July 23, 2012 |
Foreign policy hasn't figured much in the presidential campaign, which is lucky for Mitt Romney. With scant foreign policy experience, Romney has had trouble projecting himself as a statesman. His foreign policy statements have veered from vague to disturbingly hawkish. So this week, he's off to Europe and Israel in hopes of burnishing his image as the future leader of the "free world. " Unfortunately, the world Romney seeks to lead no longer exists. Romney's foreign affairs statements have a Rip Van Winkle quality, as if he had just emerged from a sleep of two decades.
May 19, 2009 |
Simon Schama is more than a man - he's a franchise. The historian and media personality will power through Philadelphia this evening, appearing at the Free Library at 7:30 p.m. But the word historian misleads. The native Englishman, who has been a transatlantic for decades now, is University Professor of Art and Art History at Columbia University. Schama's bespectacled face, feathered with tousled hair as he saunters through historical byways, also has become familiar in TV series that include the Emmy-winning BBC/PBS show The Power of Art. He's long been a mainstay on talk shows and in debates on issues such as Israel and the war in Iraq.
February 26, 2009
EVEN AMERICANS who remember better days - like maybe last spring - can find it hard to dream big (or even moderate) dreams during "this winter of our hardship. " How much more difficult for an eighth-grader in a decrepit, unheated 19th-century school in South Carolina in which the roof leaks, and classes are interrupted six times a day when the train barrels by. But Ty'Sheoma Bethea, 14, a student at that school, is possessed of a hope and optimism that is breathtaking in its matter-of-factness: "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen . . . and one day president," she wrote in a letter to Congress asking for help for her school.
December 7, 2005
"Blog" is short for "Web log," a diary on the Internet. Blogs can be endless and self-indulgent, or thoughtful and challenging. "Blog Cabin" offers a selection from recent high-profile blogs. Middle East policy http://mideastpolicy.blogspot.com The United States will not abandon Iraq. To me, it means that the United States will not abandon the Middle East. Some recent stances and statements urging the United States to quit Iraq have shocked me. I find it, and I am sorry for this expression, extremely irresponsible, and definitely harming U.S. interests and the Middle East democratization movement.
October 11, 2001 |
A month of school, sublime foliage, dashed playoff dreams, and yet . . . Our vision may have become clearer, about what matters, what true horror is, but it's a bit cloudier, too. People speak of how Sept. 11 unified Americans, but I'm not sure that's the case. Not everyone looked at those attacked fortresses of might and thought, There but for the grace of God go I. Some Americans, who live in neighborhoods marked by poverty, addiction and crime, were already intimate with despair.
August 14, 2001 |
Spend your tax rebate on a television set, and you will be lucky if it isn't rotting in a junkyard 30 years from now. Invest it in stocks, and you could have $14,073 by 2031. Lipper Inc., which tracks mutual funds, ran some numbers and found that if people took their $600, the average rebate for a couple, and invested it in a stock mutual fund, it could grow into sizable sums. How much? Don Cassidy, Lipper senior analyst, took the idea to its extremes and assumed that two sets of grandparents contribute their $600 refunds to an account for a grandchild, who does not withdraw the money until retirement in 65 years.
December 29, 1999
Editor's Note: It's been a too-long good-bye, journalism's wordy farewell to this dying century. Still, we're ending the year by pondering four less-noted aspects of the 1900s that changed how we live: Invention; The Idea of Leisure; The Dating Game; The Rise of Sports. Outside of U.S. presidents, which two Americans were best known around the world in the last half of this century? Here are two names to consider: Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan. OK, try to top them. Take your time.
December 26, 1999
Editor's Note: It's been a too-long goodbye, journalism's wordy farewell to this dying century. Still, we'd like to end the year by pondering four less-noted aspects of the 1900s that changed how we live: Inventions; the Idea of Leisure; the Dating Game, and the Rise of Sports. Human beings invent: They dream up what they want to do, and to reach those dreams, make things that never existed before. Through the long millennia, invention is a miracle to which we have become accustomed.
September 20, 1999 |
News preoccupied Henry and Clare Boothe Luce much of this century. He determined what it was. She made lots of it. He founded Time magazine and built an influential communications empire that reached a quarter of the American people. She won fame as an editor, playwright, member of Congress and ambassador to Italy (then the highest diplomatic post ever held by a woman). Officially, the Luces stayed out of each other's professional lives. Behind the scenes, each was the other's closest adviser, best friend and most severe critic.
May 14, 1999
Saul Steinberg, who died on Wednesday, was one of America's most brilliant and idiosyncratic artists. Born in Romania in 1914, Mr. Steinberg became a U.S. citizen in 1943, well equipped to look with astonishment, affection, puzzlement and hatred at things American. This he did in art that resists categorization as fine art, cartooning or illustration, even though many of his images found a home in each world. He is one of the few graphic artists who simply created his own thing.