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


Stumble of the Week

Bullying is not only for young males, as 76-year-old John McCain demonstrated when he went after Chuck Hagel during nomination hearings for Secretary of Defense. Still infuriated over Hagel’s opposition to the Iraq war (not to mention to McCain’s 2008 presidential candidacy), McCain attacked his former friend for opposing the 2007 “surge,” which has become the last straw of Republican honor in Iraq. But Hagel was right. The costs were enormous and the gains short-lived, as the current situation in Iraq makes clear. It’s time for those who insist on resurrecting in Iraq the American honor that was buried in Vietnam to recognize the parallels: two ill-conceived and badly executed wars, marked by “collateral damage” and fought in the end primarily to extricate our own troops. If the purpose of war is to extricate our troops from the mess we created, umm . . . Hearts and Minds. We have read far too much about the tragic brain damage suffered by professional football players. San Francisco 49er cornerback Chris Culliver is only 24, but his pre-Super Bowl comments show that muddled brains can come young. “I don’t do the gay guys, man,” he said in an interview. “Can’t be with that sweet stuff.” His damage control? “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel.”

Liberal Hollywood’s image was jolted by a recent study that reported that two of the 10 highest-grossing film actors, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, are Scientologists, and a third, Clint Eastwood, talks to empty chairs.

The Game