December 31, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/31/2014

Government Spending Does Not Help the Economy - Frank Shostak, Mises Daily

Obamacare and the Rule of Law - Ilya Shapiro, Cato

Banished from the City - Theodore Dalrymple, Liberty Law Blog

More Evidence of Poverty Traps in the Welfare System - Charles Hughes, Cato

Random Thoughts - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

To Defend the Disposable - George Weigel, First Things

Why We Bowl Alone - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

Obamacare's Annus Horribilis - Michelle Malkin, Human Events

Ignorance - John Stossel, Human Events

Liberals' Use of Black People - Walter Williams, Human Events

What to Expect in 2015 - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist




December 29, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/29/2014

Rand Paul for Senate - Peter Spiliakos, NRO

In Search of Community - Allan Carlson, The University Bookman

Exodus of the School Children - Wendell Cox, New Geography

Homophobia and Evolution in Constitutional Law - Erasmus More, The Imaginative Conservative

7 Ridiculous Projects - Kelsey Harris, The Daily Signal

Why We Need Broken Windows Policing - Bratton & Kelling, City Journal

Reducing Violence Through Technology and the Rule of Law - John McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

The End of the Professions? - Peter Lawler, National Review Online

Private Acts and Public Interests - Robert P. George, Philly.com

Christian Hunting Is The Sport Of Lawmakers And Judges - Joy Pullmann, The Federalist

Pediatrician Has No Business Lecturing You On Gun Ownership - Vik Khanna, The Federalist




December 28, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/28/2014 (Weekend Edition)

“Exceptional Depravity” in California - Lloyd Billingsley, City Journal

The Catholic Philosopher Who Took on Hitler - John Henry Cosby, The Daily Beast

The Demise of Due Process on Campus - Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics

Libertarianism, Conservatism, and Judicial Review - Ilya Somin, Volokh

6 Myths About Right-to-Work Laws - James Sherk, The Daily Signal

Want More Sleep? - Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

A Magazine for an Anxious Age - Samantha Schroeder, The Imaginative Conservative

The Secret Detention and Interrogation Program - Philip Giraldi, The Imaginative Conservative

Steve Martin’s My Blue Heaven - Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

Lost His Gig at College Newspaper - Jim DeMint, The Daily Signal


December 24, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/24/2014

Good morning! Two reader service announcements. First, today's edition is dedicated first to Christmas links and then to its normal daily links. Second, the blog is going on vacation until Dec. 27, so see you then!

The Joyful Mystery of Christmas - C.C. Pecknold, First Things

Santa Clause: The Truth Myth - Calah Alexander, The Imaginative Conservative

Christmas and the Humbling of the Wise Men - George Weigel, First Things

Fighting to Keep Its Nativity Scene - Ed Feulner, The Daily Signal

The Religion Clause and the (Non) Harm Principle - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

Christmas War or Christmas Truce? - Austin Washington, Human Events

When Hollywood Celebrated Christmas and Marriage - Dr. Paul Kengor, Human Events

The Real Challenge When Police Use Lethal Force - Stephen Eide, Governing

Searching for Popular Sovereignty - Gerald Russello, Nomocracy in Politics

The Trap of Economic Nostalgia - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Licensing Speech in the Big Easy - Shapiro & Latner, Cato

States Taxes on Internet Commerce - Susanne Trimbath, New Geography

What Hilary Clinton Won't Discuss - Betsy McCaughey, Human Events

Black Progression and Retrogression - Walter Williams, Human Events


December 22, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/22/2014

2015: Breakthrough in India? - Derek Scissors, AEI

NYC Slides Toward Chaos - John Hayward, Human Events

Why Dish Network Isn’t Carrying Fox News Right Now - Kate Scanlon, The Daily Signal

Demeaning Stay-at-Home Mothers - Caitlin Bootsma, The Imaginative Conservative

A City on the Brink - Matthew Hennessey, The City Journal

Fiction and Philosophy - Jere Real, The University Bookman

Bring Back the Truman Democrats - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

Jonathan Gruber Republicans - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

Rare Surgery Saves the Smallest Lives - John Siegel, The Daily Signal

The Hectoring Class - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

We Live In The Age Of The Bully - John Hayward, The Federalist

Swiftly Executing Terrorists Is More Humane than Torture - John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist


December 20, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/20/2014

What’s Wrong with ‘Distributism’ - Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Nomocracy in Politics

Torturing Prudence - Greg Weiner, Liberty Law Blog

A Travesty of a Report - Charles Krauthammer, Human Events

How Politics Makes Us Stupid – Vox Edition - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Thank God for Bureaucracy - James K.A. Smith, Comment

Read All The E-mails Between UVA and Rolling Stone - Sean Davis, The Federalist

The Genuine Epidemic of Street Harassment - Stephen Krason, The Imaginative Conservative

Steven Pinker vs. Microaggression - Peter A. Lawler, NRO

Unqualified Students at University of Texas - John Cassidy, The Daily Signal

Why Even Common Core Supporters Are Changing Their Minds - Ed Feulner, The Daily Signal

On Difference and Equality - Mark Perkins, The Imaginative Conservative

The North Korean Menace - Boot & Terry, The Weekly Standard


December 19, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/19/2014

Plan to Tame the Federal Leviathan - Daniel Mitchell, Cato

Dream of Turning America into Scandinavia - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Say Goodbye to the Family Doctor - Joel Zinberg, City Journal

Christianity and American Political Thought - S. Adam Seagrave, The Public Discourse

The Meaning of Decadence - Lauren Weiner, Liberty Law Blog

Policies Needed to Help Workers Displaced by Machines - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Shocked, Shocked that Federalism is Occurring Here - Michael Greve, Liberty Law Blog

The Failure of the Americanization Movement - Alex Nowrasteh, Cato

Republicans in Congress Really Like the Cuba Embargo - K. William Watson, Cato

Break the Cycle of Family Instability - Hawkins & VanDenBerghe, First Things

Fossil Fuels: The Cure for Poverty - Bruce Walker, Acton

Will Diversity Destroy The Left? - Jonathan Bronitsky, The Federalist

Ashes, Mannequins, And Corpses - Chad Bird, The Federalist

Affirming the Transatlantic Partnership - Joel Anand Samy, The Daily Signal

America's Largest Transit System - Wendell Cox, New Geography

Tall Tales of Racialized Victimhood - Michelle Malkin, Human Events

Bubble, Toil, Trouble & Baroness Jenkin - Stephen Masty, The Imaginative Conservative

Geo. Washington and Today's Torture Policies - Nicholas Rizzuto, The Federalist


December 18, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/18/2014 (Extra)

Behaving Badly at Marquette - Matthew Franck, First Things

The Whole Story About Cuba - Mike Gonzalez, The Federalist

Mexico in Crisis - Jaime Daremblum, The Weekly Standard

The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law - Jeannie Suk, The New Yorker

Regime Change through Sanctions Is a Mirage - Doug Bandow, Cato

Racial Cop Stories that Didn't Make the Cut - Larry Elder, Human Events

'Green Energy' is All About Crony Capitalism - Mark Hemingway, The Weekly Standard

California AG Demands Conservative Donor Lists - Steven Greenhut, Human Events

Review: The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies - John Hayward, Human Events

Obama's Imaginary Winning Streak - David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Explainer: What Just Happened With Cuba? - Joe Carter, The Acton Institute




CathCon Daily - 12/18/2014

Stuntz’s Criminal Law - Jonathan Jacobs, Nomocracy in Politics

CIA Torture Report and UVA Story Commonalities - Jonathan Adler, Volokh

DC, Pro-Life Organizations, and Abortion Coverage - Sarah Torre, The Daily Signal

Bitcoin is (Nearly) All Dead - Joe Carter, Acton

Professor Suspended, Ordered Off Campus - Eugene Volokh, Volokh

Senator Coburn’s Final Report - Chris Edwards, Cato

Factual Feminist Takes on the Rolling Stone Rape Scandal - Claudia Anderson, The Weekly Standard

"Free Trade" With Cuba - Sean Davis, The Federalist

The Proctor: A Legal Note from David Copperfield - Marc DeGirolami, Mirror of Justice

Underground Faith - Mark Movsesian, First Things

The Currency of Destruction - Hans Eicholz, Liberty Law Blog

Conservative Choices: City, Town, or Suburb? - Bruce Frohnen, Liberty Law Blog

Teach Your Kids About Contentment - Holly Scheer, The Federalist

Raise the Gas Tax - Steve Lafleur, New Geography






December 17, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/17/2014

Campus Snowflakes & Enabling Masochists - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Why Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green - Seth Borenstein, ABC News

The Economics of Uber’s Surge Pricing - Matthew Feeny, Cato

Who am I to Judge? - Anonymous, First Things

Bill Nye, The Anti-Science Guy - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

Why Is Hollywood In Love With Supervillains? - Christian Toto, The Federalist

Get Ready For The Feminist War On ‘Gendered Toys’ - Heather Wilhelm, The Federalist

Overselling the Infrastructure Crisis - Aaron Renn, New Geography

Francis, Filtered - George Weigel, First Things

Should Profiling Be Banned? - Walter Williams, Human Events

Reclaiming Liberal Education - Richard M. Weaver, Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Gay Weddings and the Shopkeeper’s Dilemma - Russell Nieli, The Public Discourse

Why Jeb Bush’s Presidential Exploration Is Going Nowhere - Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist


December 16, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/16/2014 (Extra)

American Constitutionalism for a Country Without Americans - F.H. Buckley, Liberty Law Blog

Is the Tide Turning on the Rape Culture Crusade? - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

The College Rape Overcorrection - Emily Yoffe, Slate

A Guide to the Formerly Funny - Elizabeth McCracken, Washington Post

A Crusade Against Political Correctness - Elizabeth Winkler, New Republic

Smoke - Matthew Hennessey, City Journal

The NSA’s System of Secret Law - Ben O'Neil, Nomocracy in Politics

Suing Gun Businesses Over Sandy Hook - Walter Olson, Cato

Lawsuit Blames Gun Maker for Sandy Hook Massacre - Jacob Sollum, Reason

Against Consumerism in Christian Higher Education - Joseph Sunde, Acton


CathCon Daily - 12/16/2014

CIA v. Senate Intelligence Committee - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

The Hobbylobbification of America - Ilya Shapiro, Cato

A Late Eulogy: Christopher Hitchens - John Goerke, Intercollegiate Review

Religious Freedom and American History - Stephen Cox, First Things

Let’s Give Universalism A Rest This Christmas Season - Bethany Mandel, The Federalist

Gruber Reflects the Undemocratic Left - James DeMint, The Daily Signal

Divorce Rates May Not Be as High as You Think - Rachel Sheffield, The Daily Signal

Government Job Security - Nicole Kaeding, Cato

Why Marriage Matters for Fighting Poverty - Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

Relationships, Cohabitation and Marriage - Rachel Sheffield, The Daily Signal

Tolkien, Wagner, and the Rings of Power - Witt & Richards, The Imaginative Conservative

Teachers Woefully Unprepared for Classroom Challenges - Evan Grossman, The Daily Signal

Tortured Reasoning - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

Leo Strauss and American Conservatism - Carson Holloway, Public Discourse


December 15, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/15/2014

Catholic Higher Education in Ruins - Robert Oscar Lopez, The Public Discourse

Smotherers of Invention - Steven Malanga, City Journal

Ambition and the Noble Soul - R.J. Snell, The Imaginative Conservative

A Witness, in Life and Letters - William Doino, Jr., First Things

They Made Me Write About Lena Dunham - P.J. O'Rourke, Daily Beast

Science Fiction Worth Re-Reading? - Thomas Bertonneau, The University Bookman

The Strange-Bedfellow Politics Of ‘The Hunger Games’ - Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Why We Tortured, Why We Shouldn't - Ross Douthat, NYT

One Man’s Torturer Is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter - Bradley Cremeens, The Federalist

Law and Order-and its Limits - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

Torture Is Unacceptable; But What Is Torture? - Rachel Lu, The Federalist

California Business Needs to Go Small or Go Home - Joel Kotkin, New Geography


December 13, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/13/2014 (Weekend Edition)

Eloquent Pointers from "Silent" Cal - Jason Stevens, Liberty Law Blog

Pantagruel Comes for the Establishment Clause - Marc DeGirolami, Liberty Law Blog

Should We Fear Our Machine Overlords? - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Battle Over More than Money - Irwin Stelzer, The Weekly Standard

Brennan, Torture and the Accountability Vacuum - Patrick G. Eddington, Cato

Should the Church Be Involved in Politics? - James Kalb, The Imaginative Conservative

Farewell to the Working Man - John Hayward, Human Events

Good Enough Urbanism - John Sanphillippo, New Geography

Russell Kirk: Citizen of the World - Bradley Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative

The National Debt Keeps Rising - Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

Fed's Kickstart Attempt Not Working - Norbert Michel, The Daily Signal

Public Schools and the Wall of Separation - Mark Bauerlein, First Things

FDIC Officials Should Be Punished - Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Eric Garner, Criminalized to Death - George Will, Human Events

The Context For The Cromnibus Showdown - Ben Domemech, The Federalist


December 12, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/12/2014

Sniping at the Oscars - Roger L. Simon, City Journal

Towards a Global Dystopia - Hans Eicholz, Liberty Law Blog

Did the Tariff Really Make America? - Brian Domitrovic, The Imaginative Conservative

Prosecuted for Sex with Wife - Eugene Volokh, Volokh

Protesting for Disruption's Sake - Wesley J. Hill, First Things

Two Chicagos, Defined - Pete Saunders, New Geography

Eradicating the Oil and Gas Industry? - Ron Arnold, The Daily Signal

The Cop-Killing Cult of Larry Davis - Michelle Malkin, Human Events

Jonathan Gruber: Honest Liberal - Patrick Buchanan, Human Events

Conservatism After Obama - Samuel Gregg, The Public Discourse

Not Just The Economy Devastating Working-Class Families - W. Bradford Wilcox, The Federalist

The One Thing the Left Can Learn from Ayn Rand - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist






December 11, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/11/2014

7 Tips on How to Decipher the Omnibus Bill - Genevieve Wood, The Daily Signal

7 Books on Liberty - Joseph Cunningham, Intercollegiate Review

Can Feminism Be Rescued? - Charlotte Allen, Liberty Law Blog

The Torture Report and ICC Charges - Eugene Kontorovich, Volokh

Cities: Better for the Great Suburbanization - Wendell Cox, New Geography

Originalism and Big Data - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Educating for the Culture of Death - Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

A Broken Immigration Debate - Pete Spiliakos, First Things

Post Inches Closer to Calling the UVA...Story a Fabrication - Hanna Rosin, Slate

New Republic, New Barbarians - Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

NFL Star Gives It All Up … to Be a Farmer - Maddie Donnelly, The Daily Signal

The Infinite Sincerity of Bill Murray - A.G. Harmon, Patheos

Thomas Aquinas in China - William Carroll, The Public Discourse

Dixie To Democrats: It’s You, Not Us - Neal Dewing, The Federalist

Torture Report: Was It Worth It? - Tom Nichols, The Federalist


December 10, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/10/2014

The New College Counterculture - Ryan Shinkel, First Things

Hadley Arkes’ "Living Constitution" - Michael D. Ramsey, Nomocracy in Politics

Climate Catastrophe - John Stossel, Human Events

What's Rule of Law? - Walter Williams, Human Events

Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality - Jean Lloyd, The Public Discourse

Government Meddling in Energy Markets - Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal

Debunking the Debunking of Dynamic Scoring - Daniel J. Mitchell, The Federalist

In Defense Of Jonathan Gruber - Greg Scandlen, The Federalist


December 9, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/09/2014 (Extra)

Belt Tightening 101 - Aaron Renn, City Journal

Minimum Wage Increases Affect Careers - John Hayward, Human Events

Gender Pay Gap Explained - Mark J. Perry, AEI

Laptop Batteries and the Poor - Joe Carter, Acton

Gruber in the House - John Hayward, Human Events

Four-Hour Grilling of Jonathan Gruber - David Weigel, Bloomberg


CathCon Daily - 12/09/2014

Is Law Optional? - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

Seven Things Atheists Get Wrong - David Marcus, The Federalist

What is Judicial Restraint? - Bruce Frohnen, Nomocracy in Politics

The Inevitability of Monarchy - F.H. Buckley, Liberty Law Blog

Rolling Stone’s Rape Article Fiasco Will Happen Again - David Payne, The Federalist

Did the Church Change Its Doctrine on Usury? - Jay Richards, Crisis

The Death of Paralyzed Veterans - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Why I Left Feminism - Heather Wilhelm, The Federalist

The New Isolationism and the Coming World Disorder - Lee Smith, The Weekly Standard

Radically Simplify Law - Phillip K. Howard, Cato

The College Rape Overcorrection - Emily Yoffe, Slate

Federal Officials Scheming to Target Legal Businesses - Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

While the Storm Clouds Gather - Angelo Codevilla, Claremont

Minimum Wage Research on Supply and Demand - Mark J. Perry, AEI

“Barry” Wasn’t Actually Named Barry - Eugene Volokh, Volokh

Facebook and the End of Civilization - John Goerke, The Imaginative Conservative

College Payouts to Politicians - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog



December 8, 2014

Contractual Considerations of No-Fault Divorce

      Two authors, Thomas F. Farr and Hilary Towers, write in First Things on December 8 that it is time to challenge no-fault divorce. In that article, they lay out a brief history of no-fault divorce, and have suggestions to combat the easy-divorce mentality, including compiling lists of attorneys and legislators who will "defend those who are divorced against their will." They also identify two "forces at work" which contribute to the "secularist divorce industry," namely that many judges are implicit in the industry itself, and that many judges are proponents of the "privatization" school, whereby religious ideas are relegated to a back burner as being "irrational and unconstitutional."

      I should note first that I agree that no-fault divorce is a major problem in our society, often leaving (unwilling) spouses and (willing or unwilling) children abandoned. I would add that, in addition to the hard case of the abandoned spouse, the authors should also consider the myriad cases where the spouses mutually agree to divorce. Though perhaps fewer, these cases are no less an instance of the easy divorce culture. With that said, in reading through the post, one sentence in particular struck me, and it is indicative of an additional area of discussion that must occur in concert with questions of no-fault divorce, particularly within the Catholic community, but also within society at large.

In the early part of the post, the authors make this statement:
Abandoned spouses are simply left in the lurch. If one spouse decides to move on, there is very little the other can do to stop it. In America, the only contract that is utterly unenforceable in law is marriage.
How we treat contracts, and the nature of contract in America, is one of the missing "forces" which the authors, and anyone involved in this issue, must consider at greater length.

      A systematic history of contract is beyond the scope of this post, but a few matters might be worth considering. First, the Catholic Church (at least) has recognized the dual nature of the marriage bond in both sacrament and contract. In the encyclical Arcanum, Pope Leo XIII stated:
Let no one, then, be deceived by the distinction which some civil jurists have so strongly insisted upon - the distinction, namely, by virtue of which they sever the matrimonial contract from the sacrament, with intent to hand over the contract to the power and will of the rulers of the State, while reserving questions concerning the sacrament of the Church. A distinction, or rather severance, of this kind cannot be approved; for certain it is that in Christian marriage the contract is inseparable from the sacrament, and that, for this reason, the contract cannot be true and legitimate without being a sacrament as well. For Christ our Lord added to marriage the dignity of a sacrament; but marriage is the contract itself, whenever that contract is lawfully concluded.
      Considerations of the exact nature of the interaction of the sacrament and the contract (if they can be so divided) aside, the idea of a contract is bound up with Christian marriage. Showing perhaps the importance of the idea to Christian thought, the Catholic Encyclopedia has an entry on contract, where it states that, in order to be valid, a contract must have:
  • consent of the parties,
  • contractual capacity in them,
  • determinate and lawful subject-matter, and
  • a lawful consideration.
     That particular article also has a word on performance of contract, which is where we may find an explicit difference with the sacramental contract:
A valid contract imposes on the contracting parties an obligation of justice to act conscientiously according to the terms of the agreement. They will be bound to perform not only what they expressly agreed to do, but whatever the law, or custom, or usage prescribes in the circumstances. The obligation arising from a contract will cease when the contract has been executed, when a new one has been substituted for the old one by the free consent of the parties, when the parties mutually and freely withdraw from the contract. When one of the parties fails in what he promised, the other will, as a rule, be free. 
The difference, of course, being that in marital contracts, the parties are not indeed free to mutually withdraw from the contract. However, here, I wish to focus on the idea that the parties "are bound to perform not only what they expressly agreed to do, but whatever the law, or custom, or usage prescribes in the circumstances."

      It was longstanding tradition in civil and common law for a court to order the enforcement and fulfillment of contracts. The phrase pacta sunt servanda, promises ought to be kept, was a long-standing norm in contract law. One commentator noted that in the East:
The gods were, so to speak, the guarantors of the contract and they threatened to intervene against the party guilty of a breach of contract. So it came to be that the making of a contract was bound up in solemn religious formulas and that a cult of contracts actually developed. Hans Wehberg, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Oct., 1959), pp. 775-786.
The same author also noted a similar development in the West, namely that under the Romans:
[T]he common interest in a regulated commerce was added to the religious motive. The juridical sense of the Romans recognized that a well-regulated trade was possible only if contracts were kept. Then, as earlier, contracts were considered as being under Divine protection.....Later, the Fathers of the Church set forth in detail the notion of the sanctity of contracts. Thus St. Augustine (354-430), for example, taught that one must keep one's word even with one's enemies. The same idea is to be found in the Decretum Gratiani...
    It is clear from this commentator and many others that contracts were regarded as things to be kept, and there were very limited circumstances under which one could refuse to keep a contract. A court would be expected to force the parties to adhere to their contracts. After this time, there later grows up a different in regard to remedy for breach of contract. In 1947, J.B. Gebhardt, notes a split in the law between English Law and European (specifically German) law:
Suppose that (a) in an English contract, (b) in a German contract (conforming to every rule as to form and essential validity), the seller S has promised the buyer B to deliver x tons of corn on January 1, 1946, and that he did not deliver....The English buyer has no other claim than to receive damages for non-delivery, i.e., the amount of money which is equivalent to the damage flowing directly and naturally in the ordinary course of events from the non-delivery.... Specific performance is expressly excluded (even if it were not, B would not have the power to realise his interest, since this remedy is essentially discretionary). Very different in German law. B's primary right is for specific performance. After he has obtained judgment against S ordering him to deliver x tons of corn to B, B can charge the bailiff with searching S's premises for corn and handing over to B any amount of it up to the required quantity.
This difference in law was noted by none other than Justice Holmes on pg. 301 of his work "The Path of Law." He notes that, in regards to specific performance of contract:
This remedy is an exceptional one. The only universal consequence of a legally binding promise is, that the law makes the promisor pay damages if the promised event does not come to pass. In every case it leaves him free from interference until the time for fulfilment has gone by, and therefore free to break his contract if he chooses.
Thereafter, this idea would mature fully into the idea of "efficient breach," where breaching contract should be expected and encouraged, summarized as follows:
Efficiency theory suggests that promisors who breach increase society's welfare if their benefit exceeds the losses of their promisees...Although these positions conflict with the notion of pacta sunt servanda and with the moral view developed above, they do make some sense. People generally enter into commercial contracts and routine labor contracts for purely economic reasons and can therefore be fully compensated with damages for injuries caused by breach. Linzer, Linzer, On the Amorality of Contract Remedies-Efficiency, Equity, and the Second Restatement, 81 Colum. L. Rev. 111 (1981), quoted in McNeil, Virginia Law Review, Vol. 68, No. 5 (May, 1982), pp. 947-969.
Thus, more or less, we find ourselves with the modern American legal (and I might add, societal) idea of contract. The majority of courts award monetary damages for breach of contract, and most people expect to be able to get out of contracts through such payment. It is even the case that many contracts build this idea in, with terms such as prepayment of two additional months lease to break a rental contract.

      The perspicacious reader, having reviewed some or all of the foregoing, should have some idea where I am going. To be clear, while no-fault divorce is problematic, "fault" divorce was being undermined even before no-fault became the norm (through contrived adultery and so forth), and I would argue that the tenor of our culture in moving towards an efficient breach model of contract is largely responsible. The authors of the First Things article explicitly state that no-fault divorce reform attempts tend "to target financial equity among divorcing spouses, not the behavior that harms spouses and children, economically, morally and spiritually, such as abandoning a spouse for an affair partner." This is precisely what one would expect to find with efficient breach thinking permeating marriage contract law; that is, adjustment of damages, masquerading here as the post-divorce attempt to make one party "whole". Moreover, this is entirely in according with stripping morality out of contract, departing from pacta sunt servanda, and an "economic partnership" view of marriage. It need not require much further imagination to see that efficient breach of contract ideas are the bedrock of "no fault" divorce.

      What is necessary, I would argue, is an entire reformation in our thinking on contracts, infusing them again with moral purpose; letting our "yes be yes" and our "no be no." The authors discuss the possibility of solid marriage even among the poor. I agree, but until the poor and wealthy alike consider contracts as obligations to be kept, as moral bonds between the contracting parties, then marriage will always be "easily contracted, easily ended", and considered purely from an economic standpoint. But this thinking cannot extend only to marriage. It must be extended to all contracts, from credit cards to automobiles to home purchases to leases - these must all be infused with moral obligation and purpose, and considered as private law between the parties, as binding as any law of the state or Church, and therefore, not breakable when one party tires of the obligation or is unable to repay due to desires to spend money elsewhere. Exception should perhaps be permitted only for true hardship or death. And contract must be no respecter of persons - contract should be kept whether one is rich or poor, and regardless of culture. As St. Thomas Aquinas noted, with certain very limited exceptions:
Honesty demands that a man should keep any promise he makes to another man, and this obligation is based on the natural law.

CathCon Daily - 12/08/2014 (Extra)

The Wisdom of Dickens’ Second Ghost - Tod Warner, A Catholic Thinker

The Purple Line Will Waste Money, Time, and Energy - Randal O'Toole, Cato

Oral Arguments in Little Sisters Case - Kevin C. Walsh, Mirror of Justice

Children and Religion - Jason Stubblefield, First Things

Timely (and timeless?) wisdom from Justice Brennan - Rick Garnett, Mirror of Justice

The IMF is Wrong About China - Derek M. Scissors, AEI

Average Federal Spending Per Household Nearly $30K - Spencer Woody, The Daily Signal

The Real Fight is Among Democrats - Charles Krauthammer, Human Events

Government for the Strongest - George Will, Human Events




CathCon Daily - 12/08/2014

Ferguson v. Tea Party - Dan McLaughlin, The Federalist

Everybody Loses in the UVA Rape Story - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

Not Just a Rape Culture: The University’s Rape System - Greg Forster, The Public Discourse

Rustbelt Roars Back from the Dead - Kotkin & Piiparinen, New Geography

The Courts Invent Homosexual Marriage - Erasmus More, The Imaginative Conservative

Time to Challenge No-Fault Divorce - Farr & Towers, First Things

Audiotape of the Michael Brown Shooting - Paul Cassell, Washington Post

Ivy League Professors Donated Democratic - Kathryn Watson, The Daily Signal

Culture and Achievement - Kay Hymowitz, City Journal

Imagination and Children with Special Needs - Julie Baldwin, The Imaginative Conservative

Untrue? So What; It’s Useful - Rod Dreher, American Conservative



Selective Nostalgia - Peter A. Lawler, The Imaginative Conservative

Is the Second Coming Still Coming? - Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing

Telenovela or Truth? - Randall Smith, Aleteia


December 6, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/6/2014

In the Name of Progress - Seth Barron, City Journal

Libertarianism and Social Interaction - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

Rolling Stone’s UVA Fraternity Gang Rape Story Unravels - Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Headlining Antarctic Ice Loss Trends - Paul Knappenberger, Cato

Don't Support Laws You Aren't Willing to Kill to Enforce - Ilya Somin, Washington Post

The Meaning...of Pregnancy Non-Discrimination - Thomas Berg, Mirror of Justice

Possible Future Saint as Told at a Faith-Based University - Greg Sisk, Mirror of Justice

Wolves Everywhere! The Media Cried - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

The Three Ages of Boss Rule - Steve Eide, New Geography

Whatever Happened to St. Nicholas? - Dwight Longenecker, The Imaginative Conservative

Libel Law and UVA - Eugene Volokh, Washington Post


December 5, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/05/2014 (Extra)

Imperial Presidency Threatens Our Republic - Ben Boychuk, Sacramento Bee

The Future of Cars - Mark Mills, Real Clear Politics

Wieseltier the Dinosaur - R.R. Reno, First Things

Stupid Laws Help Kill People - David Harsanyi, Human Events

Racist Cops...or Liberal Slander? - Patrick Buchanan, Human Events

Making War on User Fees - Randal O'Toole, Cato

Time to Leave Behind ‘Leading from Behind’ - Peter Hegseth, The Daily Signal




CathCon Daily - 12/05/2014

Benedict's Quiet Counsel to the Synod - C.C. Pecknold, First Things

Why Christians Care About Sex - Andrew Walker, First Things

Chicago’s Foolish Decision to Hike the Minimum Wage - John O. McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Evaluating Urban Rail - Wendell Cox, New Geography

Republicans, The Pill, and the War on the Family - Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative

What's Happening in the Fracking Industry - Teresa Mull, Human Events

Good News About Relationships in America - Mark Regnerus, The Public Discourse

Why Jon Stewart Is Bad For America - Ramon Lopez, The Federalist


December 4, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/04/2014 (Extra)

Scarisbrick on God's Traitors - Michael Moreland, Mirror of Justice

Old-Time Religion - J.J. Scarisbrick, The Weekly Standard

The 17th Amendment is Destroying America - Justin Haskins, Human Events

Traditional Pensions Really Better? - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Urging Voters to Commit Fraud for Landrieu Was ‘Humor' - Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

Women Are Having Fewer Babies Than Ever in the US - Jonathan Last, The Daily Signal

Chimpanzees Aren't People - Eugene Volokh, Volokh Conspiracy





CathCon Daily - 12/04/2014

Human Flourishing or Human Rejection? - Adam Keiper, New Atlantis

Death by Police - Russell Saltzman, First Things

The Good-Enough Marriage - Mark Regnerus, First Things

The Common Law and Western Liberty - Steven Grosby, Nomocracy in Politics

Inconvenient Ferguson Facts - Larry Elder, Human Events

Democrats Haven’t Learned Anything From Midterms - David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Brilliance, Doubt, and the Miracle of Existence - Daniel Ross Goodman, The Public Discourse

Eric Garner and Omnipresent Police Power - Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

Is Self-Interest a Virtue or a Vice? - Timothy Wier, Intercollegiate Review

The Dante Club - Rod Dreher, American Conservative


December 3, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/03/2014 (Extra)

More Dangerous than Amnesty - David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Gotham's Tourism Boom - Nicole Gelinas, City Journal

Extortion on the Docket - Theodore Dalrymple, Liberty Law Blog

Executive Order on Immigration: Is it Legal? - Michael Scaperlanda, Aleteia

Republicans Agree: Executive Action Unconstitutional - Michael Warren, The Weekly Standard


CathCon Daily - 12/03/2014

A Pyrrhic Budget Victory - Stephen Malanga, City Journal

Pension U - Steven Greenhut, City Journal

Smith on "Decisional Originalism" - Marc DeGirolami, Mirror of Justice

Ferguson in the Shadow of Advent - Stephen Turley, The Imaginative Conservative

Inciting a Riot - Paul Cassell, Volokh

Can Racial Discrimination Explain Much? - Walter Williams, Human Events

Nothing on Terry Bean - Michelle Malkin, Human Events

When the President Acts like King George - Larry Arnn, The Federalist

Frozen Spending since 2009 - Daniel J. Mitchell, The Federalist

Soap Opera Producer to Hungary - Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard




December 2, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/02/2014 (Extra)

Carbon Dioxide Enrichment of Peach Trees - Craig Idso, Cato

New Atheism, Old Empire - Luke Savage, Jacobin

What Clericalism Looks Like - Nicholas Frankovich, First Things

Interview with Chris Rock - Frank Rich, Vulture

Atticus Finch in a Skirt - Mark Tooley, First Things

The Curious Comeback of U.S. Downtowns - Joel Kotkin, New Geography

A Wahoo Tawana Brawley? - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Exploiting Ferguson - David Limbaugh, Human Events

Who are the Cowards Now? - Patrick Buchanan, Human Events

Opinions vs. Facts - Thomas Sowell, Human Events

The 1950s, Principled Pluralism, and the Future of America - J.D. Hartog, Public Discourse

From Metrosexual To Spornosexual - Rebecca Burgess, The Federalist

Deconstructing the Grand Jury - Greg Weiner, Liberty Law Blog

Hayek in New York - Mike Rappaport, Liberty Law Blog

The Pagan Who Paved the Way to Christianity - Brian Miller, Intercollegiate Review

You Can Kill, But Not Murder - Dennis Prager, Human Events

Shale Oil is a Revolution of and for Liberty - John McGinnis, Liberty Law Blog

Congress Moves to Block EPA Land Grab - Ron Arnold, Daily Signal






CathCon Daily - 12/2/2014

Libertarian Securitarianism on Campus - Peter A. Lawler, NRO

A Pro-Government Party . . . Versus What? - Angelo Codevilla, Liberty Law Blog

Executive Branch Discretion and Immigration - Jonathan Adler, Volokh

U.S. Has the Second Biggest Welfare State in the World - James Pethokoukis, AEI

Criticism...Will Not be Tolerated - John Hayward, Human Events

Welcome to the Techno-Future - Peter Lawler, The Imaginative Conservative

Thomism of the Table - Rod Dreher, American Conservative

On Inequity and Inequality - Jordan Ballor, Acton Institute

Remembering Georgia's Freedom Fighter - Dalibor Rohac, Cato

A Case for Self-Restraint - George Will, Human Events

Jenkins on Catholic Higher Education - Bernard G. Prusak, Commonweal


December 1, 2014

CathCon Daily - 12/01/2014

The Truth About States' Rights - Adam Freedman, City Journal

Fasting for Advent - David Bonagura, Jr., The Catholic Thing

Why Legalizing Pot is a Bad Idea - Cully Stimson, The Daily Signal

Book Review: History of Heads Lost and Found - Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

Swerving Towards Modernism - Jeffrey Polet, The Imaginative Conservative

Feminism & Astrophysics - Editors, The New Criterion

A Nation in Retreat - Keith Windschuttle, The New Criterion

Southern California Stuck in Drive- Kotkin & Cox, New Geography

The Pope's True Agenda - William Doino, Jr., First Things

Witness 10 and Reasonable Belief - Paul Cassell, Washington Post

Historicism and Heresy - Dwight Longenecker, The Imaginative Conservative

Common Ground on Ferguson - Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Eliminating Gender Distinctions in High School Sports - Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Poverty, Rule of Law, Human Flourishing - Samuel Gregg, Public Discourse

The Qualities of a Great Leader - R.J. Snell, Intercollegiate Review

The Feast of the English Jesuit Martyrs - Robert John Araujo, S.J, Mirror of Justice

French vs. the American Revolution, Part Two - Isaac Wordward, Intercollegiate Review