Political columnist Mark Shields died last week. There was a lot of respect, all of which focused not only on his sharp comment, but also on how decent a man he was and the fact that he was interested and not terrified of meeting people who saw the world through different lenses than those which he used. That is, he was both an intellectual liberal and a political one. Two years ago, when he retired, his sparring partner at PBS’s NewsHour, David Brooks, wrote a wonderful compliment.
There is nothing liberal about billionaire libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel, whom The Washington Post’s Elizabeth Dwoskin described in Sunday’s June 19 newspaper. I knew some, but not all, of this, and I was particularly intrigued by the title of Teale’s biography: The opposite. and? There is nothing opposite in this ideologue. This is what is so frightening about ideologues: their ideological framework equalizes the whole complexity of life. In their framework, no one hits the bumps in the road and it is these bumps that keep us humane. He is 21st century Ayn Rand with lots of money. How boring.
In The Guardian, a report on the cost of lack of universal health insurance: A new study shows that the lack of such universal coverage in the United States has led to an additional 338,000 lives lost during the pandemic and an additional $ 105 billion in health care costs. So the next time someone says we can’t afford universal health insurance, point out that we can’t afford what we have, morally or financially.
In The New York Times, Coral Davenport examines in depth and nurtures the potential threat to the environment and other necessary government functions arising from an upcoming Supreme Court ruling in the case. West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. In this historical age, it is best to avoid the temptation to exaggerate the stakes in our various political and cultural battles. In this case, to paraphrase a famous speaker, common sense extremism is not a vice.
Politico addresses the challenges of changing the editorial culture by focusing on Sally Busby’s leadership in The Washington Post, where she replaced Marty Barron in 2021. There is no way democracy can function without a free press and there are many dangers facing a free press today. – some ideological, some financial, some cultural.
Accordingly, in The Atlantic, Connor Friedersdorf examines the recent struggle at Georgetown University Law School for the limits of free speech. Newcomer Ilya Shapiro is tweeting something that is undeniably stupid and offensive. He apologized, was stopped and the university is investigating the case. Shapiro eventually resigned, but he also objected to the investigation by campus bureaucrats. The case raises serious questions about the direction of higher education. As health law scholar Greg Bloche told Friedersdorf, “The fear of career-ruining answers to offensive words is chilling in classroom discussions, teacher scholarships, and peer-to-peer conversations.”
The Chicago Catholic Cardinal Blaise Kupich offers some advice on preaching the Trinity and quotes the book The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: The Virtue of Solidarity and the Practice of Human Rights, by St. John Megan Clark, a moral theologian at St. John’s University. At a time when religion is too much of an ethic, it is great to emphasize the work of a theologian who recognizes the ways in which dogmatic truths underpin our ethical teachings, and even more so when this work is noticed by a bishop! I reviewed Clark’s wonderful book here.