Jack Quirk

In 2015, twenty-one young people, many of them acting through guardians, a non-profit organization called Earth Guardians, and climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations as well as his granddaughter, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, against the federal government (Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana, et al., vs. United States of America, et al., Case No. 6:15-cv-01517-TC), alleging “that, through the governments affirmative actions in causing climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.” The National Association of Manufacturers, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute were later granted permission to intervene in the action. The plaintiffs’ first amended complaint requests the court to “order Defendants to cease their permitting, authorizing, and subsidizing of fossil fuels and, instead, move to swiftly phase out CO2 emissions, as well as take such other action as necessary to ensure that atmospheric CO2 is no more concentrated than 350 ppm by 2100, including to develop a national plan to restore Earth’s energy balance, and implement that national plan so as to stabilize the climate system.” More… 

Unjust Killing is Murder: the Cruise Missle Attack On Syria and the Just War Doctrine
Doran Hunter
I
Barely 48 hours after the release of sarin gas in Idlib, Syria, the US military launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, substantially damaging the base, and killing both military personnel and civilians. From his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump declared, citing no evidence, that there “can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.”

Just hours after the poison gas incident, again with absolutely zero proof, mainstream media outlets were already condemning Bashar al-Assad for the attack, becoming willing instruments in the propaganda offensive for war that had so humiliatingly flagged in 2013 in the wake of the almost certainly bogus claims of chemical weapons use by Assad in Ghouta. More…  


A Just War Doctrine Reminder Regarding Syria
Jack Quirk 

Now there are different opinions extant on who is responsible for the chemical attack that gave rise to this U.S. response, many of them out of proportion to the access to actual intelligence information available to the proponents. And while the use of chemical weaponry on the part of Bashar al-Assad seems like an astonishingly irrational act of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at this point in the Syrian civil war, we do ourselves a disservice if we use that incongruity to avoid seeking the proper application of Catholic teaching to the situation at hand with the assumption that the U.S. position on what took place is the correct one. The question is, simply put: if the Syrian regime attacked its own citizens with chemical weapons, is a military response on the part of the United States justifiable under the Catholic just war doctrine? More...

Subsidiarity and the Single Payer
Jack Quirk 

One criticism of going to a single-payer healthcare system is that it would violate the principle of subsidiarity. Now from the standpoint of Catholic social teaching that is a devastating critique if it is true, since subsidiarity is an essential aspect of the Church’s social doctrine. We cannot simply ignore it. So it is worthwhile to look at both the principle of subsidiarity and the single-payer concept to determine if the two are really in conflict. More…  







What Changed My Mind on the Individual Mandate
Julia Smucker

With a view to reviving nonpartisan examination of what is both right and wrong with the ACA, I offer here my own critical reflection on one aspect of it that I myself have come to rethink – not from the perspective of a policy wonk or an insurance expert, of which I am neither, but that of a language service provider who has had occasion to witness a sampling of particular situations in which the positive and negative effects of the ACA are manifest. More…



The Subsidiarity Case for Meals on Wheels
Jack Quirk

[O]ne feature of the Meals on Wheels program that hasn’t received a lot of attention is how much in keeping it is with the Catholic social teaching principle of subsidiarity. The word comes from the Latin subsidium, meaning help, support, or relief. It has a military connotation, referring to reinforcement, or reserve troops. Applied to economic, political, and social questions, it means that the State is to step in where needed, and not otherwise. More…



Less is Not More
Jack Quirk

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) cost estimate of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the proposed Republican replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is out. The estimate was a joint effort of the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). Unsurprisingly, the “CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period.” Of course, the “largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance.” In other words, the savings will come from expenditures targeted toward getting health coverage for those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. More…





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