Sad Radicals by Connor Barnes

A young man relates his experience as an anarchist and explains how these radical groups start resembling cults and gangs (usually taking on the worst elements of both) after a while. There's a lot to take from his reflections: the allure of ideologies, the politics within supposedly apolitical groups, the creeds that arise among supposed atheists, and the downward trajectory that inevitably happens. My thought after reading this was how applying these radical ideas to a mainstream platform, as certain people on the Left are doing, will change politics and culture for the general population.

Science In the Unmaking by David Warren

Warren questions the idea of science for science's sake. He shows that this is different from doing science for the sake of truth or the sake of solving problems; rather, it's more about collecting money and prestige to perpetuate pseudo-scholarship. Warren identifies the various kinds of "science" that prevail these days and concludes that only a small portion is truly devoted to something worthwhile.

In a Pessimistic Mood by David Carlin

Another article from the The Catholic Thing and from David Carlin (see the "Editor's Picks" from two weeks ago). More than any other Catholic writer right now, Carlin is the clearest, most concise, and (in my opinion) the most accurate in assessing the situation facing Catholics in the 21st century. As the title would suggest, Carlin is pessimistic about the future of the Catholic Church in America. He cites the collapse of Catholicism in other parts of the world at various points in history and today (specifically Quebec and Ireland) as proof that religious decline is quite possible. I'd prefer to see this as reason to work all the harder to aspire for the devout life and share the Gospel rather than a reason to despair.

Heed Emanuel by Steven Malanga

Illinois is in trouble: they are racking up greater and greater pension debt even in the face of cutting services and raising taxes. Already, the state is losing people to places like Texas (woot!) and Florida. This is progressive politics at work. Rahm Emanuel, of all people, is the one crying for reform before it's too late, and everyone has predictably decided to refuse to listen or do anything. Expect Chicago and Illinois to go the way of Detroit and Michigan. And when it happens, expect that Republicans will be blamed for it.