IN 1931, WHEN CHURCHILL WAS IN THE OPPOSITION, HE SAID this to the House of Commons concerning Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald: ""I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum's Circus which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as "The Boneless Wonder.' My parents judged that that spectacle would be too revolting and demoralizing for my youthful eyes, and I have waited fifty...
THIS COULD GET CONSERVATIVES' DANDER UP. A category of small businesses is being subjected to injurious regulation in New York City. That city, the capital of liberalism and hence of overbearing government, is disrupting the free market by burdening, with the intent to discourage, a form of commerce involving a legal commodity.
ON TUESDAY THE INSCRUTABLE AND, ACCORDING TO critics, incorrigible Federal Reserve may raise interest rates as a preemptive move against inflation. If the critics are correct, this will confirm the axiom (coined by John Keegan, the military historian) that victory is the mother of pedantry.
TRENT. IT SOUNDS LIKE A HERO'S NAME FROM THOSE magnolia-scented romance novels with titles like "Thundering Hoofs From Shiloh" or "Plantation Passions." Last week Mississippi's Trent Lott, 54, moved to the Majority Leader's front-row desk vacated by Bob Dole, who will be 73 next month.
THIS TIME, THE HAPPY HAITIAN THEORY CANNOT BE offered as an explanation. In 1987, the last time baseball experienced a power surge comparable to this year's barrage of home runs and high scores, a baseball thinker, who may have been kidding but you never can be sure about baseball thinkers, offered a hypothesis: The major league's baseballs are made in Haiti.
AMERICAN POLITICAL DISCOURSE HAS BECOME THIN gruel because of a deliberate deflation of American ideals. So says Michael Sandel in a wonderful new book, "Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy." Sandel, a Harvard professor of government, believes that politics has been impoverished and life coarsened by the abandonment of the idea that self-government should be -- indeed, cannot help but be -- a "formative" project, shaping the character of citizens.
The aids epidemic is "one of those cataclysms of nature that have no meaning, no precedent, and, in spite of many claims to the contrary, no useful metaphor." So wrote Sherwin Nuland, who teaches medicine at Yale, in his hook "How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter." No metaphor, perhaps, but the epidemic's evolution underscores a grim truth: life is regressive.
Sen. Bob Kerrey, the Nebraska democrat, spoke with measured nalice. Asked if he trusts President Clinton's promise that he will not betray Democrats by coming to a budget agreement with Republicans without the support of Democrats, Kerrey said, "I trust him because [Senate Minority Leader] Tom Daschle trusts him." In 1993, after much agonizing, Kerrey cast the decisive vote for the Clinton Budget that Clinton recently said raised taxes too much.
When controversy erupted concerning gays in the military, it was noted that many members of the media have gay friends but no friends in the military. Today the socialization of journalists may also explain the incomprehension that colors coverage of the conservative Christian Coalition.
When Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882-1944), the astrophysicist, was asked how many people understood his theory of the expanding universe, he paused, then said, "Perhaps seven." That may be more people than fully understand how we got from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the notion that racial gerrymandering is not only virtuous but also mandatory under that Act.Such gerrymandering to create "minority-majority" electoral districts is the quintessential "outcome-based" racial policy and a...
I realized," wrote a french aristocrat in her memoirs concerning the unpleasantness of the 1790s, "that the Revolution was inevitable when I noticed that the patissier was putting less butter in the brioches." The gift of discerning large portents in small things is useful in politics.