Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
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Catholic Hospitals Win an Important Decision in California
Jim McDermott, America

On Thursday the Catholic Church in California scored a significant legal victory regarding the right of Catholic hospitals to refuse certain medical procedures.

Detroit’s Teacher Union Meltdown
The American Interest

Last week, Detroit’s teachers called a “sick-out”—a coordinated action wherein the unionized teachers call in sick simultaneously in what is best characterized as a strike—for at least the fifth time in the last few weeks.

Budget Deficit Slips as Public Priority
Pew Research

As Barack Obama begins his final year in office, the goal of reducing the budget deficit, which the public once ranked among the most pressing objectives for his administration, has continued its recent decline in perceived importance.

School Choice Interest Skyrocketing as Public Schools Disappoint
Josh Kaib, The Daily Signal

This is shaping up to be the best year yet for National School Choice Week. The annual January event, which began in 2011, will feature 16,140 events, up from roughly 11,000 last year. The festivities officially kicked off across the country on Sunday and run through Jan. 30.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 25, 2016
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N. Korea tops persecution list for 14th year
Baptist Press

As North Korea once again held its spot for the 14th consecutive year as the most dangerous country for Christians, religious persecution on every continent has appeared to increase, according to a new report.

Who’d a-thunk it? Retailers like Wal-Mart make location decisions based on labor costs?
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

To help better understand how “Wal-Mart’s scalpel targeted stores that have the highest minimum wages in the country,” consider the map above showing three Walmart stores along a 5-mile stretch of Interstate 880.

Adam Smith on Society’s Exploitation of the Rich
James R. Rogers, First Things

Donald Trump ascribing responsibility for his first two failed marriages to working “like, twenty-two hours a day” brought to mind Adam Smith’s invocation of the “invisible hand” in his 1759 work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

Attention Bernie Sanders: Europe gave up on its socialist paradise years ago
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

The thing that Bernie Sanders, and many of his supporters miss, is that European socialism isn’t what it used to be. It’s a lot less socialist than it used to be.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 22, 2016
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GOP Field Bereft Of Free-Traders
Bill Watson, The Federalist

At no point is restricting trade through taxes or promoting it through subsidies a good economic policy. That’s not what Republican presidential candidates say.

Oldest Christian monastery in Iraq razed
Martha Mendoza, Maya Alleruzzo, and Bram Janssen, Associated Press

Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State group’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.

History and the Limits of the Climate Consensus
Philip Jenkins, The American Conservative

Acknowledging the science of global warming does not require accepting that it is immune to criticism.

The Economic Concept in Church Leadership No One Ever Thinks About
Kathryn Feliciano, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What we find is not that the apostles have a higher calling, but rather that the early church was facing a problem—the apostles could not do everything by themselves.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 21, 2016
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Six Challenges Facing Africa in 2016
Gideon Strauss, Providence

While I am an optimist with regard to global poverty alleviation, my optimism is sorely tested when it comes to my beloved birth continent, Africa.

Some people just shouldn’t save for retirement
Andrew G. Biggs, AEI

To expect that very low-income households should have substantial personal savings for retirement is nutty. These are precisely the households Social Security was created for.

The decline of Bitcoin shows you can’t engineer past government
Ryan Cooper, The Week

Try to engineer around politics, and it will flood back in the most atavistic and unscrupulous forms.

Shouldn’t Bernie Sanders Want to Underpay Teachers?
Jason Richwine, The Corner

There is essentially a “single payer” for education within school districts. The teachers, principals, custodians, textbooks, and school buildings are all paid for by the government. Yet Bernie Sanders would never argue that the government should use its near-monopoly to push teacher salaries below market levels.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
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The Family and the Force
Jordan J. Ballor, Public Discourse

The destruction of the Jedi order was due, in large part, to their persistent blindness to the deep, essential, and ineradicable power of familial love. The Skywalkers can bring balance to the Force because they unite it with love learned through family.

Key aide insists Pope Francis isn’t anti-business
Inés San Martín, Crux

In some quarters, there’s a perception that under history’s first pope from the global south, the Catholic Church has become increasingly hostile to capitalism in favor of more socialist-style economic arrangements.

It’s official. The US debt situation is now as good as it’s going to get
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

This may be as good as it gets regarding the US debt situation.

Women On The Front Lines Explain How We Can Better Fight Human Trafficking
Cherylyn LeBon, Opportunity Lives

January marks National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Some estimate that human trafficking is the fastest growing and third largest organized criminal activity in the world, just behind the drug and arms trades.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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Sorry, the Bible doesn’t promise to make America great again
Russell Moore, Washington Post

Sometime around the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, you might see a sign advertising a “God and country” rally or prayer breakfast. I can almost guarantee that, if you attend, you will hear, at least once, 2 Chronicles 7:14.

A “Poverty Preference” in College Admissions?
The American Interest

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, a philanthropic organization that awards scholarships to low-income, high-achieving high school students, is earning some well-deserved media attention for its comprehensive report on how and why colleges should attract more kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Net Neutrality’s Religious Freedom Problem
Arielle Roth, CapX

A successful RFRA challenge on the part of Jnet or TVO would have civil rights implications beyond the immediate context.

The War on Poverty Has Failed. Here’s How Conservatives Can Fix It
Opportunity Lives

Fifty years ago in 1964, Democratic President Lyndon Johnson declared that the federal government would wage on poverty. Since then taxpayers have shelled out over $22 trillion for federal poverty programs, yet the poverty rate has barely moved from 19% in 1965 to 14.8% in 2014, meaning there are 46 million impoverished Americans.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 18, 2016
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6 Ways to Live as Christians in the City
Jeff Haanen, For the Life of the World

Here are six movements Greg Thompson encouraged us to make as Christian people living in cities today.

The Power and Potency of Local Cultural Engagement
James Clark, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

While there is good work to be done in and through such institutions, most of us will never find ourselves in a position to exert that kind of influence. But, what we do in our local spheres of influence is not meaningless just because the effects are smaller in scale.

Three Bipartisan Ways To Fight Poverty At The Local Level
Tom Rogan, Opportunity Lives

Democrats and Republicans often disagree about poverty-reduction policies, but we should consider new bipartisan opportunities whenever and wherever possible. Consider policy options to fight poverty at the local level.

Why ISIS Is Directing Jihadists to Wear Christian Symbols
Robin Simcox, The Daily Signal

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIS, or ISIL) has previously taken manpower, territory and funds from al-Qaeda. Now, it is taking its instruction books.