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Archive for the ‘News Commentary’ Category

Last night Congress failed to agree on a spending plan, resulting in a nationwide government shutdown. Early this morning, federal employees around the country deemed “nonessential” were forced to take an indefinite holiday. For those unfamiliar with the situation, it goes something like this: the Republican-dominated House wants to repeal paralyze the Affordable Care Act while the Democrat-dominated Senate wants to implement it. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is popularly known, was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Despite severe resistance, the law was deemed constitutional at the federal level by the US Supreme Court in 2012. Since then, the Obama administration has faced an uphill battle to implement the law and last night proved to be the culmination of this bitter battle between Congressional leaders. Having declared Obamacare as a hard line in the sand, both sides were unable to reach an agreement on federal spending. And so, this morning the nation awoke to a brave new world.

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(image via angrycritter.com)

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ImageThis week, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his retirement from papal service. Although I am a Catholic born and raised, I could not help feeling smug when I heard the news. The only Pope I ever really knew was Pope John Paul II. And while I may not have agreed with all of his political views, he definitely was a spiritual leader. As the global leader for the Catholic Church, he checked all of the boxes. He worked for peace in the Middle East. He emphasized the Universal Call to Holiness. He travelled to countries that heretofore had never been visited by a Pope. He apologized on behalf of the Church to those it had hurt. He survived two assassination attempts. And to top it all off, he served to his death despite his battle with Parkinson’s.  To me, Pope John Paul II was a leader by example. He showed us that when you take pride out of the picture, we can live together in harmony despite our faith, gender, age, or political views. So when Pope Benedict XVI was announced as Pope John Paul II’s successor, I was skeptical.

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ImageI recently read an article (check it out here!) asking a very important question: is our work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) important? For a $10 billion dollar machine, is it really worth the investment? The global economy is still on the recovery. Should we still fund the research of particle physicists when we can’t even solve the global energy crisis? I say yes. And for the same reason I think science is important.

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