The Corner

Callous Derb

Kathryn: All right. At some abstract level, as a human being and a Christian, I do care about them. However

—I don’t care about a shipful of Egyptians anything like as much as I care about a shipful of Americans.

—I don’t care about them enough to find time in a busy day to read to the end of the news story. One could, after all, fill a day several times over with nothing but reading news stories about horrible things happening to one’s fellow human beings in remote places. We are selective; and those old tribal instinct drive some of our selections. Tell me anyone else is any different. Tell me you are any different.

—If I take out my concern about those drowned Egyptians and take a good look at it, it really is a pretty feeble, abstract sort of caring. It is, in my opinion, a very good thing, and a great step up for humanity, that religious and ethical teachers have trained us to give a passing thought to the sufferings of strangers in distant places. A passing thought is all we give, though, 99 percent of the time, and I seriously doubt that in this respect I am any more callous than the human average.

Most Popular


Hurray for the NBA

Last month, just before the Final Four, I did a Q&A on college basketball with our Theodore Kupfer. Teddy K. is back, by popular demand, joined by two other experts: Vivek Dave, an old friend of mine from Michigan, who has long lived in Chicago, and David French, National Review’s Kentucky Kid, now ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More

Monday Links

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions. Can You Solve These 10 Medieval Riddles? The cost to make a Margherita pizza: $1.77. How much restaurants charge on average for a pizza: $12. The actual costs of restaurant foods. Vintage animation lessons -- how to make things cute. London's "Great ... Read More

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More