Magazine | April 20, 2009, Issue


The View

The scarlet torches of crape myrtle

Crowd my window, kindled by the sun.

Their thick foliage blocks my view

Of all but the treetops and the sky.

I enjoy the flower-clusters, and butterflies

That visit here, green midges, and bees

That traffic in nectar and yellow pollen.

I might still learn economy or lore

From their abrupt, impulsive intimacy.

But I am jealous of the light that’s lost

To these gorgeous interlopers that began

Five years ago and twenty feet below

As blooming shrubs against the wall.

I remember the castle in a fairy tale,

Overgrown with brambles, trees, and vines,

Fallen under a curse, or witch’s spell,

Lost to the world for years, impenetrable—

A house where only sleep was possible.

I cannot see the garden for the flowers.

Time to throw open the sash. Be merciless!

Out with the shears, off with their pretty heads.



In This Issue


Politics & Policy

How We Fight

The Republican party is now consolidated in its opposition to President Obama. Most of its members have decided that his central political project is to bring social democracy to these ...
Politics & Policy

A Good Plan in Africa

Nairobi, Kenya – Democracy promotion is and probably always will be America’s default foreign policy, embarked upon when no other controlling interests prevail. This is so for two reasons: one philosophical, ...
Politics & Policy

Tip Jar Nation

Here’s what just happened. I’m in a hip coffee shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco. It’s early afternoon, and I order a double espresso. I hand over the money and ...


Politics & Policy

The New Afghan War

Kabul – Gov. Mohammed Halim Fi-dai is agitated. He’s holding forth in his office in Wardak province a half-hour or so outside of Kabul, before an audience of U.S. military ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Shelf Life

David Bentley Hart is one of the most valuable theologians of recent years; his 2003 book The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth is a masterpiece. The ...
Politics & Policy

By the Waters…

Richard John Neuhaus, recently departed and greatly missed, enjoyed four overlapping careers in the American public square. Taken on its own, each would have been sufficient to guarantee the fame ...
Politics & Policy

Paleo Khan

In The Dangerous Book for Boys, the name Genghis Khan appears precisely once. It’s a passing reference, toward the end, in a section on the Great Wall of China. Yet ...
Politics & Policy

On Our Side

William F. Buckley Jr. wrote a successful series of espionage thrillers about Blackford Oakes, a CIA agent. Now National Review editor Rich Lowry (together with his friend Keith Korman) has ...


The Long View

The Long View

A Twitter-istory of the World . . . Spent all a.m. trying to walk upright. Any1 in the Twitterverse had success at that yet? Also: what’s the 411 in re: hunting, ...
Politics & Policy


The scarlet torches of crape myrtle Crowd my window, kindled by the sun. Their thick foliage blocks my view Of all but the treetops and the sky. I enjoy the flower-clusters, and butterflies That visit ...
Happy Warrior

Happy Warrior

Closing Up Shop As National Review’s in-house demography bore — oh, hang on, the self-deprecating “demography bore” shtick is getting even more boring than just boring on about demography . . ...
Politics & Policy


Keeping the Peace  In the April 6 issue’s “The Week,” you ran a paragraph about the recent attacks on soldiers and policemen in Northern Ireland. The piece unfairly and incorrectly stated ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Carter-era Fiat: Fix It Again, Tony. Obama-era Fiat: Fix It Again, Taxpayers. ‐ “What’s good for the country is good for General Motors,” Charles Wilson, the company’s president in the ...
The Bent Pin

The Bent Pin

Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure As the Obama administration enters its third month I keep thinking of an old rhyming joke. It’s about an absent-minded girl who, being incapable of ...

Most Popular


The Rise of the Chinese-American Right

On June 13, during a nasty storm, a group of Chinese New Yorkers gathered in front of the gates of Gracie Mansion, the New York mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side, to protest. Inside, Mayor Bill de Blasio was meeting with two dozen or so representatives of the Asian-American community to discuss his ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More

How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy

Robert Francis O’Rourke is white. If it’s any consolation, he’s very sorry about that. “Beto” has been running from his Irish ancestry for some time now. Long before the Left fell headlong into the logical termini of its triune fascination with race, power, and privilege, O’Rourke sensed that there ... Read More