Tagged: essay by michael konik

Election Day

Millions of Americans go to the polls today, participating in the grand charade that passes as our debased version of democracy. Millions of other Americans won’t go. They’re too lazy, or they’ve convinced themselves that their vote doesn’t matter.  This time, perhaps more than in any other election in my lifetime, everyone’s vote matters. For...

The Shame

Mark Foley, the Florida congressman who abruptly resigned his seat in the House of Representatives on Friday after sexually suggestive e-mail and instant messages with a 16-year-old male former congressional page became public, has — predictably — entered an alcohol treatment facility and has said how sorry he is for the harm he has caused....

The Kindness of Forgetting

This week I witnessed something I had previously only read about: the sudden onset of temporary amnesia.  My friend recently lost her daughter to a brief but devastating illness. She had watched her daughter die. The pain of losing her child eventually became too much to bear, and her brain stopped remembering that it had...

Dissenting Toward the Truth

Thomas Jefferson, for all his indelibly human faults, was a man whose ideas about how a republic ought to be organized have shaped the country we once lived in. The main author of the Declaration of Independence was an 18th Century renaissance man, slave owner, and upper-class elite. He also proposed some of the most...

Department of Predictions: In the Year 2107

From Revelations to Leonardo, Jules Verne to Arthur C. Clarke, mankind has dreamed about what the world will be like dozens or hundreds or thousands of years hence. All of us — well, most of us — wonder what will become of our planet, our culture, our government, our morals when we are no longer...

Sandrine Pecher: 1970-2006

My great friend, traveling partner, and constant source of encouragement, Sandrine Pecher, died Tuesday morning after a nine-month battle with lung cancer. Sandrine had valiantly accepted whatever treatments the medical community could offer, including several different chemotherapies and radiation. Just last week, she told me that new lesions had been detected on her liver, but...

The World is a Safer Place

In “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” Lawrence Wright’s monumental examination of the jihadist movement that threatens the civilized world, characters other than Osama Bin-Laden emerge as the network’s chief ideologues. The handful of Americans who still read newspapers regularly are familiar with names like Zarqawi and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Less known, but...

Five Years Later

All of us remember where we were and what we were doing when news reached us that our country was under attack. (I was playing golf, and my playing partner got an emergency message on his beeper.) The hijacking and murders in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York changed our nation forever. In the weeks...

Keeping Young Minds Pure

As anyone who has attended a scolding church sermon knows, our children — meaning the children of other people, irresponsible guardians who aren’t as good at parenting as they ought to be — are drowning in filth. Their minds are infected with lewd thoughts inspired mostly by female mammaries, and the sludge that spews from...

In Anticipation of Labor Day

Thank you to the Dads and Moms, toiling at home or in an office, on a truck or in a field. Thanks also to the Thais and Turks and Filipinos and Sri Lankans, the Malaysians and the Indonesians, the Bangladeshis and the Vietnamese, and of course the Chinese, who make our clothes and shoes and socks....