…And Manners

Anyone who has ever invited guests of opposing political persuasions over to dinner will know how quickly it can all go wrong. Having imagined they’d exchange their interesting views about something vaguely neutral — European politics, say, or Russian literature — I’ve watched my normally civilized friends spend the evening shouting at one another about something utterly unrelated, such as whether the Pledge of Allegiance should contain the phrase “under God.” Continue reading “…And Manners”

Open-and-Shut Society

Last week, in the middle of the day, traffic ground to a halt on Interstate 10, the highway that runs south from Phoenix. Rival gangs of “coyotes,” the criminals who smuggle illegal immigrants over the Mexican border, had started shooting at one another through the open windows of their trucks. The trucks were packed with people. Five died, three were wounded and 27 others were detained. Continue reading “Open-and-Shut Society”

Boo! Ha-Ha!

Forget your warm childhood trick-or-treating memories, and don’t think about how adorable your neighbor’s children look in their devil costumes, with their miniature pitchforks and long red tails. Instead, focus on Halloween as an objective, and deeply peculiar, phenomenon. Continue reading “Boo! Ha-Ha!”