Magazine | June 6, 2011, Issue

Poetry

CURSES

after Mellin de Saint-Gelais

May the Lord make you a pauper,

A homeless old man without

An ear of corn in the barn, not

A bottle of wine in the cellar.

Until then, I pray by right and reason,

Home shall bring you no pleasure,

So for comfort you may prefer

To commit crimes, and rest in prison.

Or may you be forced into exile,

Anonymous among rude strangers,

To beg for rancid leftovers,

Without words for hunger. Meanwhile,

Stand outside her door in your cashmere

Coat in a storm, under the rainspout

All night long, cry out

For her to open, but she will not hear.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Shoot First, Ask Never

Osama bin Laden’s killing demonstrated in spectacular fashion American military and intelligence skills — and Pres. Barack Obama, who staked his presidency on the operation, was triumphant. Bin Laden’s death ...
Politics & Policy

Incurable

If President Obama had failed to get his massive health-care overhaul through Congress, Mitt Romney would today be a strong frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. Some conservatives and libertarians ...
Politics & Policy

A Voice for Choice

Three Philadelphia businessmen captured the attention of Pennsylvania’s political class last year when they pumped more than $5 million into the campaign of state senator Anthony H. Williams, a black ...
Politics & Policy

Better Off Dead

The test of a true friend is whether he’ll come to your house, moments or hours after your death, and quickly dispose of the embarrassing or potentially humiliating bric-à-brac we ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Too Big to Win

Why can’t America win wars? It’s been two-thirds of a century since we saw (as President Obama vividly put it) “Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.” ...
Politics & Policy

A Thousand Years Away

Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan — In late March, I rejoined the platoon whose maneuvers I described in the March 7 edition of National Review. To reach the platoon, I ...
Politics & Policy

Mortal Ally

Most Americans do not understand why Pakistan behaves the way it does, but they do understand that it has come to seem more enemy than ally. This shift in American ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Fine Madness

Before I went to see The Beaver, Jodie Foster’s tragicomic fable about a suicidal man who finds temporary salvation by communicating with the world through a Cockney-accented hand puppet, I ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Scott Walker’s Miscalculation I blinked and almost missed this comment by Josh Barro (“It’s Not Just Wisconsin,” March 21): “Under Walker’s proposed ‘budget repair’ bill, most state and local employees in ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ A $250,000 debt at Tiffany’s? Newt is obviously desperate to close his gender gap. ‐ Newt Gingrich praised Paul Ryan’s budget, then issued a statement quibbling with part of its ...
The Bent Pin

Royal Flushes

Yes, I watched the Royal Wedding and I have the gut reactions to prove it.              First, I don’t like Prince William. I’ve never had any particular thoughts about him ...
The Long View

Memorandum

TO: Production/Story Team for “SEAL Team Six” FROM: Vice President of Feature Film Development IN RE: Story/script notes for the second draft of “SEAL Team Six” Gang: First, let me tell you how much ...
Athwart

A Club for All and None

When you learn that mothers have been banned from joining a parenting organization specifically convened for fathers, you know there are two possible reactions: 1. So? It’s a free society. We ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

CURSES after Mellin de Saint-Gelais May the Lord make you a pauper, A homeless old man without An ear of corn in the barn, not A bottle of wine in the cellar. Until then, I pray ...
Happy Warrior

Criminal Comedy

I read The Joke, Milan Kundera’s first novel, when I was a schoolboy. Bit above my level, but, even as a teenager, I liked the premise. Ludvik is a young man ...

Most Popular

Education

An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More
Elections

A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats

The crisis of the Democrats is becoming more evident each week. Those of us who have been loudly predicting for years that the Russian-collusion argument would be exposed as a defamatory farce, and that the authors of it would eventually pay for it, are bemused at the fallback position of the Trump-haters: that ... Read More
White House

MoveOn.GOP?

Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More