In the waiting room of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s radiation treatment center, I discovered that in the race of life, those running to stay on the track are among the most determined, hopeful and courageous. They’re also grateful, for it’s in the sanctuary of sympathetic and expert care where cancer patients experience calm and clarity after the storm of diagnosis and decision-making. Continue reading
With several political climaxes looming, it serves to recall “High Noon” starring Gary Cooper as Will Kane, the beleaguered marshal who single-handedly confronts paroled murderer Frank Miller and his gang. As civil society’s elected protector, Kane is a reluctant hero, abandoned by his cowering and self-interested townsfolk. Improbably victorious, he departs town, flinging his badge with contempt for the citizens who wouldn’t defend the rule of law on which their freedom, prosperity and security depend. Continue reading
On a glorious springtime visit to San Francisco — where the “if it feels good do it” culture is reflected in the bumper sticker “Your body may be a temple, but mine’s an amusement park” — I was struck by the tattooing trend, as if body art is the modern version Continue reading
“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy,” remarked F. Scott Fitzgerald, as if alluding to the fatal confrontation between George Zimmerman, the watch guard of a beleaguered and oft-burglarized neighborhood, and the unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who President Obama said would look like his son if he had one. Continue reading
The summer blockbuster “Man of Steel” reveals why Superman is an American icon, like the courageous revolutionaries who declared American independence. They couldn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, but our founders’ steel-like resolve forged an against-all-odds victory over a Kryptonically powerful British military in pursuit of radical ideas — human liberty and self-government. Continue reading
In the madcap TV series “Get Smart,” secret agent Maxwell Smart evades surveillance — and archnemesis KAOS — with an array of clandestine gadgets including a shoe phone and the legendary “Cone of Silence.” Americans once laughed at Smart’s privacy-enhancing schemes. But recent revelations about America’s ever-widening surveillance state have stirred many to Think Again about their privacy rights — and pine for their own Cone of Silence.
In his 1980s comedy routine, Yakov Smirnoff celebrated America’s free society and equality before the law, joking, “In America, you can always find a party. In Russia, party always finds you! In America, you break law. In Soviet Russia, law breaks you!”
In the wake of scandals involving the abuse of governmental power, Americans must Think Again about Smirnoff’s ironic wordplays. As we’re learning, the ruling party can find and break you — despite constitutional protections. Continue reading
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life,” counseled Faber College’s Dean Wormer in “Animal House.” For the collegiate class of 2013 — until next year the most indebted ever — add “in hock” to that immortal list.
Compared with their parents, current graduates are paying four times more in inflation-adjusted terms for their diplomas while suffering substantially inferior job and income prospects. Like “Animal House’s” witless frat brothers, those who believe college is a last hurrah before plunging into adult reality must Think Again. Continue reading
(’76 Contributor) Stretching Oscar Wilde’s adage “I never put off til tomorrow what I can do the day after,” some in the mainstream media have finally started to Think Again about the Benghazi attack launched last year on the anniversary of 9/11 — thanks to new revelations by high-ranking State Department whistle-blowers including experts in security, counterterrorism, and the No. 2-ranking diplomat in Libya under slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Contrary to the “spin” that the U.S. Consulate assault was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam YouTube video, the truth is that American officials knew “from the get-go” that it was a premeditated terrorist attack by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. Continue reading
(‘76 Contributor) In his 1831 book celebrating America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned, “In democratic societies, there exists an urge to do something even when the goal is not precise, a sort of permanent fever that turns to innovations, … (which) are always costly.”
After a spate of traumatic tragedies that impact the gun and immigration debates, feverish politicians are rushing to innovate complex legislation without thoroughly and publicly examining the underlying problems and before “we the people” consent to their solutions. Continue reading