Contempt of Court

After his arrest, the United States government was one of the first to call for an international tribunal to try Sankoh for war crimes. Since no such permanent court exists, however, an ad-hoc one would have to be createda difficult, expensive, and time-intensive process. Setting up such international courts has in fact proved so complicated… Read more »

Finding The Civil Service’s Hidden Sex Appeal

But if you call NASA to ask Ridge about his wonderful government job, you’ll have some trouble finding him. Turns out he left town not long after posing for the brochure. Now he develops supercomputing technology called Beowulf clusters for Scyld, a startup company in Maryland. He didn’t leave because he wanted more money—he’s earning… Read more »

Reinventing The Wheel

During the eventual post mortem on the events of that day, researchers examined everything from the tear gas canisters to the FBI leadership to the behavior of the Davidians themselves. But one aspect of the fiasco that has gone largely unnoted is the impact of the fledgling presidency of Bill Clinton. The Waco disaster came… Read more »

Why Gore should get credit for the economic boom

That time was August 1993, when, in the midst of economic malaise created by the phenomenal budget deficits of the Reagan/Bush years (economist Paul Krugman called it “The Age of Diminished Expectations”) Bill Clinton and Al Gore twisted arms and cajoled Democratic allies to pass their Budget Act through Congress and the Senate. The Act… Read more »

The Ghost of Tom Joad

A friend who teaches college art history complains bitingly about her students’ ignorance of the Bible. How can aspiring artists understand Renaissance art—Michelangelo’s “David” or Raphael’s Virgin Mary—without knowing the major prophets, saints, and martyrs? Her complaint is not about the students’ lack of religious fervor, but their cultural illiteracy. Schooled in neither church nor… Read more »

Help Wanted

Milwaukee resident Mary Rhoden has been on and off welfare for years. Her trouble hasn’t been getting a job. In fact, she’s had quite a few. It’s keeping them that’s the problem. The mother of five fought with her supervisor and was fired as a counselor for a teenage program. She quit as a hotel… Read more »

Will the Media Win it for W?

The Wall Street Journal promptly published a letter from Ellis’ school principal denying that his students had to stand through class. The Bush campaign seized on the letter and used it to bash Gore again as a liar—a charge the press eagerly amplified. But a few days later, Ellis’ father, a Republican, came forward to… Read more »

Why Homer’s My Hero

One week in August, the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” came in second, third, and fourth in the Nielsen ratings—topped only by “Survivor,” in which 16 strangers agreed to spend almost six weeks marooned together for the chance to win $1 million. Rounding out the top five was “Big Brother.” A “Survivor”… Read more »

The Son Also Rises

Nearly a decade ago, just before Al Gore joined Bill Clinton on the 1992 ticket, I happened to spend a day with the young senator back home in Tennessee. I was a reporter for The Chattanooga Times and had been assigned to do a “day in the life” piece on Gore; we spent most of… Read more »

Flying Too High

When John F. Kennedy, Jr. spiralled into the North Atlantic last year, there was some surprise in the press and public that he was allowed to go up into the moonless haze without the instrument training that might have allowed him to save himself and the unfortunate Bessette sisters. But the world of private flying… Read more »