I have no idea how I missed this essay on Paul Ryan and his cult of "self-reliance" when it first came out. Leon Wieseltier is one of the finest writers and finest thinkers in the liberal tradition. Obviously, I disagree with Wieseltier about the transformative power of suffering, but then I worship a crucified God and Wieseltier does not. But, his critique of the Randian worldview is breathtakingly spot-on.
This report, at Vatican Insider, raises a deep concern about religious freedom (and other freedoms, too) in Cuba. In our minds, somehow we hope that once Fidel Castro passes from the scene, things will change for the better. Alas, sometimes during periods of political instability, things get worse.
I hate to be the person to put a damper on a good cause, but I fear the politics of gun control will have unintended consequences and that those who rightly perceive the need for effective gun control may end up sowing the seeds of their own frustration.
At The New Republic, Timothy Noah on the New York Times Magazine's decision not to publish Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." A fascinating bit of journalistic history that I had never encountered before.
In the second installment of their special guest blog posts for Poverty Awareness Month, the USCCB has a post by Carolyn Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services.
...The Crazy Turn Pro! A group of birthers are threatening to mount an effort to impeach NCR's "Person of the Year," Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, if he performs the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama.
I especially want to call attention to two recent posts at the online journal Millennial.
First, this post from Ben Feuerherd on Catholics taking the St. Francis pledge on Climate Change. Ben is the son of the late editor and publisher of NCR, Joe Feuerherd, and the apple has not fallen far from the tree!
Will this be the year? For those of us who have been advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, that question changed on election night. Before the election, we were hoping for some kind of incremental changes, perhaps passing the DREAM Act, and laying the groundwork for more comprehensive efforts down the road. But, after President Obama took a stunning 71% of the Latino vote, a margin that makes it almost impossible for a Republican to win the White House, the possibility of enacting comprehensive reform became thinkable.
From this morning's Washington Post:
U.S. government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement in 2012. That is 24 percent more than it spent collectively for the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Yet, our system is broken. Anyone who thinks we don't need comprehensive reform of our immigration laws needs to explain how we can continue to fund this enormous expense of enforcing our current immigration policies. More on this issue tomorrow.
Well, the season did not end as I had hoped. But, last night's loss to Alabama does not take away one iota from the fact that this year's Notre Dame football season kept many of us glued to our television sets every Saturday afternoon. The fact that a Mormon from Hawaii was the face of Notre Dame all autumn was an especially charming side story, and what an outstanding young man he is, going through extreme personal tragedies with dignity and faith. The Fighting Irish were no match for the Crimson Tide, who deserve the crown they have won.