The Common Good

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DRONE WATCH: Drone Debate, Continue or Stop?

After running an editorial, USA Today often follows it with an opposing view on the topic. It’s  a good feature, giving readers both sides of issues.  Today’s editorial was on drones.  After considering the major objections to drones, the editorial concludes:

"These are all valid concerns. For the time being, though, the U.S. continues to confront a non-state enemy bent on plotting terror attacks inside America. Unless someone comes up with a better way to protect the nation, the drone strikes should continue, at least until Osama bin Laden's successor, Ayman al-Zawahri, is eliminated and al-Qaeda is out of business."

The opposing view, written by Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, argues that:

"White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan admits that the U.S. targeted killing program sets a precedent. Russia, China or Iran may claim tomorrow, as our government does today, the power to declare individuals enemies of the state and kill them far from any battlefield, based on secret legal criteria, secret evidence and a secret process. That is the world we are unleashing unless the program is stopped."

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The Atlantic: Give Us Your Geniuses

From The Atlantic, a plea for an immigration policy that encourages the movement of high-skilled foreign nationals to the United States:

In this age of extreme polarization, it seems unlikely that there would be an issue where the benefits were so large and the correct course of action so clear that it would unite liberals and conservatives, allowing Democratic and Republican congressmen to pause in their struggle and rocket it through Congress. But it is not wishful thinking. There exists such a policy. The United States must admit many more high-skilled immigrants.

Read the full article here

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God's Economy?

Paul Froese offers some interesting insights for Religion & Politics:

Perhaps it is the fervent individualism of American Christianity which makes free market capitalism seem like a Divine mandate. Because evangelicals assert that you alone are responsible for your eternal salvation, it makes sense that the individual is also responsible for his or her economic salvation without government assistance, especially if God is the only assistance you really need.

 
Read the full article here
 

 

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Can Technology Bring about World Peace?

A fascinating essay on 'geo-economics' for The Atlantic by Ayesha and Parag Khanna:

Still, technology is playing a great role in not just the events of geopolitical history but its course. If military power is inherently competitive -- the stronger your army and the weaker your neighbor's, the more powerful you become -- then economic power is more cooperative. After all, much of America's power today is economic, but that power would decrease if China's economy collapses. Technological power is also cooperative in this way, perhaps even more so.

Read more here

 

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Teens Struggle to Find Summer Jobs

A record number of teens will be able to find work this summer, The Associated Press reports:

Once a rite of passage to adulthood, summer jobs for teens are disappearing.

Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.
 
And teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels, suggests a projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Doubting God

On the CNN Belief Blog, Dan Merica reports:

The percentage of Americans 30 and younger who harbor some doubts about God’s existence appears to be growing quickly, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. While most young Americans, 68%, told Pew they never doubt God’s existence, that’s a 15-point drop in just five years.
 
In 2007, 83% of American millennials said they never doubted God’s existence.
 
More young people are expressing doubts about God now than at any time since Pew started asking the question a decade ago. Thirty-one percent disagreed with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God,” double the number who disagreed with it in 2007.
 
Read more about the report here
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DRONE WATCH: Drones Strike Yemen and Pakistan

After more than a week with no reported drone strikes, there are news reports this morning of strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

Over the past several days, the Yemeni army has recaptured two towns from Ansar al-Sharia — an offshoot of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  Militants have fled and heavy fighting continues.  Apparently as part of that offensive, an attack by a US drone killed nine people: 

A US drone struck a house where al-Qaeda militants were meeting, and a car nearby," in the town of Azzan in Shabwa province early in the morning, a tribal source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In Pakistan, the Associated Press reports:

"Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed four suspected militants after firing two missiles at a vehicle in which they were riding near the Afghan border.

 

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Creflo Dollar: Police Release Daughter's 911 Tapes Reporting Assault by Father

According to CNN:

ATLANTA, Ga. – With a calm voice and collected manner about her, a 15-year-old girl called Fayette County 911 to report that her father assaulted her. The call led police to the suburban Atlanta home of megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar and ultimately resulted in a night behind bars on Friday.

The audio from the phone call was released Tuesday.

“I just got into an altercation with my father. He punched me and threatened to choke me,” the girl told a 911 dispatcher. “Um, this is not the first time that this has happened. I feel threatened by being in this house. Um… I don’t know, I don’t know what can be done. But I’m scared, I’m shaking.“

Dollar publicly denied punching or choking his teenage daughter during Sunday service at World Changers International Church, but in the police report, he admitted emotions ran high very early Friday morning and he attempted to “restrain” his daughter when she became “disrespectful.”

In the 911 tapes, the teen explained to the dispatcher that her father attacked her because of grades and a dispute about a party that she wanted to attend.

Read more HERE.

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Iran Releases Christian Pastor, Two Others Remain Imprisoned

BosNewsLife.com reports:

TEHRAN, IRAN — Iran has released Pastor Mehdi “Petros” Foroutan who served about one year in prison following a police crackdown on his and other house churches,  a spokesman told BosNewsLife late Tuesday.

Jason DeMars, who helped the 27-year-old pastor with advocacy, explained that Forouton was released on June 10. He added that the pastor "In total served about one year in prison for 'crimes against national security' because of his Christian faith."

At least two other Christian clergymen — Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and another Christian leader, Behnam Irani — remain imprisoned. Nadarkhani faces the death penalty for refusing to abandon his Christian  faith and return to Islam. He remains in Lakan Prison in the city of Rasht where he is still awaiting an official response from the local court about his future, DeMars said. Irani is held in Ghezal Hezar prison in Karaj city, despite his poor health.  Prison officials reportedly refuse to allow him to visit a doctor.

Read more HERE.

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Sister Simone Campbell Schools Colbert on the Social Gospel

"America's nuns clearly support the gay agenda, but one nun really has the Vatican's chasubles in a bunch."

 

"NETWORK's Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell responds to the Vatican's "radical feminist" charges, and Stephen learns how to get into heaven."

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