Saturday, June 29, 2013

In News: SCOTUS on Dignity and DOMA, Chris Hedges on Edward Snowden, Regnerus Cavils, Pam's House Blend

At dotCommonweal, John McGreevy suggests that Andrew Sullivan may be the most influential lay Catholic in the U.S. in the past fifteen years, noting that his liveblog about the SCOTUS decision on DOMA stressed Justice Kennedy's emphasis on human dignity, as Kennedy struck the unconstitutional law down. McGreevy quotes Sullivan:

Some have noticed how often Anthony Kennedy used the word "dignity" in his ruling. My own impression of the text is to note how Catholic it is. I mean by Catholic the sense of concern for the dignity of human beings that still resonates among the average Catholic population and, mercifully, now with the new Pope. This is the true measure of our shared faith: not a desire to use its doctrines to control or constrain the lives of others, but seeking always to advance the common good while leaving no one behind. No one. 

For Democracy Now (via Alternet), Chris Hedges strongly defends Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald with the following statements:

Well, without figures like Snowden, without figures like Manning, without figures like Julian Assange, essentially, the blinds are drawn. We have no window into what’s being done in our name, including the crimes that are being done in our name. Again, I—you know, having worked as an investigative reporter, the lifeblood of my work were figures like these, who had the moral courage to stand up and name the crimes that they witnessed. And these people are always, at the moment that they stand up—and even King, of course, was persecuted and reviled and denounced, hounded by J. Edgar Hoover, who attempted, through blackmail, to get him to commit suicide before accepting the Nobel Prize.

On the "Drew Mariani Show" ("Talk radio for Catholic life") and via Jeremy Hooper at Good As You, discredited sociologist Mark Regnerus complains that "some ne'er-do-well bloggers out there" created problems for his study and stirred up academic critiques of it. But you know what Regnerus doesn't say: that the study was flat flawed! That it was bought and paid for for political reasons. That it reached scientific conclusions without employing bona fide scientific methodology. That it spun data without any scientific foundation, because its methodology was simply untenable from the get-go--as often happens when scientific research is conducted under the premises of well-heeled political groups whose primary concern is to use pseudo-scientific studies as political weapons.

In a decision that constitutes a huge loss for the online conversation of progressives in the U.S., Pam Spaulding announced several days back that she'll be closing her Pam's House Blend blog site on July 1. As her post making the announcement notes, she's struggled with some serious health issues in recent years, and her prolific output has been all the more amazing for those who've known something of the pain she deals with on a daily basis.

Pam's is a blog I'll sorely miss. Why I haven't had the good sense to link her House Blend site to this blog, I don't know. A serious oversight on my part--and one I regret all the more, now that Pam is shutting down shop. I wish her very well and thank her for all she's shared for so long now.

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