Donald Trump knows the story of Winston Churchill, whose judgment was: “Chamberlain had the choice between war and shame. Now he has chosen shame — he’ll get war later.” A year later, he was proved right. But the lesson Trump learned from World War II is that aggression can pay off.
One night last month, a Border Patrol officer in southwest Texas was killed and his partner seriously hurt while on patrol near the Mexican border. What quickly emerged was a gruesome tale. The officers were “ambushed by a group of illegal aliens” who smashed their heads with rocks, according to the head of the union representing Border Patrol agents.
The list of men credibly accused of sexual assault or harassment has grown to the length of a Charles Dickens novel, and like a Dickens novel, it offers spectacularly instructive episodes. We are all learning more than we care to know about the nature of human beings and the functions of morality.
Roy Moore’s die-hard supporters have shown a vast capacity to accept his denials as a procession of women accuse him of sexual assault, fondling a 14-year-old and creeping out girls in malls. His evangelical followers are ready to believe him on that matter because they agree when he says that to be saved, we Americans must “turn from our wicked ways” and “come back to God.”
Every home should have some essential items around in case of a disaster or another emergency — including canned goods, bottled water, spare batteries and a first-aid kit. But in 2017, every American should also have at hand an answer to one question: What would you do if you had only half an hour to live?
Harvard and Yale are among the premier educational institutions in the world. They have spent centuries at the task of strengthening and elevating young minds. But on Saturday, Nov. 18, they will join together in a ritual guaranteed to damage young brains: the Harvard-Yale football game.
If you assume that anything the Trump administration does is bad, you will be right more often than not. But there is the occasional surprising exception. The administration’s proposal to raise entrance fees at 17 popular national parks is proof that even the worst presidents can’t always be wrong.
Donald Trump has many serious flaws, including incorrigible dishonesty, rampant narcissism, contempt for women and a fashion sense that makes him think that hairstyle is flattering. But nothing compares to his most prominent, crippling and incurable defect: He’s dimmer than a 5-watt bulb.
The U.S. economy is humming like a bee in clover. Gross domestic product is growing at a solid clip; inflation has stayed down; and unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years. So Republicans have soberly assessed the economic conditions, carefully considered all the options and selected the prescriptions that would do the most to enhance long-run prosperity.
You’d think it would be impossible to kill 100 people a day, every day, without inducing widespread shock and deafening demands for action. But that’s what opioids have been doing for the past decade, and Americans have given it only passing attention. This year, the toll is expected to rise to 175 a day — 64,000 in all.
The war on drugs has been going on since 1971, and we have a winner: marijuana. Back then, possession of pot carried heavy penalties in many states — even life imprisonment. Today, 29 states sanction medical use of cannabis, and eight allow recreational use. Legal weed has become about as controversial as Powerball.
The killer in the Las Vegas massacre did something no previous mass shooter is known to have done: He equipped semiautomatic rifles with a “bump stock,” which allowed them to fire roughly as fast as a machine gun. Even some Republicans in Congress are willing to consider banning the device.
Donald Trump is to conservatism as SpaghettiOs are to Italian food: a distant, crude and almost unrecognizable cousin. But last year, many conservatives who had trouble rationalizing a vote for Donald Trump settled on one decisive reason. Justices appointed by President Hillary Clinton, they said, could not be trusted to faithfully follow the Constitution.
On Oct. 1, a 64-year-old Nevada man opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers from a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds. If you don’t know his name, you can easily find it online, in print or on TV. But you won’t learn it from this column. Notoriety may have been what he was after in methodically plotting the slaughter.
They are about to get some insight into how the search for talent goes in Major League Baseball. St. Louis Cardinals general manager Michael Girsch noted the crucial moment in pursuing a coveted free agent player. “We sometimes call it your ‘puke point,'” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Sometimes you make an offer and you’re not sure whether you’ll puke if he says yes or puke if (he says) no.”
Chris Christie blamed Barack Obama for failing to grasp “that the most basic responsibility of an administration is to protect the safety and security of the American people.” Marco Rubio defended mass electronic surveillance, arguing that after the next attack, “the first thing people are going to want to know is, why didn’t we know about it and why didn’t we stop it?”
Only 15 percent of whites surveyed thought those peaceful protests would advance the cause of integration and equality. Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent methods are honored even by conservatives today, but in 1967, half of whites said he was harming blacks, with only 36 percent disagreeing.
In his tirade at the United Nations, the president said the accord is “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” During the campaign, he promised to dismantle it. But eight months after he took office, his administration is still abiding by it.
The Vietnam War was the greatest U.S. military catastrophe of the 20th century. A conflict begun under false pretenses, based on ignorance and hubris, it killed 58,000 Americans and as many as 3 million Vietnamese. It ended in utter failure. Never in our history have so many lives been wasted on such monumental futility. It was a national trauma worse than any since the Great Depression, and it left deep gashes in the American psyche. It instilled an aversion to wars of choice that became known as the Vietnam syndrome.
Not about blowing people up in an effort to advance his social goals. Ted Kaczynski’s campaign to kill and maim chosen victims with explosives was horrific in the extreme and beyond forgiveness. But his 35,000-word manifesto, published in 1995, provided a glimpse of the future we inhabit, and his foresight is a bit unsettling.
It was easy to get confused trying to guess what Donald Trump would do about the young people brought to this country illegally as children. Would he act on his professed love of the “dreamers” or cater to his hard-line anti-immigrant base? Would he listen to Paul Ryan or Jeff Sessions? Would he side with business executives or Breitbart?
So it came as a surprise to hear Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton threatening state interference in the workings of supply and demand. Some sellers have been using the disruption caused by Hurricane Harvey to raise prices on goods and services (such as bottled water and hotel rooms) that are suddenly more valuable than they were before. But Paxton is not having it.
But it turns out we’ve been doing that for years, watching the most popular sport in America. Many of football’s hazards are obvious: shredded knees, dislocated shoulders, broken ribs, even spinal cord injuries. But the worst one has been invisible. Football carries the high risk of irreversible, life-impairing brain damage.
Donald Trump has served one-seventh of his constitutionally allotted term of office, and given his talent for self-destruction, there is no guarantee he will get to serve the remaining six-sevenths. But whether he does or not, one thing is a safe bet: When he leaves the White House, there will not be a wall running the length of our southern border.
“A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions,” he announced. “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.” Afghanistan, the longest conflict in American history, has been called “the forever war.” Now it’s the forever-and-a-day war.