Complexities of Government Funding

Thorny issues arise when non-profits take government funding, especially when said non-profits have an explicitly Christian (and evangelistic) purpose. Case in point: “The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit yesterday against the Department of Health and Human Services, accusing the Bush administration of spending federal tax dollars on an abstinence education program that promotes Christianity,” aka Silver Ring Thing. Continue Reading...

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Mayorial Mischief

In a row over the Freedom of Information Act, Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s administration has finally acknowledged expense information first requested by media outlets nearly two years ago. According to the Detroit Free Press, documents were turned over last month, “But in dozens of instances, pages were missing, or information on the city-supplied records was blacked out.” Now that the Free Press has obtained unedited and complete copies of the records, comparison of the two sets of papers shows, “The information blacked out on records the city provided frequently dealt with Kilpatrick’s spending while out of town,” and, “More than a dozen documents dealing with the Kilpatrick administration and his family’s spending at hotels were not included with what the city turned over to the newspaper. Continue Reading...

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...

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...