The INS Mess
April 13, 1992
"No, no, I do not know what is the number of the form. It is the one for a person who has a family to bring to the country. Do you have that one? The one for relatives?... No. I tell you. I do not know the number of the form." It was early afternoon on a Wednesday in December, and the line at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service's regional office in Northern Virginia was backed up to the door.
The Minority Minority
September 30, 1991
Last July Clarence Thomas attended a private dinner in Washington with a handful of NAACP officials. This was shortly after he’d been nominated to the Supreme Court, and Thomas hoped to soften the antipathy of the black civil rights establishment toward him. Not a chance. He was soon trashed in public statements as a snake, a black copy of David Duke, “Bork in blackface,” and putty in the hands of his conservative white wife. Gary Franks, the first black Republican elected to the House of Representatives since 1932, got better treatment, but not much.
The Shot Heard Round The World
July 18, 1988
"Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world." —Hymn sung at the completion of the Battle Monument, Concord, July 4, 1837 The claim in Emerson's line is expansive. Can it be true that the shot was heard round the world—when there were no satellites, no television, no radio, no telephone? Let us see. It then took from five to six weeks for news to cross the Atlantic.
February 03, 1986
There was always a special patriotism to the speeches of Martin Luther King. No other American orator could bring audiences to their feet by reciting three full stanzas of "My Country, Tis of Thee." From there he often soared across the American landscape in perorations calling on freedom to ring "from the granite peaks of New Hampshire . . . from the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania . . . from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado . . . from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee! Let it ring . . .
June 02, 1982
“This is vivisection,” proclaimed scores of X posters that appeared overnight all over Washington to designate April 24 an International Day for Laboratory Animals. “Don't let anyone tell you differently.” The posters were illustrated with a lurid photograph of a monkey trapped in an elaborate scaffold, its neck wedged in a narrow aperture and its arms extended, Christ-like, to the outer bars, where they were tightly bandaged. The photograph was a little deceptive.
July 09, 1977
Why is housing so expensive here? Some special circumstances have held down supply, notably insufficient sewer capacity. But the important factors are on the demand side. Housing prices in Washington are astronomical for the same reason that Bloomingdale's has built two stores in the DC suburbs, its first ventures outride the New York area. It is the same reason Lord and Taylor has three stores hereabouts and Nieman Marcus will be moving in shortly from Texas. Why are there six Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Washington area and only five in Chicago?
October 27, 1973
Spiro Agnew's resignation was appropriate and unsurprising.
Working It Out
October 20, 1973
In late September and early October, when the President and his principal associates appeared to have persuaded themselves that he was going to survive the scandals that continued to beset him and Vice President Agnew was saying that he would never resign and that the charges against him were "damned lies," the atmosphere at the Nixon White House was a strange mix of confidence and of a quantity that was close to but not quite despair.
October 31, 1970
Consumer interest in pollution is compelling industries accused of polluting to seek remedies without sacrificing their investments. The president of Coca-Cola, J. Paul Austin, promises a new ad campaign for returnable bottles with the slogan, “wouldn’t you rather borrow our bottle than buy it?” He says his corporation has invested in water purification programs and in an unusual anti-pollution device: the glass-grinding machine. The experimental grinders were installed in an Atlanta supermarket, where one-way bottles could be dumped.
School Doors Swing Open
December 15, 1952
The Supreme Court during its present session has the opportunity to strike its mightiest blow against racial prejudice. The nine justices must decide whether segregation of Negro and white pupils in the public schools violates the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment.