To watch Simone Biles win four gold medals for gymnastics at the Rio Olympics was to feel a special emotion, an abundant admiration for the sheer spectacle of skill. She might (or might not) be quite undistinguished in everything else she does, and gymnastics may do nothing to solve hunger or climate change, and yet to do this one . . .
Admirable women trainee soldiers of the Afghan National Army ... photos from the Boston Globe's 'Big Picture' site.
'Kabul’s military training academy is churning out classes of enthusiastic women to serve in Afghanistan’s army, but the realities of rising violence and a conservative society make the future for the young . . .
In early 2016 historian Walter Russell Mead wrote a prescient analysis of the American political crisis that was to burst fully into the open only some months later, with Donald Trump’s victory in the November presidential election. I vaguely recalled Mead’s brilliant description of the enormous elite interests lined up . . .
In his book on Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton says that the figure of the cockney Sam Weller in ‘The Pickwick Papers’ introduces the great subject of all Dickens’ novels, the English people:
"Sam Weller is the great symbol in English literature of the populace peculiar to England. His incessant stream of sane nonsense . . .
It’s too late for this lifetime, but in the next I’ll start early on the project of migrating to Switzerland.
Not that the Swiss will make it easy for me. In a 2014 referendum they exercised their national sovereignty by voting to introduce quotas on immigration, a move at odds with an earlier agreement with the European . . .
Timothy Taylor tells us that he rejoices at the great improvement in Chinese living standards since 1980, and wants to know if we feel the same way.
“…one might ask: Do you rejoice that China’s economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of the most dire and terrible poverty? Or do you wish the process . . .
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