On the road to Weehawken

Or consider the role and duty of a ferry boat captain. Her job is to pilot a ferry boat from Point A to Point B and back again according to schedule while ensuring the safety of her passengers. That is her primary responsibility. It’s what she was hired to do and what she is paid [Read More...]

Get well soon Manute

Sad news from Connecticut: Former NBA star Manute Bol, the 7-foot-7 sensation from the Sudan, was seriously injured in an auto accident. Bol was riding in a cab Wednesday when it rolled over, killing the driver and throwing the former University of Bridgeport star from the car, authorities said. Bol, 43, suffered a head injury [Read More...]

Out of TIME

Via Jeanne and Eve I was directed to this site, where you can find the cover of TIME from any week in the magazine's history. This, as they note, allows you to see who or what was on the cover of TIME during the week in which you were born. I knew before looking what [Read More...]

A voice for the voiceless

Atrios is raising funds for a cause that deserves all the support you can give it — the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama. EJI provides legal assistance to death row inmates and to the poor in Alabama, a state with no public defender system, where the average capital trial lasts three days. Three days. Thousands [Read More...]

Washington, Mandela and Aliyev

Nelson Mandela, like George Washington, is a statesman for the ages. Both men exhibited extraordinary courage and wisdom, and each united his country with leadership. But the greatest thing either man did was to leave office at the end of his term. Both Washington and Mandela could easily have won re-election again and again, holding [Read More...]

And the winner is …

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights activist, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Pope John Paul II and Vaclav Havel head home with Turtle Wax and the boxed edition of the game.) In a 1999 Christian Science Monitor article, Michael Theodoulou provides an introduction: Ms. Ebadi was Iran's first woman judge before the revolution, [Read More...]

Feast of St. Francis

Oct. 4 is the birthday, and feast day, of St. Francis of Assisi, who was born in 1182. I don't know anyone who does not like St. Francis. What's there not to like? He loved everyone and everything and sought to live at peace with all of creation. That all sounds wonderful now, of course, [Read More...]


J.M. Coetzee has been awarded the Nobel prize for literature. I'm afraid I've only ever read one book by Coetzee, and it was a short one — the novella Waiting for the Barbarians. My one encounter with Coetzee, however, was a case of the right book at the right time. If his other works have [Read More...]