I made a New Year’s resolution not to make any New Year’s resolutions. But here it is, the second of January, and I’m ready to break it. Did I really think I could turn my back on a lifelong habit of trying to improve myself? Begin the year without a ten-point plan to become a leaner, stronger, better man? Lay down my sword and shield and, pardon the expression, just be me? Impossible.


I had a hard time tearing myself away from The New York Times this morning. After all, I’m genuinely interested in this world of sorrows, its wayward drift toward ruin, the herculean struggle of so many to turn this sinking ship around. What a pageant — every day another page added to the history book our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will study, even as they shake their heads in disbelief that their forebears could have been so stupid.