There is nothing glib to say, in any responsible sense, about Henry Louis Gates' arrest last week, which is this week's big race story. Its value is as an object lesson in why, with a black President, there remains a contingent convinced that America is still all about racism. Gates' belligerence--"Why, because I'm a black man in America?"--may not have been pretty. However, tarring him as a professional racebaiter is inaccurate.
Learning From Spain's Bullet-Train Experiment
June 03, 2009
Victoria Burnett of The New York Times recently wrote a fascinating piece about Spain's entry into the wild world of high-speed rail. The country's first route, between Madrid and Seville, opened in 1992. Since then, the national rail network has grown to some 2,000 kilometers of track, and it's proven so wildly popular that politicians from all parties are tripping over themselves to bolster service—the current plan calls for 10,000 kilometers of track by 2020.
February 04, 2009
Malcolm Gladwell's fairy tales.
A Teamster For Mccain
September 03, 2008
Randy Orr is a truck driver and a member of the Teamsters Union. He is also a Republican delegate from Houston. This is his first convention, and he is delighted with it. "I never finished my degree in college. I remember the one class I took that I enjoyed was political science. It was a Democrat that taught it, and he talked about being a delegate. Now I'm one." He decided to become active in Republican politics because of his faith. "I grew up in the church, and after about four or five years, I realized that anything that affects you or me, God is interested in it," he says.
The End of Big Oil
February 27, 2008
When historians one day dissect the long arc of humankind's use of fossil fuels, they may very well zero in on October 9, 2006, as a turning point for Big Oil. That's when it became clear that the major oil companies--the giants that had survived numerous predicted extinctions and gone on to ever-greater profit and influence--were undergoing a tectonic shift and would either reinvent themselves or die.
The Big Test
January 15, 2007
Damon Linker's 2007 article looks into the religious implications of a Romney presidency.
September 25, 2006
Colorado and Ohio turn left.
Pick Me Up
May 01, 2006
What this fractured and politically uneasy country needs right now is a unified theory of pickup trucks. This thought came to me the other afternoon as I was waiting at a car-rental agency at the Denver airport. I had reserved one of those small cars--what the agencies cheerfully call "economy" class--when I saw, there at the back of the lot, a lustrous Dodge Ram extended cab. I am not often moved by automobiles, but the truck aroused in me an acute, forlorn kind of nostalgia that I had previously observed only in country music singers.
Past as Prologue
September 26, 2005
My street was deserted Sunday, when a couple of friends and I checked on it. A few military types were cutting away at the trees blocking a major intersection nearby, and, at one point, two guys who live around the block stopped by because they saw our cars outside. Beyond that, the neighborhood was a ghost town, just like most of the rest of New Orleans. The people who lived here until two or three weeks ago have gobbled up real estate in Baton Rouge. Or they're holed up with relatives.
February 09, 2004
RETIRED GENERAL Wesley Clark has faced many enemies in his career, from the Viet Cong to Slobodan Milosevic. At last week’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, however, Clark was ambushed by an unexpected foe. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings took the general to task for staying silent while liberal filmmaker—and Clark supporter—Michael Moore labeled President Bush a “deserter” at a campaign rally. “That’s a reckless charge not supported by the facts,” Jennings admonished Clark, all but demanding that he exhibit “a better example of ethical behavior” by repudiating the claim. An off-guard Clark