Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Stumble of the Week

Civility took another step backward with Olympia Snowe’s announcement that she will not seek re-election to her Maine senate seat. Snowe, one of the few remaining moderates in the GOP, cited the atmosphere in Washington as a reason for her retirement: “I do find it frustrating that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.” Shortly after her announcement, she became the only Republican to vote against the Blunt Amendment. Ordinary People. While the Blunt Amendment failed by three votes, the arguments of its supporters that the issue was First Amendment rights for employers and institutions it ignores the needs and desires of the people who actually have the insurance policy or need the services. But don’t forget, corporations are people, too. Mitt Romney’s flip flop on the issue is only news because he took little more than an hour to do so.

Gut Instincts. In 2001 George W. Bush looked Vladimir in the eye and said, "I was able to get a sense of his soul.” Masha Gessen’s new book, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, “is the chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and . . . made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.”

Inhumanity. Asked about the boy who had killed her son Demetrius Hewlin at Chardon High School, Phyllis Ferguson showed the nature of true humanity: “You have to forgive because if you don’t forgive you hold that in your heart. It’s still in your memory of your child. You got that hatred in your heart.”

“On March the 8th, which will be Demetrius’ birthday next Thursday, I appreciate if everybody will light a candle for him. He would be 17 years old.”

 

The Wars Within

Blunt Instrument