Category: Breaking Glass

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Cartoon Enlightenment

Two years ago, Europe was in the middle of its cartoon jihad, as thousands of Muslims protested images believed to insult Muhammad.  At the time, despairing observers saw the affair as yet another milestone in Europe’s descent into Eurabia, a

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Egypt’s Momentous Event

Every American knows that Egypt is an overwhelmingly Muslim country, by far the most populous Arab Muslim state.  Many Americans, on consideration, might also be aware that, before the arrival of Islam, Egypt was just as solidly Christian, the cultural

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The Revolt of Islam

In 1899, Winston Churchill expressed his concern about the “militant and proselytizing faith” of Islam.  “Were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science,” he said, “the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization

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The Next Militia Panic

Only a fool would try to foretell the course of U.S. politics a few months in advance, let alone several years in the future.  The fact that Democrats are riding high after their electoral triumph last November does not necessarily

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Historians in Blunderland

The academy is in an even worse plight than you may imagine.  Every so often, surveys reveal just how far America’s professors are out of touch with the political and cultural mainstream.  Not only do they overwhelmingly register with the

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By Any Means Necessary

Was there a point at which American liberals consciously adopted Jacobinism, or did it just creep up on them gradually?  This question was brought into rather sharp focus earlier this year when the PBS series American Experience presented an expensive

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The End of Childhood

If you want to see how America’s liberal elites would like to reshape the United States, look at Western Europe.  For decades, they have dreamed of importing European social models, of a Swedish welfare society, and of comprehensive sexual tolerance

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The Book of Judith

As 2005 drew to a close, the scandal over the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame potentially threatened to overwhelm leading figures in the Bush White House.  Meanwhile, editors and journalists have been struggling to keep a straight face while

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No Mirror Image

Watching the horrible images of the recent bomb attacks in London, Americans might be forgiven for feeling a sense of alarm, especially when the terrorism was directly linked to homegrown suicide bombers.  The thought of American extremists adopting similar tactics

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The Wrong War

I am nervous about the course I am teaching, this coming fall, about World War II.  As I will explain to the class from the outset, there are a few things I do not know about the topic—namely, when the

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The Georgia Atrocity

Michael Stokes Paulsen, a learned professor at the University of Minnesota, is a connoisseur of legal atrocities.  In a recent article in the Notre Dame Law Review, he tries to award the palm for “The Worst Constitutional Decision of

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Lebanese Rules

Between 1975 and 1991, Lebanon suffered a bloody civil war that had massive repercussions regionally and globally.  Among other things, the hostage crisis in the 1980’s detonated the Iran-Contra crisis that almost destroyed the Reagan presidency.  Today, Lebanon is relatively

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The People’s Militia

The U.S. Capitol may be the most easily parodied symbol of America.  It is a gift to cartoonists, who can use the dome to symbolize graft, foolishness, hot air, scandal, self-seeking—everything, in fact, that can go wrong with a democratically

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Military Unintelligence

Nothing is riskier in life—at any rate, for those interested in discovering that elusive thing, the “truth”—than to assume that what one has personally experienced years ago can be a useful guide in judging present problems.  It is particularly

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Whose Museum? What Nation?

Nations define themselves by what they choose to remember.  The growing complexity of the United States is suggested by the ever-expanding volume of her historical memories, the range of groups and events that are commemorated, often in the name of

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As Cold as Charity

Did anybody notice when Catholic Christianity ceased to be a religion in the United States?  Not when it stopped being a popular or even a permissible religion, but when it became simply a nonreligion?  I ask this because a recent

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The Triumph of the Secular

Having failed to establish much of a numerical presence in American society, the Episcopal Church, USA, succeeds in attracting attention by the continuing antics of a long parade of outrageous ecclesiastics.  In 2003, attention focused on the ordination of openly

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Putting the Law in Lawrence

Though America’s academics tend to the dyspeptic and hypercritical, on one day this past year, the campus mood was extraordinarily sunny.  This past June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, declaring

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How Erewhon Ended Ethnic Profiling

Let me apologize.  A massive technical glitch, involving distortions of the fourth dimension, has prevented me from researching the column I intended to write about ethnic and racial profiling.  The column would have pointed out that many people who complain

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Goodbye, Senator McCarthy

Hold on, let me make sure my word processor is in full Cliché Mode: “The specter of Senator McCarthy walks again in contemporary America.”  Yes, that seems to be working properly.

Particularly over the past couple of years, we’ve heard

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FDR: The Moral Reckoning

Dear Editor:

Attached please find the proposal for my latest book, Franklin Roosevelt: The Anti-christ Unmasked.  While I know some people will dismiss my thesis as foolish (or even “crazy”), the wave of recent books published by major presses

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Of Priests and Peducators

Over the past decade, I have been involved in public debate over the problem of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and that experience has taught me a great deal about the way people come to understand—or, rather, misunderstand—social problems.  My

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The Butler Didn’t Do It

I would like to try my hand at detective stories, but I’m having some problems coming up with plausible conclusions.  Let me give you an example: I’m currently writing a book in which it’s obvious from the first page that

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The Crime of Consistency

When future generations write the history of the Roman Catholic Church in North America, the year 2002 will loom large, since the crisis over child abuse by priests and other clergy has had such a devastating effect on the faithful. 

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Homophobia and Its Enemies

It is easy enough to criticize the postmodern approaches that have become orthodoxy in humanities departments over the last couple of decades, but if postmodernism has taught us anything of value, it is that we are prisoners of our language. 

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Shadow of Ecstasy

It’s starting again. Almost 20 years ago, the federal government launched what became known as the “war on drugs,” a radical experiment to suppress illegal drugs through harsh penal solutions. Among other things, this meant long prison sentences for the

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Obligatory Holocausts

I feel sorry for Afrocentrists—those weird and wonderful folk who claim that civilization, philosophy, and science were discovered in ancient Africa, before being stolen by the white man. True, members of the movement are cranks, with nothing worthwhile to