Margaret O'Brien Steinfels
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.
By this author
The murders in Charleston have summoned all the cliches about race, racism, black, white, etc., that are part of summertime news. The parishioners at Emanuel AME Church mourn the people they knew and loved and their relatives and friends weep and forgive. The rest of us should be sorting through cause and effect. It might actually sober everyone up.
The word "legacy" appears frequently in stories about the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). And almost without exception it refers to President Obama's legacy.
The defeat last week in the House of a piece of the agreement has been taken as a major defeat for the president, and what's more, at the hands of his fellow Democrats. No doubt, the whole thing will circle around again, and those now on record against the agreement can then vote, yes.
June 12, 2015: Fireflies out and about. I thought this would be the earliest date ever, but I see May 30, 2011 wins the early bird award. Of course, I wasn't here in nature on May 30 this year so.... The fireflies are not yet as profuse as they were in 2014, but will certainly increase as we approach July 4, when they put on their great firework show.
As the congratulatory telegrams continue for Ireland's referendum last Sunday approving gay marriage and as we await the Supreme Court's decision on the issue of a constitutional right for gay marriage, we might consider some of the points Ross Douthat makes in today's column in the New York Times. It is headlined: "The Prospect for Polygamy."
We had a go around last week about nail salons (and I have been chided for treating it as another NYTimes hand-wringer). Okay. Sorry to scandalize the sensitive!
The Vatican has completed a treaty in which it will recognize the State of Palestine; details to come.
The Vatican statement: very brief. If Francis does nothing else, this should be celebrated in helping to bring an end to the Israeli Occupation.
Will it encourage other nations to do the same? Probably not our own:
There's a tab at the upper left of the screen to watch the whole discussion, which begins at about five minutes. Catch it.
You will laugh at me: I read the NYTimes everyday, at least as far as Paul Krugman on the op-ed page. I've noticed I am getting through faster and faster because either I have read a story on-line where it appeared several days before...or I am just not interested (into my Cyprus File).
Didn't Christopher Dawson--or someone, maybe Nietzsche?--trace the excellence and superiority of the West back to the Greeks? Now this: "The Greeks are not Western."
"The imperial giant driving a wedge through European unity and the tiny state drowning in debt are locked in a controversial canoodle. Call it an Orthodox big wet kiss, but modern ties between Greece and Russia are cementing ancient ones."