Crime and the Nanny State

“Crime has been in decline,” says Acton Research Fellow Jonathan Witt, in an article for The American Spectator, “but current government policies are bound to reverse this trend.” Against the backdrop of sluggish growth and high unemployment, one bright spot has been declining crime rates, with levels in the United States now about half what they were 20 years ago. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Buying Off Discontent

“There has always been a generous spirit in America towards the downtrodden, but it’s time to realize that we are no longer being generous: the government is leading us merrily along the path of fiscal fugue,” writes Elise Hilton. Continue Reading...

No Man Is An Island

In the current Acton Commentary, I take a look at what I call a “modern-day Robinson Crusoe,” the survivalist Richard Proenneke of “Alone in the Wilderness” fame. But as I also note in the piece, there are some other instances of this classic shipwrecked literary device, including the TV show Lost. Continue Reading...

Richard Proenneke: A Modern-Day Robinson Crusoe

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Not Quite Alone in the Wilderness,” I examine the intergenerational infrastructure of innovation and civilization through the lens of Richard “Dick” Proenneke, whose efforts to build a cabin in the Alaskan wild, alone and by hand, are recorded in the popular documentary, often featured on PBS. Continue Reading...

Legal Constraint and True Liberty

In today’s Acton Commentary, I explore the Christian conception of law as a necessary palliative to the anti-social effects of sin. “Since we do not always govern ourselves as we ought to, in accord with the moral order, there must be some external checks and limits on our behavior,” I write. Continue Reading...

The Moral Elephant in Black America’s Room

One has to wonder how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would respond to the state of black America in 2013. From the nonsense that regularly spews from the mouth of rappers like Lil Wayne to the black-on-black violence that continues to plague many black urban and rural neighborhoods, we are moving further away from King’s dream. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Is America the Federal Government?

“While president, Calvin Coolidge warned Americans that if it was the federal government that came to their mind when they thought of ‘the government,’ it would prove costly,” writes Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

Pope Benedict Resigns

Shock waves went through Rome at about noon today and the rest of the Catholic, make that the entire, world, as news came that Pope Benedict XVI will resign as Pope on February 28. Continue Reading...