It’s been two weeks of hurricanes in our corner of the world — Hurricane Dorian, which devastated parts of the Bahamas and rocked the Carolinas; and Hurricane Donald, which threatened to destabilize Alabama.Read More
Some leaders rise to the occasion of a crisis. Others sink. And then others add a whole new category of chaos.
For the last two weeks, much of the nation — make that much of the media — has been gripped by a Category 5 hurricane that leveled parts of the Bahamas before churning toward the East Coast of the United States. Hurricane season has not been President Donald J. Trump’s forte, as the Hurricane Maria-Puerto Rico debacle two years ago can attest. That salient point has been underscored in recent days by Dorian, the latest in a series of Cat. 5 storms that are becoming a yearly event.Read More
The contretemps over “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer mocking Prince George for taking ballet lessons is both a tempest in a teapot and the latest salvo in the culture wars that began with the demonization of Western civilization in the 1960s by liberals who could not separate it from its imperialistic, colonial roots and continued with the demonization of the arts in the 1970s and ’80s by conservatives who decried the arts falsely as a louche tax drain.
“We’ll see how long that lasts,” Spencer retorted to the news that the young prince is taking ballet lessons, with his father Prince William’s enthusiastic approval. It was the flippant, stupid remark of someone with no cultural background (remember her short-lived stint on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow”?) trying to be witty or at least cool, and it was met with swift condemnation, a swift apology and a redemptive moment played out against the backdrop of 300 male dancers in Manhattan’s Times Square.
And that would be the end of it, except that, as one person put it, you can’t unring a bell, particularly in a divisive time in which every statement seems to be a clarion call to partisanship. Perhaps that’s unfair. We all make mistakes. We’re all more than our worst days. Yet Spencer’s ridicule cannot be undone, particularly for those who have been mercilessly bullied or marginalized for their love of the arts.Read More
Imagine you are Greenland. You are a semiautonomous nation, part of Denmark, doing your Greenland thing with your clusters of colorful houses and glaciers and hot springs when suddenly you find yourself in the midst of a geopolitical controversy courtesy of President Donald J. Trump, who, in the words of one waggish poster on The Hill, is now up to the Louisiana Purchase in the manual on how to be el presidente.
Perhaps the president was thinking of Thomas Jefferson’s 1803 purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, which doubled the United States, or the Alaska purchase of 1867 or President Harry Truman’s overture to buy Greenland for $100 million in gold in 1946 — yeah, I’m sure he was thinking of all of this — when he floated the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark.Read More