Magazine | September 7, 2009, Issue

The Pure Gift

In Memoriam LME

On the hottest day that summer, a rainbow

Arced over the clock-tower of the brick pile

We call The Rotunda, a dying shopping mall

With a wilting grocery, a druggist, a flower stall,

A dozen half-lit vacant retail stores

And a crafts gallery. I had just bought

A jewel box, the lid a parquet braid

Of spruce and rosewood artfully inlaid,

With a comb of music teeth to play a tune

For one who might never open it to listen.

 

There is a clear-cut purity in the gift

Purchased with love that may not be returned.

I walked out into twilight holding the treasure

The clerk had gift-wrapped in white paper

And bound with ribbons, silver and turquoise

All cunningly curled. Then I looked up 

And saw the rainbow against the violet sky

Late in the rainless day, bold and unbidden.

No gold anchors the generous bridge of heaven.

–DANIEL MARK EPSTEIN

 

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Bear Right

Clad in a black jacket over an open-necked black shirt, speaking directly into the camera against the backdrop of a summer coastline, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev looked every inch the ...
Politics & Policy

Town Hall Summer

The Chinese go nuts once every 50 years or so. The last time was around 1966, when the country erupted into something called the Cultural Revolution, and leading political and ...
Politics & Policy

Direction, Anyone?

Republicans are looking for a leader. Go to any right-leaning gathering, and at some point the conversation will turn to the party’s potential presidential nominee in 2012. Republicans were less ...
Politics & Policy

Blue Dog Blues

Honesdale, Pa. – If you want to understand better why President Obama’s heath-care agenda has foundered, consider the story of Rep. Christopher Carney, a Democrat who represents the district that includes ...
Politics & Policy

A Matter of Scale

A common liberal talking point is that, based on the historical record, reducing greenhouse gases should be fairly easy. After all, acid rain was once a terrible problem, but government ...
Politics & Policy

Hillary’s Innocence Abroad

Hillary Clinton’s eleven-day trip through Africa was an odd affair. The proximate reason for it was that Obama’s election awakened wholly unrealistic expectations throughout Africa that the new president would ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Rubio Rising

Florida governor Charlie Crist is running for the Senate, and he isn’t supposed to lose — let alone lose in the Republican primary. He enjoys a high approval rating, has ...
Politics & Policy

Why the Stimulus Failed

Conservatives have correctly declared President Obama’s $787 billion “stimulus” a flop. In a January report, White House economists predicted the bill would create (not merely save) 3.3 million jobs. Since ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Bernanke’s War

David Wessel’s new volume on the Federal Reserve’s response to the financial crisis is the sort of book that Bob Woodward usually writes about U.S. presidents: a character-driven, sometimes novelistic, ...
Politics & Policy

This Is How It Flops

Grant Ginder’s lightly satirical novel about the young, wealthy political set in Washington, D.C., is a shallow, clichéd, and not particularly likable book about shallow, clichéd, and not particularly likable ...
Politics & Policy

Film: Inner Space

The next time you read about the money that’s been poured away bringing some lame, unnecessary science-fiction spectacular to life — the $200 million that Michael Bay spent making the ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Defining ‘Conservative’ For the most part I agree with Tod Lindberg’s review of The Conservatives, by Patrick Allitt (“The Deepest Roots,” August 10), and I certainly look forward to reading the ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ New left-wing slogan: Dissent is the highest form of tastelessness. ‐ Congressmen’s town-hall meetings on the president’s health-care plan have caused a backlash of un-American fury. It comes from liberals, ...

Most Popular

White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Completely Assimilated

Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas Senate candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn., last week: ... Read More
Sports

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice. It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an ... Read More
U.S.

The ‘Squad’ Gives a Gift to Donald Trump

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave the Democrats a gift -- comments that indicate he thinks native-born congresswomen he detests should “go back” to the countries of their ancestors. On Monday, the four congresswomen handed Trump a gift in return, managing to respond to the president’s insults in some of the most ... Read More
Immigration

Why So Little Coverage of the ICE Attack?

Mostly unnoticed beneath the storm of idiotic presidential tweets and the Democratic struggle session over exactly how minority legislators should behave, a 69-year-old man conducted a terrorist attack on a government facility this weekend. Willem Van Spronsen, armed with a rifle and “incendiary devices”, ... Read More