Sunday, June 05, 2005

Quick reads

Some of the articles I found interesting this week:

  • A number of bloggers recommended Charles Krauthammer's article in Time Magazine, "In Defense of Certainty", which was in the June 1st issue.

    The Op-Ed pages are filled with jeremiads about believers--principally evangelical Christians and traditional Catholics--bent on turning the U.S. into a theocracy. Now I am not much of a believer, but there is something deeply wrong--indeed, deeply un-American--about fearing people simply because they believe. It seems perfectly O.K. for secularists to impose their secular views on America, such as, say, legalized abortion or gay marriage. But when someone takes the contrary view, all of a sudden he is trying to impose his view on you. And if that contrary view happens to be rooted in Scripture or some kind of religious belief system, the very public advocacy of that view becomes a violation of the U.S. constitutional order.

    What nonsense. The campaign against certainty is merely the philosophical veneer for an attempt to politically marginalize and intellectually disenfranchise believers. Instead of arguing the merits of any issue, secularists are trying to win the argument by default on the grounds that the other side displays unhealthy certainty or, even worse, unseemly religiosity.

  • Neo-Neocon takes a look at "The International Criminal Court as theater." She concludes:
    The international justice system regarding war crimes is highly subject to abuse by special interest groups. In a sense, it is a polite fiction that such a system can exist and be meaningful, because it lacks the true characteristics of a functioning legal system. As such, we are correct to have opted out of the game.
  • The Anchoress writes, "The Holy Spirit stirs, then ravishes:"

    We read, increasingly, a tone of wonderment in the press as reporters who have long-ago shrugged off religion as unsophisticated and tres uncool discover that people - even young people - not only are seeking faith, but embracing it and commiting to it, and living it. And yes, loving it.

    There is so much going on. There has been so much going on for a while, but it has come into sharper focus, I think, since the death and funeral of John Paul the Great and the election of his successor, Benedict XVI.

    Something is stirring.

    The Holy Spirit is never static, she is ever at work, ever on the move.

  • Dr. Sanity looks at "The Left's Pervasive Tyranny:"
    [T]he Left has made it their primary modus operandi to use the force of the government to give clout to their cultural, social, political and moral and quasi-religious beliefs in all areas. Of course, they do it because they understand that they are much more knowledgable than you or I are about what is right.

    It is the pervasive tyranny of the elitist.
  • Hurl's Blog muses on the ramifications of Bush-bashing in "Thanks Bush:"

    It seems we have come to a place in the world where two scapegoats exist – Jews and Bible-believing Christians. One group is generally represented by Israel, the other by America - described by radical Islam as the “Little Satan” and the “Great Satan” respectively. There also seems to be an unwritten alliance of sorts between radical Islam and those on the left who regularly bash, ridicule and demonize Bible-believing Christians as well as are becoming increasingly hostile to Israel. They share the same enemies…..

  • And for policy wonks, The Employment Policy Institute published a paper by Dr. Aaron Yelowitz - University of Kentucky, and Dr. Richard Toikka - Lewin Group, entitled "Effective Tax Rates and the Living Wage:"
    Overall, the authors have found that living wage ordinances do little to actually increase the standard of living for low-income families. The $55-a-month increase in total family earnings represents a less than 2 percent increase for the average family. In terms of an increase in earnings, the $16-per-month increase represents an increase of approximately one-half of one percent. The authors state, “a reasonable reading of our results is that the living wage has a limited capability in improving the economic status of the poor.” This limited capability is important because decades of studies clearly show that mandated wage floors create disemployment effects—particularly for the low-skilled employees these laws are intended to help. Pushing the intended beneficiaries out of a job while providing minimal benefits to remaining employees makes living wage ordinances an ineffective anti-poverty policy.
Of course, data alone won't stop the politicians any time soon...