What is the West?

As the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have [Read More…]

The one thing I’ll add to all the Trump-parsing

Since the rise of The Donald, journalists and analysts have been racing to keep up with the tumult in his wake – from the already breathless hype of the 24-hour news cycle, which may perversely see him as something of a boon, to the somber head-scratching of some of the more thoughtful commentators.  Without wanting [Read More…]

More Life Imitating Art

Recognize this story? An incompetent leader covers up his incompetence with arrogance and bravado, is hypercritical of anyone who annoys him or gets in his way but makes constant excuses for himself, covers his own mistakes by blaming those around him, acts brashly authoritarian and always certain of being in the right yet at odd moments desperate [Read More…]

Oh What a Circus: Evita Medley, U.S. Politics Edition

As a teenager, I had something of an obsession with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals.  I can’t quite claim to have attained an encyclopedic knowledge of them, but I do have an uncanny long-term memory, and I listened to recordings of his musicals a lot.  It was also during that time that the film version of Evita, [Read More…]

On Tolerating the Intolerant and Other Paradoxes of a Living in a Democracy

Last night I attended my first congressional town hall meeting. My local representative, House Republican Rod Blum, graciously took the time to meet with a crowd of about one thousand at a local high school. A lottery system was used to allow participants to ask questions. Topics included health care, climate change, tax reform, immigration, [Read More…]

The Real Threat to Reproductive Health

As the congressional battle lines over health care are drawn yet again, Republicans have been awkwardly coming to grips with the second half of their “repeal and replace” mantra.  Especially to the most right-liberal wing of the GOP, any replacement of Obamacare will look too much like it, simply by being a health care bill.  This [Read More…]

To Kiss the Crucified King

For the first few years since I started attending Mass, I hesitated to participate in the veneration of the cross on Good Friday.  Despite my growing fascination with liturgical symbolism, it somehow seemed a bridge too far for my more austere Protestant sensitivities, so that on first observation I could only see the kissing of an object.  [Read More…]

To Resist or Rise Above?

I find myself in a disorienting dilemma. Everything about Donald Trump repels me – to the point that, quite frankly, I can’t even bring myself to legitimize his presidency by referring to him by the title, a feeling reinforced every time a bratty, self-absorbed tweet is reported as news.  During his improbable campaign, I vacillated [Read More…]

Tear Down the Walls

Mending Wall By Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they [Read More…]