Americans waking up to Bush’s ignorance

September 13, 2007 • 0
The sheer volume of Iraq news and commentary available from the mainstream media, the Web and C-SPAN can be overwhelming to anyone. Anyone, it seems, except the president, whose recent public statements might give cause to wonder whether he’s read his briefings, the front page of any newspaper or really much of anything beyond the »

Whether you’re 11 or 20, camp is valuable

April 19, 2007 • 0
A couple weeks ago, I ate lunch with a group of 15- and 16-year-olds — the same kids I’m supposed to transform this summer into “future camp leaders.” One of the girls said that her friends and teachers give her strange looks when they find out what she’s doing this summer: the old “aren’t you »

Movie’s morals aren’t effective in real life

April 5, 2007 • 1
A friend of mine described the story line in Frank Miller’s “300” this way (I’m paraphrasing): “An army led by a dictator comes out of the Middle East and threatens the very existence of democracy, so a heroic leader defies the democratic majority and stands alone in the defense of freedom. How can you not »

Abusing words takes away their true value

March 8, 2007 • 0
It’s a painfully obvious truth that the words we use reveal a lot about our thinking. Like using “socialist” when we’re not talking about socialists, or “fascist” when we’re not really talking about fascists. Or saying “sectarian conflict” instead of “civil war.” Or casually dropping the word “faggot” into a political speech. Guest columnists on »

Early bickering is bad news for candidates

February 22, 2007 • 0
A lot can happen in 11 months. The last 11 months have witnessed the collapse of decade-long Republican legislative control. The next 11 months promise increasingly contentious debate over Iraq (and maybe Iran). Why 11 months? Well, to remind Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, there are 11 months until the first votes are cast in »

Congress can’t afford inaction on Iraq war

February 8, 2007 • 0
There are times when government best serves its people by doing nothing. Libertarians argue that government should do nothing most of the time. But even those who support big government would agree that there are moments that call for no action from above. Given the choice between passing a bill and doing nothing, there are »

Bush can learn from career of Mutombo

January 25, 2007 • 1
I’ll start by confessing I didn’t watch Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Generally, the thing that interests me most about the address is the fact that a single well-placed missile could kill more than 99 percent of this country’s top 500 political leaders. It’s a high potential price to hear George Bush tell us »

Past generations leave a wide gap

November 16, 2006 • 0
Sam Kauffman died in his sleep on Monday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was 89 years old. Sam was a farmer who owned his farm, a man who rose before the sun every day of his life and went out to milk the cows. He went to church every Sunday and raised five kids. When »

Feingold sets good example in Senate

November 2, 2006 • 0
Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold is not a very good politician. He doesn’t raise money particularly well — he was outspent three to one in his original 1992 Senate victory. He tends to vote his conscience at politically inopportune moments — witness his lone vote against the PATRIOT Act after Sept. 11 or his opposition »

Whoever wins, partisanship hurts Congress

October 19, 2006 • 0
The excessive partisanship of this year’s midterm election cycle was summed up for me by one Ned Lamont radio attack ad. The gist of the ad mirrored exactly the crux of Lamont’s campaign as I understand it: Joe Lieberman is a sellout who, by compromising with the Republican Party, has betrayed the values of the »

Conservatism, religion work at cross purposes with Constitution

September 21, 2006 • 0
Peter Johnston’s claim that the modern conservative movement actually reflects “conservative” values (“Labels aid brevity but impede understanding,” 9/18) asks us to ignore either current realities or any reasonable definition of the word conservative. Take Johnston’s own conclusion, that “conservative philosophy often proceeds negatively by rejecting ideologies founded on an incomplete understanding of man.” Since »

Partisanship has no place in mourning

September 12, 2006 • 1
Paul Krugman’s piece in yesterday’s edition of The New York Times offers a commemoration of the events of Sept. 11 that seems representative of the way our nation as a whole views the event. Sept. 11, 2001 has been reduced to merely another weapon in our collective political arsenal, a symbol of presidential incompetence for »