FUBAR

Our vets: Homeless, broken and alone

His lifelong dream of becoming a soldier had, in the end, come to this for Isaac Stevens: 28, penniless, in a wheelchair, fending off the sexual advances of another man in a homeless shelter.

Olbermann: The mouth that bored

Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s pied piper of partisan political punditry, may be starting to wear thin with the very people who made him a star — the political left wing.

After trumpeting a meaningless ratings win over right-wing Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly, who was on vacation, Olbermann’s tiresome self-promotion act went into overdrive.

Olbermann: Worst taxpayer in the world?

MSNBC pundit Keith Olbermann, who spotlights misbehavior nightly with his "Worst Person in the World" recognition, owes New York state for unpaid business taxes, according to a tax warrant notice.

And his conservative counterparts and bloggers are making sure the debt is fodder in the ongoing political commentators’ feud.

So much for conventional wisdom

For nearly a decade now, I’ve been writing about controversies regarding the relationship between weight and health. In the course of studying the matter, I’ve concluded that much of the conventional wisdom about the subject is simply wrong.

A changing notion of family

Two fascinating new legal trends reflect society’s sea change in attitude toward family and interpersonal relationships. The first is collaborative divorce, which sounds like an oxymoron but is actually a brilliant concept. The second, which I’ll get to below, is "legalized friendships."

A sticky wicket for Father’s Day

As Father’s Day arrives Sunday and it already feels like summer, I offer today a father-son column on the old ballgame from an immigrant’s point of view.

When I say the old ball game, I do not mean baseball. That is where the immigrant part comes in. I write of the really old ballgame — cricket.

Easing America’s gas pains

When Washington is in crisis mode, its officials move into high-speed action mode. Which is to say, they start talking faster.

And America’s gas pains — economic and political — are a major crisis that is hurting worst those who can afford it least. So Washington officials are a blur of action, racing in front of the cameras to promote their pet solutions.

It will get worse

The amazing aspect of escalating gasoline prices — they reached the lamentable landmark of $4 a gallon over the weekend — is that they haven’t done more damage to the U.S. economy.

The oil-price shocks of the ’70s and ’80s did much worse damage, but today’s economy seems much more resilient with interest rates low, exports surging and the dollar showing signs of stabilizing.

No relief in sight from gas prices

Well, where do we go from here?

The answer, for millions of Americans, is not very far if the oil barons and commodities speculators have their way. The cheap gas culture that has driven the nation’s economy and fostered unprecedented mobility may be over for good, leaving a major wreck along its vast network of superhighways that could take a decade or two to clean up.

Doing just fine at $8 a gallon

I’d intended to spend only one night in Toulouse, in southern France. But when I tried to buy a train ticket to Madrid on the evening of my arrival, I discovered that the following day was dedicated to a general strike. Trains, buses, and even many airlines were taking the day off. This happened to be the same day that the price of oil hit $135 per barrel.