The two italicized paragraphs below were written twenty-two years ago after Pat Robertson stepped down as chairman (yeah, sorry: chair man) of the political/evangelical empire he’d founded. Michael Lind, commenting in the New York Times wrote, at that time, the following sourly begrudging commentary about Robertson’s phenomenal political influence over the American Republican Party. This is merely an excerpt: two paragraphs that come near the end. I believe they capture the spirit of Lind’s remarks. I don’t deny his broad claim that Robertson had an outsized and lingering influence over the G.O.P., but take sharp exception to the notion that “hot button” cultural/moral/ scientific issues enumerated in the first line of the first paragraph would not have enjoyed an urgent life of their own even in the secularized universe of American politics — even had Robertson never entered the political arena.

Abortion and homosexuality in particular are defining civilizational (not merely Republican) issues, and our civilization will go on struggling with them and all their multifarous manfestations for the century to come. Robertson and the Religious Right did something of a disservice to cultural conservatives for making them seem solely like fundamentalist religious issues, and therefore easily dismissed.

(I interviewed Pat Robertson during the 1988 Presidential Primary season. I recall being greeted by his pleasant traveling handlers in the middle of one of Boston’s Logan International terminals and being told Pat — who was either coming or going or just on a layover in Boston — had just escaped briefly to the men’s room. He soon came smiling across the bright, broad ticketing area toward us. Can’t recall what I asked him — the usual, no doubt. (Think you can win?) Then I recall arriving to cover the Iowa Caucuses and entering the Hyatt well out into the cold, rolling yellow hills around DesMoines and seeing him — smiling, as usual- making his way across the lobby surrounded by a gaggle of reporters and cameras.

Now, Mr. Lind, wherever he is, has the floor. He wrote:

The obsessions of Christian fundamentalists, like abortion, homosexuality, pornography and evolution, still define today’s Robertsonized Right. And conservative intellectual journals like Commentary, National Review and The Weekly Standard now join Kansas and Tennessee fundamentalists in attacking Darwinian biology….

Pat Robertson enjoyed a remarkable winning streak, despite playing an extremely weak hand. By exploiting the ambition, fear and ignorance of America’s out-of-touch political class, this spokesman for a marginal subculture reshaped American politics and became a kingmaker in one of the two major parties.

Michael Lind, New York Times, December, 2001, linked to Roberto’n’s NYT obituary of June 8, 2023.

Ambition, fear and ignorance. Well, sounds like Lind and the leadership of the modern American Democratic Party might be looking in the mirror as they diagnose their sui generis obsessions.

R.I.P. Pat Robertson (Oh, you should see the commentary thread of the Times. Thirty jugs could not contain the gallons the vitriol.)


The Left has been used to getting what it wanted by judicial fiat. That no longer happens for them. So, they’ve decided to ruin the Supreme Court — and, by extension, our whole judicial system — by trying to scuttle it, pack it, or somehow make it a rubber stamp for their political objectives.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal last year, democratic-socialist historian David J. Garrow candidly and, I think, admirably observed that “you don’t have to be a Federalist Society member to see that the analytical prowess today’s justices demonstrate in opinion after opinion far eclipses the quality of the Warren or Burger Courts’ work product.”

Yes! Now you have justices who are actually engaged in analysis.

The majority of the current high court justices can be defined as originalists. An originalist reading of the Constitution has its drawbacks and limitations. The same approach taken by different judges can deliver conflicting results. There is not always a clear analogy between the legal challenges and cases of one era and those of another as one weighs precedent. But analyses undertaken according to the scientific method have the same limitations. The Left will tell you that that’s cold-hearted and fails to take “people” and their varied circumstances into account. Right!

But you can only go so far in taking individual grievances and circumstances into account in shaping law suitable for an entire nation. There have to be principles and standards and tests involved. An individual’s grievances belong before a state court or a legislature. State legislatures, under our Constitition, have a right to establish their own standards, if not their own radically different principles, and state courts can ratify them. The Supreme Court gets to referee questions of principle, but states continue to have considerable legal and political latitude. The Dobbs decision has underscored that symbiosis (speaking of science and the the scientific method) in the case of abortion.

Charles C.W. Cooke’s analysis of the Left’s legal program in the current National Review — I admit — prompted this essay and borrows heavily from his urgent and critical analysis. This is simply because I agree with his reasoning and because Cooke’s conclusions bears out what I’ve been saying for years, especially during the era the court was hamstrung by Roe v. Wade. I had said repeatedly that the liberal justices were obviously being required to retool and repurpose that decision in an effort to get it to work for the political sector and, in turn, the general public. It was a case of fashioning and re-framing or simply substituting “princples” in order to achieve a forordained desired result. The Dobbs decision pierced that balloon.

The Left and its legal apologists have been scrambling in terror ever since. They have watched their brand of jurisprudence and “critical studies” analysis go crashing to the ground — like that aforementioned deflating and tumbling balloon.

Cooke concludes that Left/Progressive legal activists no longer have anything to offer. Their creative approach to the text of the Constitution has been exposed as being without basis other than the ever-fluctuating whims of a political/judicial establishment that has been making it up as they went along.

I have a friend who is a fine and reputable legal scholar and law school professor. Some years ago he was challenged by a student who described the U.S. Constitution as a contract, suggesting that that student viewed our foundational document as containing fixed rules subject only to strictly and narrow interpretation or amendment. My professor friend’s retort was, “I didn’t sign it (i.e., the contract or social covanant that is the U.S. Constitution.)

No, he didn’t sign it. Neither did I. That’s why, in agreeing to be bound by it, we have far less leeway than we might imagine. For that kind of leeway, one needs, once again, to go to the legislature. That’s where Constitutional amendments are born.

Of course, should the Left’s political program ever fully succeed, we will be a very different nation. I submit that for such a nation, one no longer needs a high court, or, for that matter, ANY court. We would have a dictatorship of the masses.

God save the Court!


Or, La mort des cathedrales…

None other than Marcel Proust, writing in Le Figaro in 1904, worried about the future fate of the beautiful cathedrals that dot the French landscape. He wrote (translated from the French, obviously):

“Suppose for a moment that Catholicism had been dead for centuries, that the traditions of its worship had been lost. Only the unspeaking and forlorn cathedrals remain; they have become unintelligible yet remain admirable.”

There was, at the time, a raging political and religious debate over “the Briand bill,” a parliamentary proposal which imperiled the fate of French Cathedrals — those “first and perfect masterpieces” of Gothic architecture.

The author of Recherche Le Temp Perdu (In Search of Lost Time, or Remembrance of Things Past) was fearful that “France would be transformed into a shore where giant chiseled conches seemed to have run around, empied of the life that inhabited them and no longer bring an attentive ear to the distant murmer of the past, simply museum objects themselves frozen.”

The frozen future is here. It’s coming to America.


Apparently fewer and fewer people trust science these days, or those dissertations on everything from gender studies to global warming.

Stories like this give us an idea why:

Comedian Steven Crowder was able to get a satirical article accepted in Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society titled “Embracing Fatness as Self-Care in the Era of Trump,” which argued that obesity was an effective method both of coping with the stress progressives felt after the 2016 election and of avoiding sexual assault. He was also invited to give a presentation on the fake study at an academic conference (which he did, to rave reviews, using a pseudonym and dressed as a woman).


Everything was sunny and wonderful for a moment. Was red, white and blue wonderful. The children’s band had just marched by. Cute.

Innocence all around. Then, innocence was on the run.

The shaggy, tattooed young man, once (somewhere back there) also innocent, dressed now like a girl as part of his perverse mission, climbs up the alley fire escape, gets the high ground, start his killing.

He’d given the world fair warning. He’d written of his urges.

He wore the self-mutulating marks, inward and outward, of the army of the lost, soul-sick, violent egocentrics. The young nihilists. We’ve been spawning them, as in a fetid pool.

It’s one of the American stories — or American tragedies. But it’s universal. The symptoms and the actions can be found the world over. But, then, too, it seems we Americans have succumbed to this particular soul-corrupting pandemic, nurtured by the likes of our pibald, senescent ideologically bewildered prisoner -of-circumstances U.S. President who will, like millions, miss the point and blame it all on guns. Also, there are the false religions intersecting with the false chemical mood-alterers, racing around the cerebrum and the blood — they ought to be counted among the factors as well.

But the worst perpetrators are utterly clear in their thinking. That’s the scary part of it.

Mind-chilled and encrusted with a sickening sediment, they crawl forth in bright sunlight– at The Boston Marathon. They pop up in the high perch of a Las Vegas hotel. They enter a supermarket in Buffalo. They march freely into an elementary school in Evoldi, Texas. Your town is next — your street, your parade, your supermarket…..the demons are coming….

Their actions are theological in nature. The Evil One commands them. You might be scorned, mocked or ignored if you suggested such a thing and seem to be the Saturday Night Life comedian satirically uttering the word — Satan.

But, of course, it is a false, non-credible notion that any force, visible or invisible, forces us to do anything. We simply cooperate with evil. We make that choice daily, on a small or a grand scale. All of us.

There are the menally ill among us. They are to be cared for. We must search them out in all compassion. But I submit that the majority of the mass shooters have simply concluded that, in lieu of any ultimate, transcendant meaning, death and killling invest life with its only purpose or meaning.

Millions will, understandably, blame it all on guns. I find myself doing the same. Get rid of the guns or, at least, make it harder for them to get into the hands of twisted souls, and the problem will be abated, if not eliminated. And this is a reasonable civic goal to which we can aspire as a society. And, after all, what law or regulation or level of vigilance can discern and root out the galloping nihilism in the very air we breath? Is that possible? What is the antidote to the dark theology involved, especially if one doesn’t believe in theology, only sociology? We all believe different things about life’s purpose. We Americans are, in some respects, 300,000,000 theologians. And, frankly, even the most seemingly “normal” among us seems to have an appetite for the diversion that is violence, given our tastes in movies. We might not commit it, but we love to watch it. We just hate it when its real.

Meanwhile, for the killers among us…they think:

Kill them while they’re having fun or going about their business. Or at the movies, watching all that violence. Remind them with the rifle you bought of the real meaning of life. They are sleepwalking, those shoppers, those people watching the colorful, meaningless spectacle of a parade. “Enjoying” themselves.

This massacre left, among others, two young parents bloodied and dead, their child an orphan.

Motive, please….we can’t help but ask it.

Why? Why did you do it?

Why not? they’d answer.

Were they just — killing joy?

(Joy –allegedly, is said to be the surest sign of the presence of God. The French mystic Leon Bloy said so. He said many things, such as that the only failure in life is not to be a saint. He has never been canonized, or even beatified. He was, from all accounts, a rather intense individual who is also alleged to have stood on the hill of Monmartre overlooking Paris and proclaimed, “man left to man. That’s what I call The Wrath of God!”)

But here comes the mystic of darkness, climbing the alley fire escape to his perch, his little mountain, ready to unleash the wrath of his nihilistic god.

A relevant quote of dialogue from a story by a late writer of frankly theological fiction reads as follows:

If He done what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but thow (sic) away everything and follow him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing you to do (sic)but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best you can –by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,” and his voice had become almost a snarl.

The words of the character, the homicidal escaped confict called, The Misfit.

-Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.”

We are, none of us, as “good” as we think we are.

And we will ask — again and again — how did The Devil get a high powered rifle?

Not a bad question. But not the best question. And not the most important question.

Not as important as the question, why is there something, instead of nothing?

Or, why for some of us, is everything — nothing.

And, finally, yes, finally — who are we, and what are we doing here?


Moscow wants written guarantees from our secretary of state that western sanctions for its brutal invasion of Ukraine will not prevent it from trading with Iran.

That’s a joke, right?

This is all about the notorious Iran nuclear deal. The Biden Administration wants it back in place. Ukraine is burning, but everybody’s back at the table. Happily, our side has balked at the request for Russia/Iran trade. It’s bad enough that Bejing and Moscow have sidled up with one another. Add Tehran at this tender point in history and you complete the dark triangle.

There are reports that Robert Malley, U.S. envoy to the nuclear talks, has already pledged to lift a number of anti-terrorism sanctions currently targeting the Iranian regime. The old campaign of maximum pressure appears to have been minimized.

Is the Biden Administraton perchance looking for a badly need foreign policy feather in its cap, and doing so in a “whatever it takes” frame of mind?

This one “takes” common sense.


Just shy of a year ago, there were reports that Russia was amassing troops on its borders with Ukraine. There were other reports that China had sent its largest aerial incursion to that date into Taiwan’s air -defense zone. This was the moment President Biden chose to announce his decreased defense budget proposal for fiscal year 2022.

It came in at $715 billion, a hefty sum, but nonetheless a definite decrease from previoius budgets after accounting for inflation, which, a year ago wasn’t the devouring Pac Man monster it is now.

Why would the President decrease his defense budget at such a perilous time? And, of course, neither he nor anyone in his Administration was ready for the horrible war that was to come and that, all those months ago, was not entirely unforeseen (why else would troops be massing on Ukraine’s border?) Now, in these early April hours of 2022, the world is witnessing war’s atrocious outrages being perpetrated on innocent civilians by Russian soldiers, following days of massive death, destruction and persisent fears that World War III is at hand.

It’s likely, as with anything President Biden does, that he was trying to placade his Party’s Left Wing base which had been lobbying for steep military cuts in order to leave more money for their social agenda. As always happens when Presidents try to quiet a noisy flank of their own Party, Progressives weren’t satisfied. The cuts weren’t deep enough to their mind. Of course not.

At the same time, the final military budget figure contradicted recommendations of a 2018 panel to steadily rachet up defense spending. It was calling for annual increases 3 to 5 per cent above inflation.

Among those serving on that panel was Biden’s deputy secretary of defense, Kathleen Hicks. At the time, she and other experts had issued an ominous warning to Biden: if he failed adequatly to fund national defense, it would “be measured in American lives, American treasure, and American security and prosperity lost.”

I’d add that, combined with the manner of our appalling and shameful exit from Afghanistan, a reduction in U.S. military spending at that hour was sending the wrong message to NATO leaders and to Vladimir Putin, the man Biden and I and much of the world now feel comfortable calling a 21st Century war criminal.

Putin’s genocidal global confrere and war criminal-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, was watching and waiting, too. And he still has his eye on Taiwan.


The following comes from NY Times writer German Lopez, writing in the March 27 on-line edition of the paper. But I think it’s a possibility and a prognosis any of us could make at this critical and worrisome juncture in the world’s history. We need to pray it does not come to pass.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could mark a troubling shift: the end of a relatively peaceful global era.
Though it has not always felt like it, the world has since the 1990s endured less war than any other period in recorded history. Wars and resulting deaths plummeted with the conclusion of the Cold War in 1991 — and the subsequent end of direct and proxy conflicts between the world’s great powers.
“The end of the Cold War was the greatest thing to happen to peace in a long time,” said Jeremy Shapiro, the research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
But the world has since changed. After emerging from the Cold War as the lone superpower, the U.S. grew weaker, bogged down by failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Russia and China evolved into more formidable powers; they are now better positioned to challenge a world shaped by American norms and rules.


(On the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, 2022)

“Wherefore then in Ireland they who never had knowledge of God, but until now only worshiped idols and abominations — now there has lately been prepared a people of the Lord, and they are called children of God. The sons and daughters of Irish chieftains are seen to become monks and virgins in Christ.”

St. Patrick’s “Confessions”( first published in 425.)