Autiello: Will True Christianity Please Stand Up?

Nick Autiello, Contributor

The notion that homosexuality is a sin and un-Christian is one that is less than a hundred years old. It is wrong, and has no basis in scriptural or historical reality.

SASSO: The Coming New Year

James Sasso, Associate Editor

As the tumultuous 2011 comes down to its final day, this column could contain an obnoxious summary of the year’s extraordinary events. Rather than once again discussing the protests around the world, the death of Osama Bin Laden, Fukushima, America’s political ineptitude, Europe’s demise or the increasingly frightful weather patterns, here I attempt to predict what 2012 holds in store.

SASSO: Kicking the Can

James Sasso, Associate Editor

For one of the first times in his tenure as Speaker, John Boehner has made a statement with which every American, Republican or Democrat, should fully agree; the two-month Senate bipartisan extension of the payroll tax cut fails to fix the nation’s problems sufficiently. Providing a short-term band-aid to a long-term dilemma contradicts what a responsible government should accomplish, but fits the pattern of contemporary American politicking.

CIOCCI: A Foolish Consistency

Mitt Romney is guilty of serial hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich is guilty of being a public intellectual constantly scrutinized by the media and others, and Ron Paul never ceases to remind me about one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

AKMAN: Jon Huntsman’s Meaningless Campaign

Josh Akman, Columnist

Jon Huntsman did not participate in the CNN Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Short of his family and small (and getting smaller) campaign staff, no one really noticed. In a bizarre and counterproductive effort to impress New Hampshire voters Huntsman skipped the debate to protest Nevada moving its caucus ahead of New Hampshire’s, which has always been the nation’s first primary. It’s bizarre because no one else skipped the debate. It’s counterproductive because right now, Jon Huntsman is polling 6% in New Hampshire.

SASSO: The 99% Rising

James Sasso

Associate Editor

For the past month a movement has grown out of Zuccoti Park in New York with the potential to grab at the very heart of America’s problems. “We are the 99%” is not simply a catchy phrase used by frustrated jobless Americans , but a commentary on the disgraceful economic inequality that has arisen in the United States since the 1970s.

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MARIN: The Survivor

Humans are naturally risk averse. America’s deified president is no different. The 2012 budget reveals no brave heroism or audacious stupidity — just political cowardice.

MARIN: Ratify New START

Paul Marin, Columnist

The Senate Republicans’ stated opposition to the New START treaty is that it negatively impacts America’s Eastern European allies, its U.S. missile defense capabilities and strategic security. But in fact, it enhances them. The Republican attempt to defeat President Obama by stalling the treaty was a misguided, purely partisan tactic which only weakens America.

MARIN: Change Is Needed

Voting in a Republican Congress on Tuesday is a gamble. With the economy in the tank, the Obama Administration needs both a wake-up call as well as political cover for decisions that would be unpopular with the liberal base on economic issues. The imperative for change makes voting Republican a well-placed bet. And should it not live up to its promise, a Republican Congress may be what President Obama needs for reelection.

MARIN: The Chinese Scare and Economic Illiteracy

China-bashing commercials abound the airwaves in support of both Democrats and Republicans. Such political messages not only portray Americans as horrible human beings in the eyes of foreigners but are also counterproductive for America’s foreign policy. While Chinese policy-makers acknowledge the fact that such politicians may only be pandering to domestic audiences, they also know that in a democracy, elected representatives are accountable to the electorate, and it is therefore reasonable for them to question American intentions.

MARIN: The Comedy of Democracy and the Tragedy of Satire

Paul Marin, Columnist

Tragically, today’s democracy is colored with comic “relief” and a plethora of opportunities for satire. Between Colbert’s testimony before Congress, Stewart’s Rally on the Hill and the slew of O’Donnell caricatures, current politicians and their watchdogs in late-night t.v. legitimize the mockery of a government of, by and for the people.

MARIN: Another Inconvenient Truth

Paul Marin, Columnist

In 2006, Al Gore’s Nobel prize winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth brought the threat of climate change to the forefront of the world’s political attention. Unfortunately, the magnitude of climate change’s danger has led many to ignore the fact that in combating greenhouse gas emissions, we may risk substituting climate change with other equally damaging problems.

MARIN: America’s Internet Is Safe — For Now

Paul Marin, Columnist

America is heavily reliant on the Internet for its public utilities, air and train traffic controls, financial operations, and military effectiveness. A group of well-trained hackers from China, Russia or anywhere in the world could shut down the country with a cyberattack. But would it be in their favor to do so?

MARIN: How the Tea Party Will End

Paul Marin, Columnist

The victories that apparently seemed to confirm the Tea Party’s position as a reputable force on the American right are, ironically, planting the seeds of the movement’s own demise. What could have been a potent political tool for channeling anger during a tough economy will soon become an example of a movement overplaying its hand.

MARIN: Obama’s Dream – A Republican Congress?

Paul Marin, Columnist

The looming GOP takeover of Congress presents President Obama with the greatest political opportunity of his presidency yet. Forced cooperation with the Republicans could lead to higher approval ratings — and, ultimately, re-election for the increasingly unpopular president.

MARIN & PETERSON: Recovering the Civil-Military Relationship

Paul Marin & Tim Peterson

To optimize the civil-military relationship is to reinforce its mutual incentive: victory. Both sides must uphold strategies of success over tactics of dominance to ensure a shared objective and recover trust.

MARIN: US Needs New Trade Partners

Paul Marin, Columnist

Caption: The slowdown in economic recovery highlights the need for the US to diversify its export markets and the need for new free trade agreements with emerging economies.

MARIN & PETERSON: Afghan Policy Changes Petraeus Should Make

Paul Marin & Tim Peterson

To ensure a successful withdrawal from Afghanistan next year, General David Petraeus must improve counterinsurgency efforts. We have a couple ideas on what he should do.

MARIN: Acknowledging the Limits of Our Beliefs

Paul Marin, Columnist

A restaurant in Paul Marin’s hometown in Romania evades taxes and bribes local officials – but that’s the only way to succeed as an entrepreneur. But such behavior would not be acceptable – morally or legally – in the US. Paul Marin explores this moral dilemma on tax-evasion to highlight the intellectual limits of one’s beliefs and explains the benefits of acknowledging such limits.

MARIN: Winning the War for Lithium

Paul Marin, European Correspondent

The discovery of lithium and other metals in Afghanistan offers rare economic hope for Afghanis and a strategic advantage for the United States. To live up to the promise of Afghanistan’s resources, the US must avoid the pitfalls of economic imperliasm.

MARIN: Government, Inc. – Can Private, For-Profit Government Ever Work?

Paul Marin, European Correspondent

Can for private, for profit government solve issues of bad governance? Paul Marin describes how and why such government might work by analyzing the current governance issue of Romania.

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