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November 2016
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Even as China and the Vatican ostensibly seek to improve their relationship with one another, Chinese Communist Party authorities are declaring that the Catholic Church in China should exist not under the authority of the Vatican, but, rather, should adhere to the whims of Beijing. Although Pope Francis has been actively seeking to establish…or re-establish…a functional relationship between the Vatican and Beijing with respect to the Catholic Church in China, a sticking point to achieving that end has come in the form of China’s ongoing demand that the Holy See remain a non-participant in matters of faith in China. The... Read more →


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (MTC) is one of the few acts that has agreed to perform at the inauguration of Donald Trump. Probably seems like a relatively safe bet for all concerned, too; after all, unlike so many of today’s popular music acts, which have large and youthful followings that are frequently energized on the same social media platforms used to take mass, frantic issue with politicians of more traditional stripes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would itself surely be seen as “traditional,” and thus a group with whom no one would much object if they decided to do something like... Read more →


If you spend much time paying attention to what is going out in the world, then you likely have both Internet access and a television that receives about a bazillion channels…and if you have those things, then you surely know about the Tweet actor Charlie Sheen sent out Wednesday night in which he wished death upon the next President of the United States. To review, Sheen’s tweet went like this: “Dear God; Trump next, please!” The tweet repeated the “Trump next, please” line five more times, and the tweet was completed by a graphic of a small hand giving the... Read more →


The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has released statistics showing that two years after a controversial law went into effect allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses, over 800,000 illegal residents of the state have been issued the credentials. According to Maricela Gutierrez, executive director of SIREN, an immigration advocacy group, the law has proven a veritable godsend to undocumented residents of California. “Many of them have been able to drive their kids to school and to run errands, when many times they were taking buses that would take them up to three hours to get from Point A... Read more →


According to The Southern Illinoisan, students at Southern Illinois University are asking school administrators to designate the campus a “formal sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, their families, and related community members.” The push to become a “sanctuary campus” is coming from the Graduate and Professional Student Council, as well as the Undergraduate Student Government. In speaking with The Southern, Brandon Woudenberg, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, said, “Given the amount of students that could very literally be in fear of their legal status vis-a-vis doctoral students or international students from the Middle East, which we have a fairly... Read more →


According to the Daily Mail, a petition posted over at Change.org is demanding the firing of a New York university professor involved in the harassment of Ivanka Trump and her children aboard a JetBlue flight last week. Matthew Lasner, an instructor in the Urban Policy and Planning department at Hunter College, was traveling with his husband Dan Goldstein when the pair discovered they were flying with the first daughter-elect. Goldstein reportedly confronted Trump and began shouting at her. According to other passengers who witnessed the incident, Ivanka remained calm, even telling Jet Blue staff that she didn’t “want to make... Read more →


Stolen valor rears its very ugly head once again. If you’re unfamiliar with stolen valor, it refers to the act of falsely claiming military service, military awards, and/or other military-related acts of honor, bravery, or sacrifice where none actually exist. The term is used both informally by people making reference to examples of the kinds of claims referenced that may not actually be against the law, as well as to those that are violations of the Stolen Valor Act, a federal statute that makes it illegal for anyone to engage in the noted behaviors with the intent to receive money,... Read more →


Donald Trump had said that, if elected, he would basically toss out the 2015 nuclear deal made between Iran and many of the world’s most prominent nations. The agreement brought an end to economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for that country’s willingness to accept a variety of measures designed to curb its ability to acquire nuclear weapons. Trump’s objections to the nuclear deal are the same harbored by so many; namely, that the inspection regimes put in place by the terms are poor, and that the lifting of sanctions provides to Iran access to hundreds of billions of dollars... Read more →


Humorists on the most national of levels…late-night talk show hosts, Saturday Night Live performers, and the like…have been spending months procuring audience laughs at the direct expense of (now) President-elect Donald Trump. For the most part, it seems as though their efforts are well-received. For one thing, most of these shows are taped in New York City and Los Angeles, cities that are now well-established bastions of liberalism. Additionally, as much of the social media universe, vis-à-vis entertainment, seems to be aggressively “managed” by voices on the left, the feedback in the immediate aftermath of a particularly cutting joke or... Read more →


You’re likely familiar with gun buyback programs. Normally sponsored by the relevant local governments and coordinated by police departments, the point of the efforts is to reduce the number of firearms in civilian hands, to “get guns off the streets,” as it were. Well, doubling-down on their gun control agenda, some people are taking the opportunity organize toy gun buyback programs. That’s right…toy guns are now the subject of buyback programs. According to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, one such effort took place on Dec. 21, in Hempstead, N.Y., a Long Island city that has a strong... Read more →


This might be more than just a little humorous if it was not the reality North Korean subjects are actually forced to live. Kim Jong-un is a well-documented Christmas-hater. As a matter of fact, he is such a hater of Christmas that when he learned back in 2014 of South Korea’s plans to put up a Christmas tree along the border that year, he demanded that they not proceed with their plans unless they were prepared to go to war. South Korea backed down. Well, Kim has apparently found a new way to express his deep loathing of the holiday... Read more →


Sadly, modern American culture is awfully hard on the baby Jesus at Christmastime. There was a time…and it was not terribly long ago…when practically no one would have considered vandalizing a publicly-displayed nativity scene. Now, such destruction is becoming increasingly common. A piece over at The American Mirror highlights the growing wave of crèche vandalizations across the country. In just the most recent examples of such incidents, figurines were destroyed at a nativity scene at The Church of the Holy Apostles in Saint Clair, Penn., while scenes in Knoxville, Tenn. and Salem, N.H. had their baby Jesus figurines stolen. The... Read more →


California has no intention of being anything BUT California in the era of Trump. According to The Hill, the political elite of the state expect to dig in for a long fight with the new president and his administration on a variety of issues, most notably immigration. Hispanics make up roughly 40 percent of California’s population, which means that Trump’s anticipated efforts to curb illegal immigration may well see California a regular topic of discussion nationally over the course of the next four years. Hillary Clinton captured nearly 62 percent of the vote in California, which translated to well over... Read more →


As reported by a variety of news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, a former portfolio manager for the state pension fund of New York was hit with a variety of charges on Wednesday by the federal government in connection with his alleged acceptance of bribes from brokers who wanted a hand in investing fund assets. Navnoor Kang, a former portfolio manager at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, was arrested at his apartment in Portland, Ore. Securities fraud, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice are just a few of the charges he is facing. The selection of the... Read more →


Ivanka Trump has found herself the target of a most curious protest effort energized by social media. It seems that the daughter of President-elect Donald Trump has, historically, posted various pictures of herself standing next to pieces of art she has collected. Seems innocuous enough, right? Not so fast. Now that her dad is going to be the next occupant of the White House, some of the artists responsible for creating the pieces in her possession are demanding that she remove their work from her walls. Yup…it’s true. According to a variety of news outlets, including the Daily Mail Online,... Read more →