Thursday 2nd October 2014

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A Wave Election For Sure . . . But Is It Hello Or Goodbye To More GOP Power?

October 1, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN A guaranteed prediction about this November’s elections: There’ll be a GOP wave. Whether a wave hello or a wave goodbye to additional Republican Party clout is the question. Waves don’t just stay at tsunami stage. They rise and fall. The GOP fantasy “front-runner” in the 2012 presidential contest, magisterial multimillionaire “moderate” Mitt Romney, couldn’t even defeat the worst president in the history of the nation, the glowering, nose-aloft radical Alinsky Democrat Barack Obama. By mid-September 2014, there was speculation aplenty about whether the Republicans actually would score stunning results with the voters in the mid-term elections on November 4, as had been expected earlier. They may not if they expect to win in the Romney way, holding…Continue Reading

Chicago Appointment . . . What In Blazes Is Going On?

September 30, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By REY FLORES Hear ye! Hear ye! Chicago has a new shepherd coming and he is ready for the task, donning a Chicago Bears cap and scarf at a recent press conference. As if that were all that is needed to become a citizen of this much-troubled Midwest town. It’s going to take a lot more than some blue and orange Chicago Bears paraphernalia for Bishop Blase Cupich to take on the monumental task that is ahead of him. The old horror movie actor Lon Chaney was once called the “Man of 1,000 Faces” because of his incredible ability to portray a variety of characters, like the unforgettable Phantom of the Opera and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Archdiocese…Continue Reading

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

September 29, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I spent some time before writing this column looking for a modern way of stating the logical error of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” reasoning. Considering the modern world’s disdain for Latin terms coined by medieval theologians, I was sure there would be some version in modern English, along the lines of the substitution of Common Era (CE) for Anno Domini (AD). But I didn’t find it. Writers and journalists seem content to use the old term “a post hoc error.” But whether English or Latin is used, it is important to introduce students to this faulty logic. Charlatans and demagogues have been known to employ it to make their case. You can count, for example,…Continue Reading

Engaging Islam And The Islamists

September 28, 2014 Frontpage 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.) + + + Pope Francis was in the online news recently because of what he said about Islam in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. “Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence” (n. 253). In this document of 288 numbered sections, there are…Continue Reading

Ten Commandments Into Law?

September 27, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The political satirist P.J. O’Rourke can be as funny and insightful as anyone on the scene these days. Not that he is Mark Twain, of course, but no one else is either. (If you want to laugh out loud over and over do a Google search of “Mark Twain quotations.”) Here are some of my favorite O’Rourke quips: “”You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.” “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” “Gossip is what you say about the object of flattery when they aren’t present.” Good stuff: concise wisecracks that make a serious point. Making a “serious point” is the key. O’Rourke tries…Continue Reading

Santorum Raises Hope… That U.S. Won’t Follow Other Nations’ Historical Path Of Decline

September 26, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — The uniqueness of the United States being founded on the concept of “God-given rights” could be the reason this nation won’t follow the historical pattern of other lands that went into irreversible decline, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a dinner of business executives here. “America was founded on principles that no other nation has” in its basic recognition of God, Santorum, a former Pennsylvania U.S. senator and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, told a September 10 dinner of the Phoenix chapter of Legatus, a national organization of Catholic business leaders. He added later that history shows a “pattern of ascendancy, then dominance, then decline” that never was reversed in nations that had become world leaders.…Continue Reading

When Evil Looks Familiar… Strange Things Happen To Conscience

September 25, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN Propaganda wars around the world seek victories by winning bystanders. Persuading spectators from afar to choose one side over the other can be as useful in a fight as battlefield victories. “You cannot imagine the pleasure you get from cutting off a baby’s head,” said a startling headline at the anti-Islamist website Jihad Watch on September 14, which was picked up by the religion-news aggregator PewSit ter.com. The bloodthirsty comment was attributed to a fighter with the Islamic State who described what he’d do when bursting in upon rival Muslims — death to the grandmother, the wife, then the baby. The description sounds credible these days in light of the Islamic State heavily publicizing its beheadings of…Continue Reading

A Movie Review . . . “The Song” Celebrates Forgiveness And Redemption

September 24, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By REY FLORES In today’s culture that constantly attacks traditional marriage, life, and family, we all face terrific contrary pressures as we try to stay on the path of the straight and narrow. Temptations abound and the wickedness and snares of the Devil are constantly trying to get us to sin and put our eternal souls at risk. Sometimes when we do choose to sin, we leave behind the wreckage of our sins, having hurt some of the people we purport to love the most, including God. This film is exactly about that. The Song is one of the most enjoyable films I have watched in a long time. It has style, great acting, and a terrific soundtrack that is…Continue Reading

Our Divisiveness Keeps Abortion Business Thriving

September 23, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By REY FLORES Many years ago, when I was a community organizer in Chicago, I cut my teeth with some of the most effective left-wing organizers as part of the politically influential Grassroots Collaborative. This group included ACORN, SEIU, American Friends Service Committee, and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Before I alarm you any further, let me just clear the air here. I certainly did not subscribe to their politics and I took a lot of abuse simply for being Catholic and pro-life, but I believed in the human dignity of the poor and disenfranchised people these organizations were claiming to be fighting for. I soon realized that the community organizers and unions weren’t really interested in…Continue Reading

Do Fewer Teachers = Better Teachers?

September 22, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

People have been seeking ways to improve the quality of teachers in this country for as long as most of us can remember. S.M. has forwarded to First Teachers a column by Amanda Ripley from the June 17 issue of the Arizona Daily Star that contends that Finland has come up with an effective answer to the problem. Ripley is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World — and How They Got That Way. Ripley calls our attention to “something that hasn’t made many headlines but has the potential to finally revolutionize education. . . . In a handful of statehouses and universities across the country, a few farsighted Americans are finally pursuing what the world’s smartest countries…Continue Reading