"Let's stop worrying about people's rights."
Sadly there are dozens of junctures in American history from which that shameful quote might spring.
It could date as far back as 1798 when President Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it illegal to criticize the U.S. government.
"You were my little red-headed girl."
We are gathered here today not to argue about some policy prescription, nor to excoriate some public figure.
The question was first posed by Juvenal, a Latin poet whose life spanned the first and second centuries: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Translation: "Who watches the watchmen?"
Of course. It makes perfect sense. Why couldn't I see it before?
There could never have been a Holocaust had the Jews been armed. Granted, the Nazis swept aside the armies of Poland and France like dandruff, and it took six years for Great Britain -- later joined by Russia and the United States -- to grind them down. But surely Jewish civilians with revolvers and hunting rifles would have made all the difference.
And the Bush family's War on English continues.
What can I do? Not quite six months ago, a reader named Tracy posed that question to me and I, in turn, posed it to you. Tracy, a 55-year-old white woman from Austin, said she was sick of hearing about unarmed African-American men being injured or killed by police.
That's just what the conservative movement needs right now. Less adult supervision.
In 1958, Democrat George Wallace, running as a candidate for governor of Alabama and racially moderate enough to be endorsed by the NAACP, was swamped by a strident white supremacist whose campaign played shamelessly to the basest hatreds of the electorate. Afterward, Wallace complained bitterly to a room full of fellow politicians that the other guy had "out-n----red me."
America is not a brave nation. Yes, that's a heretical thing to say. Yes, our military is the world's finest and our servicewomen and men provide daily examples of incontestable courage.
He was not a terrorist with a dirty bomb in his suitcase.
He was not a stalker with a Glock in his fist.
He was not even a mugger with a switchblade in his pocket.
"To me," she said in a statement, "this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God's word. It is a matter of religious liberty."
It's telling that Kim Davis chose those words to defend herself last week. Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, a rural, impoverished and previously obscure patch of northeastern Kentucky, made international headlines for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"I've seen enough. I don't want to see any more" -- Bruce Springsteen, "Cover Me"
When terrorists beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 and posted video of the killing online, I refused to look. I explained my reasoning in this space. To watch that video, I wrote, knowing it was staged specifically to fill me with revulsion and fear, would feel like cooperating with the monsters who killed him. It would make me an accomplice.
America is a nation of faith. So it is often said.
"All lives matter." Those words have risen as a kind of counter to "Black lives matter," the movement that coalesced in response to recent killings and woundings of unarmed African-Americans by assailants -- usually police officers -- who often go unpunished.
Here is a challenge for you.
He wanted to start a race war.
That, you will recall, was what authorities say white supremacist Dylann Roof had in mind when he shot up a storied African-American church in June. It might have surprised him to learn that we've already had a race war.
This will not be a column about Sandra Bland, although it could be.
He's No. 1?!
Yes, it's an early poll and, as such, pretty near useless.
Yes, Herman Cain was once number one, too, and we know what happened with that.
Yes, the fact that he is number one probably reflects name recognition as much as anything else.
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