The Wound

Every resident of New York City has their favorite neighborhood. Sometimes it’s the neighborhood where they live, sometimes where they work or play. My favorite is the East Village, more specifically Alphabet City, the clean cousin to the north of the Lower East Side. Its one of those neighborhoods where people who have been in the city long enough are heard to utter the refrain, “It’s just not the same as it used to be.” Mostly this is meant as a lament. Things change, as they say. The merits or minuses of gentrification aside, it’s the neighborhood that most feels like home, even though I hang my hat in Queens. Continue reading “The Wound”

One Branch, Two Twigs

It has not been that long, only 1998, since the Supreme Court struck down the line-item veto authority that Congress had conferred on President Clinton in 1996. What an extraordinary piece of legislation. Imagine, a Republican controlled legislature, so burdened by its inability to control rampant spending, giving the most despised Democratic president in decades the ability to pick through bills and discard all the bits and pieces he found to be, at his own discretion, excessive. Therein lies the power of election-year jitters. Continue reading “One Branch, Two Twigs”

Free, Not-So-Free

The news that Google has defied a Justice Department subpoena to turn over records of millions of its users’ searches is heartening. Although there is little expectation of privacy under the law in internet use (unlike library usage), that expectation exists among the general public in the United States. We have come to take it for granted that our activities not come under the watchful eye of a Big Brother. Continue reading “Free, Not-So-Free”

Weight of the World

Are American troops being short-changed when it comes to their protective armor? That depends. Recently, the New York Times reported that, “A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor.” This would seem to settle the issue. Our soldiers and marines could benefit from available technology that the Pentagon is not providing them. Lives are being needlessly lost. Continue reading “Weight of the World”

Midterms

In eleven months, the midterm elections to determine the 110th Congress will be held. Over the past months, the Bush administration and the Republican Party have been lambasted for their continued inability to steer the nation on a proper course. From the woeful response to Hurricane Katrina, to allegations of corruption plaguing the Capitol and the West Wing, to the CIA leak case, to the war in Iraq, polls from here until Sunday show a continuing decline in support for the party in power. Continue reading “Midterms”