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CATEGORIES:     BOOKSBUSINESSCULTUREFAITHISSUESLIFEMOVIESPOLITICSSCIENCE/TECHSPIRITUALITYTVWORLD
Opinion

Issues

After the Disaster: Back to the Family and Localism

The rules of capitalism are being re-written. Banks are being nationalized. Governments are pouring money and incentives into the economic system. Interest rates are being lowered towards zero. Consumers are being asked to buy more in order to re-start the cycle of consumption-driven production, while Barak Obama gets on with saving the planet. Writing in the Guardian in August, Tory adviser Philip Blond explained succinctly that “the crisis of contemporary capitalism results... READ MORE >



Issues

Why Prop 8 Won: TV Commercials Based on Reason, not Fear

To understand why Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned gay marriage, won in California, watch the campaign’s TV commercials at the What Is Prop 8? website. Not only were they well-made, featuring a multi-ethnic cross-section of very normal, quasi-hip, young to middle-age Californians, the commercials were models of serious, rational political argument. While anti-Prop 8 commercials resorted to showing Mormon missionaries conducting Gestapo-like home invasions of... READ MORE >



Politics

After Obama: Why Catholics should open a ‘second front’ in the Democratic Party

I have a commentary in this week’s National Catholic Register entitled “What Now? Will New Voters Refashion the Democratic Party?” I argue that the election had a silver lining for Catholics: the same voters who turned out in large numbers for Obama—blacks and other minorities—voted strongly for California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative which amended the state constitution to ban gay marriage. (Gay marriage bans also passed in Arizona and Florida). I cite that... READ MORE >



Politics

Sarah Palin Meets Woody Allen, Across the Great Divide

If you’re feeling down about the ever-widening gap between blue-state and red-state America (and the even wider gap between blue and red Catholics), you can find hope in Sarah Palin. Ironically, the woman who’s been blamed for single-handedly re-igniting the culture wars is showing signs that she can appeal across the cultural divide. This past weekend she pulled off a smooth performance on Saturday Night Live, and now she’s inspired Radar Magazine to put together a video mash-up... READ MORE >



Issues

Sarah Palin blasts Obama’s radical abortion policies

If you want to extract information from suspected terrorists, force them to listen to an endless loop of Sarah Palin speeches. I guarantee it would work. (Fortunately, John McCain is against torture.) Yet despite her grating voice and her muddled syntax, Palin managed on Saturday to pull off an effective pro-life speech that artfully strung together every substantial talking point available against Obama’s “unconditional support for unlimited abortions.” If only it weren’t... READ MORE >



Business

Alan Greenspan, Ayn Rand and the Libertarian God that Failed

In today’s NY Times, Peter Goodman’s excellent profile of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan confirms what I’ve been writing, that it was a specific “structure of sin”—financial speculation—rather than mere human greed (or bad home loans) that created the credit crisis. I’d always wondered how a rigid anti-government libertarian ideologue like Greenspan—an Ayn Rand disciple, no less—managed to get appointed to the most powerful economic post in the... READ MORE >



Business

Thinking Catholic: European leaders blame crisis on “speculative capitalism”

Europe’s financiers were seduced by the lure of easy subprime mortgage profits, just like everyone else, and they’re suffering now, just like everyone else. But give Europe credit for one thing: Thanks to its Catholic roots, Europe’s leaders understand that the financial crisis wasn’t caused by some vague form of “greed”; it was caused by greed purposely channeled into useless financial speculation, rather than into productive investment.

This difference was clearly recognized... READ MORE >



Magazine

Reviews | RECENT | POPULAR |

Books

A mad, wonderful adventure

A mad, wonderful adventure

In her first book, Parched, Heather King documents twenty years of worshipping alcohol to the point, as she says, she was “willing to sacrifice everything: career, family, money, health, reputation, my life, and what is far worse than any of those, my soul, for alcohol.”

Her second book Redeemed – A Spiritual Misfit Stumbles toward God, Marginal Sanity and the Peace that Passes All Understanding... READ MORE >



Movies

Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible

Norman Mailer’s The Castle in the Forest was a novel about Hitler narrated by a demon, who writes: “Most well-educated people are ready to bridle at the notion of such an entity as the Devil…There need be no surprise, then, that the world has an impoverished understanding of Adolf Hitler’s personality.” I was reminded of that quote during Valkyrie, a true-story account of the most organized, wide-reaching... READ MORE >



Movies

The Ugly Truth

The Ugly Truth

When Caden Cotard wakes up, the first thing he does is look in a mirror. He sees a pudgy, middle-aged, balding, sad-sack of a human being. The rest of the movie will be like that: a merciless self-examination. Neil Gaiman, sci-fi and fantasy author, described most current literary fiction as “miserable people having small epiphanies of misery.” Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich and... READ MORE >


(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:  art | death | theater | truth


MEDITATION


SAINT OF THE DAYSt. Peter of Alcantara

TODAY'S MASS READINGS

GOSPEL MEDITATION
The Gospel for Sunday, October 19, 2008
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew: 22:15-21

This is the heart of the mystery of Christ's birth: to save humanity from the selfishness of sin and its corollary of death, God himself lovingly enters, in Christ, into the fullness of life, into human history, thus raising humanity to the horizon of an even greater life.

— Pope John Paul II | READ MORE >

Latest Comments

News|

Faith

On The Road Through Nothingness
Harold Fickett, Slate

It’s rare to see a positive story about the Catholic Church in the mainstream media, especially in newer online-only publications like Slate, but Harold Fickett, a Godspy contributing editor, managed to publish an essay there recently about the Clear Creek Monastery, a new and growing contemplative Benedictine monastery in Kansas, and the wider story of how Catholic religious communities are attracting young people. It could be that the critical... READ MORE >


(3) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:  clear creek | monasteries | monks 

Issues

Anglican bishops decry the ‘new creed’ of extreme capitalism
Ekklesia

A trillion for the Iraq War, almost as much to rescue Wall Street, but basic health care for all is too expensive? Why aren't Christian leaders in the U.S. saying as much? In England it's a different story: "[T]he Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, warned in a magazine article that modern devotion to the free market is a form of idolatry and that Karl Marx was morally right in his analysis of the power of 'unbridled capitalism.' He believes... READ MORE >



World

Holy See Denounces Misuse of Protection Principle
ZENIT

The Vatican continues to take every opportunity to discourage preemptive war: "The use of violence to resolve disagreements is always a failure of vision and a failure of humanity. The responsibility to protect should not be viewed merely in terms of military intervention but primarily as the need for the international community to come together in the face of crises to find means for fair and open negotiations, support the moral force of law and... READ MORE >


(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:  military | peace | protection | united nations 

Business

Behind AIG’s Fall, Blind Eye to a Web of Risk
Gretchen Morgenson

A fascinating peek at how a small unit that "flourished in a climate of opulent pay, lax oversight and blind faith in financial risk models" brought down AIG, the world's largest insurance company. "Although America’s housing collapse is often cited as having caused the crisis, the system was vulnerable because of intricate financial contracts known as credit derivatives, which insure debt holders against default. They are fashioned privately and... READ MORE >


(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:  aig | derivatives | greed | speculation 


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