The Week

(Roman Genn)


A bridge over the Skagit River in Washington collapsed. There were no deaths, but sensible political discourse suffered severe injuries. Democrats responded with new calls for expanded infrastructure spending, and Republicans countered with charges, not unjustified, that prior appropriations through the stimulus and other infrastructure bills had been frittered away. The relevant discipline here is not politics but engineering: The bridge in question would have been rendered unusable by the loss of a single support truss, and several of those trusses were destroyed when they were smashed by a very large truck carrying several tons of industrial equipment. No word on whether the driver was a Democrat or a Republican. Sometimes an accident is just an accident.

Gestational surrogacy, whereby an embryo conceived in vitro is planted in the womb of a woman who has contracted with one or both of the child’s genetic parents, holds out hope for many couples who otherwise would not be blessed with children in their own bloodlines. The transaction is nonetheless disturbing: A woman rents out her womb and hands over a child for money. India is the world’s largest supplier of gestational carriers; the United States ranks second. Last August, New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have made gestational surrogacy easier to contract for in New Jersey. Governor Bobby Jindal should follow suit if a similar bill now making its way through the Louisiana legislature lands on his desk.

June 17, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 11

Special Energy Section
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Jonah Goldberg reviews The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure, by Kevin D. Williamson.
  • Theodore Dalrymple reviews Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, by Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld.
  • Galen Mac Caba reviews Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century, by Christian Caryl.
  • Jay Nordlinger discusses James Levine, one of the great conductors of our age.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Star Trek: Into Darkness.
  • Richard Brookhiser discusses summer weeds.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .