New Year

OECD Better LIfe Index

A “Better Life Index” that Ignores What Makes for a Better Life

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization made up mostly of industrialized countries “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” It emphasizes its commitment to a market economy, democratic rule, economic growth, and environmental well-being. In 2011, it launched its “Better [...]

Thirteen Bold Resolutions for 2013

We Americans love to upgrade ourselves—or at least give improvement a lick and a promise as we turn the page on a given milestone.  Jonathan Edwards famously wrote out 70 resolutions (yes, 70!); one assumes North America’s greatest thinker and theologian also sought to live each of them out.  Somewhat later, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography included [...]

The Annunciation

Human imagination cannot conceive the power and pressure that held all the essential elements of the universe together in a piece of matter about the size of a pinhead when the world began. Physicists tend now to date the explosion of that particle to about sixteen billion years ago. Their job is to consider how [...]

The government doesn’t know how to raise kids

"You're nuts." That's what a man with 11 children, 15 grandchildren, and a successful legal practice told me after the middle sister of my two foster children was welcomed into our home on Christmas Eve. Of course, he said it in jest (I think). His comment wasn't about accepting children that weren't mine into my [...]

Making lemonade out of…. carp?

A group of chefs, businessmen, and civil servants in Louisiana have devised a clever plan for dealing with an invasive fish: Rename it and stick it on retail shelves and restaurant menus. Asian carp was brought to the U.S. from east Asia in the 1970s to be used to help manage ponds and lagoons. As [...]

Haydn’s Baryton Trios

When I was in DC this past September for InsideCatholic's 14th Annual Partnership dinner, Deal introduced me to a truly extraordinary collection of music: Haydn's Baryton Trios. (The baryton, a large viol-like bowed instrument, seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years -- a fact attributed by some to the "immense difficult" required in playing it [...]

My Non-Binding Resolutions for the New Year

  I'm not a libertarian, but I play one on the PC. As I've written before (blatant plugs for other rants I've written on this subject follow here and here), there's nothing wrong with the State using its power to foster the Common Good, when the dignity of individuals is respected and the Common Good [...]

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