Author Archive for G. Tracy Mehan, III

G. Tracy Mehan, III, is a former Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. EPA, in the Bush administration. He is a consultant in Arlington, Virginia, and an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law.

The Solitude of St. Patrick
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The Solitude of St. Patrick

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I rise today with the strength of the sky, with the light of the sun, with the splendor of the moon, with the brilliance of fire, with the blaze of lightening, with the swiftness of wind, with the depth of the ocean, with the firmness of earth, with the firmness of rock. — From the […]

Earth Day 2014: Chinese Conundrum
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Earth Day 2014: Chinese Conundrum

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Several years ago, in 2007, I wrote an account of my visit to Shanghai which focused, primarily, on the city’s and China’s astounding economic boom, then achieving 11 percent growth in GDP for the third straight quarter. This torrid pace has throttled back a bit to 7.4 percent. I noted that, with the economic growth, “A lot of pollution […]

Searching For Paul Revere
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Searching For Paul Revere

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Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five; Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year. Other than recalling a fragment of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s wonderful, if historically inaccurate poem, many Americans, myself included, do not know much […]

Immigration and the ‘Best and Brightest’
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Immigration and the ‘Best and Brightest’

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One of the selling points for comprehensive immigration reform is the claimed benefits of granting a special kind of green card to all foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This argument is being made by corporate leaders, including those from the high-tech sector, who argue that it is a […]

Is God a Methodist? <em>42</em> Inspires and Moves
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Is God a Methodist? 42 Inspires and Moves

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In an opening scene of Brian Helgeland’s moving film, 42, Branch Rickey, the famous president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and played by Harrison Ford, is reviewing files of potential black baseball players whom he might bring into major league baseball in the face of inevitable hate, vitriol, and racism. He picks up Jackie Robinson’s file. “He’s […]

Marriage Issue Will Not Go Away
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Marriage Issue Will Not Go Away

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The panic in the ranks of some Republicans is a thing to behold.

Can the World Survive Without Italians?
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Can the World Survive Without Italians?

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Still pining over our combined pilgrimage-vacation to Rome last year, my wife and I decided to participate in the Year of Italian Culture 2013 at the National Gallery here in Washington, D.C. There we were able to gaze upon Michelangelo’s David-Apollo, which is on loan to the Gallery from the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, through March 3. […]

Learning to Love Sequestration
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Learning to Love Sequestration

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Paul Ryan says it’s going to happen, the sequestration, that is. One can hardly imagine any alternative scenario, in which Democrats and Republicans work it all out, and come out singing Kumbaya with a deal to avert the workings of the automatic cuts, share and share alike, to domestic and defense discretionary spending. Certainly, it would be better a) […]

Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò
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The Apostolic Nuncio Explains It All

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Religious freedom, persecution, and martyrdom in the age of Obama. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, is a well-traveled man, having served in Iraq, Kuwait, Great Britain, Strasbourg, Nigeria and, now, the United States. As a churchman and a diplomat, the Archbishop is in a unique position to analyze […]

A Most Momentous Election
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A Most Momentous Election

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My parish in northern Virginia has [been engaged in] 55 hours of continuous Eucharistic Adoration and Prayer-including Benediction — “in anticipation of the General Election,” [starting] Sunday, November 4, ending today, Election Day, about the time the polls will close. Catholics never, never endorse any candidate from the pulpit as happens in some Protestant churches. Yet, […]

Is God a Cardinals Fan?
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Is God a Cardinals Fan?

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Screaming erupted in our family room this past Friday as the St. Louis Cardinals came up with four runs in the ninth inning to derail the estimable Washington Nationals in the early morning hours not long after midnight. They managed to resurrect themselves from a 6-0 deficit from the early innings, thereby duplicating their performance […]

A Catholic Leader with Big Ideas: Paul Ryan Answers the Call
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A Catholic Leader with Big Ideas: Paul Ryan Answers the Call

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But America is more than just a place…it’s an idea.  It’s the only country founded on an idea.  Our rights come from nature and God, not government.  We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. — Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) at Norfolk,VA on Saturday With the USS Wisconsin as a backdrop, Mitt Romney presented Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as […]

The Catholic Vote and Romney's Fortunes
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The Catholic Vote and Romney’s Fortunes

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With less than 100 days until the election, Governor Mitt Romney is in the launch position for a vigorous fall campaign with the stars aligning for success in November. Okay, okay. The London trip did start out a little rough, but consider the following: Gallup tracking poll shows the Governor in a dead heat with President Obama, tied […]

Feeling Superior: The Lake, That Is
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Feeling Superior: The Lake, That Is

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“Lake Superior is the biggest, deepest, cleanest, coldest and roughest of all the Great Lakes,” said the captain of the tour boat as we cruised out of Munising, Michigan, average snowfall 250 inches, to view the Pictured Rocks National Shoreline. Pictured Rocks is a spectacular display of multicolored sandstone cliffs and geologic formations, soaring to […]

Roman Fever
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Roman Fever

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A city like no other, maybe even more so this time of year. What do you call a city with a jail named Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)? For the last 3,000 years, you call it Rome. Forty years had passed since I had last visited Rome, broke and hitchhiking through Europe the summer after […]

Gradually, Then Suddenly
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Gradually, Then Suddenly

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It is not often that one sees Ernest Hemingway cited in an article on the federal budget and fiscal situation. But that is what GOP House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Committee, did in a recentWashington Post op-ed on President Obama’s last budget of his first term. […]

Bishops Reject Obama's 'Accommodation'
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Bishops Reject Obama’s ‘Accommodation’

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The American bishops have, with alacrity, rejected President Obama’s proposed “accommodation” on the contraception mandate in no uncertain terms. Their response came before the sun had set on the very day of his announcement. Noting that the “proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of […]

Caesar Overreaching Once Again
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Caesar Overreaching Once Again

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What do political pundits Peggy Noonan, Chris Matthews, E.J. Dionne, Jr., and Mark Shields have in common? Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, is Catholic. Matthews and Dionne claim to be loyal but dissident Catholics at least on matters such as contraception (Dionne) and public policy on abortion (Matthews). Mark Shields, another Catholic, is […]

Raking Fire on the Stern: The GOP's Kaleidoscopic Primary Gets Serious
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Raking Fire on the Stern: The GOP’s Kaleidoscopic Primary Gets Serious

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While reading a tale of adventure and combat on the high seas, say a novel by Patrick O’Brian or C.S. Forester, I can recall a vivid description of two ships of the line, engaged in a deadly duel, in which one of the vessels manages to inflict a particularly crushing fusillade on its opponent, described in a […]

Twin Decisions
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Twin Decisions

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I was a student at Saint Louis University School of Law when I learned of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v.Wade. It was in a class taught by the late Gerald T. Dunne. Dunne was a biographer of Supreme Court Justices Joseph Story and Hugo Black; he was a decorated Navy veteran of World War II (Silver […]

The Paramount Issue of 2012
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The Paramount Issue of 2012

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Spending and taxes will be center stage in the 2012 presidential election, but at the heart of those pivotal issues is one that is paramount in terms of America’s future: cascading mandatory spending on entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. Erskine Bowles, co-chair of President Obama’s bipartisan reduction commission, the one he ignored, recently described the […]

Leaving Something to the Children
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Leaving Something to the Children

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Over the years I have heard many arguments for and against the idea of providing any kind of an inheritance for one’s children. There was the egalitarian argument that framed the issue as one of democratic virtue, rejecting the idea of accumulating any wealth for the sake of the next generation. Better that your children […]

Sexual Politics and the GOP Kaleidoscope
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Sexual Politics and the GOP Kaleidoscope

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Theodore Roosevelt’s great image of politics as a kaleidoscope hardly captures the present pandemonium over Herman Cain’s alleged sexual misdeeds. For a Republican primary, usually a pretty button-down affair, this is pretty steamy stuff. Compared to Bill Clinton’s escapades-proven, admitted and forgiven by his wife, Hillary — this matter is still in the realm of […]

Book Review: <em>Catholic Controversies</em>
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Book Review: Catholic Controversies

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For reasons that are both understandable and regrettable, apologetics, the science of demonstrating the reasonableness of religious doctrine, is not often mentioned in public life these days. In part, this is due to the demands of charity and prudence, to avoid unnecessary and often acrimonious strife among religious denominations in a nation which has benefited […]

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