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.
A Home Depot in Okeechobee, Florida, exhibited clear bias against a Christian worker who refused to remove his button that read “One Nation under God, indivisible” from his apron. Trevor Keezor, who was working at Home Depot to earn money for college, states that he wore the button for over a year to show his support for his country, his brother who currently serves in the military, and for God.
The Telegraph’s Nile Gardner, a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst for the British newspaper, has compared the Obama Administration to the ancien régime of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. French savant Alexis de Tocqueville, famous for his penetrating studies of both the French monarchy and early American society, would likely be “less than impressed with the extravagance and arrogance … among the White House elites that rule America as though they had been handed some divine right to govern with impunity,” writes Gardner. Michelle Obama’s recent sumptuous trip to Spain is an act of indifferent profligacy worthy of Marie Antoinette — she who is alleged to have said, when informed that the poor of France had no bread, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!” (“Let them eat cake!”).
Multnomah County, Oregon, takes food safety seriously. When seven-year-old Julie Murphy opened a lemonade stand at a local fair, the county's inspectors asked if she had a license. Julie did not, and she was threatened with a $500 fine if she continued to sell lemonade without a license. Julie continued to sell lemonade until another county inspector approached her lemonade stand. Jeff Cogen, Multnomah County Chairman, later advised that this was not the best use of county resources and so allowed little Julie to continue to operate her lemonade stand.
There is, if you will, an arresting scene in A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolt’s magnificent play about Sir Thomas More. The scene concerns an arrest that does not take place at the home of More, the Lord Chancellor of England. An acquaintance named Richard Rich is acting suspiciously and members of the More household, and no doubt More himself, suspect he is spying on the Lord Chancellor and is prepared to betray him to his enemies — a suspicion borne out all too well by later events. Rich has no sooner left than More’s wife, daughter, and son-in-law all clamor for his arrest, a request More might grant but for the inconvenient fact that the man had broken no law.
U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker on August 4 ruled against Proposition 8, a referendum passed by California voters in November 2008 that banned same-sex marriages in the state of California. According to the Judge, the ban violated the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.
Though there is a slight dispute about the “oldest” family farm title going to the Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia (founded in 1613 — up and running by 1638) or the Tuttle Farm in Dover, New Hampshire (begun in 1632, with Tuttle members running it ever since) – thanks to a recent Associated Press story there is no question that the Tuttle’s have now had enough.
The Rotunda at the University of Virginia announced last week that the university’s collection of the papers of James Madison are being digitized and added to the larger online library of the documents of our Founding Fathers. According to a press release posted on the Rotunda’s website: