The Corner

Two Ways of Looking at the World

I’ve won a lot of arguments with my iPhone. I set it down on the table and ask whoever I’m boring with my lectures to explain why things like cellular phone, computers, personal financial services, travel, etc., get better and/or cheaper every year, but things like public schools get more expensive and mostly either do not improve or actually get worse. Figure that out and you’ve figured out a lot about what governments can and should do. There’s the iPhone model and there’s the rubber-room model. Neither is perfect, but one obviously, undeniably works better than the other. Take your pick.

Every now and then, an example of that really grabs you by the throat. For instance, while all the cleverest lawyers in Washington were arguing over the details of Obamacare — which will not make a single sick person better, ever — some really smart guys in Berkeley were putting together robotic exoskeletons that allow paralyzed people to walk. This isn’t science fiction: People are using these devices right now. There is a lot of hope in the world and change on the way, but it isn’t coming from Washington.

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History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More