Archive for Security

Abortion is (Really) Hell

A 2014 article in Britain’s Guardian points out that with the withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan the Commonwealth will have seen its first peacetime period in a century.  This dubious consistency extends back into previous eras, as befits an imperial power dominating hundreds of colonies.   Of course it is joined by many other major powers, including the United States, in its destructive tendencies–only two humans in history have avoided the effects of the Fall. The war casualties of the 20th century are breathtaking:  Great Britain: 1.5M; France: 2.5M; Germany: 10M; and the Soviet Union: 30M (including losing 13%

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Ireland’s Flagging Abortion Stance

The Irish Times recently hosted a discussion on their podcast regarding the effort to repeal or reform the Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s constitution. The Eighth was voted in by popular referendum 33 years ago by a 2-1 margin, largely through the influence of the Catholic Church.  The addition to the constitution reads: The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. I don’t pretend to know

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War Is Hell

In 1622 Powhatan Indians killed 347 men, women, and children at Jamestown, nearly 1/3 of the entire colony. Fifteen years later at the Mystic River, English colonists and their Indian allies trapped an entire village of 600 Pequots inside their fortified wooden houses. The structures were set afire and the inhabitants burned alive. The few who escaped the flames were put to the sword. With each new wave of military technology, the scale of killing in war continually inundates the sensibilities of the past. Before the American Civil War, infantry fought at close range with muskets, one bullet at a

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Have We Become “Sin Eaters”?
or Catholic Answers on The Bomb

As a group, we’ve discussed more than once the morality of dropping The Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. I don’t know that we’ve ever reached consensus on the topic. In our deliberations, I have tended to speak less and listen more, since most of you are better read in both history and moral theology than I am — but I tend to think that dropping the bomb was a bad idea. Some might call it a “necessary evil,” but my basic understanding of Catholic morality suggests to me that there is no such

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Christianity’s Close Shave With a Scimitar

As Islam’s 1,400 year old assault on the West has been rekindled for some decades now, I decided during a small available window of time to read about a 50-year period of that conflict that I knew little about.  For anyone interested in a fascinating overview of the struggle in the Mediterranean from the fall of Rhodes in 1522 to the battle of Lepanto in 1571, I highly recommend Roger Crowley’s book Empires of the Sea; The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World. At just under 300 pages, it is

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Children (Poorly) Masquerading as Adults

College commencement exercises are beginning, meaning that the silly season of childish campus antics of demonstrations, ridiculous demands to college administrations, and relentless public harassment will taper off over the summer.  The 2015-2016 academic year topped the charts and serves as a preview of the caliber of new workforce recruits we will be dealing with in our workplaces.  From Amherst College, to the University of Missouri to Yale, civil discourse and rational debate and disagreement have been forced to the sidelines in unprecedented occurrences. I ran across an interesting article – here – concerning moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, a secular liberal

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Quick Link – Austerity vs Tax Increases. What works best?

Junto friends, Hythloday recently shared with us a very interesting video produced by billionaire Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, entitled “How the Economic Machine Works.”  Dalio discusses the various factors that affect short and long term business cycles and the levers used to respond. The Junto often discusses economics since it is such an integral part of how we practice social charity as American Catholics.  Thought I’d share this link to a recent interview on the podcast EconTalk, hosted by Professor Russ Roberts of Stanford.  Harvard’s Alberto Alesina argues (against the prevailing sentiment in much of southern

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Common-Sense Carrying

I need to start by mentioning that I am a good shot.  Not crazy, world-class, ringing the metal in a crosswind at a 1,000 yards shooting, but out to about 300 yards with either a scope or open sights I am pretty good, better than most people I’ve hunted with.  Of the couple of dozen deer I’ve been blessed to harvest, all were killed with one shot, about half of them dropped in place, and only two made it more than 25 yards after being hit.  I’ve missed only one deer that I shot at (he busted me just as

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Just War Doctrine for the Asymmetric World

“Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ.”  Gaudium Et Spes 78, 6. The theory of a “just war,” the moral factors which govern when to enter into war and how to conduct war, reach back into Biblical and Roman antiquity, through the early days of the Church, from Augustine to Aquinas, Renaissance philosophers, and finally summarized in a few points in the current Catechism.  In the main the principles of a just war have been fairly well preserved:  a legitimate and otherwise peace-loving authority

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The (Catholic?) Blair Doctrine

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair entered the Catholic Church in 2007, several months after leaving office and apparently many years after beginning a serious journey toward Her.  In reading accounts of his conversion I came across an interesting event during his tenure as PM that might have indicated, even back in 1999, that his Catholic formation regarding use of force was well underway. In April 1999 Blair had been invited to speak at the Economic Club of Chicago’s annual meeting, where he presented what became known as the “Blair Doctrine” of international community building including guidelines for warranted military

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