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The Libertarian and Catholic Social Teachings PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by David S. D’Amato   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:13

Roman Catholic leaders from Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga to Pope Francis himself have made news this year in their criticisms of supposed free-market economies, likening them to a form of idolatry that exploits and denies access to the poor. Because Catholic social teachings emphasize stewardship and aid to the less fortunate, clergymen such as Maradiaga have taken aim at perceived “structural causes for poverty.”

It is in identifying these causes that the cardinal’s fulminations against free markets become problematic. While he can hardly be blamed for supposing that something in relations between rich and poor is amiss, it is his faith in the positive interventions of the state that is the “deception.” Ironically, the “free market” that Maradiaga so sincerely denounces is itself a product of deep and sustained state coercion on a scale not often recognized for what it is. We must therefore distinguish between two ways of employing the phrase “free market,” lest we fall into the trap that caught Maradiaga – the trap of opposing libertarianism in principle without actually understanding the economic system it prescribes.

 
Media Ignore Real Problems with Remap-Reform Petition PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 June 2014 05:59

Almost 90 percent of the Yes for Independent Maps petition entries tossed as invalid by the Illinois State Board of Elections this month were for people who were either not registered to vote or weren’t registered to vote at the address shown on the petitions, official documents show. The group is attempting to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to reform the state’s indisputably hyper-partisan legislative-redistricting process.

Yet the state’s media, led by the Chicago Tribune editorial page, have focused on problems with signatures that don’t match up to voter-registration cards. It’s either a gross misunderstanding of the situation or a deliberate deception.

 
Has the Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army? PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:32

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive, will not long be safe companions to liberty.” – James Madison

Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.” – Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude, and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’s governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most – a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, the DHS – with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61-billion budget, and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs & Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Federal Emergency Management Agency – has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

 
Rauner Offers Magic Money Instead of Promised Savings PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 June 2014 15:14

“Today, I laid our more than $1 billion in structural reforms,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner boasted to his supporters via a blast e-mail last week.

Baloney.

Rauner’s press conference to announce a billion dollars in alleged budget savings was an almost total farce.

 
Charles “Big C” Edward High Remembered and Celebrated (1950-2014) PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 08:28

Chuck After nearly six decades on the planet, I find that the friendships of our youth are the most enduring. The timeless quality that defines so many friendships that found their genesis in Bettendorf includes not just the persons, but often the whole family. This truth is best personified in Chuck High – “Big C” – who passed on April 6 at the age of 63, leaving the world a whole lot duller.

So let the memories flow, and make room because there a ton of them, all mostly wonderful and full of love, laughter, fierce loyalty, and that forever-ness that will keep Chuck alive and vibrant in our hearts and minds going forward.

 
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