Roy Moore and the Augean Stables

We were going to have this conversation one of these days — if you consider a barrage of claims, assertions, denials and calls for resignation a conversation. However, I digress. We were going to find ourselves tied in knots eventually over matters plucked from a traditional moral matrix and handed over for consideration to you […]

Moral reconstruction, anyone?

That word again: evil. A whiff of sulfur about it, no warmth, no pulse, evil as the actuating force in another mass shooting, with more of it to come, certainly, in this beat-up age of ours. Not a few have joined President Donald Trump in using the E-word since the Baptist-church shooting in Texas and […]

No, we’re not all the same

“Liberty, equality, fraternity” was the watchword of the French revolutionaries. They’d never heard of the Boy Scouts of America (obviously), but if they had, they would be tossing their liberty caps in the air at last week’s news of the Scouts’ decision to admit girls. Ah, citoyen, a wonderful thing, no? Well, we’ll see how […]

Offsides for the NFL kneel-in

Let’s not stress out, shall we, while endeavoring to make sense of the fuss and foolishness over mass NFL boycotting of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That would be because the fuss and foolishness themselves make no sense: save as a window for viewing the lunacies of 21st century life. Are we a nation or a holding […]

The return of ‘fellow feeling’

You might say it has not been much of a month for the human race. I might myself contend that signs of life float on the flooded streets of Houston, Texas. People are acting the way people used to act, back before we were all required, seemingly, to stake out a political position and hate […]

The knockdown, drag-out society

Civilized disagreement — that’s one thing. But flagrant insult, direct or strongly implied, as a lever for moving public policy along — I don’t believe I’d call that persuasive, uplifting or even very useful. I would call it another mark of the disruptive, disrupted times we live in, when every difference of opinion is a […]

The folly of tearing down statues

[Editor’s note: This was written two weeks before the events in Charlottesville, Va., occurred.] In these very — I mean very — weird times of ours, few phenomena appear weirder than what I would describe as the mania for pulling down or otherwise removing memorials to dead Confederates. New Orleans has done it. My own […]

Government healthcare is here to stay — to our loss

What do we take away, then, from the earthquake on the Senate floor recently, with wisps of smoke still rising from the ruins of Republican efforts to do something — anything — likely to rationalize the healthcare mess? We take away, or should, the lesson that government can’t do everything, and when it tries to, […]

And all for want of a spine

John McCain’s illness, which caused Republican Senate leadership to suspend formal consideration of their Obamacare replacement, is not, by far, the Grand Old Party’s gravest malady. Nothing in the diagnostic manual of political afflictions compares with the near-complete disappearance of the party’s backbone. If it’s not one thing causing GOP senators and governors to equivocate […]

Can we all get along?

Nobody ever called the late Rodney King a model citizen of Los Angeles. But he gave the world what was likely the most plaintive, plangent query of our time. He wanted to know, in the aftermath of the LA burning, “Can we all get along?” Can we — huh — rather than wallop each other […]

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