Special Report

Special Report

Doing His Duty

By 3.25.15

At one time, Catholic archbishops made news by defying Church teaching. Now they generate headlines by simply following it. Nowhere is this more true than in San Francisco, where the Left feels entitled to impose its liberalism on Church officials.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been subject to regular hazing from the Left for merely upholding Church teaching. His latest high offense is that he expects teachers at San Francisco’s Catholic schools to refrain from anti-Catholic activism and anti-Catholic teaching.

“As effective professionals in a Catholic School setting, we all — administrators, faculty and staff — are required and expected to avoid fostering confusion among the faithful and any dilution of the schools’ primary Catholic mission,” he said in February. “Therefore, administrators, faculty and staff of any faith or of no faith, are expected to arrange and conduct their lives so as not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny these truths. To that end, further, we all must refrain from public support of any cause or issue that is explicitly or implicitly contrary to that which the Catholic Church holds to be true.”

Special Report

Starbucks and USA Today Can #RaceTogether By Themselves

By 3.23.15

Rarely has there been such condemnation of a still-gestating corporate policy as the past week’s kerfuffle over Starbucks’ “Race Together” initiative. Rather than instigate a “national conversation about race” — as if race-weary Americans need more of that right now — news of the plan united critics and comics on the right and the left in going after Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz’s plan to have baristas write “#RaceTogether” on patron’s cups of hot liquid in order to goad us into talking about an important issue.

Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg and liberal PBS television anchor Gwen Ifill don’t agree on much, but they agreed on this.

Goldberg: “If I don’t have my coffee in the morning, I get a headache that feels like a Hell’s Angel is trying to press his meaty thumb through my forehead. This is not the most propitious moment to engage me in a conversation about my ‘race journey.’”

Special Report

36 Years of ‘Death to America’ Lost in Translation

By 3.20.15

Abraham Lincoln asked listeners how many legs a calf would have if you called his tail a leg. The sixteenth president responded to the inevitable answer “five” with a quick rebuttal: calling a calf’s tail a leg doesn’t make it so. “Four.”

The lesson has yet to sink in for another Illinois politician. President Obama removed both Iran and Hezbollah from the terror threat list presented to the U.S. Senate this week by the National Intelligence director.

The epiphany on terrorism, by Washington and not Tehran, comes as the administration seeks to craft an agreement with Iran that would lift sanctions against the pariah state in exchange for promises to abandon their quest to build a nuclear weapon. Excluded by the president from a process in which the Constitution includes them, nearly four dozen senators hoped to instill in the Iranians a thumbnail constitutional law lesson, via missive, evidently missed by the constitutional lawyer residing a few blocks from the Capitol.

Special Report

Christianity and Nukes

By 3.19.15

Do Christian teaching and humanity demand the abolition of nuclear weapons?

Yes, according to a Religion News Service column by Jacob Lupfer (a thoughtful writer and personal friend). He echoes what some church bodies have long or at least more recently urged.

Virtually pacifist agencies of declining Mainline Protestantism have demanded full nuclear disarmament for decades, especially by the United States. During the Cold War’s decisive final years, they ardently aligned with the nuclear freeze movement, whose chief purpose was to intimidate Western Europe and the United States from responding to the growing Soviet nuclear arsenal.

Fortunately, neither the Reagan Administration nor its chief allies, such as Britain’s Thatcher and West Germany’s Kohl, lost their nerve. The placement of U.S. intermediate range missiles in Europe were central to defeating the Soviet Union and facilitating unprecedented nuclear arms reductions by the U.S. and Russians.

Special Report

Will Warmists Please Stop Whining

By 3.17.15

Climate alarmists are so frustrated by their losing the debate — both in public opinion of the importance of “climate change” as an issue and in climate data itself — that their response to even the most docile of questioning is to belittle the questioner and, after saying “Trust me, I’m a scientist,” bombard readers with misuse of statistics and misleading implications.

Special Report

Israel Must Choose Between Bibi and Barack

By 3.15.15

When Israelis go the polls on March 17 President Obama won’t be on the ballot, but his policies towards Israel will be.

In other words, Israelis are choosing not so much between Benjamin Netanyahu and Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog as they are between Bibi and Barack Obama.

Special Report

Bertha Is Too Big to Fail

By 3.10.15

A mound of loose dirt is illuminated with the golden evening sun. A shovel stabs into it, lifting its burden and tossing it away from the pit as the camera pans back. We see a helpless victim digging her own grave. It is the stuff of terror and repulsion in fiction and yet, this really happened.

Seattle is digging its own grave, not with a mere shovel but with a 326-foot long, 7,000-ton tunneling machine known as “Bertha.” Instead of being greeted with fear and aversion, the arrival of Bertha was greeted by a water display from the Seattle Fire Department, banners from the Washington State Ferries and a welcome sign on the outdoor Seattle Aquarium marquee.

The celebration came because many saw the tunneling machine not as a transportation-dollar gravedigger, but as a savior for Seattle’s future. Bertha represented a second chance at creating a waterfront without towering concrete, a waterfront worthy of the Emerald City.

Special Report

Forgiving a Killer?

By 3.9.15

Kelly Gissendaner is on death row in Georgia, her execution having been postponed twice recently. Her religious faith and theological studies while in prison have gained her many admirers who are campaigning for commutation of her sentence amid much favorable media attention.

One teacher from a Lutheran college, writing for CNN, first met Gissendaner in prison, where the inmate “arrived for class beaming with excitement about the journey she was about to begin — participation in a yearlong academic theology program sponsored jointly by four Atlanta seminaries.” The convicted murderer was “full of contagious joy and gratitude, open to others and to new experiences for growth and ministry.”

Visits by a pastor to her prison over the years helped launch Gissendaner towards “courageous self-reflection,” finding “her own voice and [coming] to see that her reflections on Christian faith could be a gift to the wider church ‘on the outside,’ as well as in prison,” as the professor recounted.

Special Report

Some Conservatives Playing Too Close to the Sun?

By 3.6.15

P.T. Barnum said there was a sucker born every minute. There would have to be to satisfy all the hustlers out there. And this was before the alternative fuels dodge. As the late Mr. Rogers might have put it. Can you spell S-O-L-Y-N-D-R-A?

A gaudy amount of money, most in the form of government subsidies, has been shoveled into solar power research since the first Arab oil embargo of the 1970s. The subsidies have enriched various folks nimble enough or connected enough to receive them. But they have produced very little in the way of power, and nothing that can compete with power generated by fossil fuels.

Solar power was way uneconomical when Nixon was president and the subsidies began. It remains so today. Because of physical limitations having to do with the huge area of solar panels required to produce any significant amount of power, and the fact that we insist on having things like night and clouds, solar is unlikely to ever be more than a niche energy source. And an unreliable one at that.

Special Report

Attacks on Scott Walker Remind of Reagan

By 3.5.15

As soon as a conservative Republican emerges as a serious presidential contender, liberals in the media suddenly yank out the microscopes they’ve been keeping away from Barack Obama since 2007. They could care less what Obama did in college, how he got into college, who paid for his college, who wrote his letters of recommendation, what his grades were, and on and on—but we already know everything about Scott Walker and college. Obama’s media protectors could give a rip that the current president once had a mentor who was a literal card-carrying member of the Communist Party under Stalin. But as soon as someone like Scott Walker starts gaining ground, wow, “journalists” lunge for the magnifying glass and become real reporters again, profusely digging and questioning, looking for mole-holes to make into vast mountains of scandal.