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Faith

Trials of the Saints

“Catholics should welcome the Vatican’s insistence on increased rigor in its saint-making guidelines. The redoubled commitment to an impartial judging of a saint’s life demonstrates that the church does not 'create' saints as much as it simply recognizes them. Likewise, its renewed reminders that, for the church, miracles are serious scientific business, may make it more difficult for agnostics and atheists to disbelieve. And easier for believers to believe. “ READ MORE >


Politics

Hating Hillary: Getting to the bottom of a cultural trend that has seeped into the church

“…when vigorous political discourse turns into bashing of public figures, it perpetuates a great lie: that they are merely the ideologies and symbols attached to them. When a candidate's ideology is mistaken for his or her personhood, it masks a crucial truth: that each person, no matter their political views, bears God's image and matters deeply to him. While pundits see candidates as punching bags, evangelicals are supposed to see candidates as, well, people. As we ponder how candidates are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made,’ we may haltingly come to realize that the most bold and courageous thing we each could do this election season, no matter who we vote for, is this: Love Hillary.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    hate | hillary clinton

Culture

The Redemption of Chris Rose

“Chris Rose, a columnist for the daily Times-Picayune, was once known primarily for reporting on the bad behavior of visiting celebrities. Hurricane Katrina changed that: it transformed Rose into a plaintive voice for a struggling city. His columns detailed the emotional toll of living amid still-flatted houses and daily reminders of the 1,500 who died in the storm’s aftermath. And then, more than a year after the breached levees plunged whole districts underwater, Rose was sharing with readers the story of his own descent…” READ MORE >


Business

Why it’s so hard to keep the financial sector caged

“The US itself looks almost like a giant hedge fund. The profits of financial companies jumped from below 5 per cent of total corporate profits, after tax, in 1982 to 41 per cent in 2007, even though their share of corporate value added only rose from 8 to 16 per cent... A financial sector that generates vast rewards for insiders and repeated crises for hundreds of millions of innocent bystanders is, I would argue, politically unacceptable in the long run. Those who want market-led globalization to prosper will recognize that this is its Achilles heel. Effective action must be taken now, before a still bigger global crisis arrives.” READ MORE >


Culture

Q&A on William F. Buckley

Q&A on William F. Buckley Sam Tanenhaus ... is writing a biography of William F. Buckley Jr., who died Wednesday. Q: What is the most surprising discovery you’ve made while working on this biography of William F. Buckley Jr.? ... A: There were two. First, he would rather talk about almost anything other than politics — literature, music, sailing, music. He once told me, 'I only talk about politics when someone pays me to do it.' Second, I never heard him make a personally disparaging remark about anyone, even adversaries like Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Gore Vidal. He might describe something they did or the style in which they did it, but never in an insulting or even critical way. He had a large sense of the human comedy... Q: What was Buckley’s view of the current Bush administration? A: He was most distressed by it and once said if the United States had a parliamentary system, President Bush would be subject to a “no confidence” vote. He was highly critical of the war in Iraq and wrote eloquent columns on the subject in his last years." READ MORE >


Business

Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

“It took decades to shake off the assumption that computing was supposed to be rationed for the few, and we're only now starting to liberate bandwidth and storage from the same poverty of imagination. But a generation raised on the free Web is coming of age, and they will find entirely new ways to embrace waste, transforming the world in the process. Because free is what you want — and free, increasingly, is what you're going to get.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    free | scarcity | waste

Issues

The gay marriage slump: Same-sex couples deciding not to get hitched

The gay marriage slump: Same-sex couples deciding not to get hitched "It was supposed to be a whole new era, as celebrations accompanied the adoption of civil union and domestic partnership laws in several states. But a funny thing happened on the way to the altar: Gay couples decided they might not want to get married after all... 'For many of us, the idea of getting married sticks in your craw. Why would anyone want to get married? It's almost a visceral reaction.'" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    divorce | gay marriage

Issues

Battle Company Is Out There

"I went to Afghanistan last fall with a question: Why, with all our technology, were we killing so many civilians in air strikes? As of September of last year, according to Human Rights Watch, NATO was causing alarmingly high numbers of civilian deaths — 350 by the coalition, compared with 438 by the insurgents... To find out, I spent much of the fall in the Korengal Valley and elsewhere in Kunar province alongside soldiers who were making life-and-death decisions almost every day — decisions that led to the deaths of soldiers and of civilians." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    afghanistan | war

World

Anthropologists at War: Are they crossing ethical lines?

“There may be some hope … in the military's approaching anthropology for guidance in the morass that is the 'war on terror.' One can see it as an encouraging sign for the future that more soldiers and policy makers want to think anthropologically, to see and understand the world from the perspective of others. If only military and government officials had come to anthropologists and other social scientists for insight about Iraqi culture, society, and history before the invasion of Iraq, perhaps we could have avoided this tragic war.” READ MORE >


Politics

Obama: Is it all about him?

“[According to Michelle Obama,] America’s illness goes far beyond a flawed political process: “Barack knows that at some level there’s a hole in our souls.” But they can be repaired… ‘Barack Obama... is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.' So we don’t have to work to improve our souls. Our broken souls can be fixed — by our voting for Barack Obama.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    barack obama | cynicism | elections

Issues

Artist hanged herself after aborting her twins

Her suicide note read: 'I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late...' The inquest heard that Sylvia Beck, the victim's mother, wrote to the hospital after her daughter's death, saying: 'I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor. She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins. I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life - she could not live with what she had done.' The doctor said: 'I discussed Emma's situation with her, and wrote on the form, 'Unsupported, lives alone, ex-partner aware.'" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    abortion | post-traumatic | suicide

Business

How business can save the world

“Can businesspeople really be counted on to foster virtue? It's a shaky proposition when profits are at stake. In a 2005 debate in Reason magazine, Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey articulated his vision of virtuous, socially responsible business. ‘Human nature isn't just about self-interest,’ Mackey wrote, paraphrasing Adam Smith. ‘It also includes sympathy, empathy, friendship, love, and the desire for social approval. As motives for human behavior, these are at least as important as self-interest. For many people, they are more important.’" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    business | virtue

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