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.
This is a column about campaign finance reform.
And your eyes glazed over just then, didn't they?
That's the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fund-raising.
Eleven years ago, Richard Stearns went to Washington.
Stearns -- president of World Vision, the billion-dollar Christian relief organization -- joined other faith leaders in lobbying Congress to spend $15 billion combating AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. He acknowledged he and his fellow evangelicals were late to the fight against this pandemic and explained their tardiness with remarkable candor.
"We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work."
-- Rep. Paul Ryan
Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
That bit of live-and-let-live wisdom, usually attributed -- some say misattributed -- to Oliver Wendell Holmes, provides a useful framework for considering a high profile case argued before the Supreme Court last week.
What excuses will they make this time?
Meaning that cadre of letters-to-the-editor writers and conservative pundits who so reliably say such stupid things whenever the subject is race. Indeed, race is the third rail of American conscience; to touch it is to be zapped by rationalizations, justifications and lies that defy reason, but that some must embrace to preserve for themselves the fiction of liberty and justice for all. Otherwise, they'd have to face the fact that advantage and disadvantage, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, life and death, are still parceled out according to melanin content of skin.
And what shall we say now that the monster has died?
His estranged sons Mark and Nate told the world just a few days ago that their 84-year old father, Fred Phelps, was in the care of a hospice and "on the edge of death." Thursday morning, he went over the edge.
Who speaks for Ghanson Debrosse?
Before he was born, many people did. Anti-abortion groups did. Churches did. Protesters did. And lawmakers did. Florida, for instance, requires that a woman undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, and the provider must offer her the option of viewing the image.
It's your fault Justin Bieber is a jerk.
That's the contention of attorney Roy Black, who is defending the 20-year-old singer on a DUI charge stemming from a Jan. 23 arrest in Miami Beach.
A few words about Nathan Entingh's hand gun.
Meaning, you should understand, not a gun you hold in your hand, but rather, the hand itself, thumb cocked and index finger extended to resemble a pistol. One afternoon late last month, Entingh, who goes to school in Columbus, Ohio, was goofing off in science class when he raised such a "hand gun," pointed it at another kid's head, and said, "Boom." Not a good thing to do and Entingh, who is 10, should certainly have been reprimanded. Instead, he was suspended for three days. His father, Paul, says he's been told that if it happens again, the next suspension may be permanent.
Eighty-three-year old Ron Kilmartin was in a hospice, dying of lung cancer. His daughter was at his bedside, cracking jokes about it. Here's one:
"Last week, Dad coughed and said, 'choking.' I tried to give him water but he just wanted me to turn off the men's Olympic hockey game."
A plea for about a dozen people who know who they are: Will you see “12 Years a Slave” now?
It just won the Oscar for Best Picture. It just came out on DVD. Please see it. I'll even spring for the popcorn.
Maybe, if Democratic voters have their way. While the Republican faithful are split among a number of contenders and not particularly enthusiastic about any of them, a new poll finds Democrats overwhelmingly united behind a Hillary Clinton candidacy for 2016.
"Discrimination," he said, "is horrible. It's hurtful. It has no place in civilized society..."
You would think that statement, delivered recently in the Kansas legislature, a noble sentiment no right-thinking person could argue with. But we are gathered here today to argue with it.
Because it turns out that when Republican legislator Charles Macheers said "discrimination," he didn't mean, well ... discrimination. Macheers sponsored a bill -- passed overwhelmingly by the Kansas House but killed last week by the Senate in an attack of common sense -- that sought to exempt any business or government employee from providing "any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges" related to any "marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement" if doing so would conflict with the employee's "sincerely held religious beliefs."