Thursday, April 18, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral

Monday evening, Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire.  The horrifying spectacle caught the attention of people around the world as everyone watched the iconic, 850-year-old building burn for at least 12 hours.  The Cathedral’s roof collapsed but, miraculously, the two medieval bell towers and most of the interior, including the stained-glass rose windows, escaped mostly unscathed.  Investigations are just beginning to discover what caused the fire, and donations are pouring in to help with eventual restoration work.  Historical treasures around the world are valued for the way they tie us to our past, the glimpses they give us of the lives and dreams of those that came before us, and the marvel they evoke in our souls at the engineering and artistry necessary for their existence.  We are thankful so much of Notre Dame survived the mammoth blaze, and pray the restoration can proceed quickly and efficiently to restore this cathedral to its former glory.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Russian Global Hacking Campaign Backlash

In October several countries issued denunciations of Russia for running a global hacking campaign.  Russia denied the allegations, but there’s no denying that cyber attacks in general are frequently in the news and on people’s minds.  On March 7th, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt plans to set out a doctrine of deterrence, “including economic and diplomatic counter-measures, to prevent cyber attacks that threaten to turn elections into tainted exercises.”  Hunt’s plan points out that cyber attacks are an incredibly attractive field for any adversaries of free elections.  They are a threat that must be taken seriously so that free societies everywhere can be protected.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Government Shutdown

On January 9, President Trump made his first TV address from the Oval Office. In it,
he discussed the partial-government shutdown and the border wall with Mexico.
The President maintains that the situation at the border is a humanitarian crisis,
while Democratic leaders accuse the President of holding the American people
hostage. Negotiations, that sometimes seem more like a battle, have stalled, with
people on both sides arguing that the opposing side has the facts wrong.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Power of Positive Thinking

Living life to the fullest.  The power of positive thinking.  Encouraging health through gratitude.  There are countless articles whose sole purpose is to foster a better way of life by encouraging a change in your mental outlook.  With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s an easy time of year to find ourselves surrounded by pillows, signs, and other décor shouting ‘Give Thanks!’  We might laugh at some of the cartoon turkeys, but the message is important.  In our lives and in our country, what positive change could we see if we focused more on saying ‘thank-you’?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

US and China Trade Talks

On September 12, the U.S. proposed another round of trade talks with Beijing.  Speaking on condition of anonymity, three people said that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin extended an invitation to counterparts in China.  The Chinese have not yet responded, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average turned positive as emerging market assets rallied after hearing the news.  The U.S.-China trade war has so far withstood efforts from both sides to end it.  It stands as a complex, international affair that defies predictive outcomes.  We, and the rest of the global community, will have to continue listening to reports and watching the news as officials find a way forward.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Creation of ‘Religious Liberty Task Force’

On July 30, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice was creating a “religious liberty task force.”  The task force will be co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams.  The task force is meant to ensure that all Justice Department components respect and protect religious liberty and political speech. What do you think about this?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Patients Given Access to Experimental Drugs

In August, the Senate passed a bill that gives terminally ill patients a way to request experimental drugs.  On May 29, the House voted 250-169 in favor of the bill, and it will now be sent to President Trump.  The bill, known as the “Right to Try” bill, gives terminally ill patients the right to seek drug treatments not fully approved by the FDA.  It is controversial, but those in opposition do see some benefits – such as an increase in the information available on drugs and greater awareness on options for the terminally ill.