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  • The Electoral College: Does It Matter?

    In case you did not notice the past few months, the 2012 Presidential Election is a big deal. The United States faces two choices that will lead to two very different outcomes. Stimulating our economy, creating jobs for the American people, is on the forefront of the many other issues the nation faces—issues on healthcare, foreign policy, education, and sustainable energy also need to be addressed. Americans are highly encouraged … Read More

  • Play Nice: The Importance of Fair Trade

    In a world where the gap between rich and poor keeps growing, fair trade makes a difference. The main purpose of fair trade practices is to provide opportunities to impoverished nations and their people. The Fair Trade Federation defines fair trade as “an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.” Fair Trade organizations ensure … Read More

  • Event: Campaign 2012 Lecture and Debate Watch II

      Campaign 2012 October 16, 2012 7:30 PM Bazarsky Lecture Hall – O’Hare Academic Center Salve Regina University Ochre Point Avenue (at the intersection with Shepard Avenue) Newport, RI RSVP to pellcenter@salve.edu or call (401) 341-2927 7:30 PM Lecture: Faithful Citizenship in a Partisan World with Peter Steinfels, Ph.D. (co-sponsored by the Religious & Theological Studies Department and Mercy Center) Since the 1970s, Catholics have been urged by church leaders to be … Read More

  • Opinion: Where’s the Dialogue on Climate?

    Ten days ago, I had the good fortune of moderating a panel at the Association of Opinion Journalists in Orlando, Florida.  The topic my colleagues and I were supposed to address was Climate and the Environment.  As I prepared my remarks, I couldn’t help but think about how lacking the public debate has been on substantive issues for the last two months.  Sure, there’s been a lot of coverage of … Read More

  • Afghanistan End Game: Event Report

    On Wednesday, August 1, the Pell Center and Newport CIV jointly hosted an evening conversation with two prominent experts on the course of the war in Afghanistan.  Dr. Bernard Finel of the National War College and Dr. Mark Jacobson of the German Marshall Fund of the United States engaged an audience of more than 100 people with assessments of where we stand after nearly 11 years of fighting. America’s war … Read More

  • Statement on the 40th Anniversary of the Pell Grant

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Newport, RI—To mark the 40th anniversary of the Pell Grant, Dr. Jim Ludes, executive director of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, issued the following statement: Forty years ago, in the middle of the Nixon Administration, the United States Congress created Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, later renamed Pell Grants.  This bipartisan investment in America’s young has provided a remarkable return on its investment. The Pell Grant … Read More

  • Do Facts Matter? Should they?

    Former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously quipped: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” If only it were so simple. New research and events demonstrate that facts, science, and evidence don’t really matter when we’re discussing controversial issues—even if the controversy is engineered. A recent letter in the journal Nature examines the relationship between science literacy and the perception of risk from … Read More

  • Quick Hits: Faith and Politics; Climate Change; Iranian Nukes

    A few quick hits before the weekend and next week’s healthcare conference. Faith and Politics: Demonstrating the principles we discussed at the most recent roundtable lunch, Congressman Paul Ryan took on the social-justice teachings of the Catholic Church this week and revealed that “Cafeteria Catholicism” is a bipartisan practice. Climate Change: New data and analysis reveals that some Antarctic ice sheets are melting from underneath.  It’s 2012, could we have … Read More

  • God and American Politics

    I just returned from the Pell Center round-table with Professor Dan Cowdin on the role of God in American politics.  It was a lively conversation that affirmed just how intimately intertwined are issues of faith, identity, and public values. As the conversation ensued, we made reference to several texts from American history.  I’ve linked to each below. President John F. Kennedy’s Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (1960) Rev. … Read More

  • The Briseno Family: Heroes among Heroes

    In 2004, I was working as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate when I came across a story about a grievously wounded soldier from Northern Virginia and his devoted parents who refused to give up on him. The soldier is Jay Briseno.  An Army reservist, he deployed to Iraq in 2003 and was shot in the back of his neck, severing his spinal cord.  In the course of surgeries … Read More

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