Thursday 30th July 2015

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Diversity — Or Meritocracy?

April 9, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN A voracious and eclectic reader, President Nixon instructed me to send him every few weeks 10 articles he would not normally see that were on interesting or important issues. In 1971, I sent him an essay from The Atlantic, with reviews by Time and Newsweek, by Dr. Richard Herrnstein. My summary read: “Basically, [Herrnstein] demonstrates that heredity, rather than environment, determines intelligence — and that the more we proceed to provide everyone with a ‘good environment’ the more heredity will become the dominant factor…in their success and social standing.” In a 1994 obituary, The New York Times wrote that Herrnstein, though he “was often harassed . . . and his classes at Harvard were disrupted,” never…Continue Reading

Catholic School Teaching Contracts: Are They Adequate?

April 8, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his January 18 blog [] and is reprinted with permission.) + + + The spring of the year is the time when teachers sign contracts for the school year starting next fall, and special attention is being drawn to contracts in Catholic schools. Because some teachers in the past have been fired for publicly advocating or practicing behaviors contrary to Catholic moral teaching and then sued, some dioceses have…Continue Reading

Obama’s Strategy For ISIL: Multisectarianism

April 7, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate made his column available. All rights reserved.) + + + The Obama administration’s plan for thwarting the Islamic State, which it carefully calls ISIL, is to encourage multisectarianism in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter explained the administration’s vision when he testified last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “What happened last year was an unwillingness of the Iraqi security forces to fight, using the equipment and training that the United States had given them,” Carter told the committee. “And the reason for that was a political failure on the part of their government to keep the promise that had been made…Continue Reading

The New AP American History Guidelines

April 6, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The new guidelines that have been put in place for the Advanced Placement American history course are generating considerable criticism from a variety of conservative groups. Those criticizing the guidelines are also being criticized. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey of The Los Angeles Times is an example of a critic of the critics. (For those unfamiliar with Advanced Placement courses, they are honors-level courses for high school students that are designed to replicate college courses. High school students who do well on the end-of-year tests written by the Advanced Placement organization can earn college credit while still in high school.) Horsey directs his criticism toward Republican legislators in Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, and North Carolina,…Continue Reading

Will The Pendulum Swing?

April 5, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Back in the 1970s, I would frequently sit and shoot the breeze with my pastor at the time, usually after completing work on some parish committee. One of the topics that would come up was my pastor’s conviction that the excesses of the counterculture of that era — the world of drugs, sex, and rock and roll — were going to lead to a “pendulum swing” back toward traditional values. It never happened. If anything, things have gotten worse. All one has to do is look at what we see on prime-time television every night of the week. There are sexually explicit scenes on some of the popular cable series that could be seen only in…Continue Reading

“What Is Historical Church Teaching On Contraception?”

April 4, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) Part 2 Since her beginning, the Catholic Church has condemned all unnecessary mutilation of the body. Contraception is unique in that it adds a new dimension to this practice — it actually cripples a major organ system. The Church’s teachings have become even more relevant as the “contraceptive revolution” swept the world in the middle of the 20th century and became firmly entrenched throughout most of the world. The Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations stood shoulder to shoulder in their fight against the evil of artificially induced sterility until August 15, 1930, when Resolution 15 of the Anglican bishops’…Continue Reading

The Mystery Of The Heart

April 3, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO In his book, Prayer, Hans Urs von Balthasar makes an arresting statement: “Man is the being who bears in his heart a mystery greater than himself.” This is a statement that is rich in implication and warrants further explication. At first, it appears to be a contradiction. How can a liter carton of milk, for example, contain within itself more than a liter? How can anything, for that matter, be more than it is? The spiritual dimension, however, cannot be understood by a mathematical approach. The fact that the human heart can contain something greater than the person, although a mystery, is not a contradiction. Our individuality is most evident to us, as attested by our powerful…Continue Reading

ISIL Survived U.S. Invasion And Occupation of Iraq

April 2, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate made his column available. All rights reserved.) + + + No reasonable person can dispute that the terrorist organization that now calls itself the Islamic State — and that the administration usually calls ISIL — is a force for evil and enemy of the United States. The question is: What policies are most likely to stop — or minimize to the greatest degree possible — the damage this terrorist group can do to Americans and our friends? To answer this question rationally, U.S. policymakers must take into account certain facts. These include: 1) The group the administration now calls ISIL existed before…Continue Reading

Amendment By Consent

April 1, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Here is a short pop quiz. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress in March about the parameters of the secret negotiations between the United States and Iran over nuclear weapons and economic sanctions, how did he know what the negotiators were considering? Israel is not a party to those negotiations, yet the prime minister presented them in detail. When Hillary Clinton learned that a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives had subpoenaed her emails as secretary of state and she promptly destroyed half of them — about 33,000 — how did she know she could get away with it? Destruction of evidence, particularly government records, constitutes the crime of obstruction of justice. When…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Solid Scholarship On The Middle Ages

March 31, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Fried, Johannes. The Middle Ages, trans. from the German by Peter Lewis. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2015. Pp. Xi + 580. The Middle Ages are generally considered to be the period between 500 and 1500 AD. That thousand-year period in Johannes Fried’s narrative begins with Boethius under the reign of the Emperor Justinian and effectively ends with Petrarch in the reign of Charles IV, who tried to woo him to the imperial court. The book is too much to read in one sitting and obviously too great a work for a brief review. Nevertheless, it deserves notice, not merely for its account of the making of Europe but for the many lessons it holds for the…Continue Reading