Magazine | December 21, 2009, Issue

Poetry

THE MEDAL

Bear, would you like to see my purple heart?

Terrified, I followed Uncle Eddie up the stairs,

expecting to see—God knows, what hideous thing,

what awful hidden wound from the Great War.

He led me back into his dark bedroom—

shuttered, it had the feeling of a tomb,

where by his dresser, crouching on the floor,

he knelt and sliding out the bottom drawer

in silence, lifted out a small sealed box,

the way a priest removes the sacrament at Mass;

then opening the clasp for me to see,

too reverent for me to touch or anyone,

I saw with my child’s terror overcome

inside: the ribboned face of Washington.

—RICHARD O’CONNELL

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Trust Science

The ninth commandment is: trust science. By this we mean a true science, based on objectively established criteria and agreed foundations, with a rational methodology and mature criteria of proof ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Shifty Shifting

‘This,” said Eric Holder, “is almost a ‘Trust me’ thing.” The attorney general of the United States was trying to reassure Alice Hoagland, whose 31-year-old son, Mark Bingham, lost his ...
Politics & Policy

Lani’s Heir

  Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson has called Eric Holder “the most destructive member of Barack Obama’s Cabinet.” The description is apt. The attorney general’s questionable judgment extends far beyond the ...
Politics & Policy

VAT Attack

The U.S. has a smaller government than most rich countries do, but we don’t have much lower corporate tax rates or top income-tax rates. That’s one conclusion to be drawn ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

One of Us

When Sarah Palin was announced to the world as John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate in summer 2008, she was almost completely unknown outside Alaska. She had made a few feisty ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

The Talented Mr. Moto Terry Teachout should be sorry! How can he discuss John P. Marquand and his works (“Be Careful What You Ask For,” November 23) without any mention of ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Tiger is probably glad he didn’t give his wife any pointers on how to swing a 9-iron. ‐ On a party-line vote, the Senate decided to start debating Harry Reid’s ...
Politics & Policy

The Long View

To: (undisclosedrecipients)@ InstitutiAstronomica.it From: Cardinal.Bianchi@ InstitutiAstronomica.it Date: Dec. 6, 1632 Subject: Housekeeping before the big Revolving Sun conference Guys: Please delete all e-mails you’ve got in re: the Sun’s revolution around the Earth and our ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE MEDAL Bear, would you like to see my purple heart? Terrified, I followed Uncle Eddie up the stairs, expecting to see—God knows, what hideous thing, what awful hidden wound from the Great War. He ...
Happy Warrior

Rising Tide

The Swiss minaret ban and the leaked climate e-mails are really the same story — or, more precisely, are symptoms of the same disease. In the Times of London, Oliver ...

Most Popular

Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More