October 28, 2013 |
Grace Kelly, our region's most enduring movie star, our only princess, embodied multiple contradictions. She was far more complex than she appeared. Most icons are. On screen, Kelly could project icy and enigmatic reserve, three times serving as an archetypal Alfred Hitchcock cool blonde. In Rear Window , she portrayed one of cinema's great teases, negligee and all. Yet offscreen she was known for her warmth, and for projecting considerable heat - a man-killer with plenty of casualties.
November 7, 2006
THOSE OF MY generation, the baby boomers, could not ever have dreamed as we grew up that we would live to see the day that legal action would be initiated over whether an American city has provided enough help at polling places for those who do not speak the language of the land. Yet, shamefully, that is what we are witnessing in Philadelphia. How, pray tell, does one who has refused to learn to speak English cast an informed ballot in an American election, and why is it the responsibility of the taxpayers to provide them with extensive and expensive aid?
November 27, 2008 |
Watching the CEOs of the Big Three automakers clumsily beg for a $25 billion loan has been highly entertaining. Last week, Rep. Brad Sherman took a turn as ringmaster of a circus masquerading as a congressional hearing. "I'm going to ask the three executives here to raise their hands if they flew here commercial," the California Democrat said. Neither Rick Wagoner of General Motors, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler, nor Alan Mulally of Ford raised a hand. "Second, I'm going to ask you to raise your hand if you're planning to sell your jet . . . and fly back commercial.
January 27, 1991 |
Raymond Myles harbors bitter memories of fighting "discrimination, racism and the Germans, too" during World War II as an officer in a segregated Army. But he also contends that the military is an important way for black Americans "to better the race" and that the Persian Gulf is the right place for them to do it. John Garland left Vietnam after two tours in the infantry determined "to make something of myself" and became a lawyer. But he believes "fighting wars in today's times is vastly different," so different that now he helps advise black servicemen who wish to avoid service in the Persian Gulf.
January 21, 2010 |
It turns out there were core contradictions in the promises Barack Obama made to the country in 2008. They caught up with his party on Tuesday in Massachusetts. Things will not get easier. Republicans in Congress will be empowered to hold to their course of obstruction by Senator-elect Scott Brown's victory. Washington will remain the object of scorn as a dysfunctional capital, and, absent a new Obama approach, the GOP can act with the confidence that only Democrats will pay a price for the failure of comity.
February 18, 1997 |
My father was a Thomas Jefferson nut. One of my favorite legacies from him is his framed photograph of Jefferson's will, a photograph no one was supposed to be able to take. He browbeat the security guards at the University of Virginia library so long one day about 30 years ago that they opened up a vault and pushed us in so that he could take his clandestine snapshot, and they could get rid of him. Ken Burns is also a Jefferson nut. Three years ago, as he was finishing his epic Baseball maxi-series, he showed me the backyard of his Walpole, N.H., studio/house.
August 16, 1992 |
A committee has been called a cul-de-sac into which ideas are lured to be quietly strangled. Not so the Republican Platform Committee. Its handiwork shows clearly the conflicting ideas in the party's divided mind, and the nation's past. The secret of being a bore is to tell everything and the platform is, in vast stretches, chloroform in print. It covers (among many other subjects) the Hobbs Act, mortgage revenue bonds, Cyprus and the U.N. trusteeship in Palau. But beneath the tangled underbrush of little details lurks a large contradiction that reflects the mingling of the Republican past and present.
September 22, 1998 |
It began as a criminal proceeding, a court-ordered appearance to identify potential wrongdoing in the nation's highest office. But after hours of grueling testimony, Monica Lewinsky's session with the grand jury had evolved into psychotherapy, unexpectedly baring the soul and inner being of the former White House intern to a world whose right to know is still being debated. At one point in Lewinsky's Aug. 6 testimony, an unidentified juror confronted the former intern about two affairs with married men - the President and, before him, her former high school drama teacher.
November 19, 1989 |
Sam Nujoma was born to peasants. He dropped out of grade school. His last 9-to-5 job was as a railroad steward in 1957. By early next year, however, this white-bearded little man with the dazzling smile and fractured syntax will likely be the first president of independent Namibia. To his supporters, he is a shrewd and charismatic politician. To his enemies, he is an illiterate, brutal despot. Shafiishuna Samuel Nujoma is a man who once jailed his own wife. He led a witch hunt in which some of his friends were imprisoned in underground pits.
July 30, 2016 |
'Look at my African American over here. " When Donald Trump pointed out a black man at a California rally, social media erupted: Here was a man running the most racist campaign in decades trying to use the language of diversity for electoral gain. But here's a dirty little secret: Trump's contradictions when it comes to black people are the norm in American politics. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have long used black communities as pawns in their political chess game, each capitalizing on the symbolism of "blackness" to serve their parties' electoral needs.