In a recent editorial the Wall Street Journal takes issue with a new rule the Federal Communication Commission is considering to prevent what is referred to as “digital discrimination.” This proposed action is a by-product of the 2021 infrastructure bill that included a directive for the FCC to monitor disparities in broadband access “based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin.”
After making a splash at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the new movie Fair Play received only a limited theatrical release in September before its streaming debut on Netflix earlier this month. It is billed as a drama/mystery/thriller, and after watching it last night I would add the word “tragedy” to that list as well.
Those of us who attend religious services on the weekends are routinely instructed by our clergy to show love for the “stranger,” with an emphasis on extending such love no matter how unusual or off-putting that stranger may initially appear to us.
Asking whether the Pope is Catholic used to be one of those funny rhetorical question that do not require an answer. Like asking does a bird fly, or if a bear defecates in the forest. But these days that first question is not so funny to some people, and not so rhetorical.
There are now four big legal cases pending against former President Donald Trump. He is facing dozens of criminal charges and will go on trial several times in the next 18 months, as he campaigns to become president again in the 2024 election.
When it comes to the music of Bruce Springsteen, I really miss the contribution of keyboardist David Sancious, who left the band to pursue his own thing a long time ago.
My interest in Bruce Springsteen as a singer-songwriter ended about 50 years ago. The high point for me was The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, a record he released in November 1973. Along with a few cuts from his follow-up Born to Run album, released in August 1975. He has obviously gone on to enjoy a prolific career in the decades since, achieving world-wide superstar status. So mine is a decidedly minority opinion. But I can’t help it. His “mature” output has never done much for me.
The student loan forgiveness plan the Supreme Court threw out last week, just before adjourning for the summer, was one of the Biden administration’s more ambitious and controversial proposals. So it should come as no surprise this latest ruling is generating such a passionate response.
Have you ever voted for a Third Party candidate in a Presidential election? In my experience people who do tend to be idealistic and are also usually a little bit ornery. (I am both and confess to voting Third Party on occasion.) Reviving that option seems to be a recurring theme, given the rather lackluster Republican and Democrat candidates we have been presented with in recent years. With a likely Biden-Trump re-match in the offing, some otherwise sensible citizens are once again starting to explore their options, and are talking up the possibility of going rogue in the voting booth next year.
Patrick Deenen’s new book, Regime Change, was just reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and got panned good and hard. Reading that review reminded me how his previous book, Why Liberalism Failed (2018), received the same chilly reception, most notably in The New York Times.
Here are a few words of praise for the new feature film, Somewhere in Queens, directed and co-written by veteran stand-up comedian and TV sitcom star Ray Romano
It is natural to assemble a story for ourselves that helps explain how and why things happen in this world. Along the way we encounter others who seem knowledgeable in these matters, and we add their understanding to our own. As we get older, our narrative emphasizes what has gone wrong out there, and what should be done to fix all the problems. This, too, is natural.
My thesis this morning is how easily our version of capitalism condones behavior that is fundamentally inconsiderate of others. And how this is not just a case of bad manners, but rises to the level of injustice.
Now here is an angle Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels probably did not cover in their famous 1848 treatise on economics, “The Communist Manifesto”… Namely, the impact beauty has on an economic system. But it turns out a gentleman by the name of Daniel S. Hamermesh has given it a lot of thought.
When Julia Reichert died a few months ago at the age of 76, she was eulogized as a “Documentarian of the Working Class.”
It’s late on Friday afternoon and a few co-workers are letting their hair down before heading out for the weekend. I can hear bits and pieces of conversation through an open door. Someone mentions not having seen the blockbuster hit “Top Gun: Maverick,”
Everyone is always singing the praises of liberal democracy, but these days many enthusiasts are expressing concern about the future of the institution. Populist uprisings here in the United States and across Europe are seen as threatening the rule of law, and the idea of free and fair elections.
Everyone is always singing the praises of “liberal democracy” these days. Not only is it universally thought of as the best possible form of government, it’s the only one any reasonable person will even consider.
Ridiculing Catholicism for being out-of-touch with the modern world is super easy, and it’s so much fun! Okay, yes, that sentence is gratuitous, and designed to get your attention.
As my little amateur history draws to a close, I will be offering two concrete suggestions for improving the economic status quo. As a preface to making those suggestions allow me to state for the record I do not disagree with the libertarian premise about regulation stifling innovation and undermining incentives that drive capitalism. Or that capitalism is the best economic system for “freeing” large masses of human beings from lives of misery and poverty.
My goal in assembling this very amateur and oh-so-brief history is three-fold. To disabuse everyday conservative Catholics (my friends and neighbors) of the notion economics has nothing to do with morality. To challenge the contention of intellectual conservative Catholics (the scholars I have been reading for the last thirty years) that free market capitalism is inherently moral. And lastly to assure both groups (and any other readers who may wander in) that I am not suggesting any form of socialism as an alternative.
In analyzing the ideological schism that plagues present-day Catholicism, we tend to focus on the fall-out from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the sexual revolution of the 1960s that surrounded it. With good reason, since both did indeed play a large role in splintering Catholics into the current opposing camps of “liberal” and “conservative.”
First Things has always been a classy journal featuring quality contributions from orthodox scholars and academics. Father Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), the founding editor and famous Lutheran convert to Catholicism, was a prose stylist par excellence. Anything he chose to write about in his monthly dairy entries was a pleasure to read.
It sort of goes without saying every good movie is made up of a series of enjoyable, engaging scenes. But the really good movies, the ones that stick with you, have what I would call a magic scene. Or maybe even more than one.
As a resident of Pennsylvania, I will be called on in a few months to help elect a new Governor. As usual, I am less than thrilled with the two major party candidates we are able to choose between. And also as usual in recent years, the Republican option in this election is even more of a concern to me than is the Democrat.
Yesterday the latest in a seemingly endless series of mass shootings occurred in a small Texas town, when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos walked into an elementary school with an AR-15 style rifle. He killed nineteen children and two teachers, and wounded seventeen others.
In recent months I have struck up a close friendship with a fascinating, age-appropriate woman who has never stopped learning, never stopped taking classes and acquiring certifications.
It always fascinates me when successful, fiscally conservative Catholics express an unbridled distain for organized labor on ideological grounds. To hear them tell it, unions are nothing but an affront to individual liberty and self-determination, two hallmarks of the American lexicon.
Since returning to the fold almost thirty years ago, identifying as “Catholic” has come naturally to me. Though I can’t say there are many practicing Catholics who share my perspective on the state of the world, let alone the state of the Catholic Church.
Astrology doesn’t have many defenders these days, and with good reason. The idea of a horoscope that can predict your future based on the month you were born and your “sun sign” is more than a little far-fetched. The very thought strikes most reasonable people as silly, and a complete waste of time.
No matter how old we grow or how feeble we become, let us remember the excitement of this morning’s embrace. That way, should we ever wish to conjure the sense of healing love that so easily envelopes us today, all we need do is gaze into each other’s eyes.
What are you looking for in a woman? This is one of the first questions asked of a man on an internet dating site. Since subscribing last June I haven’t had a ready answer. Other than the obvious, self-depreciating one: Anyone who will put up with me.
Finding love at any age is one of life’s mysteries. An intimate relationship is a delicate thing, with many a twist and turn to navigate. In every instance the intrinsic joy being produced springs from the same source: Discovering and exploring every aspect of this new, amazing human being.
The intellectual tradition to which I subscribe believes in an economics based on virtues such as justice and charity, instead of ‘laws’ like supply and demand. The earliest guidelines for this preferred system can be found in the Acts of the Apostles, when the first band of followers were said to have shared all they had with one another, according to need. This is what Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) identified back in the 13th century as “distributive justice.”
Because each of us is blessed with the Imago Dei, we possess an inherent dignity that is worthy of respect. This is true regardless of our level of formal education and resulting station in life. It is true no matter how meager our material circumstances might be.
Every stage of life comes with its own set of problems that need to be figured out. But going from adolescence to early adulthood is particularly tricky, especially for a sensitive young person.
My ex-wife decided in 2014 she no longer wanted to be married to me. That’s when she unceremoniously moved out of the second-floor master bedroom, and took up residence in the little in-law suite we had carved out of a couple rooms on the first floor.
What is lonelier? To lack any semblance of female companionship in one’s life, or to conduct a series of hopeful first encounters in search of an elusive match when it comes to emotional intelligence and temperament, only to come up empty?
February 14, 2022 | 175 words | Personal History
The are many reasons why a marriage hits the rocks, and many ways to describe the demise of a long-term relationship. Here’s one way…
This is being addressed primarily to my three brothers and one surviving sister.