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February 21, 2012
February 20, 2012
February 13, 2012
Columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times has emerged as one of the most influential journalists and public intellectuals of our times. He has been the voice of conscience on many issues of human rights and foreign affairs, and he has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his reports, books, and commentaries on world affairs.
February 10, 2012
President Obama walked into the White House Press Room today and attempted to pull a political rabbit out of a hat. Faced with an avalanche of mounting opposition to his administration’s mandate that religious employers provide birth control to all employees, the President announced what his staff characterized as a “compromise.” Was it?
February 2, 2012
January 20, 2012
January 19, 2012
The sight of the giant cruise ship Costa Concordia listing in the deadly embrace of the sea is now a graphic symbol of failure. Its timing is absolutely eerie, coming so close to the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. But, unlike the Titanic, this disaster did not take place in the middle of the ocean, far from the range of observation. The Costa Concordia appears to be almost touching the rocky Italian coastline. The digital revolution ensures that we are all able to see the wreck of the ship in living color.
January 11, 2012
The death of Christopher Hitchens on December 15 was not unexpected, and that seemed only to add to the tragedy. His fight against cancer had been lived, like almost every other aspect of his colorful life, in full public view. He had told numerous interviewers that he wanted to die in an active, not a passive sense. Then again, there may never have been a truly passive moment in Christopher Hitchens’ life.
January 9, 2012
January 5, 2012
Some predictions are rather safe to make. 2012 is almost certain to be a determinative year on the issue of same-sex marriage. Multiple courts appear poised to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] and, even more urgently, the appeal on California’s Proposition 8 at the Ninth Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals will set up a certain appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court. Given the facts of this case and the significance of the nation’s most populous state, the Supreme Court is almost certain to take the case. This sets the stage for the courts to make some determinative statement on same-sex marriage within the next several months — a decision that will go a long way toward setting the direction of the larger culture.
December 28, 2011
And thus 2011 comes to an end, like every year before it. The year came with its own surprises and controversies, tragedies and headlines. And, with the closing of the year, we find the need to put the year into some kind of historical perspective. We are chronological creatures, and the span of year is enough to require some accounting.
December 24, 2011