Category: Feature

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from Tuscany

If ever I had the temptation to shirk my duty as the gentle reader’s clarion and dulcimer, if ever I wanted to declare myself on holiday and beg off for just a single week, if ever nature triumphed over nurture to make a child’s chore of the fast approaching Wednesday, it is now. I am in Tuscany, where the other day it actually rained – that last word describing an atmospheric condition when condensed moisture falls from the sky in drops, see also snow. In July in Palermo, where it last snowed in 1956, leaving an air conditioned house to...

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A Generation of Peace?

In 1970, a year in office, President Nixon gave an address to the UN titled “A Generation of Peace.” With the Cold War hot in Vietnam and elsewhere, and American campuses and cities erupting in riots, it didn’t seem peace was at hand. Yet Nixon soon went to Moscow and Beijing in his still-famous trips. “Only Nixon can go to China” has become a saying meaning someone who is strong in one area using that to work out a compromise with an enemy.  In his 1972 campaign, Nixon’s slogan was “A Generation of Peace,” and he won 49 states in...

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The Paradoxes of Marital Consent: POB II.3

Anyone who tries to lead a Christian life or, indeed, has even known a few serious Christians, becomes aware of the tension between the exacting standards of Sermon on the Mount and the gravitational pull of everyday human necessities.  He remains faithful to his wife but cannot ignore the charms of “the cute little waitress at the corner cafe”; he contributes to his Church and to a host of charities, but the cupidity that he acknowledges as the root of all evil draws him every morning to study what the markets are doing in the pages of the Devil’s own...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from the Algarve

Curious people, these expats.  I’ve met quite a number in my travels, mostly Brits, but also Americans and Germans, who aggregate in the south of Europe – Spain, Italy, Greece – drawn here by several very obvious lures.  The sun and the sea are not among them.  The main one is the cheapness of the alcohol, ranging from 96 proof spirit on offer in any supermarket to perfectly drinkable white wine for $1 a bottle.

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Trump Summit: Why He Picked Singapore; and Driving Fake News Insane

I don’t think anyone else spotted why President Trump picked Singapore for his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Any number of places could have been picked, in Asia or elsewhere. But here’s the key: Singapore, like North Korea, is run by a dynasty, the Lee family. Lee Kwan Yew operated Singapore as boss from after independence in 1965 until 1990.