“The family is at the center of Santorum’s economic vision”

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 4th, 2012: James Pethokoukis writing earlier today at the American Enterprise Institute’s Enterprise Blog, in an article called: Santorum vs. Romney is a conflict of conservative visions: I don’t think Santorum believes tax reform is unimportant. True, throughout his Iowa campaign, Santorum has, in the words of David Brooks, been “picking fights” with supply-siders. Yet Santorum wants to sharply cut tax rates on labor income, capital income, and corporate profits. Nor does Santorum think cutting the size of governm...

Free Speech and the Peaceful Public Order

I arrived home from my sister Mary’s funeral Saturday evening, and saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several other people had been shot during some kind of meet-and-greet in her congressional district. I’d never heard of Giffords, but was discouraged that such a thing would happen – it’s hard enough just given our political process to get good people to run for public office, and it was of course a terrible tragedy for the people involved. It seemed to me that it had been a long time since something like that had happened. As I read t...

O Sacred Lord

O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, and gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. ("O Antiphon" for Dec. 18th) I must admit: it is hard, in my circumstances, to relate meaningfully to the desire to be set free. I guess I have it pretty good. Freedom is, ostensibly at least, the fundamental principle of modern democracies. We not only don’t lack it, we could hardly get away from it if we tried. One could make a convincing argument ...

“She had no free will’’

Quote of the Day for Thursday, December 16th, 2010: Local man quoted in today’s Boston Globe, after he and his lawyers completed a successful $152M shakedown of tobacco company Lorillard, Inc., in a suit alleging the company was responsible for his mother’s smoking-related death at 54 in 2002: “She was addicted,’’ William Evans said today. “Obviously, had she had a choice, she would not have smoked, and the record was clear about that. She made over 50 attempts to try to stop smoking and she was addicted. She had no free will.’’ Had she had a choice? ...

Only If Liberty Is Beautiful… Can It Really Be Worth the Courageous Risk of Life

Quote of the Day for Monday, December 6th, 2010: With the Thanksgiving holiday still lingering in the air, I found this excellent article on the continuing value of America’s Puritan forebears over at the always worthwhile First Principles Journal site. Written by Peter Augustine Lawler, it is entitled: Praising the Puritans: Because the Puritan conception of political freedom wasn’t based on the apolitical, selfish, rights-obsessed, and duty negligent Lockean individual, it both not only demanded virtuous civic participation but also connected politica...

O, Adonai

O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, and gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. (“O Antiphon” for December 18th) I must admit: it is hard, in my circumstances, to relate meaningfully to the desire to be set free. I guess I have it pretty good. Freedom is, ostensibly at least, the fundamental principle of modern democracies. We not only don’t lack it, we could hardly get away from it. One could make, I think, a convincing argument that ...

There’s Bozos and There’s Bozos

I have to begin this entry by confessing that, when I heard last week of George Carlin’s earthly demise, I reacted to the news with a feeling of subdued satisfaction and relief, one that was very similar to the feeling of watching the trash collectors drive away from the house after a weekend of cleaning. There was a mild sense of losing something familiar, but more a sense of being done with that which finally had to go. Now, I realize that was not at all a charitable reaction, nor do I offer any justification for it. I didn’t know George C...

Benedict’s Challenge to American Anti-Authoritarianism

Pope Benedict XVI’s Yankee Stadium homily last Sunday was quite a celebration of American Catholicism, but the pontiff never strayed far from his theme of the unchanging need for faithful Christians, as a community rooted in the apostolic heritage, to be a sign of the gospel’s hope for mankind in the face of sin and death, through bearing witness to the unity of the truth found in the Word of God, revealed in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This rootedness is not something Benedict sees simply in the hierarchical form of the Church (even if ...