Content aside, the title makes the column

October 13, 2006
“Goodbye, boys, I die a true American.” So went the apocryphal last words of Bill “The Butcher” Poole as he died on March 8, 1855. He’d been fatally shot in the heart, but he’d hung on for another 11 days, presumably to think of something totally metal to say. Born in New Jersey in 1821, »

YSFP meals impress, but at great expense

October 2, 2006
As I was eating a grass-fed burger the other day, I paused from enjoying its ground-meatness to contemplate how sweet a person I am. After all, the nearby table tent informed me that, with this brave act of carnivory, I was helping to “recapture something that was lost: food security, stable local economies, lower fuel »

Realism, not what-ifs, key to handling Iraq

September 19, 2006
In The New York Times Magazine’s profile of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (“The Fallback,” 3/12), writer Matt Bai conveyed Warner’s political ignorance by describing his January interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” Asked whether he had supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Warner answered — to Stephanopoulos’s disbelief — that it was »

Abroad, Americans act as emissaries

September 1, 2006
Most Americans traveling abroad understand that they are held to a high standard of behavior, which means leaving the hometown shenanigans at home — after all, taking your pants off and touching the locals is frowned upon in most countries. But there is more to responsible action overseas than avoiding an open-ended stay in a »

Rumpus’ intent was to amuse, not degrade

In their recent column, Christine Hung and Annette Wong lodge the complaint that certain publications, the latest issue of Rumpus among them, “employ generalizations that are not only uninformed but derogatory towards Asian-American men, Asian-American women, those in interracial relationships and women in general” (“Racially based humor reflects badly on school,” 4/17). This column accompanied »

American democracy thrives under Bush

March 30, 2006
In a recent editorial, Xan White criticizes the president’s policies and the beliefs that underpin them, complaining at length that nobody else has done so (“Bush must govern with more than his beliefs,” 3/28). White presents a comprehensive, compelling argument against his vividly imagined American political scene, which can generously be described as counterfactual. In »

Superficial depictions hurt cartoon debate

February 23, 2006
In “Response to cartoons lacks empathy” (2/20), Jordan Trevino makes a decent point regarding the need for the West and America, to avoid reducing Muslims to cartoons. Regrettably, he doesn’t hold himself to the same standard — he casts both sides as garish, hysterical caricatures. There is indeed a point to be made regarding the »

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January 23, 2006
The proposed 700-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexican border seems to offend the delicate sensibilities of Jordan Trevino, if his editorial, “Wall would entrench prejudice” (1/19), is any indication. Apparently, reinforcing the already-clear demarcation between sovereign nations is tantamount to horribly, unjustly oppressing “a class of people, perhaps 10 million Mexicans and Latin Americans branded illegal »

‘Awe’ for Constitution isn’t such a bad thing

September 26, 2005
When I read Jeff Mankoff’s editorial impugning any (appropriate) reverence for our Constitution (“Putting an end to Constitution worship,” 9/22), honestly, I was disappointed both by Mankoff’s failure to appreciate the Constitution’s rightful significance and the possibility that he might be representative of a sizable, ill-informed constituency of Americans. If he does indeed speak for »