I am re-publishing this column in observance of Veterans' Day, and in honor of my Dad, a veteran of World War II and D-Day. They must never be forgotten, especially now that fascism, the very plague my dad and his comrades fought and bled to exterminate, is gaining power in Europe and even in the United States.
"For at any price, we must keep those who have too clear a conscience from living and dying in peace." -- E. M. Cioran, "Thinking Against Oneself" in The Temptation to Exist
Given how short Americans’ collective historical memory has become, many people – and it may be all “millennials” – would be hard-pressed to attach any significance to today: 6 June 2017. But before someone cues up the theme music from “Final Jeopardy”, please allow me to enlighten you: as of today, it has
This “Skeptic’s” column tackles a subject that is both delicate and volatile: suicide. People who have known me for a fairly long time are well acquainted with a time in my life – during the time in Boston at Harvard and later at Seattle University during the equally ill-advised quest for the MDiv -- when I was undergoing episodes of very severe, quite arguably pre-suicidal, clinical depression. So – for the benefit of those people, for “my mariners, souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me” – I want to emphasize that the following column does not describe me as I am now. Quite the contrary. I am not in crisis. I am not depressed. I am not afflicted with suicidal ideation – a term I came to know all too intimately during the “winter of [my] discontent”. So those of you
This is an excellent article on presidential power to levy tariffs and to grant pardons. But the article opens out onto an issue that dramatizes why Donald Trump is not a President within the liberal-democratic, rights-centric, Enlightenment-based nature of the American, in fact, the entire Western, political culture. In fact, not only is Trump not a part of that system, he is as alien to that political tradition as, say, a rhesus monkey is alien to a cantaloupe: they are simply radically different kinds of things.
The structure of the Constitution incorporates certain aspects that the Framers selectively imported from the European, especially British, Enlightenment and deliberately built in, and that they intended in 1787 to be the strengths of the Constitution. These stre