Calling Out Chesterton

At the risk of being labeled a heretic, I must confess that to my mind there’s something not quite right with G. K. Chesterton. I assume that many in this audience would strike the virtual match to my imagined pyre, and I would not blame them. Who am I to criticize one of the...
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Waiting for Dobbs

I have been reading The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc, a play that French poet Charles Peguy wrote more than a century ago. For the French especially, Joan of Arc’s life and death are an inspiring patriotic touchstone to return to in times of national crisis or...
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The Fullness of Forgotten Lives

When I was in graduate school, using the word “agency” was a favorite signal of one’s in-group status. In the cutthroat world of graduate history seminars, “agency” is a way to criticize “tropes” about people in the past. A commonly called-out “trope” is that “subalterns,” or...
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Commencement—What Next?

The task of the commencement speaker is a curious one. After all, what can students learn inside of an hour that they have not learned over the long haul of four years? Cartoonist Garry Trudeau once said “Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing...
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Heritage and Culture

Following the natural order of things, my paternal great-grandfather died well before I was born. I bear the same name he did, except, of course, he was Pietro. A Calabrese who left his homeland for the confounding strangeness of this new world, he came over on the SS Virginia,...
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Photo 52393174 © Mike Mols | Dreamstime.com

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Ridiculous

Today your fifteen-year-old daughter tells you she’s really a boy and wants to sue her school so she can use the boys’ bathroom and locker room. You can either book the operating room for her to undergo bodily mutilation, or you can give her some sensible parental advice.
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Can the GOP Save the Hyde Amendment?

I spent part of the past weekend reviewing articles written by reporters who attended the National Right to Life convention last week. I did so not only because it is my job as the organization’s communications director, but also because I am genuinely curious to know how the...
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Lubbock and Evanston: Pro-Life, Slow Death

As reported by Breitbart, in early June a U.S. District Court judge dismissed a Planned Parenthood/ACLU lawsuit against the city of Lubbock, Texas. The lawsuit, which opens with “The Constitution of the United States guarantees the right to have an abortion,” claims that Lubbock,...
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Dad’s Bread and Butter Crumbs

One recent morning, while emailing one of my co-workers and simultaneously texting my boss, I heard the distinctive sound of toast popping up. I was working in the living room—my pandemic-mandated office—and after hitting “Send” I ran to the kitchen and pressed the lever to...
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Photo 122977863 / Chinese Countryside © Michel Arnault | Dreamstime.com

The Wages of Population Meddling

“When will they evvvvv-er learn?,” as Peter, Paul, and Mary used emotionally to warble, to the accompaniment of guitars. Probably never. Meddling seems woven into the human character. But watching the meddlers squirm and slap their foreheads, as in China and elsewhere, can be fun...
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