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More Good News on Jobs

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This morning, the Dept. of Labor announced that the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs last month, beating analysts expectations. The Labor Dept. also revised upwards the numbers for December and January. This is very good news for the economy but especially for those people finding work and for their families.

Some may wonder why the unemployment rate stayed steady at 8.3% if the economy added so many jobs. It is because people who had been so discouraged they had stopped looking for work altogether are not counted as unemployed, so as the economy picks up, more people re-enter the labor market and this can actually make the unemployment rate tick up. But, the bottom line is that for the last three months, the economy has added an average of 245,000 jobs per month, those people can now purchase goods and services which leads to more job growth. Of course, more trouble in the Eurozone, or problems in the Mideast, or if the price of gas continues to increase, all can become a drag on the economy. But, so far, so good.

Anti-Catholic Bigotry on Steroids

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A new ad set to run in prominent newspapers from the Freedom From Religion Foundation is so chock full of anti-Catholic bigotry and pure venom, one is tempted to fret that we should expect an anti-Popery riot sometime soon.

Of course, it tells you something about the secular left that they seem more concerned with lifestyle choices than with life itself, which ends for them and for us, in the grave. They do not acknowledge that the Church has something to do with proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ, but that would probably not impress them. If they were to be confronted with deLubac's beautiful sentence - what would I know of Him, but for her - they would not likely see the value of knowing Him.

The Int'l Theo Commission's New Document

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The International Theological Commission issued a new document yesterday entitled “Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria.” I scanned the text yesterday, and I liked what I was reading. As a reality check, I emailed a friend who, unlike me, is a theologian and asked what he thought of the text. “Good stuff!” he replied, and indeed it is. I woke up early this AM to re-read it, and I like it even better on the second reading.

Morning's Minion Takes Down the Tablet

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No, not THAT Tablet. In a post at Vox Nova, Morning's Minion takes on a recent editorial in the Brooklyn Tablet, the diocesan newspaper, not to be confused with the international Catholic weekly based in London.

I had already called attention the editorial - especially the odd fact that it refers readers to the website of the Heritage Foundation but not, say, to Rerum Novarum, Gaudium et Spes or Caritas in Veritate! Minion goes further and does the heavy lifting, pointing out that this was written by someone with little or no knowledge of Catholic social teaching.

Can You Translate \"Mitt\" Into Spanish?

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I received one of those mass emails this morning from the Obama campaign, but this one had a difference: It was in Spanish. Unsurprisingly, the Obama campaign has begun what must be for them the enjoyable task of reminding Latinos of all the nasty things Mr. Romney has said about Justice Sonia Sotomayor, immigration reform, the Dream Act, and other issues of importance to Latinos. Here is the text:

Michael --

Quer'a que supieras que el último ataque de la campaña de Romney fue en contra de la Jueza Sotomayor.

La Jueza Sonia Sotomayor es un orgullo para nuestra comunidad, pero Romney publicó anuncios de radio y televisión que critican a Rick Santorum por apoyar su confirmación para una corte inferior en 1998.

Tal vez Romney no reconoce que a lo largo de su carrera judicial, la Jueza Sotomayor ha recibido un fuerte apoyo bipartidista por su experiencia judicial, su inteligencia, su apego a nuestra Constitución, y su buen juicio. No cabe duda que ella merece ser Jueza de la Corte Suprema de la Nación.

Religious LIberty in Florida

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The rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry has reached the floor of the Florida state legislature, which is considering a new law that would bar state courts from considering any "foreign law, legal code or system" in arbitrations in family court, and divorce proceedings. This bill is targeted at Sharia law but Jewish leaders are also worried that it would bar settlements that use beit din in Orthodox Jewish divorce settlements.

When You Sing, You Pray Twice

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St. Augustine is credited with the saying that he who sings prays twice. So, I suspect we will have a quadruplet of orations when the Sistine Chapel Choir joins with the choir of Westminster Abbey at vespers and Masses this summertime in Rome. How fitting that the Abbey Church dedicated to St. Peter will be sending its choir to the See of Peter.

You could see this coming. After he returned from his State visit to the UK, Pope Benedict XVI was reported to have been exceedingly moved by the prayer service at Westminster Abbey, and especially by the extraordinary music. And what was not to love? Here, as a refresher, the Westminster choir and congregation sing Purcell's "Christ is Made the Sure Foundation" as the Holy Father processed up the nave. (Note that the Anglican clergy know all the words!)

The Landscape of the Election

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Yesterday, I mentioned that some pundits on the right have been comparing the current GOP nominating contest to the 2008 primary fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The longer than usual contest in 2008 – recall that Clinton did not concede until after all the primaries! – turned out to actually help Obama: He had an organization in all 50 states, he had introduced himself to voters, and, importantly, as the first African-American candidate with a real chance at winning, he made his a familiar face.

Do You Know Joseph Kony?

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We have witnessed the power of social media with the Arab Spring. Now, a new Youtube video wants to harness the power of social media to make Ugandan guerilla leader Joseph Kony the most famous man in the world, not to honor him but to call attention to the atrocities he has committed and get him arrested. The video is a half hour long, and once you start you will not be able to start. But, take the time. You will not regret doing so.

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February 27- March 12, 2015

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