The Corner

Happy Veterans Day!

We’re living in a free country, and today we honor those men and women who put themselves on the line to make it so. Kudos to Google for having a lovely patriotic illustration on its homepage: Google takes a lot of metaphorical flak for its often less-than-U.S.-centric choice of homepage art, so good for them for honoring some people who took literal flak for the rest of us.

One way to celebrate Veterans Day that just came to my attention: Amazon is offering the Kindle versions of nine Kurt Vonnegut books for $1.99 each, today only. Vonnegut was, of course, a World War II vet, and his experiences in the war shaped much of his writing. Liberals love him for his antiwar beliefs; conservatives love him for his famous story “Harrison Bergeron,” which scathingly denounced the radical-egalitarian Leviathan. His writing is uneven, and taken in large doses can get excessively preachy; at its best, though, it rises to the level of a powerful humanistic testament. (I recommend especially Slaughterhouse-Five — still his most famous book — and Mother Night.) Vonnegut had many problems with the policies of the U.S. government — hey, who doesn’t? — but I’m sure he’d acknowledge that it’s only in a country like the United States that a Vonnegut can genuinely flourish.

Thanks, again, to the vets who made it so . . .


Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More

In Defense of Tulsi

Some years ago, a liberal-minded friend of mine complained during lunch that Fox News was “stealing” his elderly parents. “They should be enjoying retirement,” he said, noting that they live in a modest but comfortable style with attentive children and grandchildren to enjoy. “But instead,” he sighed, ... Read More

Not Less Religion, Just Different Religion

The Pew Poll tells us that society is secularizing -- particularly among the young -- and who can deny it? That is one reason that the free expression of religion is under such intense pressure in the West. But it seems to me that we aren't really becoming less religious. Rather, many are merely changing that ... Read More