Some years ago, on a golden Manhattan morning, I stepped out of my apartment, rode the creaky wood-paneled elevator to the lobby, pushed through the entry doors of thick glass and curlicue iron, and emerged into the brilliant sunlight of a Morningside Heights spring. I strolled down West 112th Street to Broadway to get a copy of the New York Times before church. There were green leaves sparkling on the trees and rainbows of flowers skirting their trunks. There was a soft, warm breeze blowing. Were there choirs of birds singing? There must have been. Continue reading
A version of this appeared a year ago…thinking of my friend Joan Donaldson who lost her son this year…she is a wonderful person and writer, and I am so grateful that I know her.
Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:
For Joan Donaldson
Today, March 20th, is the first day of Spring. If you are really in the know, you might call it the Vernal Equinox, and do that little experiment in which you test an egg and see if it shares the equilibrium that is supposed to infuse the day. This winter was not any colder than usual in Texas, yet I have been longing for everything to warm up, even though I know friends from other parts of the country have had it much rougher. My friends post messages that lament the snow, even if it does look beautiful. Rarely have I had to deal with ice on my windshield in Houston, although it was freezing when I visited San Antonio in February. I hadn’t even thought about ice since I lived in North Carolina, but there, I just told everyone I was from Texas and stayed inside…
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I’m glad that we can still laugh at the death of the American Republic.
The WSJ reports that everyone had a good chuckle at the Supreme Court this week during a discussion of the Affordable Care Act. The government lawyer derided Justice Alito’s suggestion that there would be no harm if the Court gutted the system of tax credits offered by the federal government.
“What about Congress?” asked Justice Scalia. “You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all these disastrous consequences ensue?”
“This Congress?” Mr. Verrilli replied. The audience erupted into laughter.
That’s right. No one, right or left, expects Congress to do anything.
That’s why the case hinges on whether the Obama administration can interpret a preposition “by” to mean “in.” Americans don’t trust Congress to pass thoughtful, well-crafted laws. We also don’t trust Congress to fix poorly worded laws after problems become apparent.
This situation reminds me a bit of where the Roman Republic found itself in the first century BC.
On Jan. 14, 2015, Time reported that Ava DuVernay, director of the new civil rights film Selma, responded to criticism that her film lacks historical accuracy by saying, “Everyone sees history through their own lens and I don’t begrudge anyone from wanting to see what they want to see … This is what I see. This is what we see. And that should be valid.” Continue reading