The Fever Chart

"Our only health is the disease / If we obey the dying nurse …"

Month: February, 2013

The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage: Republicans Being Republicans

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia The politics of “gay marriage” have always been rather complex, but they just got a little more fluid with the revelation that a large number of prominent Republicans are urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state in 2008. (It could [...]

Why Liberal Arts Education is Dying (or Already Dead)

This originally appeared at Aleteia Here’s something to ponder: If you put one hundred American high school seniors together in a room, how many do you suppose could tell you who Pericles was? How about Cicero? Which of those students could describe the Pythagorean theorem or even fix the branch of mathematics to which it [...]

‘Permaterns’ And the Waning of Civil Society

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia While the United States continues to struggle toward economic recovery, the impact of the sluggish job market on recent college graduates is especially troubling. Last year, the Associated Press estimated that more than half of college graduates aged 25 and under were either unemployed or underemployed, and that many [...]

Elections and Mammon: A Catholic View of Campaign Finance Reform

This artcile originally appeared at Aleteia In January 2010, the Supreme Court’s now-landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) did three important things: (1) it implicitly reaffirmed the old principle in American jurisprudence that corporations are legal persons, possessing most of the same natural rights as actual persons; (2) it declared that [...]

A Catholic Solution to Immigration Reform

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia The issue of immigration reform continues to vex American policymakers despite nearly unanimous agreement on the source and scale of the problem. Though the numbers oscillate, it is generally acknowledged that some 11 million persons are living in the United States illegally. The majority of those persons – 6.5 [...]

Christopher Dorner: When Pride Consumes the Soul

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia. Christopher Dorner’s reign of terror came to a fiery end last evening in Big Bear, Calif., east of Los Angeles. For two weeks, Dorner, a 33 year-old former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer, had conducted a private war against his erstwhile colleagues, killing four people and attracting national [...]

Drone Strikes: Equal Justice Under Law?

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia. On November 3, 2002, the American way of war entered a new era when the first-ever attack by armed drone aircraft was conducted in the Marib district of Yemen. The strike, which was directed from the Joint Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, an Al-Qaeda [...]

Boxed In

This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. A few years ago, my wife and I were assigned a case through our local conference of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. It involved a family – Dave, his girlfriend Ellen and their three small children* – who had fallen behind on their rent and electricity bill. [...]

Between State and Market: Robert Nisbet’s “Quest”

 This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Robert Nisbet’s landmark book, The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom. Over the years, Nisbet has sometimes been cited as a father of postwar American conservatism, and The Quest for Community hailed as [...]

Should Women Be In Combat

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia In January, outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that he intended to lift the longstanding ban on women serving in key combat positions in the US Armed Forces. Panetta’s plan includes opening virtually all Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to females across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air [...]