How to tackle sexual harassment

The first thing to do about sexual harassment is get the pronunciation right. Accent’s on the first syllable, not the second: Never mind what they say on TV. That point acknowledged, we may proceed to considering the rout of the very old codes designed for the honoring and protection of, yes, women: women who were […]

Here come the animal spirits

According to a New Year’s Day New York Times story, business has become energized and optimistic: to the point of backing its hopes and ambitions with investment capital. Is all this about tax cuts? Not quite all, say Times writers Binyamin Appelbaum and Jim Tankersley. “In the administration and across the business community, there is […]

Democrats, taxes and freedom

What’s the matter with the Democrats — the Capitol Hill Democrats, in this present case? Yes, I know. A question of this kind has partisanship smeared all over its face: raw, rank preference for capitalist fascist Republicans over people-loving, small-species-affirming Democrats. But if we can step back from rhetorical excess for a moment, the question […]

The sky isn’t falling. We just think it is

Rooms full of racket and nonstop commotion drive a person nuts. You want to clap hands over your ears and flee. This is the case now from the rowdiness of what Reader’s Digest used to call — still may for aught I know — “Life in These United States.” If the American noise level seems […]

Will Washington ever learn? Apparently not

The messiness of the long-proverbial “mess in Washington” stands out this post-holiday week like a picked and evacuated turkey carcass. To itemize: 1) The tax debate, so-called. 2) The furor over who’s to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — assuming you’ve heard of this enterprise, which is disliked by many on account of its […]

Giving thanks amid the clatter of reindeer hooves

What? Your Christmas tree hasn’t been up for a week yet? Surely your home is ablaze with red and green and yellow lights, like the neighbors’ houses? No? Sad (as our president might declare if he gave the matter any thought). Not as sad, maybe, as the eclipse of Thanksgiving in the mad rush to […]

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 […]

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