Magazine | November 28, 2011, Issue



Collapsing on a sleeping friend

Upon the couch, I fell

Sincerely sorry to offend

This guest in my “hotel.”

Our customary schedules changed,

He lay as if in pitch,

No boundaries, his form estranged

From which idea was which.

He panted thrice, but barely stirred,

His fright dry and compressed –

Neither of us with a word,

We two: the ghost and guest.

My pulse stopped years ago, it’s true.

That person is a ghost

Who stumbles; this, perhaps, he knew –

Unseeing, yet engrossed.

I fled the scene in full control,

Apologies ad hoc.

My terrorizing of a soul

Had come as little shock.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Cristina’s Whirl

If you want to understand why Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner triumphed quite so conclusively (with 54 percent of the vote against 17 percent for her nearest challenger) in October’s ...
Politics & Policy

A Hero of Us All

Last month, there were reports that Chen Guangcheng was dead. That they had at last killed him. “They”? China’s ruling Communists, who have tormented Chen for years. Other reports said, ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Mid-Century Mind

Dwight Macdonald (1906–82) was a clamorous figure in 20th-century New York intellectual circles. Simply living here, one absorbed anecdotes about him, by osmosis: that an annoyed Trotsky said he favored ...
Politics & Policy

Religious Rights

This book is indispensable for anyone seeking to understand the degree to which the freedoms of religion and expression are being violated in Muslim-majority countries, and why this development has ...
Politics & Policy

The Fall

Prosperity has a thousand fathers; economic ruin is an orphan. Few liberals want to acknowledge that our Great Recession was made, in part, in Washington, D.C., by the well-meaning politicians ...


Happy Warrior


Whenever I write in these pages about the corrosive effect of Big Government upon the citizenry in Britain, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere and note that this republic is fairly well ...
Politics & Policy


The Friedman-Durbin Amendment? In The Week (October 31), the Editors write that the Durbin amendment’s cap on the fees that merchants pay for debit-card transactions prompted banks to “transfer the fee ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐  The headline above an Associated Press story on the 2012 election read, “Obama’s team banks on his ‘regular guy’ appeal.” We’re not in the habit of giving advice to ...
The Long View

NSA Surveillance Transcript

Document Extract: 11.08.11 GMT 08.93 Begin Extract UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE:   Hello? UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE #2:   Who is this, please? UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE:   Herman? Herman Cain? This is Bill Clinton. HERMAN CAIN:   Bill Clinton? The Bill Clinton? BILL ...
Politics & Policy


GHOST AND GUEST Collapsing on a sleeping friend Upon the couch, I fell Sincerely sorry to offend This guest in my “hotel.” Our customary schedules changed, He lay as if in pitch, No boundaries, his form estranged From ...

Most Popular


Is Tribalism Really on the Rise? Meh.

‘By now we all understand that America is in the grip of political tribalism,” Yale professor Amy Chua wrote in the February 22 New York Times. “We lament and condemn this phenomenon even as we voraciously engage in it.” It’s a familiar refrain, is it not? Chua’s widely discussed new book on the ... Read More
Economy & Business

Two Conservative Causes, in Conflict

Conservatives have argued for decades that the capital-gains tax should be indexed to inflation. When George H. W. Bush was president, some conservatives argued that he could interpret the tax laws in a way that let him adopt this policy without a vote of Congress. Now that Larry Kudlow is director of the ... Read More

If Amy Wax Is Wrong, Let’s See the Data

Regarding the kerfuffle Jason Richwine addressed here earlier, the economist Glenn Loury has posted an impassioned plea to his Facebook page. Loury, you may recall, hosts the video blog where Wax made her controversial claim that black students at Penn Law School rarely graduate in the top half of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Nazis, Rap Songs, and McDougals

In 1991, Edwin Edwards, a Democrat, and David Duke, a Republican, ran for governor of Louisiana. There was a memorable bumper sticker: “Vote for the Crook, Not the Nazi.” The crook, in fact, won -- beating the Nazi (and Klansman) by about 61 percent to 39 percent. I thought of this when contemplating ... Read More
Politics & Policy

San Francisco Bans Fur Sales

San Francisco has banned the sale of fur. From the CBS-SF story: San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to ban the sale of fur clothing and products. Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure that prohibits the sale of fur clothes, accessories, even souvenirs in stores and ... Read More

For the First Time in Weeks, Relief Sweeps over Austin

Making the click-through worthwhile: The Austin bomber is done in by one of his own devices; some new numbers suggest that a small but significant portion of Trump voters are tiring of the chaos and aren’t showing up to support other Republicans in 2018; and the mixed news for conservatives coming out of the ... Read More

The Baleful Effect of #MeToo on Campus

Remember the series of hurricanes that pounded the Caribbean last summer? Something like that has been occurring on college campuses, as they're hit by one destructive mania after another: diversity, Title IX, anti-speech protests. Now it's the #MeToo Movement. In this Martin Center article, British academic ... Read More