French Intellectual Gets it Right on Terrorism

Paris_vue_d'ensemble_tour_EiffelPascal Bruckner is an esteemed French novelist, essayist and philosopher. Moreover—and decidedly rare among French intellectuals—he is pro-American. He taught for a year at U.C. San Diego, and is a frequent visitor to this country. He recently wrote to an American friend, “If anything tragic comes from the enemies of the West, let us say Russia or ISIS, we will be very happy to be sheltered by the American umbrella as we were in 1917, 1944, and 1948 during the Cold War.” Continue reading

For whom the polls toll

Activists_protesting_IRS_partisanship_in_Mountainside_NJ_May_2013The horse-race polls dominating today’s political news are worse than misleading – they’re bad for democracy. They’re as corrosive of America’s self-image as the news industry’s obsession with murder and disaster, a black hole wildly unwarranted by actual crime and catastrophe. They’re as toxic to our spirit as the advertising industry’s brilliant cultivation of loneliness and desire, a yearning it persuades us to slake by spending money. Continue reading

Fred Thompson, RIP

Fred_ThompsonFormer Senator Fred Thompson, who died Sunday at the age of 73, was one of the most colorful public figures of recent times. A politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host, he was known to millions by his craggy visage and deep, gravely voice. Every time I saw him, I was reminded of what people once said of another prominent senator from our history, Daniel Webster: “He was a living lie, because no man could be as great as he looked.” Continue reading

Will Houstonians be HEROic on Election Day?

Downtown HoustonHouston is the nation’s fourth-largest city, yet it is one of the few major cities in this country that does not have an equal rights ordinance. Moreover, it is the only major city in Texas not to have one. Continue reading

The enemy of my enemy is my candidate

Biden_ObamaI can see Biden’s point about solving the nation’s problems: If you’re working toward solutions, why call an advocate of a policy you oppose your “enemy,” when “my good friend across the aisle” will do? My reservation is that speaking well of the other party can drain genuinely moral disputes of authentic moral authority. Continue reading