Stumbling Into Transcendence

From First Thoughts

Over at the new group blog, Plumb Lines , David Schaengold offers an elegant and stimulating reflection on ” Urban Form as Spiritual Allegory .” It is worth reproducing in full: I recall walking through a slum once in India, girdled by a wide moat doubling as a sewer, where the . . . . Continue Reading »

Old Flame?

From First Thoughts

I’m sure this has something to do with an ex-boyfriend: An arsonist is apparently on the prowl for green Ford Escorts from the 1990s. Three of them have been burned in recent weeks, a series of acts that Medford police Sgt. Mike Budreau described as “pretty bizarre.” A 1995 green . . . . Continue Reading »

Cookie Monsters!

From First Thoughts

This is how bad things have become: “They associated us with the cookies and the camping, and those were both scary concepts,” said Amelia de Dios Romero, the Girl Scouts’ multicultural marketing manager. “Selling cookies, to them, meant going door-to-door to strangers, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Re: Treasure Hunt

From First Thoughts

Then there’s this, from the March 2001 Public Square : They try their best, but Ross G. Douthat, a Harvard junior who started reading First Things when he was twelve years old, writes in the Crimson that even at Harvard they fall somewhat short of a total obliteration of historical and . . . . Continue Reading »

Treasure Hunt

From First Thoughts

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time digging through back issues of FT and have been rewarded with gem after gem. Here, for instance, is an excerpt from the May 2001 Public Square : Sydney Smith, who died in 1845, deserves to be better remembered than he is. Not that it would do him any . . . . Continue Reading »

Death and Taxes

From First Thoughts

The economic downturn will hurt most people, but others could find that it’s a real lifesaver : When Gov. Martin O’Malley appeared before the Maryland Senate last week, he made an unconventional argument that is becoming increasingly popular in cash-strapped states: Abolish the death . . . . Continue Reading »

“I Hugged the Sheriff”?

From First Thoughts

Here the New York Post reports on an interesting development in my homeland: Jamaican regulators are forbidding all explicit references to sex and violence over the airwaves. The new rules from the Jamaican Broadcast Commission, announced on Saturday, ban any song or music video that depicts sexual . . . . Continue Reading »

Compromise in Gay Marriage Debate?

From First Thoughts

In a remarkable development, David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times suggesting a way to achieve “reconciliation” on the gay marriage debate that would “temporarily satisfy both sides.” This morning, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. . . . . Continue Reading »

What I See in America

From Web Exclusives

Small nations look outward. I was born in Jamaica—remain a Jamaican citizen, for that matter—and we Jamaicans learned early that history was something that mainly happened elsewhere. We knew that Jamaica was, at best, peripheral to the social and political developments that defined the age.This . . . . Continue Reading »