New York

A Primer on Politics and Prudence

The political scene is drawing toward the center of our national consciousness (if it ever left), as Democratic presidential debates have taken place, and as the 2020 election nears. As this happens, faithful Catholics need sound ways to think about candidates, policies, and the landscape in general. Josef Pieper, a great twentieth-century philosopher, provides a [...]

The Moral Wrong of Physician-Assisted Suicide

Though a New York Appellate court recently ruled that there is no right to physician-assisted suicide under the current laws of the state, the issue remains far from settled. Not only are the plaintiffs expected to appeal the decision, but a bill recently proposed in the New York legislature also seeks to legalize the practice. [...]

Governor Pliny and Governor Cuomo

Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus was governor of Bithynia–Pontus in present day Turkey from 111 to 113 AD.  That capped a long career during which he served as judge, staff officer, knight, senator, quaestor, tribune, praetor, prefect, consul, propraetor and augur. He was popularly known as Pliny the Younger because his uncle, the naturalist and military [...]

Picking up the Broadsword

It was only in 1991 that the truth sank in to me: I am probably not going to die in a nuclear war. It’s conceivable I might have grandchildren. The magnificent City of New York, from the stained glass of St. Vincent Ferrer to the Art Deco gargoyles of the Chrysler Building, would not certainly [...]

Converts and the Symphony of Truth

Why do adults become Catholics? There are as many reasons for “converting” as there are converts. Evelyn Waugh became a Catholic with, by his own admission, “little emotion but clear conviction”: this was the truth; one ought to adhere to it.  Cardinal Avery Dulles wrote that his journey into the Catholic Church began when, as [...]

Virginia is for Insiders

  When I managed Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign in 1996, I learned that some states conducted fair and honest caucuses and primaries and that some did not. Iowa, historically the first caucus state, and New Hampshire, historically the first primary state, conducted their political business fairly. New York did not. Today Virginia's political system is [...]

How Did New York City Win the War on Crime?

  One December day in 1984, a man named Bernard Goetz boarded a subway train in Manhattan. Shortly after, he was approached by four young men, all black, who requested money in a manner he took as threatening. Goetz, who had been mugged before, pulled out a pistol and opened fire, wounding all four. Among [...]

The Price of Same-Sex Marriage

  How is this law going to hurt your marriage? That is the jeer hurled at opponents of New York’s new same-sex marriage law. As the Boston Globe put it memorably some time ago, same-sex marriage will “no more undermine traditional marriage than sailing undermines swimming”. Indeed, many supporters of traditional marriage don't know how [...]

New Government Scrutiny for ‘Catholic’ Colleges

Increasingly, Catholic colleges and universities are struggling to find sure footing when it comes to the rocky terrain of proving their Catholic identity. For many of these institutions, the days of being able to shrug off outside scrutiny may be gone. On May 26, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that one Catholic college [...]

The Queens: A Homeschooling Battle

Every fall and spring the two of us play the game -- the Pelosi-haired lady at the school district and me. We are like chess pieces -- queens -- coming at each other across the checkered board. Opposites, yet strangely similar. We are both dressed for the day's business. She wears a neutral-toned, tailored pantsuit [...]

After years of decline, abortion rate stalls

Some discouraging news: After more than 20 years of a slow but steady decline in both the rate and number of abortions performed in the U.S., the Guttmacher Institute is reporting a slight increase in its latest survey. The increase was just 1%, to 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age in 2008, from [...]

Ross Douthat on ‘The Unborn Paradox’

Last month, I blogged about a New York magazine article on the "little-discussed consequences of the Pill": namely, that after years on birth control to avoid pregnancy, many women were finding it difficult to become pregnant later in life. In his most recent New York Times column, Ross Douthat says that the tension "between the [...]

Reconsidering the Pill

New York magazine has a surprisingly good article on the little-discussed consequences of the Pill that will have every Catholic woman wanting to yell "I TOLD YOU SO" at her computer. (Or was that just me?) After opening with a description of the Pill's 50th anniversary gala earlier this year (and really, the details of [...]

Contraception: The Bitter Pill

Each month, to test our courage, my wife Lisa and I stand before an auditorium full of couples about to marry in the Catholic Church and explain to them the Church's teachings about sexuality. The crowd is generally not happy to be there. Many are not Catholic and few, needless to say, want to hear [...]

Worst of Both Worlds

Over at National Review's Corner blog, Fred Schwartz pointed out the most alarming example of "Federal Government/Copy Editor" collusion yet: Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs -- such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx -- from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only [...]

FDR among the Catholics

Once, when asked his philosophy, Franklin Roosevelt answered simply, "I am a Christian and a Democrat."   As always with Roosevelt, there was more to it than that. He was not just a Christian, but a Protestant, an Episcopalian, a descendant of Huguenot and Yankee New Englanders on his mother's side. And he was not just [...]

Can videogames save your life?

If you've played action-oriented videogames to any significant degree in the past, this new study will confirm what you already know. Playing shoot-‘em-up, action-packed videogames strengthens a person’s ability to translate sensory information quickly into accurate decisions. This effect applies to both sexes, say psychologist Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York [...]

The fight against divorce just got a little harder.

New York recently became the fiftieth state to allow no-fault divorce -- an occasion that prompted New York resident Beverly Willett to reflect on her experience fighting to save her own marriage from divorce eight years ago. It was a grueling, five-year-long battle against a husband who had cheated on her and wanted out on [...]

Confusing palliative care and assisted suicide in NY?

Earlier this month I blogged about a New Yorker article that discussed the sorry state of end-of-life care in America.  In an effort to address that problem, New York State last week signed the New York Palliative Care Information Act into law, which would require physicians to discuss prognosis and end-of-life options with their terminal [...]

Silence Is Golden

Reading David Bordwell's blog is a rewarding and deeply demoralizing experience. For a mostly self-taught (and self-proclaimed) film aficionado such as I, the amount of cinematic knowledge he and his fellow blogger (Kristen Thompson) have at their fingertips is a bit mind-boggling -- a treasure trove of information, once I have managed to check my easily-bruised [...]

Another Betrayal in Connecticut

The latest revelations that yet another Connecticut Catholic priest has stolen yet another million dollars from his own parishioners to support a flamboyant gay lifestyle in New York City are especially disappointing to those of us who thought Connecticut's religious leaders had learned a lesson the first time this happened in 2009. Many of us [...]

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