America

2012: The Year of the Entrepreneur?

This is the time of year when 2012 prediction lists abound. I am struck by how many lists have included some reference to a surge in American entrepreneurship during the next year. Entrepreneurs are clearly being counted upon to act as one of the centerpieces of America’s economic recovery. The educational and networking opportunities for [...]

Vulture Capitalism or Populist Demagoguery?

  "They're vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb, waiting for a company to get sick, and then they swoop in ... eat the carcass ... and ... leave the skeleton." So Rick Perry colorfully characterized the private equity firm Bain Capital, once run by Mitt Romney. How did Bain prosper? Says [...]

Ron Paul and Pius IX

I wrote here once before about the repartee that keeps the snarks flying between me and my beloved lady Texan. I noted that each of us treasures his own impossible dream. In mine, the Habsburg monarchy is restored in Central Europe, accepting the voluntary fealty of most of its historic realms (I don’t expect the Czechs, [...]

Is America Losing Control?

  "Events are in the saddle and ride mankind." In describing 2011, few clichés seem more appropriate. For in this past year, we Americans seemed to lose control of our destiny, as events seemed to be in the saddle. While President Barack Obama maneuvered skillfully to retain a fighting chance to be re-elected, the economy [...]

America the Gullible

  National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman has called for states to mandate a total ban on cellphone usage while driving. She has also encouraged electronics manufacturers — via recommendations to the CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Consumer Electronics Association — to develop features that "disable the functions of portable electronic devices within reach [...]

Whose Country Is It, Anyway?

  Half a century ago, American children were schooled in Aesop's fables. Among the more famous of these were "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Tortoise and the Hare." Particularly appropriate this Christmas season, and every Christmas lately, is Aesop's fable of "The Dog in the Manger." The tale is about a dog who [...]

America the Bountiful

It was not so long ago that America’s energy dependence was widely believed to be the most serious threat to our economy and our national security. According to the Department of Energy, in 2004 the U.S. was importing 55% of its oil needs of approximately 20 million barrels per day, and the amount reached 60% [...]

And Was the Mission Accomplished?

  For the Army and Marines who lost 4,500 dead and more than 30,000 wounded, many of them amputees, the second-longest war in U.S. history is over. America is coming home from Iraq. On May 1, 2003, on the carrier Abraham Lincoln, the huge banner behind President George W. Bush proclaimed, "Mission Accomplished!" That was [...]

Is America Just a Protestant Botch?

  This essay is part of today's symposium of lay Catholic opinion on immigration. For other contributions see this piece by Mark and Louise Zwick, this one by John Zmirak, and this news report from Zenit. For Deal Hudson's view, see this article in The American Spectator. In the nineteenth century, German Catholics came to [...]

Divided We Fall

Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster Peter Brimelow, Random House, 327 pages, $16.74   Reading Alien Nation, I could not help but notice the kind of folks that author Peter Brimelow has attracted to his anti-immigrant cause: old-guard WASPs, population controllers, hard-core-environmentalists, and nativists of all stripes. These are, to put it mildly, [...]

The Last Empire Loyalist

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire. H.W. Crocker III. Regnery Publishing. $19.95. 327 pp.   An American Catholic looks at the British Empire with some skepticism. The Empire brought with it unquestioned benefits, but its roots in the seventeenth-century are entwined with a deep hatred of Rome and the Catholic heritage of the [...]

Loathing Conservative Christian Candidates

  Time magazine didn't mind ruffling feathers in religious America with a cover this summer that asked "Is Hell Dead?" Never mind that America is overwhelmingly Christian. Then Time found only one letter worth plucking out to feature in large, bold type from a man in Dallas: "Hell is easy to define. It would be [...]

The U.S. in Iraq: What Have We Gained?

As active U.S. military involvement in Iraq draws to a close, what does the moral scorecard on this adventure look like from an American point of view? Granted that a comprehensive weighing of results will only be possible some years from now, at the moment the picture is something like this. In a perverse way, [...]

Christmas Books

  The joys of Christmas do not include coping with crowds at shopping malls or wracking your brains trying to figure out what to get as a gift for someone who already seems to have everything. Books are a way out of both situations. You don't even have to go to a bookstore, with books [...]

Newt Keeps Pitching the America of His Imagination

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about Newt Gingrich, as he leads in polls for the Republican presidential nomination nationally and in Iowa and South Carolina, and may be threatening Mitt Romney's lead in New Hampshire. One is that he is an autodidact. A second is that he has incredible perseverance. [...]

Can Congress Steal Your Constitutional Freedoms?

  Can the president use the military to arrest anyone he wants, keep that person away from a judge and jury, and lock him up for as long as he wants? In the Senate's dark and terrifying vision of the Constitution, he can. Congress is supposed to work in public. That requirement is in the [...]

Deer Season a Half Century Ago

  This week hunters across America storm the woods loaded for deer. For yet another indication of how times have changed, consider this account of Deer Season a half century ago: My mother’s family lived in Emporium, Pennsylvania, as did dozens of their relatives. Emporium is a tiny town nestled in the mountains near the [...]

Gingrich and Immigration

  Newt Gingrich is facing criticism from other Republican candidates for his proposals to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants in America, revealing the deep-seated frustration of conservatives at the failure of the federal government to control America's borders. On a gut level, the issue of amnesty for illegals reflects the unease of Americans [...]

Poverty in America?

According to CBS News, "the number of people in the U.S. living in poverty in 2010 rose for the fourth year in a row, representing the largest number of Americans in poverty in the 52 years since such estimates have been published by the U.S. Census Bureau." MSNBC said, "The U.S. poverty rate remains among [...]

A Nation with the Soul of a Church

One of the most insightful things I've ever read about America is G.K. Chesterton's quip that it is “a nation with the soul of a church.” It's a comment that cuts two ways. Chesterton made it at a time when the U.S. enforced on its citizens the unjust laws of Prohibition. That policy had been [...]

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