FUBAR

The ever-changing face of America

One of the coolest things about the Olympics has been that the U.S. athletes do not all have the same last name and do not all look like one another. They boast an amazing array of ethnic and racial heritages.

How should the U.S. respond?

The war in the Caucasus has been compared by some on the right to Germany’s seizure of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938. Officials such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential candidate, have argued for a forceful American response to the new crisis.

Another FBI screwup

The FBI’s mishandling of the anthrax case and its rush to claim it solved not only have made it doubtful the truth of the matter ever will come out, but it has turned this nightmare into a conspiracy freak’s dream.

Wrist-slap justice

Five months in jail for driving Mr. bin Laden? Only in America!

Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former chauffeur, recently won an appallingly light sentence for aiding al-Qaeda. Hamdan’s apologists call him a hapless, innocent motorist. If so, anyone steering a bank-job getaway car is "just a driver."

A return to 55 mph?

As you zip down the highway at 70 mph, remember that your lead foot will cost you at the pump in these days of $4-a-gallon gas.

Some lawmakers in Congress have certainly considered the consequences of your driving habits. And they want you to slow down.

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.