November 20, 2015

CathCon Weekly - 11/20/2015

Fear Looming Over the West - Samuel Gregg, Imaginative Conservative
But when the historian Arnold Toynbee observed that “civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” he didn’t just mean that the most serious threats come from within. His deeper point was that redeeming a civilization is largely a question of will.
How the EITC Penalizes Families - Angela Rachidi, AEI
For these reasons, this study explores how the EITC marriage penalty may affect the finances of low-income couples based on their actual reported earnings rather than hypothetical situations. Although this exercise remains speculative, it provides a more complete picture of how marriage penalties associated with the EITC might affect actual low-income parents.
A Crisis Our Universities Deserve - Ross Douthat, NYT
The result, by the time I arrived at college late in the 1990s, was a campus landscape where left-wing pieties dominated official discourse, but the university’s deeper spirit remained technocratic, careerist and basically amoral. And many students seemed content with that settlement.
Neoconservative Pursuit of Happiness - John Willson, Imaginative Conservative
Mr. Brooks says, “I believe that poverty and opportunity are moral issues and must be addressed as such.” It’s true, and these issues cannot be solved by merely throwing money at them. Although he cites the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey to indicate that most Americans are quite happy (and that conservatives are happier than liberals), he fails to mention the cottage industry of books and articles in the last few years whose authors are scratching their heads over why Americans keep getting richer and complaining more, and are increasingly unhappy.
College Professorships: Conservatives Need Not Apply? - Bruce Frohnen, Imaginative Conservative
Mr. Linker recently decided to answer the question, “Where are all the conservative university professors?” His answer, of course, is that they do not exist. And why not? Because conservatives by nature are not capable of being university professors—or at least not decent, reasonably successful ones.
Myths and Facts about Israeli Arabs - Evelyn Gordon, Commentary
Unsurprisingly, the IDI didn’t show that Israel has become the first country in history to eliminate discrimination or racist attitudes; both still exist, just as they do in every other Western country. Indeed, a majority of Jewish respondents readily acknowledged that Israeli Arabs still face discrimination, which is clearly a necessary step toward reducing it.
The University Gone Feral - V.D. Hanson, NRO
The University of Missouri campus police now request that students — a group not known for polite vocabulary — call law enforcement if someone disparages them with hurtful names.
Anti-Zionists Misread the Bible - Gerald McDermott, Public Discourse
In this essay, I have only tried to show that the two arguments made against Christian Zionism do not do justice to the New Testament witness. And, as Karl Barth argued, it is not enough for theology to create elegant systems. They must wrestle with the strange new world of the Bible.
Anonymous at War - Kevin D. Williamson, NRO
When the hacker group Anonymous announced it was launching a campaign against the Islamic State (“These are not the 72 virgins they were expecting,” as one now immortal online quipster put it), something happened that was, in its way, remarkable: Most everybody took them seriously.
The Truth About ISIS is Much Worse - Scott Atran, Guardian
As I testified to the US Senate armed service committee and before the United Nations security council: what inspires the most uncompromisingly lethal actors in the world today is not so much the Qur’an or religious teachings. It’s a thrilling cause that promises glory and esteem. Jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer: fraternal, fast-breaking, glorious, cool – and persuasive.
No Evidence of Self-Abortions in Texas - Michael J. New, NRO
Pro-lifers should not be misled by this shoddy study; they should continue their efforts to advocate in every state for commonsense legislation that is similar to HB2 in Texas.
Europe’s Refugee Problem, and Ours - Ross Douthat, NYT
There are two ways to think about the potential dangers involved in admitting large numbers of refugees from the Middle East’s present chaos into Western countries, and both of them have rather different implications for Europe than for the United States.
Could America Survive without Religion? - Robert P. George, Public Discourse
John Adams famously said that our Constitution was made “only for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Was he right?
An Interview with Jonathan Haidt - Dominick Bouck, First Things
It’s going to get much, much worse over the next couple years and at that point some universities may start changing policies. By that point, many or maybe most American parents won’t want to send their children to the top universities, and there will be an enormous market opportunity for second-level universities that offer a much less coddled campus culture.
 How “Safe Spaces” Kill Human Dignity - Jane Clark Scharl, Intercollegiate Review
There is another, darker conclusion to be drawn from this reinvention of human dignity: if agreement is a necessary part of affirming human dignity, it follows that if we do not agree we are not obliged to recognize human dignity.
President Obama's Cynical Refugee Ploy - Walter Russell Mead, American Interest
Goodhearted liberals have reacted with handwringing to the avalanche of dissenting governors. Some have earnestly quoted relevant Bible verses about taking in the poor and the afflicted, while the usual righteous tut-tutters have engaged in their usual righteous tut-tutting. “Everybody who disagrees with my proposal is a bitter-clinging xenophobe, not to mention a racist,” is the clear implication of the President’s supporters.
LOST FEASTS: St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Catholic Schools - Dominican Tertiary
Beginning with the 1924 Breviarium iuxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum, November 13 was the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Catholic Schools in the Dominican liturgical calendar. Fr. Bonniwell's "History of the Dominican Liturgy" gives no date for when exactly the Order adopted this feast.
Imagine There's No ...Imagination - Mark Steyn
Our world seems atrophied. Kathy Shaidle describes the scene at top right as "why Paris is doomed, in one image": a man drags his piano, decorated by a "peace" symbol, by bicycle to the Bataclan theatre, and proceeds to play John Lennon's "Imagine".
What kind of parochial solipsist would think that an appropriate response a day after mass murder?
Overcriminalization in Action - Adam Bates, Cato
Labyrinthine regulations often produce absurd outcomes, including prison sentences for individuals who do everything in their power, including consulting multiple attorneys, to comply with the law before acting.
The Fantasy Candidate and His Caucus - Katherine Ernst, City Journal
Bernie-fever sometimes seemed more intense, more omnipresent than the Obama-gasms of seven years ago. “Feel the Bern” jokes abounded, as did links to left-wing philippics on how Bernie was going to right all capitalist and racist wrongs.
Misplaced and Unwarranted Criticism of CUA - Rick Garnett, Mirror of Justice
Whatever the flaws (and I concede the flaws, of course) in "the Kochs' ideology" (and putting aside, for now, the near-obsession in some quarters with "the Koch Brothers" and the tendency to allow the mere invocation of their name to function as an argument) there is, again, no reason to suggest that Garvey and Abela would dismiss the words of Pope Francis, or the traditional content of Catholic Social Teaching, as "coming from the 'liberal social justice movement.'"
The Case of Free Speech - Christopher F. Tollefsen, Public Discourse
Some rights are grounded in the need and desirability for agents to fulfill their perceived responsibilities. Parents, for example, have obligations to provide care and education for their children. Accordingly, they have a right to carry out those obligations against others who would try to prevent them from doing so, or would, without parental consent, usurp the place of parents in fulfilling those responsibilities.
Can Putin Be Kept in Check? - Tom Nichols, The Federalist
Garry Kasparov’s Winter Is Coming is a hard book to read.
It’s not that the book is difficult or dull. In fact, it’s lively and readable, especially considering that its subject — Russia’s return to authoritarianism — is so depressing. 
Paint It Black - Brian Murray, Liberty Law Blog
According to news reports, he recently answered an inquiry from some Massachusetts high schoolers seeking his thoughts on the role of leadership in criminal gangs. He told them to change topics and write about someone else. “My life,” his neatly handwritten letter declares, “was wasted and spent foolishly, and brought shame and suffering to my parents and siblings.”

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