Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, August 7, 2015
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Domestic Sex Trafficking Survivors Find Hope in Small-Town Iowa Halfway Home
Leah Jessen, The Daily Signal

At the intersection of two of the nation’s largest highways, I-35 and I-80, sits the Des Moines, Iowa metro area, known for its small-town feel, farmer’s markets, and frequent visits from presidential campaign hopefuls.

Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science
Noah Smith, Bloomberg View

So let’s think about the economics of Star Trek. What we’re really thinking about is how to get to economic utopia. It’s an important question.

Video 5: Planned Parenthood’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Jason Jones and John Zmirak, The Stream

Richard Land is right: These videos could bring down America’s abortion industry.

How crony capitalism is slowing global economic growth
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Too much crony capitalism, not enough competitive capitalism. The US actually scores pretty well against other advanced economies, though we need to do even better.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, August 6, 2015
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On social justice, Francis isn’t rethinking so much as recycling
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

The real question is not why Francis is taking these positions. It’s rather why people react so strongly, whereas basically the same stances often seemed to be ignored or glossed over when taken by other pontiffs.

Zwingli will have his own movie
Evangelical Focus

The life of Ulrich Zwingli will be brought to the big screens, confirmed C-Films, a company which produced films like “Midnight train to Lisbon.”

Chinese Christians Fight Back
The American Interest

In response to continued pressure by local officials who have removed crosses from Christian churches (or even torn down churches entirely), Chinese Christians are turning to civil disobedience.

Ever Wonder Why Jesus Spent so Much Time Making Tables?
Austin Burkhart, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Ever wonder why Jesus spent so much time making tables? Why did he spend the vast majority of his life on earth working with his hands in a carpentry shop?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
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Seattle CEO Praised for Raising Employees’ Salaries to $70K Now Says He’s Struggling to Stay Open
Ray Nothstine, Christian Post

The CEO of a Seattle-based credit card processing company who promised employees an automatic salary of $70,000 is now renting out his house to try and keep the company afloat.

Why The Little Sisters of The Poor Are Right to Be Concerned About Their Religious Freedom
Elizabeth Slattery, The Daily Signal

The Obama administration continues its persistent attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor following their challenge to the Obamacare abortion drug mandate.

Lawmakers to demand full accounting on human trafficking report
Alex Wilts and Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

Senior U.S. lawmakers expressed concern on Tuesday about whether the State Department’s annual global report on human trafficking may have been watered down due to political considerations and vowed to demand a full accounting at a Senate hearing this week.

Why Conservative Governors Are Embracing Criminal Justice Reform
John G. Malcolm, The Daily Signal

It used to be that, like entitlement spending, criminal justice reform was a third rail in politics—touch it, and you could be sure that your next opponent would run a commercial saying you were “soft on crime.” It was a one-way ticket to “Loserville.”

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
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Ex-Im and Planned Parenthood: Where are Our Priorities?
Casey Mattox, The Federalist

Boeing donates to Planned Parenthood, and is the primary beneficiary of Ex-Im. The Senate has voted to continue funding both.

Is the Government Playing Politics With Human Trafficking Rankings?
Jennifer Teng, The Weekly Standard

Cuba, Malaysia rewarded by the State Department.

Major U.S. metropolitan areas differ in their religious profiles
Michael Lipka, Pew Research

The religious face of America is largely a Christian one, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans belonging to that faith. But some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have a very different look.

A Libertarian View of Francis’ Laudato Si
Donald Devine, Library of Law and Liberty

A fragile planet with limited resources means a zero-sum situation in which the richer deprive the poor majority of necessities. Even where serious commitments have been made by the West to reduce carbon emissions, the richer nations are unwilling to confront the underlying problem of consumerism among their populations.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 3, 2015
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Major US foundations committing millions for campaign to eliminate religious exemptions
Catholic World News

Several major American grantmaking foundations have committed millions of dollars to a campaign to eliminate religious exemptions to gay-rights laws, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports.

Human Trafficking: A Crime Hard to Track Proves Harder to Fight
Caroline Reilly, Frontline

Oksana was promised a good job with good pay when she came to the United States from Ukraine. But when she arrived in Philadelphia to meet her new boss, things were not as she expected.

Can a Catholic be a Collectivist?
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

Should Catholics today work, as a matter of conscience, toward ever broader bureaucratic responsibility for human well-being in general?

State Supreme Court Ruling: ‘State Employees are Subject to Right-to-Work’
Jack Spencer, Michigan Capital Confidential

Court rules 4-3 that Civil Service Commission can’t require involuntary payments to union.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 31, 2015
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Pharmacy owners cannot cite religion to deny medicine -U.S. appeals court
Dan Levine, Reuters

Throughout human history, people of all cultures have sought freedom. Some have emphasized inner spiritual or emotional freedom, and others freedom from external restraints, such as slavery or political freedom.

Why Congress Won’t Defund Planned Parenthood
Dustin Siggins, The Federalist

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, takes money for baby body parts, but stopping this atrocity, let alone taxpayer funding for it, will take more than the proposals at hand.

Human trafficking: The lives bought and sold
BBC

Millions of men, women and children around the world are currently victims of human trafficking – bought and sold as commodities into prostitution and forced labour.

Chinese Communists Losing the War Against Christianity
The American Interest

Communists in China increasingly realize that the war against religion as such is a losing proposition, and are now looking to support “indigenous” Chinese religions and traditions—Confucianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religions—against both Christianity and Islam, seen as dangerous imports with potentially destabilizing effects, and “new religions” like the cult of Falun Gong.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 30, 2015
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Catholic Social Work And The Right To Religious Freedom
Frances Robinson, First Things

The social work field has become a battleground where strong convictions are unwelcome if they conflict with the profession’s ruling assumptions. In the past, opportunities to work in a faith-based agency gave religiously believing social workers a way to begin their career in a safe and professionally respected environment.

Skipping church? Facial recognition software could be tracking you
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post

Could Big Brother be coming to a church near you? One software company is now providing churches with facial recognition software to better track who shows up at their worship services.

The Equality Act: Bad Policy that Poses Great Harms
Andrew T. Walker, Public Discourse

If passed, the Equality Act would empower the government to discriminate against those who do not accept a sexually permissive understanding of human nature that denies sexual complementarity.

What are the Alternatives to the Biblical View of Freedom?
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Throughout human history, people of all cultures have sought freedom. Some have emphasized inner spiritual or emotional freedom, and others freedom from external restraints, such as slavery or political freedom.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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The Happy Meal Fallacy
Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution

If firms are required to provide benefits to contractors they will lower the contractor wage. But how do we know the extra benefits aren’t worth the reduction in wages?

Africa, Capitalism, and the “Elimination of Poverty”: Leon Louw on Africa’s Incredible Growth
Zach Weissmueller, Reason.com

“Thank goodness people are ‘exploiting’ Africa by buying things from it, by investing in it, by employing people in it,” says Leon Louw, author, policy analyst, and executive director the South Africa-based think tank The Free Market Foundation. “The worst thing that would happen is if people decide to stop exploiting Africa.”

Neither Falwell nor Benedict, But a New Creation
Greg Forster, Patheos

This is yet another article claiming that we stand at a unique crossroads, and now face choices unlike those in the recent past. Here are my six predictions for evangelicalism in America in the next five years.

​Why Is Religious Freedom At Risk?
Ryan T. Anderson, First Things

Three historical developments explain our current predicament: a change in the scope of our government, a change in our sexual values, and a change in our political leaders’ vision of religious liberty. An adequate response will need to address each of these changes.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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Rebuilding a Detroit neighborhood, with faith and vines
Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News

This priest is on a mission to beautify the neighborhood that surrounds his church on Detroit’s east side, where he has worked for 20 years.

Liberals abandon religious liberty
Ramesh Ponnuru, AEI Ideas

The American tradition of religious freedom has long included exemptions from laws that impose a burden on the exercise of faith. The Volstead Act implementing Prohibition, for example, made an exception for the sacramental use of alcohol. In recent years, though, liberals have started to turn away from that tradition — and come up with ever more inventive ways to justify doing so.

NC Supreme Court upholds school voucher program
Anne Blythe and T. Keung Hui, The News & Observer

The N.C. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that North Carolina can use public tax dollars to help children attend private and religious schools. The 4-3 decision reverses a ruling last summer by Judge Robert Hobgood in N.C. Superior Court.

How Christianity Redeems Consumer Entitlement
Daniel Davis, Values & Capitalism

Does capitalism encourage this mentality of consumer entitlement, and thereby discourage human virtue? And is capitalism fundamentally dependent upon this consumer-entitlement mentality?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 27, 2015
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The Minimum-Wage Muddle
David Brooks, New York Times

Once upon a time there was a near consensus among economists that raising the minimum wage was a bad idea. The market is really good at setting prices on things, whether it is apples or labor. If you raise the price on a worker, employers will hire fewer and you’ll end up hurting the people you meant to help.

How So-Called ‘Equality Act’ Threatens Religious Freedom
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Politico is reporting that the so-called “Equality Act” will be introduced today in Congress. The bill is the brainchild of the Human Rights Campaign—an influential, sophisticated and lavishly funded LGBT activist organization.

Pope Francis’ Favorable Rating Drops in U.S.
Art Swift, Gallup

Pope Francis’ favorability rating in the U.S. has returned to where it was when he was elected pope. It is now at 59%, down from 76% in early 2014. The pontiff’s rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope.

A Bangladeshi Town in Human Trafficking’s Grip
Ellen Barry, New York Times

Fishermen, shopkeepers and policemen were all drawn in, as participants or observers, to a multimillion-dollar people smuggling business.