Gerald Ford: Liberty and responsibility

The imperial presidency of Richard Nixon was indeed a "long, national nightmare," in the words of Gerald Ford, a president who was not Nixon's equal when it came to grand, political vision, but was his superior in humility and patriotic respect for America and the constitutional institutions that ... Continue reading

Liberty restrained

Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires. — Bertrand Russell Last month's election results were a shot in the arm for religious Democrats, who long have been hoping to take back values politics from the right. Since Kerry's defeat in 2004, god-talk ... Continue reading

9/11: Lessons unlearned

If 9/11 was intended to frighten America into abandoning the Middle East, it failed. What the jihadists could not have anticipated was America's toughness. But they did hurt us, and we've been bleeding internally ever since. 9/11 deeply slashed American politics, as Daniel Henninger writes so ... Continue reading

Livers, skunks and freedom

Dead skunk in the middle of the road Dead skunk in the middle of the road You got yer dead skunk in the middle of the road Stinkin' to high Heaven! —Dead Skunk, Loudon Wainwright III Yes, I know the Islamist extremists are burning everything in sight, Iran is building a bomb, and Kim Jong Il is ... Continue reading

In a direction set by liberty

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the ... Continue reading

Free will and felines

It was the cat's fault—that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Don't get me wrong, I like cats. Most of them are psychotic serial killers, but they have their moments, like when they drop a gift of bird entrails on your front porch. Cats are adorable. Even by cat standards, "Manson" was weird. ... Continue reading

In pursuit of happiness

I believe that God gave us the gift of sexuality so that we might express with our bodies the love that's in our hearts. I just need to tell you that I experience that with my partner. —Gene Robinson, newly elected Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, on the spiritual meaning of a homosexual ... Continue reading

Viva la libertad!

It may be the world's largest call and response. I was standing in the Oaxaca Zocalo, the public square of the capital city of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, just yards away from the ornate entrance to the Governor's palace, pressed cheek to jowl with perhaps 10,000 festive Mexicans. "Guadalajara" was ... Continue reading