Category: Society & Common Good

Assessing Qaddafi
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Assessing Qaddafi

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The world’s longest ruling head of state, Mu’ammar al-Qadhdhafi (the correct transliteration of his name), would have been ruler of Libya for exactly 42 years on Sept. 1. As he leaves the scene, his wretched reign deserves an appraisal. Qaddafi took power at the age of 27 in the waning days of Gamal Abdel Nasser, […]

Blomberg's 9/11 Gag Rule Insults Catholics
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Blomberg’s 9/11 Gag Rule Insults Catholics

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Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the 9/11 memorial ceremonies: Last year, Mayor Bloomberg sought to justify his support for building a mosque near Ground Zero by recalling the bravery of the firefighters on that fateful day. “In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of […]

An Open Letter to the Libyan Rebels: Don't Copy Our Mistakes
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An Open Letter to the Libyan Rebels: Don’t Copy Our Mistakes

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Libyan rebels take heed.  Since relatively little remains left over from the Gaddafi regime, the transition process provides the first chance in the Arab Spring for national replanting in newly plowed soil.  Neither Egypt nor Tunisia enjoys such an opportunity.  Lest your opportune moment be let slip, cautions and recommendations carry more urgency. Invariably the […]

"Understanding" Joe Biden Perfects the Kowtow
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“Understanding” Joe Biden Perfects the Kowtow

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The Vice President is being hammered for seeming to condone Chinese-style population control. Answering a question about the one-child policy, he seemed to go out of his way to be noncritical, saying that he “fully understands” the one-child-per-family policy and was not “second-guessing” it. His defenders maintain that this does not constitute an endorsement of […]

Will There be Zombies? Part 3
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Will There be Zombies? Part 3

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The task we will face will depend on the shape of the collapse, which will vary from city to city, and from town to countryside. [Part 1, Part 2] Modern life is dependent on complex networks for electricity, water, sewer, transportation, gas, education, security, banking, food supplies, medical care, and so forth. Almost all of […]

The Folly of More Centralized Power
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The Folly of More Centralized Power

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Americans’ satisfaction and feeling of connection with Washington has dwindled to an all time low. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, only 17 percent of likely voters believe that the federal government has the consent of the governed. The numbers are hardly surprising. Congress recently cut a deal to saddle Americans with trillions of dollars […]

Religious or Not, Human Power Untethered From Reality is Tyranny
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Religious or Not, Human Power Untethered From Reality is Tyranny

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If you are a citizen of North Korea and a Christian, you are a criminal and will be imprisoned, and probably tortured as well. If you are Christian in Saudi Arabia you will be arrested for a public display of your faith. In China and Vietnam you will be imprisoned and persecuted by the state if […]

The GOP Kaleidoscope Goes Into Overdrive
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The GOP Kaleidoscope Goes Into Overdrive

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The GOP presidential primary, which I continue to compare to a colorful, shape-shifting kaleidoscope, is now in overdrive, revolving at a blistering speed, with the latest Gallup poll showing Texas governor Rick Perry rocketing past all other Republican contenders. According to Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones, 29 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they […]

Right in Our Own Eyes
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Right in Our Own Eyes

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“In those days, there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” —  Judges 17: 6 (ESV).  You have to hand it to the British… they don’t mince words.  Speaking of the violent civil unrest that erupted across London in recent weeks, Prime Minister David Cameron offered a frank assessment […]

China Dupes: Excusing the One-Child Policy
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China Dupes: Excusing the One-Child Policy

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Vice President Joe Biden made the news again this week. Three weeks ago, Biden was in the news because of reports he had denounced Tea Party members as “terrorists,” a claim his spokespeople have attempted to deny. This week, Biden was in the news because he did not denounce the communist Chinese for their vicious […]

Will There be Zombies? Part 2
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Will There be Zombies? Part 2

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I could go on with this analysis [see Part 1] through system after system, but I think you get the idea, and I would like to turn our attention to another and more serious problem, namely the problem of culture and religion. It is here, I believe, that we confront a situation for which there […]

Kaleidoscopic GOP Primary Still Turning
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Kaleidoscopic GOP Primary Still Turning

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I have been flogging the kaleidoscope metaphor to describe the Republican presidential primary. Given all that is happening, or about to happen, in the pachyderm dust-up, I think it still works. Turning, turning, the GOP battle is making things very interesting in these early days of the endless campaign of 2012. Colorful and chaotic shapes, […]

It’s the Spending, Stupid: A Crucial Historical Look at Federal Spending
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It’s the Spending, Stupid: A Crucial Historical Look at Federal Spending

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We have failed to heed the lessons of economic history, with terrible consequences for our economy and country. And the most crucial of those lessons, particularly since the start of LBJ’s Great Society, is this: deficits have been caused not by a lack of income-tax increases but by recession and, most of all, by excessive […]

Values Voters Are Still In The Game
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Values Voters Are Still In The Game

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In these difficult economic times, both sides of the political aisle are desperate to convince the American people that they are the party with the best plan for pulling America out of recession.  As the GOP field of serious presidential contenders finally begins to clarify, the prevailing assumption is that whoever challenges President Obama for […]

Libya and the Doctrine of Justifiable Rebellion
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Libya and the Doctrine of Justifiable Rebellion

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Does an armed plebiscite constitute an ethical tool of democracy?  The victory of the rebels in Libya (August 2011) calls to mind the old controversy about revolution, and whether citizens can rightly rebel against their long established government.  Insofar as the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi escalated into six months of civil war, Libya (as distinguished […]

Obama: From Truman’s Whistle-Stop to Wilsonian Folly
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Obama: From Truman’s Whistle-Stop to Wilsonian Folly

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President Obama’s tour through the Midwest in a coal-black Darth Vader-mobile begs comparison with past presidential excursions. I’m thinking of those made by presidents Harry Truman and Woodrow Wilson. First, the president repeated his Trumanesque mantra about his version of a “do-nothing Congress,” dominated by a minority who put the good of the party above […]

One More Reason the Out Years are Too Late
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One More Reason the Out Years are Too Late

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Here’s a fact that was not lost on my teenage daughter: The infamous debt-ceiling deal doesn’t actually reduce much of our debt until she finishes high school, graduates from college, and has potentially purchased a minivan and a pair of mom jeans. Did I mention she’s just about to start ninth grade? “Wait,” my daughter […]

Separation of Church and State: Clarifying What Jefferson Meant
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Separation of Church and State: Clarifying What Jefferson Meant

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We Christians – all of us, Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox – need an effective rebuttal to the harmful anti-church insistence that Thomas Jefferson, writing in his capacity of President, held that the Constitution forbade any religious expression in any public place. We have often argued correctly that when Jefferson said “church” he meant either a […]

Gold’s Meteoric Rise
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Gold’s Meteoric Rise

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The price of gold has gone on a tear this summer, from slightly under $1500 per ounce to well over $1800 per ounce, and it looks like it wants to go higher. What gives? Well, if you bought gold last spring, you’re looking pretty smart. And if you bought gold a decade ago at $300 […]

Will There Be Zombies? Part 1
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Will There Be Zombies? Part 1

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As we all know, the end of the world is coming soon. No, I don’t mean the eschaton, the final event in which the Son returns all things to the Father. That will be, by all accounts, a very cinematic event, full of all sorts of special effects. It will be, no doubt, very entertaining […]

In Rights Hierarchy Freedom Must Come Before Healthcare
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In Rights Hierarchy Freedom Must Come Before Healthcare

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A few weeks ago I published an article entitled “Responsibility, Solidarity, and Healthcare,” its several points being: Covering routine, non-catastrophic healthcare increases costs and reduces access to healthcare in two ways a. it makes the health care cost more b. it makes insurance more costly The Catholic principle of solidarity means that we should not […]

The High Cost of Capitulation
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The High Cost of Capitulation

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Most reasonable people would agree that tossing a set of car keys to a drunkard is irresponsible even if the inebriated party manages to slur out a solemn pledge to drive carefully. That’s just common sense, right? So, what should we call a willingness to place the nation’s healthcare system in the hands of the […]

Big Deal or No Big Deal?
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Big Deal or No Big Deal?

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As the August 2 deadline for a debt-ceiling deal drew near, many expected a big deal that would significantly change the direction of federal fiscal policy. After weeks of tumultuous negotiations, partisan bickering, and impassioned histrionics, the agreement that finally emerged was, to put it bluntly, no big deal. Ironically, the most accurate assessment I […]

UK Riots and Malaise in the West
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UK Riots and Malaise in the West

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“So while there’s nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics, and that’s what we’ve got to fix.”  Thus proclaimed President Obama in his first official trip outside the beltway in a month, having been confined to Washington, D.C. to deal with the debt crisis.  Two days after Obama’s speech, Texas […]

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