What follows is for the benefit of one William James O'Reilly Jr. -- "Bill" to his fans.
In September, I received an email that should have left me feeling vindicated.
Wow. Just ... wow.
So what's next?
Will it turn out Mother Teresa was a pornographer?
Or Mr. Rogers a meth head?
What, in the name of God?
It is a question that demands asking, that haunts this most recent atrocity.
Last week, I spent a day at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where some students and I talked about protest. Des Moines is six hours up the road from Ferguson, Missouri, the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by a police officer in August, prompting weeks of often violent clashes between protesters, rioters and heavily militarized police.
Dear Republican Party:
Impeach President Obama.
You can't handle the truth.
They say they are going to rape Shoshana Roberts.
She's the star of a hidden camera video that has gone viral. Posted by Hollaback!, a group that campaigns against the street harassment of women -- "catcalling" -- it shows Roberts taking a silent stroll through New York City. Over the course of 10 hours, she records over a hundred instances of unwanted attention from unknown men.
It was the summer of 1969 the first time I came here, two months shy of my 12th birthday.
Last year, the White House was breached twice.
This is a tale of two countries.
The first country was built on a radical new promise of human equality and a guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That country made it possible for even those born in the humblest and most meager circumstances to climb to the pinnacle of prosperity and achievement. It helped save the world in a great global conflagration, fed and rebuilt the devastated nations of Europe, planted the first footprints on another world.
My mother was a child abuser. I was, too. In fact, growing up, pretty much every parent I knew abused their kids.
"I think they're going too far with Ray Rice."
Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high -- and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Obama's Wednesday-night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives.
You've probably never heard of Claudette Colvin. And yet, had history twisted in a slightly different direction, she might loom as large in American memory as Rosa Parks does now while Parks herself would be a little-remembered seamstress.
A truism: Almost nobody looks good in his booking photo.
That said, the 47th governor of Texas, one James Richard Perry, certainly gave it his best shot when he faced the camera at the Travis County Courthouse last week. The resultant image is ... not terrible. Perry is caught somewhere between a tight smile and an outright grimace, his mien taut with confidence and seriousness of purpose.
That's what should concern us now.
Looks like police in Ferguson, Missouri, took it upon themselves to suspend the First Amendment Wednesday night.
It seems two reporters, Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post, were working at a McDonald's, which has been used as a staging ground by reporters covering the ongoing unrest following the Aug. 9 police shooting of an unarmed African-American man.
"...but we tortured some folks." -- President Barack Obama, Aug.1, 2014
A few words about the "poor door."
Maybe you already know about this. Maybe you read on Slate, saw on Colbert or heard on NPR how a developer qualified for tax benefits under New York City's Inclusionary Housing Program by agreeing to add to its new luxury building on the Upper West Side a set number of "affordable" apartments. How the company won permission to build that building with two entrances, one in front for the exclusive use of upper-income residents, another, reportedly in the alley, for residents of more modest means.
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