A lone senator is still pursuing the construction of a controversial memorial to the 34th president despite a lack of support from his fellow Republicans and the family of Dwight Eisenhower.
Senator Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) says he was disappointed that the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee reduced construction funding for the monument to zero last week, but maintains that the design produced by the architect Frank Gehry will prevail.
I have to say, I’m always interested to see which rights the Supreme Court will read into existence by divining the entrails of the Constitution. After their succinct and excellent explanations it all becomes so clear: You’re telling me that after their expert rulings you don’t see a clear cut right to abortion and gay marriage in the language of our founding documents? Wow. I bet James Madison would like to have a word with you.
Anyway, given that the Supreme Court has an essentially unlimited ability to alter the nation as it sees fit, I have to wonder why we, the long-abused fans of popular culture, have not tried to use the court of last resort to reshape the world in ways that we want. In the future I envision, things will be much better.
The typical science fiction writer will take a concept he finds interesting—say, nanotechnology—explore and build an architecture of plot around the theme and if it all goes well something entertaining will be the end product. Not so with Neal Stephenson. Everything he has written is a heady mix of half a dozen complex ideas: cryptography, currency, philosophy, the history of science, memetics, computer viruses, and so on. (Stephenson brought our present meaning for the word “avatar” into common usage.) If he weren’t often seen in public, it would be possible to argue that Stephenson was some sort of composite, a synthesis of assorted futurists, historians, philosophers, and fiction writers, all writing as a team.
In September 1962, Sonny Liston fought Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title before a crowd of 19,000 in Chicago.This confrontation was preceded two days earlier by another marquee event, less kinetic but no less momentous. “The debate of the year” at Chicago’s grand Medinah Temple drew a crowd of 3,000. Playboy magazine published the full transcript of the event and sold 1.5 million copies, a publication record. The debaters were Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley, Jr., rising stars of the left and right.
On the outskirts of Dongshigu village, Chen Guangcheng waited in the night. Alone and blind since childhood, he had already broken his foot in an attempt to escape from house arrest. It began to rain. Just ahead of him, a guard moved to seek shelter, providing him an opportunity to cross the road.
As a red-blooded American male, I take a great deal of pride in being emotionally dead inside. This is especially true when it comes to films: A man tearing up during a touching moment on the big screen is entirely unacceptable, unless, of course, one happens to be watching the closing moments of Field of Dreams.