|Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.|
|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 12/06/05 07:43:33 AM
A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.
News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.
The most celebrated nonfiction book of the year is Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by U. of Chicago superstar economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner. The most admired aspect of the book has been Levitt's theory that legalizing abortion cut the crime rate, which became Instant Conventional Wisdom. Now, it turns out, according to two economists at the Boston Fed who have checked Levitt's calculations in detail, that the abortion-cut-crime theory rested upon two mistakes Levitt made. So far, Levitt admits to making one error, saying it "is personally quite embarrassing." ....
Greetings, and a quick tip: Anyone in favor of censorship and internet taxes can skip the rest of this column.
OK. For those still with me, who probably agree it is not a good idea to have Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe editing your blog and then charging you for it, it’s time to talk about the great UN internet grab. Thanks to the U.S. just saying no, the UN bid to get its hands on our keyboards failed this month at the United Nations Internet conclave in Tunis. But don’t drop your guard. The UN will be back. The pickings are potentially too rich, and the stakes too high, for them to resist. In case anyone has any doubts, Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself (about whom you can read more by googling his name together with “Oil-for-Food,” “Rape-by-Peacekeepers” and “Bribes-for-Procurement”) appeared in Tunis to proclaim that while the U.S. had blocked a UN takeover of the internet this time, “I think you also acknowledge the need for more international participation in discussions of Internet governance issues. So let those discussions continue.” Then came Annan’s scariest line: “We in the United Nations will support this process in every way we can.”
You can bet your laptop they will. Any institution brazen enough to hold a “World Summit on the Information Society” in internet-censoring journalist-jailing Tunisia is obviously ready to try anything to get hold of the net. This initiative has been bubbling along since Tunisia first proposed it in 1998, and by now there have been enough conferences, theme papers, working groups and planning sessions so that this UN campaign has put down roots. The WSIS website is already an empire unto itself, packed with stocktaking questionnaires, press releases, a photo library and the outpourings of the Preparatory Committee, abbreviated UN-style as the Prepcom, which sounds like something out of George Orwell, because it is....
Labor Pains: Detroit needs to play by market rules. by Henry Payne @ National Review Online:
Massive job cuts at General Motors, America's largest carmaker — coupled with the bankruptcy of Delphi, America's biggest autoparts maker — have provoked predictable handwringing from liberal pundits who worry that America is "losing its manufacturing base." But the wrenching change now buffeting the auto industry defies the usual press formulas. Just listen to Steve Miller a turnaround specialist who is steering Delphi's restructuring process. He exploded the myth of America's "endangered" union manufacturing jobs at his October press conference announcing Delphi's move into Chapter 11: "We cannot continue to pay $65 an hour for someone to cut the grass and remain competitive."
Grass cutting is a manufacturing job?...
Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders by Congregation for Catholic Education @ EWTN:
In continuity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and, in particular, with the Decree Optatam totius on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published various documents with the aim of promoting a suitable, integral formation of future priests, by offering guidelines and precise norms on its diverse aspects. In the meantime, the 1990 Synod of Bishops also reflected on the formation of priests in the circumstances of the present day, with the intention of bringing to completion the doctrine of the Council on this matter and making it more explicit and effective in today’s world. Following this synod, John Paul II published the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis.
In the light of this abundant teaching, the present Instruction does not intend to dwell on all questions in the area of affectivity and sexuality that require an attentive discernment during the entire period of formation. Rather, it contains norms concerning a specific question, made more urgent by the current situation, and that is: whether to admit to the seminary and to Holy Orders candidates who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies....
Our Troops Must Stay: America can't abandon 27 million Iraqis to 10,000 terrorists. by Joe Lieberman @ OpinionJournal:
I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.
Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.
There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.
It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority....
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