Thirty-Five Things That Caught My Eye Today: Miscarriage, Middle East & More



2. The New York Times: The Maddening Red Tape Facing Older People Who Want the Vaccine

In the city, over a million older New Yorkers started the week with optimism that they would finally gain access to the vaccine after months of fearing they would fall victim to the coronavirus. But the reality of actually getting the shots has proved to be far more maddening.

Buggy websites, multiple sign-up systems that act in parallel but do not link together and a lack of outreach are causing exasperation and exhaustion among older New Yorkers and others trying to set up vaccination appointments. It is also stymying New York’s early efforts to get the vaccine to many of the city’s most vulnerable, creating a situation that elected officials say risks exacerbating the inequalities that Covid-19 has already laid painfully bare.

3. ‘Devastating’: Lawsuit Against New York Claims 2019 Abortion Bill Enables Domestic Violence

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA), passed in January 2019, changed the definition of “person” under New York criminal law to exclude all unborn children, including those capable of surviving outside of the womb even without medical intervention. Under this new definition, an unborn child is no longer able to be considered the victim of a homicide.

“This new definition is devastating,” Christen E. Civiletto said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire. Civiletto, one of the attorneys who is filing the lawsuit, said that “because a criminal assailant can no longer be separately charged for the death of an unborn child, the RHA escalates the threat of harm to women and unborn children and incentivizes deadly violence against women.”

“New York has stripped women and their families of their ability to pursue justice for those deaths,” Civiletto added. “That’s outrageous. In fact, it is contrary to the stated policy of the RHA itself: to affirm the ‘fundamental right [of women] to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child.’”


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5. Tahir Hamut Itzgil: A Form in Xinjiang

“What religion do you believe in?” said Güljan, suddenly with a strange look on her face. She was filling out that category. “None,” I said with certainty. My wife immediately turned her head to me with shock. “We don’t believe in any religion in our family,” I added. Güljan looked at my wife. My wife understood me at this point and nodded her head as a concurring response, but she could not say, “No, we don’t believe in religion.” Even though Güljan was aware of us lying, she continued to fill out the form without verifying our claim. At this moment, Adile came out of her office and came to us. She stared for a little while at the form that we were filling out then returned to her office.

. . .

It was noon when my wife and I left the neighborhood committee office. We walked home. My wife quietly uttered, “Oh Allah, please forgive us!” I also said the same inside. It somehow lifted some weight of the guilt I had been feeling.

6. Bishops urge French Catholics to pray and fast as bioethics bill returns to Senate


8. Our Population Has Shrunk Since the 2016 Election

9. Axios: The raging trust crisis and its consequences

The trust deficit has gotten so bad that people don’t know who or what to believe anymore, and they don’t even trust themselves to get facts right.

10. Wonderful news: Ryan T. Anderson to Become Next EPPC President

11. James F. Jeffrey: Biden Doesn’t Need a New Middle East Policy

Over the last four years, the Trump administration scored two major successes in the Middle East—the Abraham Accords and the destruction of ISIS’s territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria. It also managed to counter Russia’s further expansion in Syria and elsewhere, grasp Iran’s enduring and multifaceted threat to regional stability, and mobilize a coalition to counter Tehran’s malign behavior. Although Trump did not solve the Iranian nuclear challenge, neither did Obama. The original nuclear agreement’s limits on unrestricted Iranian enrichment would have faded rapidly in just over five years.

By recent Middle East standards all this together is a respectable policy outcome. Trump managed to reduce direct U.S. commitments and expenses, all while working closely with regional allies. Still, it may be difficult for the next administration to maintain that approach while refocusing on the Iran nuclear deal. At present, many regional allies want continued U.S. pressure on Iran’s economy and regional adventurism more than an immediate return to the deal. Biden will need to balance those priorities carefully.

12. David M. Weinberg: A tribute to Trump’s winning Middle East policies

The Trump team did a great service to the cause of long-term Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace by insisting and acting on basic historical truths that long have been distorted by “peace-process professionals” and the so-called “international consensus.”

Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years and of the modern State of Israel since its founding. It also was affirmation that Jerusalem must never again be divided.

Furthermore, the “Pompeo Doctrine” made it clear that Jews are not interlopers or “illegal settlers” in Judea and Samaria, but rather indigenous to the Land of Israel.


14. Rod Dreher: Something Demonic Is In the Air

15. The Federalist: Virginia Plans For All Public Schools To Allow Boys In Girls’ Bathrooms And Sleepovers

16. Joe Biden will be only the second Catholic president — and a conundrum for the faithful

17. Nicanor Austriaco: A Priest-Scientist Responds to Concerns Raised by the Ramping Up of Vaccination Campaigns

To be clear, as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for which I am eligible, whether in the USA or here in the Philippines, I intend to be vaccinated with it. Additionally, as soon as a vaccine becomes available for my mother in the Philippines, I will encourage her to be vaccinated with it. Why? First, because these vaccines will save lives and protect our health care system. They will end the pandemic and remove the always-looming threat of lockdown and social disruption. They will allow us to hug again.

18. Christianity Today: Polarized Americans Still Support Religious Freedom

More than 8 in 10 Americans (84%) said religious organizations and people should have a role in advocating for racial equality and justice. And while 7 in 10 said that religion was important to them during times of social unrest, 78 percent viewed it as an important source of social stability.


20. Crux: Catholics in Iraq praying COVID doesn’t delay papal trip

21. Ryan Streeter: Grievance Politics Is a Dead-End Road

22. The Federalist: ‘We Just Wanted Our Voices To Be Heard.’ Capitol Protesters Speak Out

Jaron Pensinger, a 21-year-old student at Georgetown University, told me he went to the protest for two reasons: to voice his opposition to what he believes are unjustifiable pandemic lockdowns, and to raise awareness about mail-in ballot fraud in the November election.

23. Political theorists have been worrying about mob rule for 2,000 years

For Tocqueville, constitution alone is not strong enough to save democracy from the mob. A vigorous civic culture rooted in self-governing communities and a self-reliant and educated population are also necessary.


25. Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: The Good News on Cancer

Ready for some good news for a change? The American Cancer Society reported this week that cancer mortality declined by a record 2.4% in 2018 and 31% since the 1991 peak. Credit better and earlier diagnostics and therapies and a decline in smoking.

26. George Weigel: Fr. Maciej Zieba, O.P.


28. The Wall Street Journal: Australia Considers New Covid-19 Quarantine Strategy: Outback Isolation

29. Institute for Family Studies: Young Men and Society: We Will Only Get Out What We Put In

In other words, boys are going from female-dominated home environments to female-dominated school environments where less than one in nine schoolteachers is a man, 1 back to female-dominated home environments — where boys are being told to behave. These same environments demean boys and young men just for being male but at the same time only reward them when they “man up.” With such mixed messages, it’s no wonder many boys and young men are struggling, either in school or afterwards, “failing to launch,” with emotional disturbances, in interactions with the opposite sex, or with drug use and gang activities. 

Society likes to blame young men, saying it’s their problem, when in fact it is society that is not providing the structure, guidance, means or places for young men to develop themselves and thrive. 

30. Another Year Begins: An Epiphany for the Haters (and Anyone Else Tempted, Like Me, to Call it on 2021)

What I mean is, how do you keep engaging with the “world” without coming to hate it? Or without collapsing into cynicism entirely? Because the world breaks your heart. Life breaks your heart. The Church breaks your heart.

That’s putting it lightly. The closer you pay attention, the more you invest of yourself, the more painful it gets. Loss is paramount, this side of the veil #arentyougladyoutunedin.

Please understand: I’m not talking about specific cultural trends. I’m talking about all of it, the whole “empire of dirt,” the sum ugliness of what we contend with, day in and day out, right or left, male or female, Jew or Greek.

31. Timothy P. O’Malley: A Communion of Anxiety: Hookup Culture and the Impossible Horizon of the Future

But who can commit to the future? The fragile quality of all human bonds in liquid modernity — where every relationship is commodified — are too much to bear. The hookup is then a communion of the anxious, afraid to give their full lives to the flourishing of another person. Commitment could happen one day, maybe. After the young adult has achieved the job of his or her dreams, saved up money for a rainy day, gone on exotic vacations, and dated enough men or women to know what one desires in a relationship. With this built-up security keeping at bay the underdetermined horizon of the future, one could at last commit.

32. Arthur C. Brooks: Find the Place You Love. Then Move There.

As the economy changes, and quarantine has revealed that many jobs can be performed remotely, you might find yourself with more geographic flexibility than you have had in a long time. If you’re uncomfortable with the status quo, this time when life has been paused might be just the impetus you need to make you consider a change of place. This year could be the chance for you to move to the place where your heart resides.

33.  ‘Marriage: A Story of Love in 28 Parts’ has long-time couples rolling

34. Mary Forr Szoch: My Miscarriage and Roe v. Wade


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