Acton Institute Powerblog

Promoting free societies characterized by liberty & religious principles

Toward “Peaceful Coexistence” in India

I blogged last week on the ongoing dispute between China and the Vatican. Another demographic giant with tremendous economic potential—and some religious freedom issues—is India. ZENIT reports on Pope Benedict’s address to the new Indian ambassador to the Holy See (May 18 daily dispatch). Continue Reading...

Bono: Give Us a Call

The Rock Star, sounding kind of Acton-ish: Bono acknowledges that four years ago when he toured Africa with then U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, bringing private sector with him would never have crossed his mind. Continue Reading...

Scan this Book! Break the Law!

As a brief follow-up to my post last week about the state of scholarly publishing, I want to highlight this recent article in The New York Times, “Scan This Book!” by Kevin Kelly, who is on the staff at Wired magazine. Continue Reading...

Tax Those Greedy Christians

Over at the Alabama Policy Institute, Gary Palmer takes on University of Alabama law professor Susan Pace Hamill and her assertion that Christians have an obligation to pay higher taxes. In “No Biblical Mandate for Higher Taxes,” Palmer examines her “theocratic tax inquisition.” In one article directed at Christians in Alabama, Professor Hamill contends that to be truly pro-life you must also support paying higher taxes to give the government more money to provide more government programs for the poor. Continue Reading...

High Gas Prices are Good

You may have seen an op-ed in the NYT last week by Tom Friedman, who noted that when oil and gas prices go up, bad things happen in oil producing nations abroad. Continue Reading...

If You Believe They Put a Man on the Moon…

Next stop… Last week, it was reported that NASA’s budget is so thin that it puts “America’s leadership in scientific research is at risk.” (Last year’s NASA budget was around $16 billion, give or take a few hundred million.) The National Research Council says the space agency is “being asked to accomplish too much with too little.” The group points to the competing demands of building the international space station and returning astronauts to the moon. Continue Reading...

Global Warming on Jupiter?

It appears so: Close inspections of Red Spot Jr., in Hubble images released today, reveal that similar to the Great Red Spot, the more recently developed storm rises above the top of the main cloud deck on Jupiter. Continue Reading...

Subsidiarity in Action

In January, I wrote about the Central Plains wildfires as a very personal crisis in my Oklahoma hometown. I underscored the importance of subsidiarity, which is the idea that a central authority should perform only those tasks which cannot be handled effectively at a more immediate or local level. Continue Reading...

Spelling Relief II

Jordan pretty well covered the territory in his earlier post on gas prices. But with the silliness from both Republicans and Democrats ongoing, it can’t hurt to suggest two additional sensible treatments of the subject: Thomas Nugent on National Review Online, and Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute on FoxNews. Continue Reading...

Alarmist Profiteering

Remember when I said that I thought there is a dangerous incentive in climate change research to make things seem worse than they are? (If not, that’s OK. I actually called it an “analogous phenomenon” to the possibility that AIDS statistics are exaggerated.) Well, TCS Daily reports that a letter to Canadian PM Stephen Harper signed by over 60 scientists asks a similar question. Continue Reading...