Columnists

It is not my practice to take vacations.  They strike me as a form of surrender, like Evacuation Day in New York City, which marked the end of the British presence in Manhattan on November 25, 1783. In fact, the last shot of the Revolutionary War was fired that day on jeering crowds from one [...]

It is not my practice to take vacations.  They strike me as a form of surrender, like Evacuation Day in New York City, which marked the end of the British presence in Manhattan on November 25, 1783. In fact, the last shot of the Revolutionary War was fired that day on jeering crowds from one [...]

Complaints that Washington-is-broken, which seem to have new intensity in recent years, often go hand-in-hand with laments about “partisanship” in politics. And, to be sure, there are reasons to be concerned about the functionality of our political system and its ability to address and solve some very serious problems. The present, sad condition of much [...]

Too often the debate about climate change, global warming or ecological concerns in general has descended into acrimony and opposing factions. Thus those on the Left, who insist that drastic, global measures must be enacted to save the planet, are attacked by those who query the scientific basis for such attitudes and who point out [...]

For those of you who regularly read my blog, congratulations! Aside from the warm glow inside that comes from the satisfaction of a job well done, you’ll also know that we have in the past mentioned that Russia’s demographic future is not particularly rosy. I want to share with you a review article by a Master of [...]

We have entered the endgame in Syria. That doesn't mean that we have reached the end by any means, but it does mean that the precondition has been met for the fall of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. We have argued that so long as the military and security apparatus remain intact and [...]

The tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, which killed 12 and wounded 58, has again accentuated the important role presidents play as our chief civic priest. The governor of Colorado and local clergy helped provide words of solace and encouragement to grieving, shocked, and bewildered citizens—and local and state officials and thousands of residents joined in [...]

In December 1828, South Carolina had 5,000 copies of John C. Calhoun’s “Exposition and Protest” printed and distributed throughout the state. A defiant document, Calhoun’s “Exposition” outlined a theory of constitutional interpretation first adumbrated in the infamous Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which asseverated the right of states to declare “null and void” acts of the [...]

Throughout the post-Vatican II years, the U.S. bishops' conference has typically defended the welfare state and not infrequently urged its expansion. Everyone familiar with the situation knows that this has had far more to do with the political predilections of certain conference staff members than with the settled judgment of the American episcopate--or with a [...]

The Boy Scouts are as American as apple pie, and they have decided to keep it that way. This has earned them the censure of the Washington Post's editorial page last week. The Scouts decided to reaffirm the policy to deny "membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior [...]

In the teeth of protests the Boy Scouts of America is sticking to a membership standards policy which excludes homosexual persons, both adult leaders and Scouts. That, according to media reports, is the meaning of a press release which mentions neither the word “homosexual/ity” nor “gay” and only once refers to “same-sex orientation”. Under pressure [...]

On July 3rd, just days after the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would beatify the Sicilian anti-Mafia priest Don Pino Puglisi, it became clear not everyone was happy with the decision. Police discovered a bomb in the form of a gas cylinder outside the entrance of a Centre in Palermo founded by the late [...]

Best-selling author and controversial social scientist Charles Murray is back in the news. This time it’s because of his new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010. In “Coming Apart,” Murray deftly wields both statistical data and anecdotal evidence to document the wholesale abandonment of the ideals that for two centuries defined the [...]

The Supreme Court’s minor mistakes have few systemic consequences. But when the Supremes make a big mistake, the error tends to seep throughout the entire political process, poisoning everything in its path. That was what happened with the Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision, which intensified the passions and accelerated the dynamics that led to the [...]

Now that the Affordable Care Act has survived its Supreme Court challenge, there comes the fight over its implementation. Moral considerations rank high on the list of casus belli for Catholics and other religious groups. They fear that the Act will force them to pay for procedures which they abhor, like the morning-after pill, abortion, [...]

And was Jerusalem built here Among those dark satanic mills? … I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England's green and pleasant land (“Jerusalem,” by William Blake). Last month marked the 100th anniversary of the most deadly industrial accident in America. [...]

Can science prove or disprove the existence of God? Has the origin of creation without a creator come to be settled science? Are these questions knowable, even by the brightest minds in the world? Yes, sort of, is the basic answer… Except for the question of ‘settled science,’ because it’s not settled and if anything, [...]

For the past two decades I've taught in Cracow every July. I'd not trade the experience for anything, but it's had one drawback: I haven't seen baseball's All Star Game in a long time. The game itself is no big deal. But the sight of so many great players gathered in one place is an [...]

Same-sex marriage and related claims, such as adoption of children, are fast becoming flavor of the month among western politicians. Irish pollies are among the latest, so the family-oriented Iona Institute has prepared an excellent, short, briefing paper on the subject. Iona's director, David Quinn, introduces the brief, noting that "even people who are instinctively [...]

The case that received more media attention and more consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court than any in recent history has been decided. The 5-4 decision upheld the “individual mandate,” the central feature of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, i.e. “Obamacare.” Although the decision, crafted by Chief Justice John Roberts, contains much “bad [...]

What do Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the architects of the euro currency have in common? Answer: They both created monsters. The euro is not “money” any more than the monster created by Dr. Frankenstein was a man. Whatever resemblances there may be to the genuine article are merely superficial. Nor is government needed to create [...]

It won’t make the news to report that teens occasionally, or even habitually, indulge in activities of which their parents disapprove. Nor should it come as a surprise that the young folk attempt to hide this behavior; thus it has ever been as long as there have been parents, teens and the rules that sometimes [...]

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