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Category: The Crisis of Legitimacy

Recovering the ‘Duty of Care’

This piece first appeared at Aleteia My 27 year-old son Andrew recently alerted me to a “TED Talk” given last June by Lord David Puttnam, the British film producer (10 Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme d’Or) who retired in 1998 to work on public policy as it relates to education and media. The title [...]

Fed Up: How the Federal Reserve is Easing Out the Middle Class

This piece appeared first at Aleteia I know what you’re thinking: with far more interesting topics like crime, immigration, Obamacare, and NSA spying, why bring up such boring, eye-glazing stuff as the Federal Reserve? Why not discuss those delicious partisan questions bandied about on what passes for television “news” – questions such as “Is Barack [...]

Comfortably Numb

Read this piece at Aleteia Of all the deformations of character wrought by consumer society, perhaps none touches as many lives as addiction. New and recently updated studies show that Americans are self-medicating themselves in growing and alarming numbers.  In addition to the cumulative wreckage addiction wreaks on individuals and their families, there are huge [...]

Breaking Open the Liberal Echo Chamber

This piece appeared at Aleteia About a dozen years ago, in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal that descended on the Archdiocese of Boston, a group known as Voice of the Faithful (VOF) was formed. Ostensibly, its purpose was to work for greater accountability and justice for victims – all worthy goals. But VOF was [...]

Liberalisms, Left and Right

This piece was published at Aleteia In recent decades, the supposed divide in American politics has been between two irreconcilably opposed camps: “liberals” and “conservatives.” In the wake of Richard Nixon’s successful “southern strategy,” this imagined division has also been embedded in the identities and self-understanding of the two major political parties, with the Democrats [...]

The Militarization of American Policing

This article appeared at Aleteia Last April, during the manhunt for alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnayev, television viewers were able to witness first-hand the militarization of a municipal police force. Officers in full battle gear rumbled through the streets of a Boston suburb in a variety of armored military vehicles, including up-armored [...]

Is An Old Spectre Haunting Europe?

This piece appeared at Aleteia Last month, during a vacation that took us to Rome and the Amalfi Coast, an affable 27-year-old named Vincenzo chauffeured my wife and me to a private tour of Pompeii. “Vinnie,” as he preferred to be called, picked us up at our hotel on the coast and drove us over [...]

NSA Spying and the Tyranny of Good Intentions

This piece appeared at Aleteia Questions about American intelligence agencies violating the privacy rights of citizens have been front-page news ever since the so-called “War on Terror” began in earnest following the September 11, 2001, attacks. During the early years of the Bush Administration, the controversy focused on warrantless wiretapping, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) [...]

A Syllabus of System Failures

This article appeared at Aleteia Several years ago, I stood in line at a Hertz rental counter and pondered the breakdown of complex systems. I had just flown into an airport that serves a large, southeastern American city. It was midday, and the line at Hertz wasn’t particularly long; when I got there I was [...]

Defend Us and Our Liberties

This was originally published at Aleteia The Obama Administration is doing its best to prove the old adage that bad news comes in threes. Last week, the so-called “Benghazi Whistleblowers” testified before Congress, raising real questions about whether the Administration misrepresented the origin and nature of the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya [...]