A few days ago, the NRA inadvertently said something reasonable.
This, in response to a series of protests in Texas. It seems advocates of the right to carry firearms openly have taken to showing up en masse at public places -- coffee shops, museums, restaurants, etc. -- toting shotguns and assault rifles.
It is irreversible now.
And there's a word that should get everybody's attention. Last month, two groups of scientists, publishing separately in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, issued reports that came to alarmingly similar conclusions: The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet has reached a point of no return. If greenhouse gases stopped spewing forth tomorrow, we'd still face the grim prospect of steadily rising seas from this unstoppable melt.
In a prison in Khartoum, a dusty city on the banks of the ancient Nile in the African nation of Sudan, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim waits.
I am running out of words.
Some crackpot who couldn't get a date stabs and shoots his way across the Southern California college town of Isla Vista, killing six people and wounding 13 before apparently turning his gun on himself. This happened Friday night. And what shall I say about that?
I mean, I know how this goes. We all do. Weren't you sort of expecting it when the father of one of the Isla Vista victims blamed his son's death on the NRA? Would you really be stunned if the NRA countered that none of this would have happened had there been more guns in Isla Vista?
"I want a love I can see. That's the only kind that means a thing to me. Don't want a love you have to tell me about. That kind of loving I can sure do without."
-- The Temptations, 1963
What if he had smacked her one?
She's going after him with fists and feet. What if he had defended himself in kind? Or what if he had been the one who attacked her without physical provocation?
Would it still be funny?
As we all know from a leaked elevator surveillance video that has been replayed countless times on television and online, that's not how it happened. Instead, rapper and businessman Jay Z deflected the blows and at one point caught a kicking foot in midair, but otherwise made no aggressive moves as his sister-in-law, singer Solange Knowles, whaled on him.
Fair warning: this book will make you angry.
"The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," by Matt Taibbi, is a volume of stories. Like the Vietnamese refugee and rape victim in San Diego who applied for public assistance, only to be visited by a "welfare inspector" who barged into her home and began yelling that he would take her children away if he found she was lying about being destitute and not having a man. All this as he's rummaging through her belongings. Finally, he holds up a pair of sexy panties on the tip of a pencil, demanding with a triumphant smirk to know why she needs these if she has no boyfriend.
There was a method to this madness.
Meaning that night more than three weeks ago when a caravan of trucks and buses descended on a boarding school in rural Nigeria and more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted from their beds. As is often the case with acts of terror, this mass kidnapping was accomplished with a theatricality and audacity designed to inspire awe.
Why did you do it?"
The movie opens with that question. In response, Jayson Blair makes a joke. "This one again," he mutters, rolling his eyes in mock consternation at the predictability of it.
Oh, my Lord, where to begin?
You already know what this column is about. You know even though we are barely three sentences in. You knew before you saw the headline.
There are days in the opinion business when one story makes itself inevitable and unavoidable, one story sucks up all the air in the room. This is one of those times. One story.
It swallowed people up.
That's what it really did, if you want to know the truth. It swallowed them up whole, swallowed them up by the millions.
It was an angry book.
Much of the response was angry, too. Some towns banned it, some towns burned it. Every town talked about it.
"The Grapes of Wrath" was published 75 years ago this month, a seminal masterpiece of American literature that seems freshly relevant to this era of wealth disparity, rapacious banks and growing poverty.
I have a question for George Will.
If he can't answer it, maybe Brit Hume can. Both men were recently part of a panel on "Fox News Sunday" to which moderator Chris Wallace posed this question: Has race played a role in the often-harsh treatment of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder?
That, supposedly, was the price Gov. Peter Minuit paid American Indians for the island of Manhattan in 1625. It's a tale historians find suspect.
In the first place, whatever Minuit paid was in goods valued at 60 17th-century Dutch guilders; the calculation that this equaled 24 U.S. dollars was made two centuries later -- on what basis, evidently, no one can say. In the second place, the Indians with whom he traded had no understanding of the European idea that land could be sold, no conception of it as a thing one could own.
Please, for the love of Cronkite: Give us a break from the missing plane. Yes, we all wonder what happened to it. Yes, our hearts go out to the families seeking resolution. But really, CNN ... enough. Put your hands up and step away from the story.