Scientists who didn’t predict quake are indicted

When I saw this headline, I thought it was a joke – perhaps something from the Onion. Apparently, the story is a few days old, but I just saw it a few minutes ago: Seven scientists and other experts were indicted on manslaughter charges yesterday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009. …. Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella ordered the members of the national government’s Great Risks commission, which evaluates potential for natural disasters, to go...

“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? ...

Eat the Rich?

So, a majority of people in the country, at least according to this poll, want somebody else to pay for the looming health care program – you know, like those rich people,  who are most likely rich because they’re cheats, anyway. Why am I not surprised? Isn’t this just the perfect embodiment – and inevitable end-result – of modernism’s rejection of personal responsibility in favor of paternalistic political super-structures? I suppose I exaggerate though; the actual end-results of these left wing muggings of the rich have not...

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 ...