Today’s Practical Problem

In a recently published memoir, The Seal: A Priest’s Story , Fr. Timothy Mockaitis recounts his central role in an unprecedented legal drama. On a fairly routine visit to Oregon’s Lane County Jail, Mockaitis heard the confession of an inmate accused of multiple homicide. Unbeknownst to . . . . Continue Reading »

Confessions of a Coward

Early in April, with the publication of the May issue of First Things , I stepped out from behind the pseudonym Spengler to begin arguing my more considered ideas under my own name. The experience has been an interesting one: constricting in some ways and yet freeing in others.My Spengler columns . . . . Continue Reading »

Teaching in the Twenty-First Century

Another college semester is ending. Students are hustling around, trying to finish final papers and prepare for exams. Soon there will be plenty of grading to do. But right now I find myself looking back and wondering. What does a college education really amount to in our day and age?I am not . . . . Continue Reading »

Can Barack Obama Be Converted on Abortion?

The short answer to that question is: probably not. In a news conference on April 29, a reporter asked President Obama this uncomfortable question: As a candidate, you vowed that one of the very first things you wanted to do was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which, as you know, would eliminate . . . . Continue Reading »

Jack Kemp, 1935-2009

Jack Kemp passed away this weekend, of cancer at age seventy-three. Former vice-presidential candidate, congressman, and Housing secretary, he was the most improbable and the most important hero of the Reagan Revolution after the Gipper himself. Without Jack’s true-believer’s passion for . . . . Continue Reading »

The Little Flower

When the disciples came to Jesus and asked who will be the greatest in the kingdom, he called for a child to come to him, and answered, ‚ÄúTruly I tell you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Mental Murder of Torture

The story is increasingly shameful¯how the United States conducted “enhanced interrogations” of terrorist suspects. Some of the story has been out a long time, if only in bits and pieces, appearing in various news outlets. But it really got hot and better documented after the November . . . . Continue Reading »

How Jewish is the State of Israel?

Israel’s Independence Day, the 5th of Iyar according to the Jewish calendar, falls on April 29th this year. This is always an occasion to reflect on Israel’s prospects, and, as always, there is good news and bad news.Earlier this week the head of the Palestinian Authority, Muhammed Abbas, . . . . Continue Reading »