NRB Book Club: Christopher Hitchens on Horowitz and Humor


It sounds like a cliché. “If Hitchens didn’t exist,” wrote Ian McEwan, “we wouldn’t be able to invent him.”
I’m looking at Christopher Hitchens’ latest book. On the front-cover he’s smoking and (my guess) sending secret smoke signals to neo-conservatives. And yet, in the world of politics, no-one appears more complicated than Christopher Hitchens because of [...]

Australian Senator Cory Bernardi: “Ban the Burqa”


Senator Cory Bernardi is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and a Senator for South Australia. He is a strong defender of women’s rights. As if that’s not good enough, he is now calling for a burqa ban.  In an essay posted on Menzies House the conservative Liberal Party politician asserted: [...]

Of Kent State’s Brick-Throwing Pacifists


Years ago, I made the mistake of asking an American student about her university, Kent State. Then, I made an even bigger mistake and mentioned the shootings – a lame pickup strategy, to be sure.  Anyway, she told me about the “massacre” from a lefty’s perspective. And if my memory serves me right, she talked [...]

The Violence That Dares Not Speak Its Name


I was shocked. So there I am sitting on my bed. “Shelia” is on the phone with scratch marks across her tear-stained face, pleading for help, as her partner “Debbie” abuses her. It’s a familiar pattern: objects are thrown, Shelia is pushed around, and verbally assaulted.  One day they’re holding hands and kissing at the [...]

Preparing for Richard Dawkins’ Crocodile Tears


Recently, while watching the news, I wondered, “Why do teary atheists hate Catholics so much?” Then, I said a quiet prayer for their victims. If Charles Darwin were alive today, the militant atheist Richard Dawkins, no doubt, would attack him for being a 7-day creationist. Or cry. Why? Because Darwin’s words reveal he was more [...]

Vegan Joaquin Phoenix to Save Rabbit-Eating Snakes


Mirror, mirror, on the wall who in the land is silliest of all?
Exhibit one: In Year of the Dog we travel with two hysterical vegans, Peggy (Molly Shannon) and Newt (Peter Sarsgaard). They both have issues. And, in one memorable scene, Peggy returns to Newt’s house to pick up her dog. Just one slight problem [...]

Grandma Jane Fonda: “We Are Not a Sexually Mature Nation”


Mature cinema-goers may recall Jane Fonda playing a prostitute by the name of Bree Daniels in the 1971 film Klute. Today, however, the active grandma is enjoying her new role as a sex education activist – and educator, without police sirens in the background. Fonda, you see, is on a mission to promote sexual maturity. [...]