Thursday, August 16, 1787. The State House in Philadelphia was hot, hot, hot. The delegates gathered to “form a more perfect union” were sweltering. Despite the oppressive heat, the windows remained closed and the heavy drapes remained drawn so as to maintain the seal of security under which these critical (and somewhat rebellious) deliberations were taking place.
Today is an important day for New Hampshire Catholics. It is the 75th birthday of Bishop of Manchester John B. McCormack, the former assistant to Bernard Cardinal "I fought the" Law in Boston. Bishop McCormack must, therefore, submit his notice of retirement to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, and for many in the church, that is added reason to sing: "This is the day the Lord has made/ Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
The indefatigable Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), whose professed aim is "fighting hate and bigotry," and "tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups," has released another study of conspiracy theories and the people who believe in them. "'Patriot' Paranoia: A Look at the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories," by Alexander Zaitchik, is an artful blend of legitimate debunking and smear by association. Since periodic charges of conspiracy-mongering are a time-honored way of lumping real patriots with bona fide extremists of all stripes, we offer a point-by-point commentary on Zaitchik's carelessly-concocted catalogue of conspiracies.
President Obama has signed into law an emergency appropriations measure intended to provide funds to stop teacher layoffs and to provide aid to financial strapped states. Critics charge, however, that the measure will harm economic recovery, stifle job creation, and harm low income families.