Jack KerwickAlthough it had been in circulation for decades, it was only during the tenure of our last President that the term “neoconservatism” really gained traction.  It is a funny thing, this word, for while it was a Jewish intellectual, Irving Kristol, who first coined it, those to whom it was ascribed would alternately embrace it or, which was more frequently the case, eschew it as “anti-Semitic.”

We already know of Patrick Henry College’s superb homeschooled debating team, which won against prestigious Oxford University in December 2004. Its students have also competed in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association debates, winning National Tournaments in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

But now, we can also celebrate another great homeschool victory. This time on the high-school level in New York state. A team of homeschoolers from Schenectady County won the statewide mock trial championship in May 2011 against the formidable opposition of a team from the Bronx High School of Science, one of the state’s most highly rated public high schools.

“We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).” So wrote parents David Stocker and Kathy Witterick after the birth of their third child, who they really did name “Storm.”

This isn’t the first story about parents who don’t want their children to be influenced by others’ sex-role expectations. In 2009, a Swedish couple, citing the feminist philosophy stating that “gender is a social construction,” refused to reveal the sex of their 2 ½-year-old child “Pop” (I have it on good authority, from Snap and Crackle, that it’s a boy).

Jack KennyAnother Memorial Day has arrived and I again have it in mind to finally get to the end of a book I have begun reading several times but never finished. It is David Halberstam's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of how our nation got bogged down in what might be called the Q (for Quagmire) War — World War 'Nam in Southeast Asia. Before I had reached the Goldwater days of my youth, I didn't even know there was a Southeast Asia. I was hardly aware of Asia at all. But once I learned our fellow Americans were fighting Communist aggression there, the righteousness of the war appeared self-evident. In the words of a song that became a hit in the 1960s, the young men of my generation heard the sound of "Distant Drums."

Kung Fu PandaKung Fu Panda 2 showcases Po the Panda living out his dream as China’s Dragon Warrior. Kung Fu seems to come much easier to Po in this sequel, as it should after the strenuous accelerated learning techniques he underwent in the first film. Unfortunately, Po’s new talent may be short-lived as he learns that both Kung Fu and his homeland of China are in danger, and sets out with the Furious Five to save the day in this installment.