Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Acton Occasional Series

Explainer: What is Going on in Vietnam?

What is going on in Vietnam? For decades, China and Vietnam have clashed over control of parts of South China Sea, which is rich in oil and fish. Earlier this month, China moved an oil drilling rig into waters claimed by Vietnam. Continue Reading...

60 Second Review: Milton Friedman

The Book: Milton Friedman: A concise guide to the ideas and influence of the free-market economist by Eamonn Butler The Gist: As the subtitle suggests, this short book provides a concise overview of the ideas and influence of the late economist, Milton Friedman The Quote: “[T]he supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. Continue Reading...

Explainer: Boko Haram and the Kidnapped Christian Girls

What is going on with the mass kidnappings of children in Nigeria? During the night of April 16, dozens of armed men from the terrorist group Boko Haram captured over 300 Christian girls aged 12 to 15 who were sleeping in dormitories at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northeast Nigeria. Continue Reading...

Explainer: The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Government Prayer

What was the Greece vs. Galloway case about? The short answer: The constitutionality of saying religiously specific prayers (e.g., praying in Jesus name) at government meetings and functions. The (slightly) longer answer: In the town of Greece, located in upstate New York, the Town Board sessions were opened by a prayer from local clergy, mostly leaders of Christian congregations although in a few instances members of other faith traditions offered the invocation (a Jewish man, a Baha’i leader, and a Wiccan). Continue Reading...

Explainer: What is Earth Day?

What is Earth Day? Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. Continue Reading...

7 Figures: Inmate Sexual Victimization by Correctional Authorities

“Inmates are still people, and therefore need to be treated as such, with all the challenges and potential that face all human persons,” says Acton research fellow Jordan Ballor. “One of the things it means to treat someone with the dignity they deserve as a human being is to not subject them to conditions where the threat of rape is rampant.” Earlier this year, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported on one of the most overlooked threats to prisoner dignity — sexual victimization by correctional authorities. Continue Reading...

7 Figures: Tax Day Edition

[Note: ‘7 Figures’ is a new, occasional series highlighting data and information from a variety of surveys and reports.] 1. The average federal tax rate for all households (tax liabilities divided by income, including government transfer payments) before taxes is 18.1 percent. Continue Reading...

Explainer: What is Holy Week?

What is Holy Week? Holy Week is the week before Easter, a period which includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Holy week does not include Easter Sunday. Continue Reading...