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And readers could do worse than to consult Things Worth Fighting For as a general meditation, accidentally compiled over a working life, on the nature and meaning of warfare. Here, reporting aspires to the level of Stoic philosophy. When confronted with the stench and surrealism of mass death on the Basra road, Kelly did not shut down his inquiring mind in favor of engaging an outraged tongue. He sought to reflect, and learn. The hard training prepared him better than most to react to September 11, and he reacted better than most.
You’ve heard plenty about his gifts as a storyteller already. It is the significance of his work as a newspaper columnist that has been minimized somewhat by his colleagues since his death. Speaking as a neophyte in that field, I must say I consider Things Worth Fighting For to have been a graduate education; someone ought to have sent it to me a year ago. Kelly’s fate, perhaps decided by his birth in Washington, D.C., was to be a man of hell-in-a-handcart propensities who worked in overwhelmingly liberal environments. All and sundry took him to their hearts — it seems that, given the sort of fellow he was, to do otherwise was impossible — and dismissed his conservative ferocity as an idiosyncrasy.
In short, they wrapped him in the Blue State flag before they buried him. In the posthumous anthology, he rises again in all his Clinton-hating, hipster-crippling, Baby Boomer-excoriating glory. Michael Kelly, to the life.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?