Posts by Paul G. Kengor

Devouring the Clintons

Devouring the Clintons

The Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is a raucous place. Not long ago, during the Christmas season, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright—stepping back from his repeated proclamation that “God d— America!”—paused to damn the former president of America: As … More>

Pile of Manure

Pile of Manure
“It reminds me of the story about that little boy … in this room filled with manure.”
—Hillary Clinton, April 1

As Senator Hillary Clinton presses on in her battle to win more primaries on the road to the Democratic … More>

Conceiving Conception at Messiah

Conceiving Conception at Messiah

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 22, is the big day: the crucial Pennsylvania Primary. It happens here, in my home state, at polling places in big cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, medium-sized cities like Erie and Harrisburg, and small towns like mine, … More>

Blessing vs. Damning America

Blessing vs. Damning America

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…. [I]n my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed….”

—President Ronald Reagan,
Farewell Address, January 11, 1989

“’God Bless America?’ No, no, More>

Easter with Mr. Buckley

Easter with Mr. Buckley

Like many people, I suppose, my bookshelves are filled with books I’ve purchased with plans to read someday, sometime … but not right now. A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed one of those books, bought almost 10 years ago, … More>

God and Man at Pitt

God and Man at Pitt

I discovered William F. Buckley, Jr. in the late 1980s as an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, where I was a pre-med student preparing for a career in organ transplantation. I had been bit by the political bug. It … More>

Big Deal in the Balkans

Big Deal in the Balkans

On June 28, 1389 the Serbs lost to the Ottomans at Kosovo Field in the Battle of Kosovo. This began a 500-plus year dominance by the Ottoman Turks in Central Europe, and particularly in that powder keg known as the … More>

A Child’s Special Gift

A Child’s Special Gift

It is a statement of the obvious—both trite and troublesome—to acknowledge that most children today generally receive more than they need at Christmas, especially compared to children of times past, and particularly in America. They know the joy of receiving … More>

NOT a Charlie Brown Christmas

NOT a Charlie Brown Christmas

“Look, Charlie Brown, we all know Christmas is a big commercial racket.”

—Linus

Every year my family eagerly awaits the annual broadcast of the classic 1965 Peanuts special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This timeless masterpiece by Charles Schulz remains so … More>

Boss’s Day Irony

Boss’s Day Irony

Did you remember to buy a present for your boss last month on Boss’s Day? The teachers of the Susquehanna Township School District in central Pennsylvania didn’t experience the embarrassment of forgetting the chief because two of their colleagues, who … More>

Hotels v. Big Families

Hotels v. Big Families

As summer nears a close, I must express frustration over a problem that worsens for us each summer as our family grows, and which I imagine also frustrates other families our size.

We have four children, ages 2 to 10, … More>

Iran in the Crosshairs?

Iran in the Crosshairs?
“There is nothing so dreadful as a great victory … excepting a great defeat.”
—Sir Arthur Wellesley,
the Duke of Wellington

A lot has happened in the past two weeks to refocus attention on terrorism and the global war against … More>

Philadelphia Freedom

Philadelphia Freedom

When the Reverend Jerry Falwell passed away recently we were told that his greatest sin was blurring the lines of separation between church and state, of “shoving” his personal faith and values down the throats of everyone else.

While Falwell … More>

Fidel’s Useful Idiots

Fidel’s Useful Idiots

“…learn what the new Cuba offers its people—and its neighbors. To its people, peace, democracy, prosperity. To its neighbors, friendship, and the cooperation of men who respect each other….”
—Daily Worker, December 13, 1959

Unfortunately I was standing, not sitting, … More>

What Matters in Mexico

What Matters in Mexico

As conservatives continue to view Mexico through the three-dimensional lens of immigration, immigration, and immigration, they might want to widen their perspective to consider a human-rights atrocity that ought to outrage them as much as border fences.

While virtually no … More>

Boris Yeltsin and the Horror House

Boris Yeltsin and the Horror House

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin died this week at age 76, on the heels of two decades of both extraordinary health problems and political achievements.

His presidency ran from June 1991 through December 31, 1999—almost the entirety of the 1990s, … More>

Opening Day for America

Opening Day for America

This Monday marks one of the most significant dates in the calendar year: Opening Day for Major League Baseball.

There is, of course, no greater sport than baseball—a fact that is one of those indisputable laws of the universe. It … More>

Hating Rick

Hating Rick

Back in November, on the heels of the landslide defeat of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) by Democratic challenger Bob Casey, Jr., I wrote an article recalling the first time I met Santorum. I intended the piece to be a personal … More>

God and Stem Cells

God and Stem Cells

On Thursday, January 11, the new Democratic Congress followed through on its ambitious agenda to promote embryonic stem-cell research. As it moves forward, President George W. Bush will be grabbing his veto pen. As he does, we will hear charges … More>

The Rise and Fall of a Dictator

The Rise and Fall of a Dictator
“I expect to die a violent death, with nothing but the tip of my pinky finger remaining behind.”
—Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein grew up barefoot in a mud hut in the town of Takrit, north of Baghdad on the Tigris … More>

Some Guy Named Santorum

Some Guy Named Santorum

I will never forget the first time I heard of Rick Santorum. It was 1990 and I was a student at the University of Pittsburgh, where I was editorial page editor of the campus newspaper. I was approached by Tara … More>

Goodbye to a Good Guy

Goodbye to a Good Guy

Editor’s Note: Bob O’Connor, the 58th mayor of Pittsburgh, PA, died of brain cancer this past Friday, September 1, at the age of 61.

In the fall of 1994, I drove my tiny Toyota Tercel into downtown Pittsburgh for a … More>

Death of an Anti-Democrat

Death of an Anti-Democrat

I was awakened this morning at 4:45 a.m. by a ringing telephone. A call that early in the morning often brings bad news—sometimes news of a death. I braced myself. The call was indeed about a death, but the news … More>

Weinberger’s Wisdom

Weinberger’s Wisdom

On Monday evening, March 27, I spoke to students in my “Modern Civilization” course here at Grove City College. I was lecturing on the origins of the Cold War. I began talking about the Berlin Wall, going through the date … More>

Alito’s Epistle

Alito’s Epistle

I get angry emails anytime I accuse the dominant press of hostility toward religion, and specifically toward the religious right, as opposed to the religious left. The press is silent (or at least not hostile) when a liberal preacher denounces … More>

Alito v. Planned Parenthood

Alito v. Planned Parenthood

In recent weeks, Judge Samuel Alito Jr. has been portrayed as everything from “anti-woman” to a racial bigot. His confirmation hearings got so ugly that his wife, in the most regrettable image of the hearings, left the room in tears. … More>

Every Judge a God

Every Judge a God

Of the hundreds of articles I’ve written, I’ve never done a piece on the issue of gay adoption. However, I was recently so struck by a particular court case that I feel compelled to weigh in.

Jennifer Roback Morse, a … More>

Conservatives Are Blowing It

Conservatives Are Blowing It

Conservatives are blowing it. In Harriet Miers, George W. Bush designated a nominee to the Supreme Court who, without conservative opposition and digging, particularly by the diligent Wall Street Journal, would almost surely have sailed through Senate confirmation. By all … More>

The Human Kennan

The Human Kennan

A giant of the 20th century died on Thursday, March 17. George F. Kennan lived for 101 years. Many things will be said of Kennan this week: He was a leading thinker of our time, the founding father of containment, … More>

The Clinton-Gore-Albright Unilateral Strike on Iraq

The Clinton-Gore-Albright Unilateral Strike on Iraq

We’re being told by Democrats that the Bush administration’s war against Saddam was illegitimate because it allegedly lacked United Nations approval and sufficient multilateral support. What Democrats are not saying is that the previous presidential administration—a Democratic one—did not meet … More>

McGreevey, Kerry and the Church

McGreevey, Kerry and the Church

Though he clearly has his failings, there’s something impressive about McGreevey: He has the integrity to discipline himself for moral misconduct; in this case, he is resigning. Yet, one of the more impressive displays by McGreevey took place weeks ago, … More>

A Mom Who Made a President

A Mom Who Made a President

While being a mother has never been easy, the task today is particularly daunting. My wife, who is the mother of my 8-year-old and 6-year-old sons and 2-year-old daughter, learned a few months ago that she couldn’t even let her … More>

High Stakes in Specter-Toomey Race

High Stakes in Specter-Toomey Race

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Republicans like myself will cast a ballot for either long-time senator Arlen Specter or three-term congressman Pat Toomey. The winner will secure the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate and take on the Democratic nominee in November. … More>

Jewish-Christian Unity At Easter

Jewish-Christian Unity At Easter

A few weeks ago I wrote an article describing Ronald Reagan’s views on Jesus Christ and the crucifixion. While most of the response was positive, I did receive some negative email. One writer complained that I rekindled the same “divisive” … More>

Pledging Allegiance Without God

Pledging Allegiance Without God

“God isn’t dead. We just can’t talk to Him in the classroom anymore.”
— Ronald Reagan

It’s a curious thing for any biographer: When you write a book on a historical figure — particularly an unappreciated aspect of a historical … More>

Breaking All the Rules

Breaking All the Rules

There is a time-honored tradition in American politics — a gentlemen’s agreement of sorts: Former presidents do not openly criticize current presidents, particularly on sensitive foreign-policy matters. Ex-presidents know intimately the difficulty of the job; they understand how much more … More>

Bill Bennett and His Critics

Bill Bennett and His Critics

I don’t know which is more shocking: the revelation that conservative icon William J. Bennett has a serious gambling problem, which resulted in his loss of millions of dollars in casinos around the country, or the furious (even scary) reaction … More>

Remembering Mr. Rogers

Remembering Mr. Rogers

I was quite saddened when I woke up on Thursday morning, turned on Channel 4 and learned that Fred Rogers had died. Mr. Rogers had always evoked sentimentality from me, though never as he did that morning.

I’ll always have … More>

Children of 9/11

Children of 9/11

The scene was my parents’ house on Fourth of July weekend. It was 10 months after Sept. 11. The tragedy was still on the minds of many, particularly during this time of patriotic reflection. Apparently, it was on the minds … More>