Acton Institute Powerblog

Promoting free societies characterized by liberty & religious principles

Budziszewski on Subsidiarity

Following up on yesterday’s entry about Ronald Aronson’s call for a renewed socialism in American politics, I offer this paragraph from J. Budziszewski’s book, What We Can’t Not Know. Discussing the principle of subsidiarity as first explicitly articulated by Pius XI in the encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, Budziszewski writes, As Pius explained, what pushed the principle of subsidiarity to the forefront was the crisis in civil society brought about by the industrial revolution. Continue Reading...

Mulling over Malaria

Kofi Akosah in Accra, Ghana, writes in the latest Campaign for Fighting Diseases newsletter about the prospects for the use of DDT in fighting malaria in his home country. He first describes the devastation that the disease wreaks: “More than 17 million of Ghana’s 20 million people are infected by malaria every year, costing the nation a colossal 850 million cedis (US$94 million) for treatment alone.” He continues, “Those infected by malaria are in and out of hospital and unable to work. Continue Reading...

Faith in the Faith-Based Initiative

Joe Knippenberg raises three issues with respect to my critique of the faith-based initiative (here and here). He writes first, “any activity that depends upon money is potentially corrupting, whether the source is governmental or private…. Continue Reading...

Lent: Freedom and Responsibility

I would like to highlight another passage from Pope Benedict’s homily (mentioned below by Kishore) from last Sunday’s homily that has particular relevance to our work at Acton: We have listened together to a famous and beautiful passage from the Book of Exodus, in which the sacred author tells of God’s presentation of the Decalogue to Israel. Continue Reading...

Roots of Compassion

As mentioned in an earlier post, Acton was in Washington D.C. last week to honor the 2005 Samaritan Award-winning programs. But we managed to do a lot more than hold a reception for our honorees – almost all of them also met with members of Congress to impress upon them the value and importance of private charities in their communities. Continue Reading...

Among the Little Giants of Effective Compassion

Last Wednesday, I was privileged to attend the Samaritan Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. I have to say up front that Acton’s Effective Compassion events are probably the most enjoyable for me to attend because invariably one comes into contact with a group of very special, very dedicated people who are completely devoted to what our society would term “lost causes,” and having great success. Continue Reading...

The Crunchiness of Factory Farming

The CrunchyCon blog at NRO is currently discussing the issue of factory farming, which is apparently covered and described in some detail in Dreher’s book (my copy currently is on order, having not been privy to the “crunchy con”versation previously). Continue Reading...

God and GM Foods

In the latest issue of Science & Spirit magazine, Acton director of research Samuel Gregg is interviewed about the ethical aspects of the genetic engineering of food. In “God and the New Foodstuffs,” author Trey Popp writes about the opposition to such endeavors: Some scientists and environmentalists fear GM crops may have unforeseen consequences. Continue Reading...

Economic Advice Pro Bono

An interesting piece in Tuesday’s Financial Times (registration req.) by Jagdish Bhagwati, economist at Columbia University. In the form of a letter to U2 front man Bono, Dr. Bhagwati offers a (I think) stinging criticism of attempts to save Africa through appeals for more governmental spending. Continue Reading...