May this be Ukraine’s 1989

A quadrennial custom I look forward to is writing a column mocking the absurdity of the Winter Olympics. Hockey aside, silly sports contested by people otherwise unknown somehow become moments of national pride. “Cheering on the oddballs” was how my editor headlined the 2010 version for Vancouver. Hoist the maple leaf — our man won skateboarding on snow! Continue reading

The contemptible Messr. Hollande

On Tuesday in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande both rounded on Russia for its malign influence in Syria. Especially given Obama’s disastrous “reset” policy on Russia — the fruits of which include blood on the streets of Kyiv — it was rather late, but nevertheless welcome. For two presidents floundering on the domestic front, a turn to foreign affairs was welcome. Continue reading

Benedict’s Abdication, One Year Later

A year after doing what no similarly situated pope had ever done, the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI now belongs to history. How history will judge that decision remains to be seen; it is too soon to tell. Benedict would be the first to acknowledge that utter novelties in the life of the Church are usually mistakes, which is why so many were unsettled that the grand master of the Catholic Tradition did something that, while permitted by that same tradition, could not in any sense be considered as belonging to it. Continue reading