The Smoking Culture

This story from The Boston Globe (via Arts & Letters Daily) relects on the changing place of tobacco in contemporary American society. The efforts of various municipalities and anti-smoking activists have largely managed to turn the cigarette into a symbol of knavery rather than gentry. Continue Reading...

Latest Posts

Who Wants the EU?

Political leaders in Europe who have tied their fortunes to the creation of the new EU superstate are now dismissing the growing sentiment against the metastasizing, power-hungry bureaucracy in Brussels as “whims of changing opinion polls or referendums.” That’s from German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who finds it increasingly difficult to bully his countrymen into the deal. Continue Reading...

Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Rev. Robert Sirico spoke with Frank Beckmann today on Detroit-based WJR about faith and politics, emphasizing the proper role of religion in society as providing a solid moral foundation with which to approach political, social, economic decisions. Continue Reading...

E-Libraries

A story in the Sunday New York Times highlighted the move of the undergraduate library at the University of Texas at Austin to a predominantly electronic collection. While common reference materials like dictionaries will remain in hard copy, all other stacks of books “will be dispersed to other university collections to clear space for a 24-hour electronic information commons, a fast-spreading phenomenon that is transforming research and study on campuses around the country.” This move should not be taken as indicative of a larger trend within all libraries, but is something rather unique to undergraduate facilities. Continue Reading...

It’s that Time of Year

Time for the annual spate of “gap between rich and poor increases” stories in the MSM. There are a number of problems with the judgmental assumptions implicit in these kinds of stories. Continue Reading...

The Best Kind of Charity

A post by Leslie Sillars over at Signs of the Times takes ABC’s show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” to task. His difficulty, essentially, is this: is this charity in any reasonable sense of the word? Continue Reading...

Academic Editorializing

The Telegraph reports that there is growing dissent among the ranks of some scientists, whose dissenting viewpoint is unable to find a place in many major academic journals. According to the story, Two of the world’s leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming. Continue Reading...

‘Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons’

This quote comes from Han Solo, which pretty well sums up his critique of Jedi knights in the Star Wars saga, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.” I also wonder whether it might be apt in describing the sometimes contemptuous relationship between scientific progress and religion (Christianity in particular), as the guiding pragamtic ethos of naturalism wars against orthodox Christian belief. Continue Reading...