Archived Posts 2005 - Page 3 of 88 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: jballor
Thursday, December 22, 2005
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First Things has a new blog feature, On the Square: Observations & Contentions. The posts appear on the front page of the website, but there is an archive here and an RSS feed here.

HT: The Remedy

Blog author: jspalink
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
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“Christians obtain grace from reflecting on the miracle of the Incarnation but they have given the event called Christmas as a glorious gift to the world,” Rev. Sirico writes. “This is why this holiday can be so secular and yet remain so sacred. There is a distinction between the two but not always a battle between the two.”

Read the full commentary here.

Blog author: kschmiesing
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
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A while back I mentioned a new book coming out questioning conventional wisdom on the “brain drain” problem caused by emigration from developing nations. The book will not be out for a while yet, but the author, Michele Pistone, has a long post on Mirror of Justice describing her findings and how they relate to traditional moral concerns raised by Catholic social teaching.

Blog author: jballor
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
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The Acton Institute has placed three titles from the Lexington Books Studies in Ethics & Economics series, edited by Acton director of research Samuel Gregg.

The first is Within the Market Strife: American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II, by Acton research fellow Kevin Schmiesing. The reviews are here. Daddypundit says, “Schmiesing has made his book accessible to persons of all faiths regardless of their own background. He has meticulously researched his book and it shows in the quality of his writing.”

The second book is The Boundaries of Technique: Ordering Positive and Normative Concerns in Economic Research by Pepperdine professor Andrew Yuengert. The reviews are linked here. Wallo World “found it an intriguing book in many respects, and one which offered me yet another way of characterizing my personal perspectives on both how economics works (and “ought” to work) as well as the role of human society itself.”

The final book is Natural Law: The Foundation of an Orderly Economic System by Institute of World Politics professor Alberto M. Piedra. The reviews are accessible here. Sue Bob’s Diary says that the book “is one of the most educational and valuable books I have read.”

Remember: when you recieve a “free” service from the government, it’s not actually free. You’re paying for that service through your taxes. And when the government sets up a monopoly in an area like health care, it’s probably going to end up being more expensive and cheaper at the same time – more expensive because people are less likely to use a “free” service prudently, and cheaper because the overuse of the service will force officials to impose major restraints on the program in order to aviod complete financial disaster, thereby reducing the amount and quality of services available to consumers. Anthony Dick provides an overview of Canada’s situation today on National Review Online:

Canada’s universal-health-care system has long been a darling of the nanny-state Left. Its stated purpose, jealously touted by swooning cohorts of compassion from coast to coast, is to provide free and equal health care for all, regardless of ability to pay.

In practice, sadly, this high-minded endeavor has hit a few snags. The pesky fetters of reality have imposed stingy budget constraints on the enterprise, while the promise of free service for all has increased the demand for treatment. The Canadian government has thus struggled to treat more patients while spending as sparingly as possible on each of them, causing waiting lists to swell and the quality of care to sag. Not helping matters have been some medical professionals, who have fled the public system in search of better compensation. With shaking heads and sullen spirits, everyone involved agrees: It’s just not fair.

There is hope, however, thanks to the legal efforts of Jacques Chaoulli, a 53-year-old French Canadian physician. As they say, read the whole thing.

Blog author: jballor
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
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Fr. Philip De Vous, chaplain of Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, KY and an adjunct scholar of public policy at the Acton Institute, writes of a recent trip to see operations of the Doe Run Company in Lima, Peru.

It seems that the Doe Run Company has been accosted by “criticism from certain journalists and certain sectors of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations” regarding its practice of business ethics.

What Fr. De Vous experienced in Peru, however, caused him to question the complaints against the company. “What I heard and saw was completely different from what I had read in various news stories or was told during two meetings with some of those critics,” he writes.

Blog author: jballor
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
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Here’s the best ad hominem (no pun intended) reason to deplore the creation of chimeras: Stalin, the self-proclaimed “Brilliant Genuis of Humanity,” wanted them.

The Scotsman reports that “Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents.”

According to the documents, the order came from Stalin’s wish to create a race of super-soldiers: “I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat.”