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Harbingers

Forerunners of things to come...

America in retreat?

Pat Buchanan has another reflection on what is happening in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. See "The Vanishing American Footprint." There are some pretty important questions he fails to address in this review.

Techtonic uncertainty in the U.S. economy

People tell me there are few things more unsettling than riding out an earthquake, when the ground is shifting underneath you. This is what is currently happening in the U.S. economy, and, as a consequence, businesses, including banks, are very reluctant to commit money to anything other than highly secure and very near term investments. It is commonplace for lending institutions to demand 40% down on a mortgage, for example, and if you need capital to start a new venture, and you're not a member of a tightly knit ethnic clan whose other members have substantial savings, or a major player in the startup business with a sterling track record, you may as well forget it.

Sacred Scripture, Traditions, and the Magisterium

The continuing foofaraw over where President Obama was born is complicated by important issues of Constitutional interpretation. Ever since the famous case Marbury v. Madison, the country has accepted the Supreme Court as the official interpreter of the Constitution. The continuing jurisprudence of that august body interprets the section of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution on citizenship as granting that citizenship to all who are born or naturalized in the U.S.

The up side and the down side of $5/gal. gasoline

With the summer driving season arriving in a couple of months, and with the growing unrest in the Middle East, it is a virtual certainty that gas prices at the pump will exceed $5/gallon. As with any significant change, there are pluses and minuses. MSN Money blogger "doubleace" has posted a rather detailed look at the pluses, and I see no reason to add to his excellent work. See "Why you should love $5 gas." My only thought is to provide some balance to this perspective by considering possible negatives.

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