He was a fearless leader in the permanent fight between tyranny and liberty.
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When he came to the broken down school not too far from Yankee Stadium to talk to our journalism class, he asked the kids why they wanted to write, what they wanted to write about, what they thought it might involve to find out facts and report them, and what, too, they knew about their own origins. Most of them, or their parents, were from countries Doug knew, of course — he could even tell from their accents and their idioms, in either English or Spanish, which cities or regions they came from. He told them stories of his adventures in their “back home” places. He told them he loved the work he did, but it was not easy — maybe they were better off finding something to do up here, in da Bronx or the great city downtown. Either way, they’d do well to learn to read and write.
We met with some of my colleagues after, and the one he liked best was a burly security and attendance A.P., a football-player-sized man whose entire life was dedicated to keeping kids in school who were tempted every day to stay on the streets. Doug learned as much from a half hour spent talking to him as I would from months of watching the system work, or fail, on a daily basis. As to the kids, they often asked me when Doug would come back for another “lecture” — some lecture, since he had done most of the listening. He had other things to do, I told him, but he thought about them. He sent them a little piece about the school as he had seen it, which he wrote for the issue of the newspaper they put together that spring. It was a nice piece, too, full of observations about what we were doing in the Bronx, and I wish I could quote from it, but unfortunately I haven’t got a copy.
Doug died last month after a spirited, stoical, courageous battle with lung cancer. I know it is sentimental to say this, but we are poorer, weaker, more vulnerable for this loss.
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?