FUBAR

Those last great days of summer

It still is summer. Really.

Every year in mid-August, with the Halloween decorations already calling to me from every store I enter, I have the same reaction. Don’t shorten my summer!

The rise in social intolerance

The hate-crime and incident blotter is filling so fast now, it suggests the mean side of our national character is rising. To look away from what is happening could mean something equally telling — a failure to face a problem needing national attention.

A suicidal attraction

In 2004, filmmaker Eric Steel spent an entire year filming San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. His intention was to capture images of people killing themselves.

Ignoring a major threat

If you don’t live in Washington, New York or another big city, you may think: "Even if the terrorists do strike again on American soil, my hometown and my family probably aren’t in danger." Think again.

A vote for Olympian modesty

It occurred to me while watching the Olympic swimming events on TV that, just as the world turns, old things have a way of coming around to dawn as new again.

Another cold war…or a hot one?

The bullying and wholly disproportionate Russian response against Georgia seems aimed as much at the United States and Western Europe as protecting the rights of ethnic Russians in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And Moscow is clearly counting on the Baltic republics and Ukraine to pay attention to the fate of Georgia.

A history of anxiety

When a country undergoes fast and unexpected change or feels under threat, its people are subject to commit outrages. By now the list of offenses and crimes committed against immigrants that violate our own moral codes in the Unites States are worthy of a human-rights investigation.

Mixed results for military tribunals

After years of battling to install a flawed system for dealing with terrorist detainees, the Bush administration finally got its first trial by military commission, a proceeding not seen since the aftermath of World War II.

Pay it down, pay it off

I began a conversation with David Briggs in last week’s column, about Americans and our staggeringly high and steadily increasing consumer debt (find it at betsysblog.com). We Americans are awash in it.

This week — it’s what to do about it.