Nice news

I started working at the paper in Delaware in 2001 and every year since then they've introduced legislation to include sexual orientation in the First State's antidiscrimination laws. Those bills never passed. "Discrimination against gays still legal in Del.," read the headline on the paper's Web site, year after year after year. That headline was [Read More...]

The short straw

SCENE: A secure, undisclosed location somewhere deep beneath Washington, D.C. Representatives from every conservative PR tank and farm team have gathered for an emergency meeting. Tony Perkins looks nervous, unsure if he should be glad he gets to go first. He reaches out and makes his choice. Grinning broadly, he holds up the long straw [Read More...]

Falling flat

“North and South?” the people of Lineland said to our hero. “That’s nonsense. There’s no such thing as North and South, only East and West.” Our hero is the main character in Edwin A. Abbot’s Flatland.┬áHe is a square — a literal square, a four-sided, geometric figure in the two-dimensional world of Abbot’s transcendently weird [Read More...]

Something in my eye

We watched the last of these last week, leading to a discussion of, among other things, scenes or lines or moments that "get you every time." Not a bad topic for a Monday morning, so here are 10 of mine. Feel free to agree or scoff or offer your own in comments below. 1. "Son, [Read More...]


Warren Clements of The Globe and Mail is the latest language columnist to discover the words slacktivist and slacktivism. The Globe and Mail is based in Toronto, so it's a bit of a shame that Clements misses the local angle: that word slacktivism was coined by a native son — by Dwight Ozard of London, [Read More...]

20 years ago

Rolling over demonstrators with tanks works, for a little while. But not forever. Some day — maybe within the next 20 years, maybe longer, but some day for sure — this picture will hang where pictures of Chairman Mao hang today. And some day, there will be a statue, life-size and bronze, on or near [Read More...]

No pie needed

This is just to say thank you for the conversation in the previous thread. I forgot to do what I usually do following a post that mentions abortion, which is to provide a second open-thread post about pie or baseball or Buffy or some other relatively safe topic as a kind of shelter for those [Read More...]


I wouldn't want to have to write a story set in 2037. That's 28 years from now — 28 years that will certainly bring about massive changes I couldn't hope to predict. Just look back 28 years. There was still a Soviet Union, an Eastern Bloc and a Cold War, but no cell phones, no [Read More...]