July 19, 1993
Washington. -- One hundred and thirty Julys ago the president, referring to the Mississippi, said, ''The father of waters again goes unvexed to the sea.'' Lincoln was pleased, the occasion being the triumph of the siege of Vicksburg by a general from the Mississippi River town of Galena, Illinois, U.S. Grant.It would be nice if that willful river -- today 16 miles wide on some Illinois and Missouri plains -- would be more vexed by human ingenuity. But the big river, by riveting our attention on the unpredictable and uncontrollable sphere of life (which is almost all of life)
April 16, 1991
As sure as there's death and taxes, there's surely bound to be people who file their tax returns at the last minute.That was the case again last night as late filers jammed the main post office on East Fayette Street trying to beat the midnight deadline. A traffic jam was caused by those who drove up in cars to drop their state and federal returns into 16 plastic containers manned by postmen on the street outside."I think it's a mess," said Joseph Wiggins, 28, who filed his taxes in February and went to the post office last night to buy an envelope.
March 5, 2006
A Changed Man Francine Prose Harper Perennial / 421 pages / $14.95 Prose's satire concerns a purportedly reformed white supremacist who wants now to lend his services to a human rights organization. Prose "delivers a well-crafted, ironic and insightful tale of the darker side of human nature," we said last year.
January 1, 2012
Imagine my surprise this morning when I saw letters from apparently well-fed individuals complaining about paying unemployment insurance. For all those beleaguered employers who don't want to pay unemployment benefits I've got a solution: Hire illegal immigrants. They are non-persons, so an employer does not have to pay unemployment insurance and really shouldn't bother about niceties like Workers' Compensation, minimum wage laws, child labor laws, unions, OSHA or any other oppressive, socialistic safety net provisions.
April 2, 2008
Evil never sounds as good as it does in a Verdi opera. This dark side of human nature gets a particularly tuneful and theatrically gripping workout in Rigoletto, which moves with brutal speed toward a tragic tangle of blind love, vengeance and self-sacrifice. If you go Rigoletto will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and five more times through April 13 at the Kennedy Center, off Virginia and New Hampshire avenues Northwest, Washington. Tickets are $45 to $250. Call 800-876-7372 or go to dc-opera.
May 4, 2011
"We got him, justice is done. " Really? We seem to be overjoyed by the idea that Osama bin Laden's death is some sort of compensation for all the suffering and lives he annihilated. I suppose it's human nature that revenge is a joy. But now our revenge must be avenged. Perhaps our joy should just be geared to the fact that at least bin Laden will no longer plan additional harm. George B. Wroe, Glyndon