David Mills is former executive editor of First Things.

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The Aggrandizing Court

From First Thoughts

The opening to Justice Antonin Scalia’s powerful dissent in the DOMA case,  U.S. v. Windsor : This case is about power in several respects. It is about  the power of our people to govern themselves, and the power of this Court to pronounce the law. Today’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Not What Bloomberg Intended

From First Thoughts

The average persons’ opinions are, as far as I can tell, generally positive on New York City’s new rent a bike program , except for those living in neighborhoods where the racks have been badly placed and those who dislike anything that makes New York look more like Europe. At least one . . . . Continue Reading »

Testing Characters

From First Thoughts

Among the rough and ready tests of character, this seems a very good one, not infallible but close to it, accounting for the occasional hard day, bad headache, annoying companions: “The way people treat restaurant staff is, I think, a kind of poker tell, revealing a person’s character . . . . Continue Reading »

Frankly, My Dear

From First Thoughts

Today’s linguistic trivia: According to the “NB” column in the  Times Literary Supplement  (in the May 24th issue, not available online), the phrase “I don’t give a damn” ought to be “I don’t give a dam.” The dam is an Indian copper . . . . Continue Reading »

Father’s Day Celebrates a Great Thing

From First Thoughts

Which is to say, not just fathers but fathers married to the mothers of their children. Those who insist Americans should approve, or at least not worry about, the growing number of what are somewhat euphemistically called non-traditional families “conveniently ignore, or are in complete . . . . Continue Reading »

Kass on the Commandments

From First Thoughts

An introduction that proves to be a deep and thought-provoking, and even convicting,  introduction: Leon Kass on The Ten Commandments , with the subtitled “Why the Decalogue Matters.” For example, this summary of “Honor thy father and thy mother”: Summing up: the . . . . Continue Reading »

The DSM Thinks You’re Sick

From First Thoughts

The fifth edition of the American Psychological Association’s  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders “is also, frankly, a disaster for children assigned behavioural disorders,” says Northwestern professor Christopher Lane, interviewed by Spiked!   . . . . Continue Reading »

Church and State, and Al Smith

From First Thoughts

On Monday Brother Dominic Verner wrote of his happy discovery of the statue of Father Francis Duffy in Times Square (that part of the square is actually officially titled “Duffy Square”). Readers will want to know more about this priest and t he wikipedia entry is a good place to start. . . . . Continue Reading »