FUBAR

Time for a cosmic perspective

Here’s one way of looking at our solar system and our place in it: If the vast span of time between the two events that bookend the lifecycle of our solar system — that is, from its coalescence in a cosmic cloud to its destruction in the sun’s final flameout — were telescoped into a single year, all of recorded history would be represented by less than a minute in early June.

A nation of hysterical cowards

Lenore Skenazy, a columnist for the New York Sun, caused quite a stir earlier this month when she wrote about letting her nine-year-old son take a subway and bus by himself across Manhattan. The boy had been begging her to allow him to test his big city commuting skills on his own, and she finally agreed, handing him a map, a subway token, some quarters, and a $20 bill.

Putting it into context…or not

I saw my old pal Context the other day. He seemed very low. He hasn’t been the same since our mutual friend Irony died.

“Hey, Connie,” I said, “Why the long face? You look like a horse — or maybe John Kerry.”

So, where are all the illegals?

A fence along our border with Mexico may seem like a solution to our illegal-immigration problem, but it’s a sideshow, a distraction from the thorniest of immigration issues: the 12 million or so illegal immigrants who already live here.

Who are these 12 million people? I decided to ask one of them.

Best of times, worst of times

Articles in the May/June issue of the AARP Magazine, the April 24 issue of the Christian Science Monitor and the April 25 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education reminded me that 40 years ago — 1968 — America was experiencing one of its most tumultuous decades in modern times.

Many states already in recession

The finances of many states have deteriorated so badly that they appear to be in a recession, regardless of whether that’s true for the nation as a whole, a survey of all 50 state fiscal directors concludes.

The situation looks even worse for the fiscal year that begins July 1 in most states.

So much talk, so little depth

You have to feel sorry for the panelists at Howard University. The group, moderated by NBC News anchor Brian Williams, recently discussed the documentary, “Meeting David Wilson.”

Improving America from within

In an age of terrorism when strong, trusted leadership is essential, America’s global image has plunged to depths that were unthinkable even a few years ago.

No summer vacation for gas tax

We have “spawning season,” “breeding season” and “calving season,” which make our “summer driving season” sound almost like a naturally occurring phase of the American cycle of life. Americans might watch football in the fall and clean their houses in the spring, but between Memorial Day and Labor Day, we drive.

Time to stamp out ID theft

No wonder identity theft is the fastest-growing crime. Our common sense hasn’t caught up with our technology.

We let anyone have our Social Security and driver’s-license numbers. We might as well leave our wallets on a store counter and walk away. A thief with a computer can quickly empty our bank accounts.