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Watching Liberals Give Way to Technocrats

Good for William Bowen. The former president of Princeton spoke at my alma mater Haverford College’s commencement on Sunday and has sharp words for the students who successfully campaigned against another commencement speaker, Robert J. Birgineau, former Chancellor of Cal Berkeley. They accused him of violating a sacred principle—thou shalt not require progressive protestors to obey the law—and issued a list of nine things he needed to do in order to properly repent and receive absolution. Continue Reading »

Higher Education and Social Mobility

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni reflects on a new documentary about various crises in American higher education. The only solution he proffers is more public funding. He would have our grandchildren pay for our children’s education, which is, I think, a non-starter. There are better ways. Continue Reading »

The Rise of Nationalism

It’s a global phenomenon. Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi won in India. Shinzo Abe in Japan hits nationalist notes. Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist party in Ukraine, has become an important player. The Golden Dawn in Greece is another ultra-nationalist party. Great Britain’s anti-EU party is on the rise, as are nationalists in France and the Netherlands. Continue Reading »

ISI’s Paolucci Book Award

ISI is currently taking nominations for its Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award. This award honors the best book of conservative scholarship published in 2013. You can read more about the award at

The deadline is today: Friday, May 16. The more suggestions, the merrier!

Email suggestions Jed Donahue at, and be sure to include the names of the books.

What’s So Bad About Editing DNA?

We cannot alter a person’s DNA without disrespecting the intentions of the Author and Creator of human life, Matthew Hennessey recently argued. To support this claim, he offered an account of what it means to be an editor: “When I edit, I attempt, to the extent possible, to conform my work to the author’s original intent. I know I must resist the temptation to rewrite every piece to suit my own ear.” For Hennessey, editing is about improving someone else’s writing, not about the editor exerting his or her own preferences. Continue Reading »

Defending Commencement Follies?

Defending her successors, a Smith College alumna argues that protesting a commencement speaker or protesting at commencement fulfills the goals of a Smith Education. I find her choice of words revealing and her failure to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate occasions for dialogue troubling. Continue Reading »

The Church is Wrong

So charge many of our fellow young Christians, most recently amidst the controversy over Matthew Vines’s God and the Gay Christian, which argues that the Bible and the Church are alike wrong on sexuality. Let us be clear, according to Vines, the tradition and reliability of the Church’s teaching throughout the ages on sexuality are both wrong. Not only are the Scriptures and the historic interpretation wrong, they are both active purveyors of injustice meted out towards homosexuals. Continue Reading »



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