War

The Contradictions of Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Moving from political obscurity as the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to the media’s flavor-of-the-month Democratic presidential candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced last week that his campaign has raised over $7 million since launching his exploratory committee in January. “Mayor Pete,” as he has asked his constituents to call him, is the first of [...]

Progressive Inhumanity, Part Two: The State against the Churches

A small town in Vermont has recently been ordered to cease its immemorial tradition of opening meetings with a prayer.  The order came from a judge who does not live near.  A public school in the city where I am writing these words has banners hanging from its gymnasium ceiling, one of which featured a [...]

On to Tehran — or Is It Damascus?

Our War Party has been temporarily diverted from its clamor for war on Iran by the insurrection against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Estimates of the dead since the Syrian uprising began a year ago approach 6,000. And responsibility for the carnage is being laid at the feet of the president who succeeded his [...]

Will Congress Vote on War with Iran?

  Returning from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta dropped some jolting news. Asked by CBS's Scott Pelley if Iran could have a nuclear weapon in 2012, Panetta replied: "It would probably be about a year before they could do it. Perhaps a little less. But one proviso, Scott, is that if they [...]

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 [...]

Veterans: What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen

In economics, the first lesson I teach my pupils is the lesson of things that are seen and things that are not seen. Actions have some effects that are readily apparent and others are overlooked or not perceived. It’s the same with our military veterans. We see the obvious price they’ve paid—the time they spent [...]

An American Tailgunner in “Hell”

“Just existing became what was important,” says 87-year-old Frank Kravetz of Pittsburgh, captive of the “hell-hole” that was Nuremberg Prison Camp. “Yet even as I struggled with the day-to-day sadness and despair, I never once had any regrets that I signed up to serve.” An extended tour of Nazi camps as a wounded POW scratching [...]

Obama and the Pursuit of Endless War

When historians sit down decades from now to address the events of the early 21st century, they will have no trouble explaining why Americans elected Barack Obama president. They elected him out of a firm conviction that the United States was not involved in enough wars. Problem solved. Today, American forces are fighting in four [...]

International Criminal Court: Justice or Menace?

War criminal Ratko Mladic, the Serbian general accused of genocide during the 1990s Bosnian war, was arrested last week. This week he will be extradited to The Hague, a decade after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest. Despite western media portrayals, many Serbians consider Mladic a hero and defender of [...]

Remembering Sargent Shriver

Sargent Shriver, brother-in-law of John, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy, founding director of the Peace Corps, and one-time Democratic vice-presidential nominee (among numerous other accomplishments), passed away this week. I only met him once in person, but we exchanged phone calls and a series of letters regarding our shared interest in Catholic history, and I came to [...]

Civilization and Culture at War

God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth. This mission was confided to them, not to let it become stale but to make it bear fruit. They were called to take care of it, to tend it, and to develop it. Nature was the material, and man was to foster its development and to [...]

A double standard for CPAC conservatives?

The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) is holding its annual conference right now in Washington, D.C. and these comments by Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict caught my eye today: I'm sure we'll hear an awful lot about "limited government" from the mouths of CPAC politicians over the next few days. If I had a [...]

Resisting Bigness

  If you've lived in our nation's capital as long as I have, which is all my life, you get used to bigness, as a fact and also as a cherished ideal. Big office buildings like the Pentagon and the grotesque Rayburn Building, where many members of the House of Representatives hang out in style. [...]

The Narnia Code

Erin Manning has some interesting reflections over at Rod Dreher's blog on Christmas and "the struggle to live as a serious Christian in modern America." Terry Mattingly's review of the book Tinsel reminded her that, annual stories about the "War on Christmas" aside, the real battle against Christmas is waged within each of us: What [...]

The war on Christmas is in every human heart

Erin Manning has some interesting reflections over at Rod Dreher's blog on Christmas and "the struggle to live as a serious Christian in modern America." Terry Mattingly's review of the book Tinsel reminded her that, annual stories about the "War on Christmas" aside, the real battle against Christmas is waged within each of us: What [...]

2009: A Good Year for Music

As 2009 expires, music journalists and magazines rush to anoint their recordings of the year. I have no such list, but I did take note of the British Gramophone's December selection of the Quatuor Ébène's CD of the Ravel, Debussy, and Fauré String Quartets on Virgin Classics (519045-2) as the recording of the year. I [...]

‘The Absurdity of War’

I have had a subscription to the weekly English edition of L'Osservatore Romano ever since it began. It is a most valuable printed source: While many papal statements can now be found online at the Vatican Web site, having these at hand, in print, made the journal worthwhile.   Pope Benedict XVI, a man of [...]

Evolutionary Art

It happens to most of us who like classic art: You're reading an article about some contemporary artist who's making millions selling "art" made from rumpled beds, carved-up corpses, or human waste, and you ask yourself, why? Why can't art be heroic and life-inspiring? Why does art have to degrade and shock? And what is [...]

Psychomachia: Qu’est-ce Que C’est?

  As my dogged readers know, this year I've been fitfully trying to work on a book about the vices and virtues. It has morphed a few times, as projects will, but took its final form as The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins. I meet with my publishers today to design a [...]

Grace Is Dark Matter

  It is customary this time of year for the Human Toothache Brigade to break out the ol' secular-humanist signs and try to dampen Christmas spirit, while oversensitive culture warriors overreact with "War on Christmas!!" hyperventilation. It's all good fun, but I find myself less and less moved by either side of it.   If [...]

The House of War

Islam at the Gates: How Christendom Defeated the Ottoman Turks Diane Moczar, Sophia Institute Press, $17.95, 256 pages Once upon a time in the West, our ancestors clashed with peoples from the East. Europe was born at Marathon in 491 B.C., when Athenian hoplites defeated an invading Persian army. The defeat of Darius and his [...]

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