September 19, 2004 |
On Sundays in my church, we say a prayer called the Confession of Sin. One version reads, in part: "We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. " On a recent Sunday, something broke through my daydreaming and riveted my attention on that prayer. The prayer speaks to familiar evils - the inner demons of envy, anger et al., and the sinful deeds to which they goad us. Been there, done that. This time, though, the last phrase - "the evil done on our behalf" - hit me full force.
November 25, 2007
Shame on Krajewski Councilwoman Joan Krajewski is correct. Her ability to accept $300,000 in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan is legal and it is the law . . . and that is why she should be embarrassed and ashamed ("A big pay for one-day retirement," Nov. 17). The fact that she is on City Council means it is legal because of her. She has the power to change legislation that is obviously taking advantage of the system. The same goes for Mayor Street, who could have pushed to fix this loophole.
October 4, 2003 |
The United States may attack countries preemptively, topple governments, and kill terrorists - but doing so unilaterally may not make us safer, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said yesterday. Soft-spoken and professorial, Kissinger offered his views in Philadelphia on the question of whether the United States ought to exercise its superiority more aggressively, and unilaterally, in the post-9/11 world. "It is against America's interests to think of itself as a hegemony," Kissinger said.
January 3, 2016
A History of Ancient Rome By Mary Beard Liveright. 535 pp. $35 Reviewed by Michael D. Schaffer Mary Beard begins her fine history of ancient Rome in medias res, in the middle of things, more than six centuries after the appearance of the little town on the Tiber that would grow into a world power. Beard, a professor of classics at Cambridge University, has her reasons for coming in halfway through the show. As the real origins of Rome are lost in the mists of myth (forget that she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus)
March 9, 1988 |
Thanks to James Brooks' "Broadcast News," Holly Hunter is one of the most sought-after actresses around today. She likes talking as much as acting. Here's what she told Shari Roman from Details magazine: "Your height totally influences how you live your life. But as I've gotten older, it's something I've recognized I don't have to compensate for. It used to offend me greatly if somebody patted me on the head, but it doesn't offend me so terribly now, because they're going to find out sooner or later they're not dealing with a little girl.
January 5, 1990
When Mikhail Gorbachev was named Time magazine's "Man of the Decade," one grinch complained on a nationwide talk show that the prize was unearned. Why praise a leader for making the best of a bad bargain, he griped. The Soviet Union is broke, so it has to pull in its horns. Such scoffing about the magnitude of Mr. Gorbachev's accomplishments can still be heard around Washington's corridors and cocktail parties. But to minimize the impact of this amazing Russian is far more mean-spirited than stealing Christmas.
March 7, 2014 |
WHEN CATE Blanchett used her Oscar win to trumpet the commercial virtues of female-driven stories, I wonder if she meant "300: Rise of an Empire. " This account of the Persia vs. Greece sea battle that coincided with the battle of Thermopylae (covered in "300") is positively bonkers for Artemisia (Eva Green), dominatrix commander of the Persian fleet, a position she has acquired (in this demented version) by virtue of her extreme foxiness and skill with a blade. I don't expect to see Green getting an Oscar next year, but only because the Academy has not evolved to the point where they would reward a performance that calls for an actress to behead somebody (with twin swords, ninja style)
January 24, 2005 |
At this midpoint of the Bush administration, engaged as we are in conflict throughout the world, are we winning? The great democratic crusade undertaken by this administration is going far better than most observers will admit. That's the good news. The bad news is more troubling than most observers recognize: signs of the emergence, the first since the fall of the Soviet empire, of an anti-American bloc anchored by Great Powers. First, the good news. The great project of the Bush administration - the strengthening and spread of democracy - is enjoying considerable success.
November 20, 2000 |
Why did Franz Ferdinand go to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914? His uncle, Franz Josef, head of the Austro-Hungarian empire, thought it was a bad idea. The mayor of Sarajevo and the head of the Bosnian army said: Stay home. He was crazy to go. His uncle's empire ruled Yugoslavia, where unrest was stroked on by the terrorist group terrifyingly nicknamed The Black Hand. June 28 was Vidovdan, celebration of the Turkish defeat of the Serbs at the Field of Blackbirds in 1386. Serbs celebrate that pulverizing defeat as an emblem of their defiant persistence.