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What makes a nation?

In his superb column titled “White Extinction Anxiety,” The New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow quotes archconservative Pat Buchanan as saying that the great issue of the day “is whether Europe has the will and the capacity, and America has the capacity to halt the invasion of the countries until they change the character – political, social, racial, ethnic – character of the country entirely.”

Let me fix it for you, Pat: Do Europe and America have the will and capacity to turn back the hordes of people of color beating on their doors? That’s really what he’s asking, though I would turn it around: Do we have the intelligence, talent, industry and character to be greater than ourselves and truly become a global society? …

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A half-baked Supreme Court decision

In a 7-2 ruling, the United States Supreme Court has decided that Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ civil rights were violated when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission apparently “ridiculed” his religious beliefs for refusing to bake a gay couple’s wedding cake. It may seem that Phillips’ religious objections to gay marriage trumped David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s civil rights as a gay couple. But had the commission not gotten “hostile,” it might’ve gone the other way.

Here, however, is what the “offending” commissioner actually said …

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Modern Medusas: From Barbara Bush to Barbra Streisand

Barbara Bush – who died Tuesday at age 92 and was scheduled to be buried today in the presence of four former presidents – has been the subject of many remembrances and reactions this week, most of them admiring of a woman who turned a sharp gaze and an even sharper wit on herself as much as others. So, she no doubt would’ve been amused by The New York Times’ official reflection, whose undercurrent was a motif she often addressed – her appearance. …

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