September 16, 2016 |
WHEN GARY JOHNSON had his Aleppo moment a week ago, I was among those who could not believe his absolute incompetence. I understand that Libertarians generally take an isolationist position when it comes to foreign affairs (now, all the offended Libertarians are going to flood my inbox with insulting comments along the lines of "Aleppo this, you harridan"), but it was incredibly troubling to see someone who thought he was fit to lead this country show such a lack of interest, of inquisitiveness, of recognition that, as John Donne wrote, "No man is an island, entire of itself.
September 11, 2016 |
Hello, dark plaids and plush velvets. Goodbye, peonies and poppies. (Right?) The trendlet Not necessarily. Sheaths and slim trousers, blouses and bags, and pumps and pants feature plenty of petaled motifs on wine, evergreen, navy, and, yes, even black backgrounds this fall. Where do they come from? Floral-print apparel traces its roots to Asia. In the 11th century, Japanese kimonos featured chrysanthemums, and in ancient Chinese culture, flowers were embroidered on robes.
September 9, 2016 |
WHEN YOU HAVE a certain reputation for being, let's just say, unambiguously pro-life, people who don't share your beliefs will be, let's just say, wary about talking to you. And if, in addition to that, you write a regular column about being pro-life, or you host a radio show where you're not shy about your views, or you appear regularly on television and they stick you in the "anti-abortion" chair in the studio, it's no surprise that people who think...
September 2, 2016 |
A VERY DEAR FRIEND of mine scolded me on Facebook for not letting people know that I'm an immigration lawyer with a "vested interest" in immigration policy, before writing anything on the topic. Actually, short of walking around with an inflatable kiddie pool and carrying a torch while chanting "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," I think I've been pretty open about what I do from 9-5. But, in the interest of full disclosure and Facebook harmony, here it is again: I have practiced immigration law full time for over 20 years.
August 26, 2016
By Christine Flowers THEY TOLD ME not to overreact. Read the comments "in context," they said. And, after all, Christine, you're an immigration lawyer, you have a tendency to blow these things out of proportion. Chill, lady. Go say a rosary, and call us in the morning. That's pretty much the reaction I got when I posted Stephen Bannon's comments on Facebook. In case you don't know what comments I'm referring to, let me help you with a few choice tidbits: This: "I understand why Catholics want as many Hispanics in this country as possible, because the church is dying in this country, right?
August 19, 2016 |
ON THE WHOLE, I'm an imperfect Catholic, but there is one particular area of my Christian identity in which I excel: guilt. Jews talk a lot about the concept, and have even built some cultural traditions around it, but, to my knowledge, no one else has actually created an entire sacrament devoted to cleansing your culpable soul. Again. And again. And, my mea maxima, again. I can feel guilty about stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk (my mother's back was quite fragile,) guilty about killing the mosquito that is harpooning my upper arm, guilty, even, about the homeless person who looks at the sandwich I've offered and says, "I don't eat meat.
August 12, 2016 |
I'M MORBIDLY fascinated by the rhetorical mud being slung between Democrats and Republicans these days. How exhilarating to hear Hillary Clinton labeled "unstable" by Donald Trump, who is himself called "bat(bleep)-crazy" by a fellow billionaire and Hillaryite, Mark Cuban. Breathtaking to hear the former secretary of state, who presided over the first massacre of a U.S. ambassador in 40 years, say, "It's not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because someone got under his very thin skin," then listen to a fervent Trumpeter named Alex Jones call Clinton and her husband "organized criminals . . . .and there's a lot of death around them.
August 6, 2016
Deadhead! With all the heat and rain, flowers are busting out all over. But remember, most plants flower so they can set seeds and die, or at least retire to Florida. If you want them to keep blooming, you have to prevent the completion of the cycle by removing flowers as soon as they are done. Snip off dead flowers, and the sticking-out stems as well, to make it all tidy. Revisit your beetle plan. Two weeks ago, I talked about low-tech beetle control - i.e., knocking them off their branches into a coffee can of water - and heard back from the Pheromone Trap Delegation.
August 5, 2016
IN "LOST in Democrats' Fantasy Land," (July 29) Christine Flowers peddles a dark, stark view of politics that leaves little room for the complexities of real life. Women and people of color know better than most what it's like to have our rights trampled, our safety threatened, and even our lives endangered by politicians and policies that fail to recognize our humanity. We can't afford to live with rose-colored glasses, especially when the Hyde Amendment and other bans on insurance coverage for abortion are used to deny women the care they need and push families into poverty.
August 5, 2016 |
NORMALLY, I'm no fan of the silly-season stuff, and you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'd rather know what a political candidate thinks about the federal debt than whether his wife is a looker. I'd rather have some understanding of what another candidate will do to lower the unemployment rate than whether her husband is still playing around on the side. These are the somewhat boring, yet nonetheless crucial issues that face us in an election year. Still, the silly stuff is amusing, and if you're having a particularly long and stressful day, it's enjoyable to plunge into the sticky, sordid little pool of sound bites and non-news.