In the aftermath of the bombings of Roman Catholic churches and upscale hotels in Sri Lanka, a poster on The New York Times website gave me pause. I don’t remember the substance of the post or whether it was by a man or a woman but I remember the last line: I choose safety over diversity.Read More
Brexit Day is now Oct. 31, the European Union granting the United Kingdom yet another stay of Brexit-cution, which was supposed to have taken place March 29 and then April 12. Let’s leave aside that Oct. 31 is Halloween. I don’t think the E.U. is ironic enough to have chosen that day for its gallows humor. And indeed Nov. 1 is the day the new president of the European Commission is set to take office, so presumably the E.U. needs to have this resolved by then. But will it be resolved?Read More
Like the student or reporter who simply cannot meet a deadline, the United Kingdom will today ask the European Union for a short (three-month) extension to the March 29 deadline for its leave-taking from that organization. No, that’s not the right analogy. The British are like the soon-to-be-ex hubby, who needs to spend a few more months on your couch as he ponders his commitment to the woman he betrayed you with. How well does that end? The other 27 members of the E.U. must approve such a request. And they’re not inclined to a longer goodbye without a new game plan, which the Brits don’t seem to have. As Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, there’s really no point to the British “whining on for months.” Yes, quite.Read More
In Edward Everett Hale’s 1863 short story “The Man Without A Country,” treasonous Lt. Philip Nolan renounces the United States, getting his wish — never to hear about his native land again. But sailing the seven seas in a military ship as a kind of Flying Dutchman or Ancient Mariner, Nolan finds the country he relinquished is everywhere, because it is lodged in his mind and, ultimately, his heart. He dies, having composed this epitaph for himself: "In memory of PHILIP NOLAN, Lieutenant in the Army of the United States. He loved his country as no other man has loved her; but no man deserved less at her hands."
I thought of this when I read the story of two American women who married — and were abused by — ISIS fighters and now want to come back to the United StatesRead More