Japan’s Slow Disaster Relief and a New Plan for Renewal

As Japan basks in the success of its World Cup champion women’s soccer team, the impact of the recent tsunami on the country is still very real. Although it has been over four months since the tsunami struck Japan, and one may assume clean-up efforts are going smoothly, restoration progress has actually been greatly hindered. Continue Reading...

Achieving Real Budget Reform

John Boehner recently stated, in the debt-ceiling talks, that “We’re going to continue and renew our efforts for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government,” which most Americans agree with in principle.  Continue Reading...

More Comfy Lounges…

There were several comments and comments on comments following my recent “Comfy Faculty Lounges” contribution. In the Wall Street Journal, the author of the book I was reviewing makes her own case regarding tenure and teaching versus research. Continue Reading...

Class Warfare Not the American Solution to Budget Deficit

Two weeks ago, President Obama ventured courageously into the debt crisis debate with soak-the-rich proposals aimed at the usual suspects—“oil companies,” “hedge fund managers,” “millionaires and billionaires,”—and a new enemy, “corporate jet owners.” That phrase may have tested well with focus groups, but economists and pundits weren’t duped. Continue Reading...

Listening to Eastern Christianity through the ‘Melody of Faith’

Armenian Orthodox theologian Vigen Guroian’s The Melody of Faith (2010) seeks to provide an introduction to the basic dogmas of Eastern Christianity, harmonizing various Eastern Christian traditions (and making significant mention of a few Western ones) through continual reference to their writings, to their icons, and especially to their hymnody. Continue Reading...

Budget Hero

This is a fun, little online game from the American Public Media group called “Budget Hero.” It is described by the organization as follows: Budget Hero seeks to provide a values- and fiscal-based lens for citizens to examine policy debates during this election year.  Continue Reading...

Red-Winged Menace

Grand Rapids has been the focus of national attention over the last week or so, most recently for the services surrounding the passing of former First Lady Betty Ford. In the midst of loss and mourning, there’s some cause for levity. Continue Reading...
Angry Bird!

Who is My Brother’s Keeper?

Back in February 2008, then candidate for president Barack Obama addressed a crowd at a General Motors Assembly Plant in Janesville, Wis. He said, …I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper– that makes this country work. Continue Reading...

How Comfy Are Faculty Lounges

In the opening scenes of the classic movie version of Thorton Wilder’s play “Our Town” the narrator tells us that the newspaper boy we are watching toss papers onto the porches nearby will go on to college — an ivy league college I recall — but is sent to Europe during WWI and dies. Continue Reading...

Jayabalan on Austerity and the Italian Budget

Kishore Jayabalan, Director of Istituto Acton in Rome, was interviewed by Vatican Radio to discuss the Italian budget. Italy has a large budget crisis, and if it isn’t resolved, it may face serious financial problems similar to those experienced by Greece. Continue Reading...