The Nation’s Pulse

The Nation's Pulse

Macaroni and Cheese, Please

By 10.9.15

“Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, please,” etiquette, or at least Madison Avenue, instructs supplicants. “Just get me some f---ing bacon-jalapeno mac-and-cheese,” Luke Gatti demands.

On Sunday the University of Connecticut student pushed, cursed, and taunted a manager for refusing him service at a campus eatery for allegedly drinking in the dry establishment. Worst of all, he did this wearing sweatpants, socks, and sandals. By Friday, the bro’s bad manners, to say nothing of his fashion faux pas, became known to everybody with electricity.

“This is gonna be posted somewhere,” Gatti helpfully informed the manager upon spotting the iPhone paparazzi. “You’re gonna look like a f---ing fool.” He was half right.

The student’s contempt for the working man (“Your job is a f---ing joke”), his entitlement (“Just f---ing give me my food”), and his hubris in the face of consequences (“Yeah, yeah, I’m gonna get expelled!”) astound the viewer. But his bizarre gustatory enthusiasms most disturb this viewer.

The Nation's Pulse

California’s New Death Row: Virginia

By 10.1.15

California has a new death row; it’s called Virginia. Anti-death penalty advocates, federal judges, and defense attorneys have been so successful at blocking capital punishment in California that a San Quentin death row inmate has more to fear from being extradited for a capital murder to another state than seeing his sentence carried out here. There has been no execution in California since a federal judge effectively halted the practice in 2006.

The Nation's Pulse


By 9.25.15

Two women recently launched a “#shoutyourabortion” Twitter campaign. The abortions, at a decided disadvantage in the debate, could offer no rebuttal.

“I’ve had 2 abortions,” tweets Clementine Ford. “I don’t have to justify or explain them to anybody. My life is more valuable than a potential life. #shoutyourabortion.”

“#Shoutyourabortion In 1988 a late-term abortion got a teenage me back on track for college, career, & motherhood,” the unfortunately named Ruby Sinreich writes on her Twitter account. Her Facebook page features a picture of mother and child (the one who lived).

First they came for your tax dollars. Now they demand your approval.

Even Planned Parenthood possessed the decency to restrict speaking of harvesting baby parts to hushed tones on candid camera. Their most loyal patrons, at least a few of them, recast their offenses as deserving praise rather than penance.

The Nation's Pulse

Will Sacramento Enact This Bad End-of-Life Bill?

By 9.16.15

California Gov. Jerry Brown convened a special session of the Legislature to fix a $1 billion shortfall in health care funding — and the bill the Legislature sent to his desk would legalize physician-assisted suicide.

Supporters of the measure made this argument last week: The Legislature needed to pass the End of Life Option Act because if it were not to become law, then advocates would place a similar measure on the ballot. Voters would be sure to adopt such a measure, but if it created unforeseen problems, the Legislature might face hurdles trying to correct errors embedded in an inflexible ballot measure. “We should be making those decisions,” Assemblyman Luis Alejo argued on the Assembly floor.

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Settled But Superfluous Science

By 9.14.15

Once again science has been mobilized to verify the bloody obvious. In separate studies, researchers with time on their hands, government money to abuse, and little interest in things we don’t already know, have verified that men make better combat soldiers than women, cats aren’t as loyal to people as dogs are, and Americans don’t know much about science. (The kind of science I’m relating here they really don’t need to know about — it would be nice though if more Americans could see the gaping holes in the evidence that is supposed to support the global warming/climate change hustle.)

The Nation's Pulse

Schlomo Sapiens

By 9.11.15

Scientists allegedly found remains from a previously unknown branch of the human family in a dark South African cave. In the daylight of Central New England I regularly glimpse offshoot homo sapiens while walking through the city.  

The South African scientists call their find homo naledi. I call mine schlomo sapiens.

These occasionally sub-linguistic, often morbidly obese schlomo sapiens schlomo: Urban Dictionary for lazy person and not Hebrew dictionary for Solomon — represent about as long an evolutionary step from homo sapiens as homo sapiens do from homo naledi. The direction of that step remains up for science to determine.

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Misspelled Words Give Me LOL

By 9.9.15

Editor’s note: Peter Hannaford, a faithful contributor to this site for many years, filed this column on Friday morning. On Saturday, we learned yesterday, he died suddenly at his northern California home. His young colleague Robert Zapesochny, with whom he coauthored a number of recent columns, pays tribute to him nearby, nicely capturing Peter’s historical importance and great qualities. Here we present his final contribution, mourning his passing and grateful to him for his service to America and the gentlemanly and resourceful example he always set.

In a new Harris Poll, “Millennials” (ages 18-34) complain more than any other age group about misspelling and bad grammar.

There may be two reasons: (1) having a strong sense of entitlement they may have expected better; and (2) many of them had educations that paid little attention to either spelling or grammar. These had gone out of fashion in the nation’s schools.

The Nation's Pulse


By 8.28.15

Vester Lee Flanagan, who wore an Obama sticker while covering the elections in 2012, never got the memo that becoming the story serves as the journalist’s nightmare, not his dream.

Flanagan offered political, racial, and even divine motivations for shooting two former colleagues to death live on local television on Wednesday. The reasons read more like rationalizations. Crazier than crazy projects reason upon unreason. One of the healthiest developments in America’s collective mental health involves society’s increasing rejection of the stated, often hifalutin, causes for murderous acts in favor of an acceptance of the explanation articulated by a drooling, shiny-eyed nutter’s stare.

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Liberalism and Happiness Don’t Mix

By 8.25.15

Although liberals probably don’t realize it, liberalism and happiness don’t mix. A “happy liberal” is almost an oxymoron.

Why so? The reasons are many. For one, liberals, especially white American liberals, are highly critical and dissatisfied with their country, culture, race, and gender. If you don’t like the society, race, culture, and gender that you’re part of, your ability to feel good about yourself becomes much more challenging.

Liberals are humans, but they think humans are destroying the planet. They’re Americans, but they think that America is primarily responsible for most of the problems in the world. White liberals wallow in guilt about “white privilege,” which diminishes any sense of personal accomplishment they might have. Liberals firmly believe in the importance of the “collective,” yet they don’t like the collectives they’re parts of.

In regard to love of country, conservatives far exceed liberals. If you’re “proud to be an American” you’re probably a conservative. If you’re ashamed to be an American, you’re probably a liberal.

The Nation's Pulse

Jared, We Hardly Knew Ye

By 8.21.15

What does it profit a man to loseth the weight but gaineth the cell-block moniker “chomo”?

Jared Fogle pleaded guilty to child pornography and underage sex charges on Wednesday. The sandwich salesman faces five-to-twelve years in jail, imminent divorce, and, worst of all, a plummeting Q-Score.

If you remember Jared’s first Subway ads that ran around the turn of the century, you long ago aged out of his dating pool. During the Jared-Subway marriage, the eatery’s revenues more than tripled on a campaign that stressed Fogle halving his size on a diet of sandwiches at the fast-food joint. Jared’s unthreatening image appears in hindsight as honest as his dine-out-weigh-less message.

“Jared gave Subway the health halo before any of us even knew the term,” Nation's Restaurant News editor Robin Lee Allen told USA Today in 2013. Subway still offers subs that taste good. They just don’t taste the same.