Links for 3/15/18

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Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, cross a street in Tallahassee prior to speaking with Florida state legislators Feb. 20 at the Capitol. (CNS/Reuters/Colin Hackley)

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At Washington Monthly, if we want to know why the students from Parkland High School are so impressive and articulate, one of the reasons is that they were products of a program that taught civics. Civics classes fell into disrepair as the academy fetishized identity politics and alternative narratives. We were told we had to focus on the fact that so many of the founding fathers were slave owners, but we forgot to focus on the good those same founders did. People confused Noam Chomsky for an intellectual and thought Howard Zinn was an historian, with disastrous consequences. Former Sen. Bob Graham and former Congressman Lou Frey sought out to bring civics back. It worked.

Want to hear a real liberal intellectual? Joseph Stiglitz is interviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking and he discusses income inequality and why it is time to get radical in addressing it. Two years hence, the Democrats will need to select a nominee for the presidency. Whomever it is, I hope they state in advance that, if elected, Stiglitz will be their secretary of the treasury.

Joseph Stiglitz: It’s Time to Get Radical on Inequality

Three more outlets covered last week’s Seton Hall event with Newark, New Jersey, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Current TV has video, Matthew Hale at InsiderNJ, looks at how different this event was from the normally depressing political conversations to which we are subjected, and, at Religion News Service, Jack Jenkins places the event in the context of the U.S. bishops’ conference decision to file an amicus brief in the Janus vs. AFSCME case.

Seton Hall Hosts Cardinal Tobin, Working Men & Women

Also at Religion News Service, a look at Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin” at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, and how even the ardent atheist Kelly invoked the aesthetic themes of Catholicism in his last great work.

Three fine pieces on Pope Francis’ anniversary: John Gehring at Commonweal and Gerry O’Connell and David Gibson, both at America.

At the Washington Post, Michael Gerson argues that the evangelicals who support President Donald Trump have sold their soul. To paraphrase what Samuel Johnson once said about dogs walking on their hind legs, the surprise is not that these evangelical pastors sold their souls, but they still had souls to sell.

In Las Vegas, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and UNITE HERE are honoring the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Las Vegas Bishop Joseph Pepe for their advocacy on behalf of immigrants. Pepe will be retiring soon and Las Vegas, appropriately, hit the jackpot with Bishop George Thomas of Helena, Montana, being transferred from the mountains to the desert.


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