09/01/1999

Clinton’s Private War

President Bill Clinton's war in Kosovo divided liberals, conservatives, and Christians. It was an oddly difficult war to get a fix on, partly because Clinton himself avoided calling it a war, even as NATO bombers pummeled Yugoslavia. Liberals have recently opposed U.S. military intervention abroad, but many of them felt that this war was justified [...]

Clinton’s Private War

President Bill Clinton's war in Kosovo divided liberals, conservatives, and Christians. It was an oddly difficult war to get a fix on, partly because Clinton himself avoided calling it a war, even as NATO bombers pummeled Yugoslavia. Liberals have recently opposed U.S. military intervention abroad, but many of them felt that this war was justified [...]

“Jaw Jaw is better than War War," said Winston Churchill about the founding of the United Nations after the Second World War. It would be hard to disagree with him, especially when one considers the horrific wars (worse than all previous wars) that we have witnessed this century. Preventing—or limiting and controlling—war by getting antagonistic [...]

Any of the activities of the pro-life movement do not bother pro-abortion forces, largely because they underestimate the power of the truth. One thing they do not underestimate is the power of unity. Pro-abortion forces fear unity among pro-lifers. In fact, they hear it so much they hallucinate about it. In many of the court [...]

Walker Percy played a rather large, complicated, and difficult game, one easily misconstrued and in which conventional success was no sure sign of victory. In 1962, shortly after receiving the National Book Award for his first novel, The Moviegoer, he answered a letter of congratulations from his friend and mentor, the novelist Caroline Gordon, with [...]

Is Music Sacred?

As the most immaterial art, music is often thought to be the most spiritual. By its nature, is music sacred? If so, what is sacred about it? These might seem strange questions to ask in a secular age, but the presumption that there is something special about music pervades even our culture. Consider the poster [...]

For the Kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and to [...]

Maybe I'm hard-hearted. But, except for rare occasions, I don't consider feelings newsworthy. I distinctly remember the period during the early '70s when reporters began interviewing people about their emotional reactions to events rather than about the event itself "How did you feel when the plane burst into flames?" I considered making some form of [...]

Abortion advocates have for years dined out on Harry Blackmun's disingenuous dicta in Roe v. Wade that we do not know "when life begins." The only proper response to that little bit of manufactured ignorance is: "Like hell we don't." Just ask any medical biologist who plies his trade in Petri dishes at a fertility [...]

The summer has brought rumblings of a movement toward a third party on the part of pro-lifers, like Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire, who had struck off on a presidential campaign and found, as they say, no "traction" in the Republican party. But to move seriously to a third party is to separate pro-lifers [...]

Not so very long ago, sex in the movies took place off camera, if at all. But the swinging '60s put an end to pudeur, and most Hollywood films now contain at least one scene in which the male and female leads are shown in a state of undress, engaging in an elaborately choreographed pantomime [...]

Mention of Wales almost invariably calls to mind the famous line from Robert Bolt's play, A Man for All Seasons, in which Sir Thomas More says to his perjurious betrayer, Richard Rich, "Why Richard, it profiteth a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose his soul, but for Wales?" Actually, Wales is a [...]

Among the benefactions of gruel wars has been the promotion of medical science. The Hyksos invasion of Egypt advertised the curative properties of senna, at the Inca wars promoted cinchone and quinine. We could ask rhetorically, Would we know today about nux vominca had it not been for Chandragupta's army? Robert Koch discovered the cholera [...]

I have only known two Mafia members in my life. One, whose son (an "accountant") lives across the street from my mother and father, disappeared, then turned up frozen solid in the trunk of a car a few winters back. The other was one of the oddest human beings I have ever met. I only [...]

The eighth commandment forbids lying. A federal judge in Arkansas formally stated that the president of the United States lied in her court in an official proceeding. Presidential lawyers sometimes quibble about intention, about legal lying and real lying. The judge maintained that because of the lie, justice was not done to a party whose [...]

For the second time in as many summers, I slipped into my mother-of-the-bride dress for an evening wedding and reception. This year, however, I did not hold the title. I was just another guest, knowing none of the others. The bride was a lapsed Catholic, the bridegroom a non-observant Jew, and they married in an [...]

This is about my dear friend, Jude Dougherty, who recently stepped down into eminence. I begin with an anecdote. Some years ago, at a meeting in Rome, Jude was called away to Castel Gondalfo for lunch with the pope. I saw him driven off in a car bearing Vatican plates and was waiting for him when [...]

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