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NCR on the iPadThe digital version of NCR is now available via the Kindle app on Apple and Android-powered devices. Cost is $1.99 per month, with a free 14-day trial subscription available

Owners of an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or any Android-powered tablet computer or smart phone can download the Kindle app in the app store. Search "National Catholic Reporter" to start your subscription. Every two weeks, you'll receive the same content as the print newspaper subscribers delivered right to your device of choice.

'Family Circus' creator Bil Keane dies at 89

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What would we do without cartoons and cartoonists?

I've got such admiration for these artists. If I could only draw, I tell myself.

My bet is that most of us have enjoyed the cartoon Family Circus on more than one occasion over the years. The Wall Street Journal reports on Bil Keane's death yesterday, Nov. 8, 2011. It's a great read. He'll be missed.

Here's a link to the Family Circus website.

Memorial service for Jesuit Fr. Dean Brackley

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Memorial Gathering for Fr. Dean Brackley, S.J. and the UCA Martyrs in El Salvador

On Wednesday, November 16th at 6 PM, the New York Province of the Society of Jesus and Fordham University will host a memorial mass in the Fordham University Church on the Rose Hill campus to honor the life and work of Father Dean Brackley, S.J., who died on October 16th in El Salvador.

Read NCR's remembrance of Brackley here: Jesuit who replaced slain Salvadoran priests dies

Election results bend toward justice

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The first news to flash across my TV screen last night was about the referendum in Ohio. Voters resoundingly repealed legislation intended to derail the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. The rights of unions and state workers were vindicated in a landslide. Not only that, the vote sent a message to other states that have done, or are contemplating, similar moves. Hopefully, the message was heard at the national level as well.

Raising hope among the young

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A major interfaith event aimed at attracting young adults is scheduled for Nov. 19 at the student center of the University of Chicago campus in Chicago.

It is titled "Ignite Hope: Here. And Now." and will feature "a conversation on the Kingdom of God" and explore ways of thinking and acting to reshape this world, said Greg Pierce, president of ACTA Publishing and a promoter of the event.

Pierce is the author of "The World as It Should Be: Living and Acting in the Here-and-Now Kingdom of God," published by Loyola Press.

Judy Valente, longtime contributor to the PBS news program "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly," will moderate the day.

See further information and details here.

Open letter to the supercommittee (aka the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction)

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Dear committee members,

I urge you to cut military spending deeply.

We only need our current budget if we plan more wars like the past decade. It is time for diplomacy.

Some procurement boondoggles identified by the Government Accountability Office include:

  • Ballistic missile defense

  • The littoral combat ship named the Sea Fighter

  • The information grid

  • The Navy/Marine Corps intranet

  • The MWRAP vehicle

Unworkable or unnecessary systems tend to have something in common: Their costs are often uncontrollable. A 2009 Government Accountability Office study of 96 major defense acquisition programs found that almost two-thirds of them suffered major cost overruns -- 40 percent above contract prices, overall -- with average delays of nearly two years. Those overruns totaled close to $300 billion, about the amount of President Bill Clinton's last full defense budget request a decade ago.

As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen said, "A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you are spending real money."

Sincerely yours,

On this day: Margery Kempe

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On this day the Anglican Communion commemorates Margery Kempe, Mystic.

Margery Brunham was born in Lynn in Norfolk, about 1373. At the age of 20 she married John Kempe. They would be the parents of 14 children.

"The Book of Margery Kempe, often described as the first autobiography in English, was probably written in the late 1430s and presents an account of the visionary encounters and conversations with Christ experienced by a woman from a prosperous urban mercantile family, who lived in Lynn in Norfolk. It details her attempts to follow a life of intense spirituality while living in the world, rather than withdrawing from it as an anchoress or nun, and describes the approbation and criticism which she received as a result."

--from the Preface to A Companion to The Book of Margery Kempe, edited by John H. Arnold and Katherine J. Lewis, D. S. Brewer, 2004, page xvii.

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April 21-May 4, 2017

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