February 8, 1998
Thoughts on the execution of Karla Faye Tucker As I was sitting down to dinner Tuesday night, the news was on. I regret that I did not follow my instinct and tune the media out. CNN was broadcasting coverage of the Karla Faye Tucker death sentence (Inquirer, Feb. 4). It was disturbing, made even more so by the presence of my 12-year-old daughter. She was dutifully washing the dinner dishes. My first inclination was to turn the channel or turn the television off. I could see that she was upset, and as she questioned me, she could not keep the tears from welling up in her eyes.
January 20, 1998 |
In 1949, Beryl Evans and her infant daughter were found strangled in a grimy north London neighborhood. Evans' husband, a truck driver of low IQ, confessed, recanted, but was convicted anyway, partly on the testimony of his downstairs neighbor, John Christie. Evans was sentenced to death and quickly hanged. The matter might have ended there had not the building owner later made a gruesome discovery - in the kitchen and garden of Christie's apartment were the remains of six women, including Christie's missing wife.
March 27, 1998 |
All right. Now we know that Titanic is tied with Ben-Hur as the Oscar-winningest movie of all time. But do the film and its success tell us something about relations between the sexes - at the turn of the century and today? Much of the commentary about the movie's social message has focused on the class angle: the cartoon-like depiction of the villainous or buffoonish rich and the noble poor. But there is a gender angle inherent in the story. You didn't have to see Titanic to know that if you were on board the unsinkable ship, being a woman helped.
June 8, 2002 |
THERE WERE tears and sighs aplenty when Napoleon Beazley was put to death last week, eight years after he pumped two .45-caliber bullets into the head of a defenseless 63-year-old. But the tears and sighs weren't for Beazley's victim, John Luttig, or for Luttig's widow, who was nearly killed herself, or for their children and grandchildren, whose lives sustained a wound that night that will never fully heal. The tears and sighs were for Beazley. Why? Because at the time he committed what even he later called a "heinous" and "senseless" murder, his 18th birthday was still three months off. That was enough to send the anti-death penalty spin machine into overdrive.
March 3, 2002 |
Linda Tripp, the ex-Pentagon worker whose secret tape recordings of Monica Lewinsky spurred President Bill Clinton's impeachment, is suffering from breast cancer, her attorneys said Friday. They declined to discuss her condition or treatment. The cancer is the latest in a string of setbacks Tripp has suffered since she faded from the limelight of the Clinton impeachment case. In December, a bank began foreclosure proceedings on the Columbia, Md., home where she recorded the telephone calls with Lewinsky.
November 11, 2004 |
Attorney general nominee Alberto R. Gonzales is an American success story, the son of migrant workers who grew up in a two-bedroom house with seven brothers and sisters, no hot water and no telephone. His climb from poverty to legal prominence is inspiring, the kind of up-by-the-bootstraps tale that President Bush, his longtime advocate, loves. As a boy, Gonzales never dreamed of becoming a lawyer, if only because he did not know any lawyers. His parents never finished grade school, and his father struggled with alcoholism.
April 7, 2005 |
Like many of you, I have been compelled by recent events to prepare a more detailed advance directive dealing with end-of-life issues. Here's what mine says: In the event I lapse into a persistent vegetative state, I want medical authorities to resort to extraordinary means to prolong my hellish semiexistence. Fifteen years wouldn't be long enough for me. I want my wife and my parents to compound their misery by engaging in a bitter and protracted feud that depletes their emotions and their bank accounts.
August 24, 1999
Questions of the moment: Did George W. Bush use cocaine as a young man? And does it matter? Cocaine possession is a felony - one that today is punishable by a mandatory jail sentence in Texas. Yet if it happened, it happened 25 years ago. Any chance of prosecution is long past. Feeling some deja vu? We've been down this road before with Bill Clinton and the "didn't inhale" thing. But the drug question threatens to permanently define W. Bush in a way it never threatened Clinton.
November 20, 2000 |
The unthinkable has happened. Mrs. Clinton (the future Ms. Rodham) has been elected to the United States Senate. Backtrack to just a few months ago. Wasn't the very idea preposterous? Did the country not scoff at the notion of the First Lady even running for a senatorial seat from New York? Did the state of New York not laugh and dismiss the possibility? Somewhere, as with all things Clintonian, joke morphed into reality. Alec Baldwin and Barbra Streisand promised they'd move to another country if George W. Bush were to win the election.