Hugh Peters, a Puritan Preacher

Known as the “Great Communicator,” United States President Ronald Reagan used plain speaking and affecting homilies to connect with his audiences, making them more willing to embrace his point of view. Reagan’s success as a persuasive orator ingratiated him with his allies, who appreciated his ability to win support for their cause, and infuriated his enemies, who could not understand how a man, with what they considered deficient ideas, could achieve the popular support Reagan did for his agenda. Thirteen…

Continue reading →

Whom are We Fighting: Muslim Civilization or Muslim Terrorists?

Dec. 31, 2011, edit: How amazing the effect the passing of a decade can have on one's perspective. While I still stand by the thesis we are not in a "clash of civilizations" with the Muslim world, I of course must vacate the propositions that American interventions have been warmly greeted in targeted countries. And I believe American foreign interventionism clearly does inspire loathing of the United States that sometimes ignites terrorist ambitions; I would strongly dismiss the Bush explanation were…

Continue reading →

The Fighting Doctor: Dudley Newcomb Carpenter at the Battle of Manila Bay

The Fighting Doctor: Dudley Newcomb Carpenter at the Battle of Manila Bay

What can one say about Dudley Newcomb Carpenter, whom one newspaper called “one of the finest looking, most sociable and brightest officers of his grade in the navy”?1 Not much, really. I searched the Internet with Google and perused the databases on ALADIN, entering every iteration of Carpenter’s name I could imagine, but I still could not find a lot beyond a rough summary of his life. He entered this world on June 28, 1874, in Kittery, Maine,2 and left…

Continue reading →

Gun Control Will Solve Nothing

Statistics from the National Federation of State High School Associations reveal that, in 1999, 15 students perished while playing in high school football games. This fact received little to no coverage in the national media. Angry parents did not parade into Washington, D.C., in order to demand stricter regulation of high school football. Politicos feigning intense anguish did not bemoan football's domination of most learning institutions' sports programs. The large majority of this country's citizens watched their favorite high school…

Continue reading →

A Sick Town

Object of discussion: Barthelme, Donald. "A City of Churches." The Best American Short Stories. Ed. John Updike. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000. 503-506. Prester is a town where everyone follows the same philosophy and lives the same way. The town's residents are not individuals with their own distinct identities, but units comprising a ubiquitous and soulless collective. Surprisingly, Prester is not a city in the old Soviet Union; instead, it is the setting of Donald Barthelme's "A City of…

Continue reading →

A Response to Joan Didion’s “On Morality”

The most common definition of morality is knowledge of right and wrong. People use morality to justify their actions and decisions. Some individuals also try to impress their own morality upon other people in the belief that standards of right and wrong are the same for everyone. In her essay "On Morality," Joan Didion objects to such thinking, saying that each person can have a different conception of morality. To illustrate her point, Didion first uses the examples of Klaus…

Continue reading →

Entertainment Industry Does Not Create Teen Killers

Whenever an idiot teen with anger control problems decides that shooting people in the proper way to express rage, politicians of all political stripes say violence in the media is the cause. After the March 22 school shooting in El Cajon, California, Attorney General John Ashcroft proclaimed that movies and video games foster an "ethic of violence" that results in juvenile killing. People always need convenient scapegoats to blame for society's problems. The practice of deflecting responsibility is certainly nothing…

Continue reading →