of popular "texts" containing hidden metaphorical meanings--the kind that play subtle tricks on the human mind. First out of the gate is a British student who holds up an ad for Splenda, the sugar substitute. The ad features a young girl sitting on her father's shoulders and covering his eyes with two large cookies. "Lucky girl," it reads. "You've got a Splenda dadd
Crisis of Faith
May 02, 2005
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."--Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 "We have a responsibility that, when somebody hurts, government has got to move."--George W. Bush, September 1, 2003 Conservatism isn't over. But it has rarely been as confused. Today's conservatives support limited government. But they believe the federal government can intervene in a state court's decisions in a single family's struggle over life and death. They believe in restraining government spending.
January 24, 2005
It is getting increasingly difficult to find any Democrat who backs President Bush's plan for partially privatizing Social Security. Private accounts are now officially out of favor even among New Democrats, the most obvious source of potential administration support. The Democratic Leadership Council and a new centrist policy shop called Third Way both recently announced their opposition. Over in the House, many have been eyeing Adam Smith, the leader of the New Democrat Coalition, which has 67 members in the House.
September 06, 2004
The scene has unfolded at least a dozen times over the past year. In some huge sports arena in a large U.S. city, a second-tier pop singer performs a series of patriotic anthems. After a pause, a burst of horns and the gossamer voice of Frank Sinatra fills the stadium. Start spreading the news ... A maelstrom of red, white, and blue confetti fills the air. Now, a roar surges through the crowd--Rudolph Giuliani has come into view. The standing ovation that greets him might last for a full minute before Giuliani finally cuts it off.
He Ain’t Heavy
July 29, 2002
INTIMATE TREASURES, a sex shop in the resort town of Fort Walton Beach, is housed in a pink-and-blue, virtually windowless concrete building—just the kind of faux-cheery structure one finds in commercial strips throughout the Sun Belt. According to its website, the store specializes in sensual lingerie, erotic games, massage oils, and "videos, videos, videos." A few years ago a sales clerk at the store was charged with two counts of obscenity for selling allegedly beyond-the-pale pornography to undercover cops.