Eugene V. Debs, the legendary Socialist leader, once mocked in an editorial the notion that a common railroad worker such as Debs once was could be “equal” to the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who got his start with $2 million in the bank. “If a locomotive fireman could work 4,444 years, 300 days each year, at $1.50 per day, he would be in position to bet Mr. Vanderbilt $2.50 that all men are born equal.”

Firstly, it’s no wonder Debs was so effective in his day with wordplay such as that.  Secondly, it’s “created equal,” not “born equal.” 


If you want to see the glorious difference between men and women (and have everyone keep their clothes on, mostly), you need look no further than a gymnastics competition.  Myself, I am not particularly a fan; I haven’t even watched Olympic competition for almost a decade.  But I know, for instance, that women do not perform on the pommel horse, parallel bars or rings.  And after watching Olympian Shawn Johnson attempt it, I know why.  The same reason I don’t.  It’s impossible.  The upper body strength is just not there.

The men don’t perform on the uneven bars or balance beam.  And I know why.  The same reason I can’t watch them try.  Physiology.  Let’s just call it physiology.

Bringing Down the Wall

The Berlin Wall has now officially been down longer than it was up.  That’s astonishing.  I remember 1989 quite well.  The Cold War that had dominated my childhood was officially over.  The dreaded symbol of oppression had been toppled.  It was the end of an age.  For my entire life I had thought of geopolitics entirely in terms of the United States vs. the Soviet Union.  And suddenly, it wasn’t.  The tearing down of the wall was the biggest symbol of that transformation.