Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center

Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.

Wednesday
Nov092005

Time for something new

This editorial by Levy is interesting because it points out that the radical problem in France is neither Islam per se nor poverty, but rather alienation and the lack of a unifying ideal that can make it worth for young people to partecipate in society. Since 1789, France has been a country unified by the nationalist ideology of "citizenship," which of course was parasithical to the lingering Christian idea of a people. Now that the last vestiges of cultural Christianity are fading away, what is left is either the gay nihilism of the elites or the ideological nihilism of Islamists.

Wednesday
Nov092005

CIA, Torture and Vice President Cheney

90 senators approved an amendment by Sen.John McCain which requires all agencies of the U.S. government to comply with the Geneva Conventions and international law, which prohibit torture. McCain knows something about the issue, having been himself for five years a victim of brutal torture by the North Vietnamese. So, why are CIA and Vice President Cheney fighting the amendment? In order to understand what's at stake, we propose you this Op-Ed by Jeffrey H.Smith, former general counsel of the CIA. (from the Washington Post).

Monday
Nov072005

Nine Justices, Five Catholics?

If Samuel A. Alito Jr. is confirmed to the Supreme Court, a majority of its nine justices for the first time will be Roman Catholics.
The Washington Post analyses the consequences...

Sunday
Nov062005

Behe vs. Darwin


Everything you wanted to know about Michael Behe, the biochemist who became the lead witness for Intelligent Design, is in this nice profile in the Los Angeles Times

Sunday
Nov062005

Belonging

This survey on the effects of divorce is interesting because it points out that children depend on their parents' marriage at least as much as they depend on them individually.

Thursday
Nov032005

Looking for infinity

Scientists and theologians will join for a discussion of the concept of infinity at a scholarly conference to be held at the Pontifical Lateran University next week. The conference is the first international gathering of a project entitled STOQ: science, technology, and the ontological quest.
The purpose of STOQ is “to create a new climate of dialogue within the Catholic Church,” encouraging scientists and theologians to share their insights.
At a news conference on the Vatican project, cardinal Paul Popard said the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason.

Thursday
Nov032005

Appointing Catholics

The New Republic has discovered why the US Supreme Court is being filled with Catholics: because evangelical protestants have gained political power but they lack cultural artillery. The question is: must this void necessarily be filled by the Catholic "neocons," who are philosophically very close to the evangelicals? Is there an original Catholic proposal to American culture?

Thursday
Nov032005

California will do it for you

In summary, we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs” and that the asserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right.

USA Court of Appeals
for the 9th Circuit, Pasadena CA, November 2 2005.

Tuesday
Nov012005

Radical despair

Theodore Dalrymple discusses the existential condition of suicide bombers. He wrote an impressive column about France three years ago. On Islam's inability to face modernity, you can also read the latest column by Spengler.

Monday
Oct312005

Turning point

Today's political landscape in the US was largely created by the McGovern Commission, that moved the levers of power in the democratic party from the urban (and largely Catholic) bosses to the college-educated liberals.

Saturday
Oct292005

"Stay hungry, stay foolish"


Here is an amazing reading. It's the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. "You'v got to find what you love", said Mr.Jobs. We are sure you'll love this. You can also watch the video, available here.

Thursday
Oct272005

The atheist cathedral

This parable is actually very symbolic of the general situation of western "liberalism," not just in regard to marriage.

Thursday
Oct272005

A new creation

Now, to cheer you up, something beautiful.

Thursday
Oct272005

Decadence

Peggy Noonan is usually quite perceptive of trends in American society. If there is any unifying source to her melancholy, it may be the perception of a progressive weakening (starting among the elites) of the shared Protestant/progressive ideals that gave America its identity and its historical energy.

Sunday
Oct232005

Anne Rice's new career

This sounds somewhat interesting.