I am not normal.
This, I learned from a news story 35 years ago. The details have faded with the passage of time, but the gist of it remains clear. Some expert had crunched a bunch of numbers in search of the "average" human being, the planetary norm, and found that she was an 8-year-old Japanese girl, living in Tokyo. I don't fit that profile; I'm willing to bet you don't, either. So as a matter of statistical fact, I'm not "normal" and neither are you.
Recently, I watched the first episode of "The Briefcase," CBS' new "reality" show. I found myself vaguely ashamed for doing so. I kept reminding myself that I had to watch it in order to write about it.
Police chief's viewpoint is an antidote to distrust
For all the decades of its existence, American social conservatism has been rooted in a premise simple enough to be fully expressed in just three words:
Us versus them.
Before he tried marijuana, he thought of trying suicide.
Heavy drinking hadn't helped. Nor had various pills prescribed by Veterans Affairs doctors. He was still angry, still depressed, still could not sleep.
Maybe some people didn't understand the question.
It was posed in this space a few weeks ago by Tracy, a self-described 55-year-old white woman from Texas who is sick and tired of the mounting litany of police violence against unarmed African-American boys and men. She wanted to know what actions she, as an average person, might take to help bring about change. "What can I do?" she ask
Luis Lang would like you to send him some money.
He has taken to GoFundMe (gofundme.com/s78e9w), the crowd-funding website, trying to raise $30,000. Lang, who is 49 and lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina, is slowly losing his eyesight to diabetes. Without surgery, he'll go blind. Those grim facts notwithstanding, some may not find Lang the most sympathetic candidate for charity.
A few thoughts about Toya Graham, just in time for Mother's Day.
On the Thursday before Baltimore burned, Mr. Lee went to Washington.
"There comes a time when people get tired."
-- Martin Luther King Jr., Dec. 5, 1955
Tracy is tired. She was tired even before Baltimore burned this week.
There is much that could be said about the captured-on-video, made-for-the-water-cooler tirade by ESPN reporter Britt McHenry that lit up social media a few days ago and earned her a one-week suspension. McHenry, livid that her car had been towed after apparently being parked illegally, vented her spleen with acid condescension upon a woman who has been identified as "Gina," an impound clerk at a tow yard in Arlington, Virginia
Maybe, conservatives are done with dog whistle politics.
After all, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre traded his dog whistle for an air horn at a recent gathering of the gun faithful in Washington, D.C. "I have to tell you," he said, "eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough."
Subtle, it was not.
On Sunday, it will be 20 years since the morning a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and took 168 human lives. Nineteen of those lives belonged to children.
So here we are with another isolated incident.
That, at least, is how the April 4 police killing of 50-year-old Walter Scott will play in those conservative enclaves where the notion that there is such a thing as systemic racism is regarded as deluded and absurd.
The argument is over and conservatives have lost. Some of them just don't know it yet.