Soft persecution

Catholic journalist Russell Shaw analyzes the persecution of Christianity that is breaking out in our culture and that, he says, is likely to get worse.  It isn’t “bloody persecuction,” but a “soft persecution.”  But it is still persecution of religion by the state, and it takes two forms. . . . [Read more…]

Patriot Act expires

In a victory for Sen. Rand Paul, Congress was unable to renew the Patriot Act, which expired Sunday at midnight.  Congress is now trying to pass an alternative measure which will keep some of the anti-terrorism capabilities of the old law without the mass collection of Americans’ phone records and other civil liberty controversies. [Read more…]

Crime Wave

The decades-long decline in crime rates may be over.  Murders are up 180% in Milwaukee.  Other cities are showing double digit increases in violent crime.

Some are blaming the “Ferguson effect,” claiming that as a result of the controversy over police who killed an unarmed suspect–a pattern replicated elsewhere–citizens no longer respect police officers, sometimes to the point of defying them, and police officers, sometimes mobbed when they go on routine patrols, can no longer enforce laws with the vigor they need to.

I’m not sure that fully explains why people are killing each other and stealing each others’ property.   I would think the answer needs to deal with issues such as the loss of internal constraints, which in turn comes from family breakdown, radical individualism, instant gratification, the eclipse of the conscience, crime-glorifying pop culture, the dysfunctions of poverty, anemic churches, etc.    What explanations can you offer? [Read more…]

More gun control by executive order

The Justice Department is moving ahead with a new round of gun control regulations implemented by the President’s executive order, to be enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  These include forbidding anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm.  Also anyone who has been found to be “mentally ill.”  (Does that mean anyone regularly treated by a psychiatrist? Even for traumas and conditions unrelated to any threat of violence?) [Read more…]

Court strikes down Obama’s amnesty decrees

A federal appeals court struck down President Obama’s use of executive orders to implement his amnesty program for illegal immigrants. [Read more…]

Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more…]