Vote for animals is a vote for humanity

WASHINGTON — For people who support the humane treatment of animals, including those that end up on America’s dinner plates, passage this week of the farm bill would be a gift befitting the season — and a grand bipartisan gesture to close out the year.

Immunization fight: politics susceptible to sickness

FLORENCE, Italy — It was here in 1614 that Tommaso Caccini preached a sermon in the church of Santa Maria Novella denouncing Galileo and other scientists who held the heretical view that the Earth circles the sun. This was one of the main triggers that brought Galileo to the attention of the Inquisition.

The ocean holds wonders, yet we’re destroying it

It’s been said that everything that is to be seen has already been seen. But as far as our planet’s oceans are concerned, nothing could be further from the truth. Just recently, a veteran underwater videographer saw a 26-foot-long pyrosome — a colony of tiny sea animals who link together into a free-floating mass. As if that weren’t fascinating enough, this undulating “ocean worm” has a bioluminescent glow. The awestruck diver put it this way: “Even the most articulate person in the world couldn’t describe that creature that we filmed.”

The virtues of a public-spirited patrician

George H.W. Bush was legendary for his thank-you notes. He wrote thousands of them, expressing appreciation for kindnesses large and small. When it came to his gratitude, no one was left behind.

Lies, lies — and dadgum lies

WASHINGTON — Michael Cohen’s guilty plea Thursday that he lied to Congress about Donald Trump’s interests in building a Moscow tower comes as little surprise — everyone attached to this administration seems to lie with ease. And yet it’s explosive news in the carnival-kingdom of liars, crooks and thieves.

Summoned by events

WASHINGTON — At the beginning of his long and well-lived life, George Herbert Walker Bush, who in politics was always prosaic, acquired, by way of a grandfather, the name of a British poet and priest (George Herbert, 1593-1633). He acquired much else from family inheritance.