Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Without Obamacare, I would have died by David Tedrow: “Bottom line, without insurance and the subsidy I would simply die, because I could not afford my drugs and my body would reject my liver.”

Why the Press Is Less Free Today by George Packer: “Demagogues like Putin and Erdoğan create tyrannies of the majority, so that the dissenting stance that’s the normal position of an independent press is easily isolated, tainted with foreign associations, and blamed for social ills. The idea that freedom of expression, along with other public liberties, is a specifically Western ideology, rather than a universal right, is increasingly common, from Caracas to Beijing. Because they have popular support, these leaders enjoy a certain protection against the familiar campaigns of denunciation that are directed at the world’s more straightforward dictators, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un or Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.”

What Can We Learn From Ancient Chinese Views of Marriage? by Erin Cline: “From a Confucian perspective, children benefit from engaging with both parents and from exposure to a wider range of approaches and activities, and the parents also benefit, not only in lessening one another’s burden, but also in the meaning and fulfillment that comes from sharing fully in the joys and challenges of caring for each other and their family together over the course of a lifetime.”

Trapped in Syria by Lauren Wolfe: “The number isn’t shrinking because fewer people are trying to flee. Rather, according to the IRC, people are either unable to leave cities under siege — there were high levels of conflict in Syria in October — or they are being turned away at the borders of neighboring countries as tighter restrictions are put into place.”

CDC pushes increased ‘tobacco control’ as teen smoking holds steady by Elise Viebeck: “Roughly one in four U.S. high school students currently use a tobacco product, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday in a sign that teen smoking rates remain stalled.”

The Nicotine Fix by  Kenneth E. Warner and Harold A. Pollack: “The decline of the past few decades has largely been accomplished through mandating smoke-free workplaces in half of all states, increasing cigarette excise taxes in nearly all states, mounting effective media campaigns, and imposing restrictions on tobacco company marketing. To cut smoking prevalence in half again in fewer than 40 years will take something more than these evidence-based tools of the trade.”

Why gendercide is the real ‘war on women’ by Reggie Littlejohn: “Few issues divide people more sharply than abortion. So it is great news when recently lawmakers across the political aisle in Britain voted 181 to 1 to ban sex-selective abortion. The overwhelming support for banning abortion of a fetus based on its gender is progressive, moral and just.”

Will Catholic bishops start talking about income inequality? by John Gehring: “Economic justice and inequality can’t be easily dismissed as liberal pet causes. Social conservatives and leaders in the pro-life movement should recognize that if they are serious about protecting human dignity and the sanctity of life, these foundational concerns don’t stop at the womb.”

Midterm Malaise by John Carr: “Pope Francis insists leadership is service, acts humbly, speaks clearly, seeks advice, builds bridges and reaches out to those who are poor and vulnerable. These are not Washington’s ways or priorities. But they might offer a better path forward for those who lead a divided, dispirited nation in difficult times.”

Honoring America’s Veterans Requires Helping Their Families, Too by Terri Tanielian: “Just as military caregivers provide a wide range of assistance to wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans—as well as a tremendous benefit to America as a whole—the steps we’ve outlined are widespread in scope and can promote the long-term well-being of these hidden heroes and their families.”

The Social & Cultural Poverty of Pornography: When the New Narcotic Shapes Society by Morgan Bennett: “While the consequences of pornography addiction are tragic and, in the aggregate, devastating to society, and while it is important to continue to explore and raise awareness about the neurological effects of internet pornography—such as pornography’s ability to silently ‘rewire’ the human brain9—it is equally important not to limit the internet-pornography conversation to addiction and brain effects. To do so is to perceive only one element of the complex and interrelated fallout of internet pornography. The societal implications of today’s internet pornography go much broader and deeper than mere addiction.”

Act of faith: the Catholic priest who puts his life on the line to save Muslims in Central African Republic  by Sam Jones: “In a predominantly Christian country terrorised by Muslim rebels as recently as January, Father Bernard Kinvi took his life in his hands when he resolved to protect Muslims threatened by sectarian violence. But the priest, who has won a Human Rights Watch award for his work, believes the conflict in CAR is misunderstood – and says his mission is far from over.”