The Narrow Atlantic

Friday, May 29, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

UCLA professor Peter Baldwin pens an interesting priece for the UK’s Prospect in which he argues that the differences between the US and Europe are not as great as is often claimed. Baldwin’s point of view strikes me as left of center, but his argument (mainly a comparison of statistics to see how the US really measures up to various EU countries on questions like poverty, education, environmentalism, etc.) is fairly non-ideological and the overall result is interesting.

Left open ended (though he provides a few thoughts on the matter) is the question of why both Americans and Europeans like to perceive such strong differences between themselves, and what exactly that means about the two cultures.

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Miguel Diaz Claims to be Pro-Life. Is He?

Friday, May 29, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

diaz

Miguel Diaz, Obama’s nominee as ambassador to the Vatican, claims to be pro-life.  What evidence exists to support this contention?   I find it hard to take this claim seriously, because of his activities in helping to elect the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history, including serving on his Catholic Advisory Council during the campaign.  This from his faculty listing at Saint John’s School of Theology:  

“Member of Barack Obama’s Catholic advisory group during the 2008 presidential campaign. In recognition of his participation in the advisory council, Dr. Díaz and his wife Marian received an invitation to the inaugural events. Dr. Díaz’s involvement in the campaign and participation in the inaugural events were both covered extensively in a variety of media.”   

I can find no listings for any pro-life activities.  I have attempted to research any pro-life activities by him and thus far I have come up with zilch.  I would appreciate it if any of our readers could provide me with answers to the following questions.

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“Is There a Common Ground on Life Issues?” — A discussion with Robert P. George and Doug Kmiec, moderated by Mary Ann Glendon

Friday, May 29, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Robert P. George and Doug Kmiec engaged in a discussion of the topic, “The Obama Administration and the Sanctity of Human Life: Is There a Common Ground on Life Issues? What is the Right Response by ‘Pro-Life” Citizens?” at Washington, D.C.’s National Press Club, Thursday, May 28, 2009. The discussion was moderated by Mary Ann Glendon.

You can watch the video on CUA’s website here; or on C-Span here.

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Nat Hentoff takes President Obama to task

Friday, May 29, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Nat Hentoff’s characteristically blunt and ‘no b.s.’ columns used to be one of chief attractions of the Village Voice, before they made the foolish mistake of letting him go. Politically he’s not one you can apply a label to — in 2003 he supported the removal of Saddam Hussein’s murderous dictatorship on humanitarian grounds, but as a supporter of the First Amendment and civil liberties, harshly criticized the more excessive measures taken by the Bush administration.

Unapologetically pro-life, he is a staunch opponent of the death penalty and abortion (the latter apparently causing some tension with his liberal colleagues at the Voice) and vigorously opposed the court-ordered murder of Terry Schiavo.

Not surprisingly, he established a rapport with the feisty John Cardinal O’Connor, about whom he wrote an appreciative biography.

A self-described “member of the Proud and Ancient Order of Stiff-Necked Jewish Atheists,” he is also one who might merit the attribution: “on the side of the angels.”

Now, he takes aim at President Obama’s faux-support for “dialogue” at Notre Dame:

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Father Alberto Cutie Leaves The Catholic Church For The Episcopals

Thursday, May 28, 2009 \PM\.\Thu\.

Alberto Cutie

Father Alberto Cutié has abruptly left the Catholic Church and has joined the Episcopal church today.  Father Cutié was recently caught in a scandal involving a woman in a two year affair and asked and received an indefinite leave of absence from Archbishop John C. Favalora.  This has come as sudden and unexpected news to the Church.  Archbishop Favalora of Miami has not spoken with Alberto Cutié since his request and has expressed shock at the news.

“I am genuinely disappointed by the announcement made earlier this afternoon by Father Alberto Cutié that he is joining the Episcopal Church,”

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The Unattractive Truth About “Heart-wrenching Decisions”

Thursday, May 28, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

A guest post at the League or Ordinary Gentlemen provides an interesting critique of pro-choice rhetoric from a doctor who is himself pro-choice:

[quoting a pro-choice advocate covering Obama’s Notre Dame address]

Good, I thought. It will be from the parent of the mentally retarded high school student who was gang raped, the doctor of an 11 year old incest victim, or possibly a woman with four kids already whose husband has just lost his job and medical benefits along with it.
Boy, was I wrong.”

The above desired examples of women (or girls) seeking abortion are precisely the kind of examples that do nothing whatsoever to further the purpose of honest debate about abortion in this country. Women (or girls) in such circumstances are chosen as examples because theirs are the stories most likely to evoke sympathy from most people (even if they do not sway the edicts of the Holy See). That Ms. Burk would cherry-pick them is not surprising, but nor does it speak to her desire to see abortion honestly discussed.

My trouble with her examples stems from my own experience as a doctor in New York City. For a few years, I worked in a clinic that provided free care to adolescents and young adults. I saw many, many young women who had become pregnant unintentionally. Many of them went on to deliver and parent their babies. Many opted to abort. (Before moving forward, I should clarify that our clinic did not provide abortions, but did serve as a point of referral.)

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Debt Supernova Gets Worse

Thursday, May 28, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

Debt Supernova

I list below posts I have written on this blog about the US debt situation.  As pessimistic as I have been, apparently the debt situation for the nation is appreciably worse than even I thought.  Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Tax revenues to the IRS are down 44% from where they were last year.  Previous debt projections, as Ed Morrissey points out, were based on the assumption that the loss to GDP this year would be -1.2%.  With GDP contracting at -6% during the first quarter on an annual basis, the economy will have to show a lot of growth for the remainder of the year for the target of a -1.2% GDP contraction to be reached.  I very much doubt if the GDP contraction will be much better than -2.5% and could easily be far worse.

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