Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

If it takes pictures of dead children to make people realize children are dying, so be it by Liz Sly: “My colleagues and I have been writing about Syria’s war for four years, about the desperation of the refugees who fled the country and the 250,000 people, including children, who have died over the course of the conflict. Some of us, Syrian and foreign journalists, have died, too, trying to tell their stories. Yet it has seemed that no one really paid much attention — at least, not in terms of seriously trying to solve the problem, seriously trying to help. If it takes photographs of dead children to make people realize children are dying, so be it.”

Pope Francis, the labor movement’s best friend? by John Gehring: “The status quo is hard to change. But a populist Pope with a common touch is pumping new energy into the Catholic Church. Along the way, he just might turn out to be the best friend the labor movement has seen in years.”

I’m a public defender. It’s impossible for me to do a good job representing my clients by Tina Peng: “We similarly have to ration our social work and client welfare services. Cutbacks mean we are limited in our ability to gather detailed information about our clients’ personal circumstances and histories to present to prosecutors, which could lead to more individualized plea agreements. We are also hobbled in our capacity to make sure critical services are delivered to our clients in jail. Unfortunately, budget cuts and a spiraling workload are not unique to Orleans Parish. Funding problems threaten poor people’s right to counsel across America.”

Islamic State has killed many Syrians, but Assad’s forces have killed more by Hugh Naylor: “President Bashar al-Assad’s government has killed far more people in Syria this year than the Islamic State, monitoring organizations and analysts say, even as the extremist group grabs headlines with its shocking brutality. Between January and July, Assad’s military and pro-government militias killed 7,894 people, while the Islamic State killed 1,131, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain.”

Bishop Stephen Blaire: Open letter about dangers of assisted suicide: “Once society enters into the pattern of deliberately terminating life, there is no limit to where this evil might deteriorate.”

5 Pro-Life Issues That Have Nothing to Do with Abortion by Jesse Carey: “Being pro-life is much bigger than being anti-abortion. Today, thousands of people die because of preventable diseases, hunger, circumstances perpetuated by extreme poverty, environmental factors, violence, unsafe working conditions and other ways that represent causes Christians should stand against. Here’s a look at five of the modern-day pro-life issues currently making headlines that aren’t abortion.”

Trigger Warning: On Not Looking at Dead Syrian Babies by Kevin Clarke: “The Syrian civil war grinds on through its fourth year; we read the numbers of casualties and hear about the latest atrocities from ISIS or another barrel bombing from a Syrian military helicopter. On some level that suffering registers, I suppose, but to experience something closer to the full force of it, don’t we have to look at these pictures? Don’t we have to see these children? Don’t we owe it to them?”

Pope Francis and the United States: Austen Ivereigh’s ‘Great Reformer’ by Stephen Schneck: “Austen Ivereigh’s book The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, remedies this. It’s the best biography of Jorge Bergolio out there, a wonderful read that draws one quickly into the mind and heart of the future Pope Francis. I recommend it to anyone interested in understanding this papacy. Among many other biographical insights, it offers a glimpse into what informs the pope’s challenging vision for the role of the church in public life.”

The horrific results of Obama’s failure in Syria by Michael Gerson: “But we are not dealing here with every problem or every evil; rather a discrete and unique set of circumstances: The largest humanitarian failure of the Obama era is also its largest strategic failure.”

Labor Day 2015 by Michael Sean Winters: “It is Catholic Social Teaching that stands as a bulwark of moral sanity in the face of rapacious laissez-faire ideology. And, again, it is labor that first grasps this and can supply the organizing potential to affect change.”

What’s changing under Pope Francis the reformer? by Austen Ivereigh: “Yes, he is shaking things up. He is bold and brave. He takes on vested interests and is unafraid to court unpopularity (which only makes him more popular). The papacy has become the engine of change, rather than the lid on it.”

Refugees Who Could Be Us by Nicholas Kristof: “There has been a vigorous public debate about whether the photo of Aylan’s drowned body should be shown by news organizations. But the real atrocity isn’t the photo but the death itself — and our ongoing moral failure to save the lives of children like Aylan.”

My daughter was killed on live television. I will do whatever it takes to end gun violence. by Andy Parker: “I plan to devote all of my strength and resources to seeing that some good comes from this evil. I am entering this arena with open eyes. I realize the magnitude of the force that opposes sensible and reasonable safeguards on the purchase of devices that have a single purpose: to kill.”

Guatemalan bishops call for president to resign by CNS: “The Guatemalan bishops’ conference called for the country’s president to step down as corruption scandals consumed the country’s political class and citizens took to the streets in protest.”

The Black Route of Death From Syria by Uri Friedman: “On Thursday, as Krishnadev Calamur has been tracking in The Atlantic’s new Notes section, Austrian authorities made a ghastly discovery: a truck abandoned in the emergency lane of a highway near the Hungarian border, packed with the decomposing bodies of 59 men, eight women, and four children. They are thought to be the corpses of migrants who suffocated to death, perhaps two days earlier, in the bowels of a vehicle whose back door was locked shut and refrigeration and ventilation systems weren’t functional. Stray identity documents suggest that at least some of the victims were Syrian—refugees from that country’s brutal civil war.”

Trump declares war on America’s demography by Michael Gerson: “By leading off with the issue of immigration, by proposing to narrow the protections of the 14th Amendment, by representing undocumented Mexicans as rapists, criminals and sources of infectious disease, by pledging to construct a wall across a continent, by promising the roundup and forced deportation of 11 million people, Trump has made looking on the bright side pretty difficult. In fact, Trump’s political approach is defined by the fomenting of conflict with foreigners: with scheming Mexicans and predatory Chinese. Remove the appeal to base instincts and you are left with little but opposition to entitlement reform.”