With a tendentiousness that seems characteristic, Hillary Clinton has entered the welfare reform debate by denouncing ""the unbelievable and absurd idea of putting children into orphanages because their mothers couldn't find jobs.'' But the serious idea being considered by serious people is that infants whose mothers are, say, 16, unmarried, uneducated, unemployed, addicted and abusive might be better off in institutions.
The high school test asked students to identify the ""Hellenic epic which established egotistical individualism as heroic.'' The correct answer was ""The Iliad,'' the message of the question being this: Individualism is egotistical and egoism, rather than anything more noble, defines Western civilization.
As members of Congress crept back into Washington from America, their eyebrows singed and their ears ringing from close encounters with constituents, there was a tasty omelet of events demonstrating how dicey it is to be a Democrat as this autumn's elections draw near.
Tony Gwynn, baseball's best pure hitter, stood in the Padres' dugout in San Diego listening to a friend talk about Ted Williams. The friend said that when Williams hit .388 in 1957, his 38-year-old legs probably cost him at least the five hits that would have given him a .400 average.
IN THE SUMMER OF 1901, AT WILLIAM MCKINLEY'S HOME in Canton, Ohio, a photographer approached to take the president's picture. McKinley laid aside his cigar, saying, ""We must not let the young men of this country see their president smoking!'' That camera was a harbinger of the graphic revolution in communication that would help enlarge the place of the presidency -- the most photogenic piece of America's government -- in the nation's consciousness.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE HAS BEEN JOINED. A SUIT filed in New Jersey by the National Organization for Women, the state American Civil Liberties Union and others claims that mothers on welfare have a constitutional right to additional payments for however many children they choose to have, in or out of wedlock.
HAVING STORMED, IN THE NAME OF LES MISERABLES, the ramparts of Republican reaction, Democrats, who call themselves "the party of compassion," now have produced a budget that slashes assistance to poor people for home heating, but cuts nary a nickel from the National Endowment for the Arts, an agency paradigmatic of government's solicitude for the already comfortable.
HOLLYWOOD'S 1929 PRODUCTION OF "THE TAMING OF the Shrew," starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, had this credit line: "By William Shakespeare, with additional dialogue by Sam Taylor." We have now had a year of government as scripted by the Founding Fathers, with additional thoughts by the Clintons and associates.
SHORTLY AFTER 7 A.M. ONE DAY LAST SEPTEMBER, driving through rural South Carolina, Edwin Delattre, Dean of Boston University's School of Education, saw something that was both "a breathtaking picture of hope" and a dismaying reminder of "what dreadfully diminished signs of civility I look for." What he saw by the side of the road were brightly clad black schoolchildren, with backpacks, the older children attentive to the younger, heading for schools not marred by litter, graffiti, barbed wire,...
BASKETBALL MAY BE "THE CITY GAME," BUT ITS greatest performer soared out of Wilmington, N.C. That is how it should have been. As "Hoosiers," one of the best sports movies, made vivid, basketball often means most in small towns where the community gathers in a cramped gym on winter nights, imagining their boys teaching humility to some team from an arrogant metropolis.
Our current president, never a slave to the rule "save your breath to cool your porridge," is particularly loquacious when his subject is, as it usually is, "change." He got awfully wrought up at a recent governors' meeting, calling for "fundamental and profound and relentless and continuing change." The blizzard of adjectives does not disguise the emptiness of his relentless praise of "change." Anyway, as Heraclitus said and American history confirms, change is one of life's constants,...
A policeman's lot is not a happy one. "The Pirates of Penzance"The intervention in Somalia has had elements of opera bouffe. Remember the Marines splashing ashore in December in the dead of night but not in darkness, bathed by the bright lights of waiting camera crews?