China and the Vatican

China and the Vatican

Father Paul Mariani, S.J., professor at Santa Clara University, gave a fascinating talk at the Napa Institute Summer Conference on the subject of China and the Vatican. Father Mariani’s presentation centered on a 2018 “provisional accord” between China and the Vatican that was apparently designed to work toward normalizing relations and resolving issues over the…

FASTING: Something concrete and powerful we can do while the world goes crazy

FASTING: Something concrete and powerful we can do while the world goes crazy

The Eleventh Annual Napa Institute Catholic Conference included a practical but very profound talk on the subject of fasting by Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., O.P., of The Busch School of Business at Catholic University of America. The Bible is full of references to fasting, especially at critical times during a person’s life, especially necessary along…

All Things Made New: Napa Institute Summer Conference Overview

All Things Made New: Napa Institute Summer Conference Overview

The Eleventh Annual Napa Catholic Conference was held July 22-24, 2021, with an impressive lineup of Catholic speakers on the theme “All Things Made New.” The conference included Mass and a wide range of talks, including religious and spiritual topics, lots of commentary on current Church and world events, apologetics and some very practical subjects…

Court-packing: What is it? Why is it Unconstitutional?  Historical attempts, and What is Happening Today…

Court-packing: What is it? Why is it Unconstitutional? Historical attempts, and What is Happening Today…

A group of Democratic lawmakers has launched an effort to let President Biden appoint four new Justices to the Supreme Court. Their stated purpose is to change the balance on the Court so that it will approve the Democrats’ liberal policies. This is a highly questionably and likely unconstitutional practice known as “court-packing.” President Biden…

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on a mission to rein in big tech censorship

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on a mission to rein in big tech censorship

On April 5, Justice Thomas issued a concurring opinion in the case  Joseph Biden vs. Knight First Amendment Institute, addressing the historically unprecedented control of information and communication by a few privately owned digital platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon. While the case had originated as an attack against President Trump, Justice Thomas used…

Covid Vaccine Myths and Morality

Covid Vaccine Myths and Morality

As a California attorney, I take regular continuing education classes. With Covid on everyone’s’ minds, I decided to learn something about vaccine laws. Some of what I learned was eye-opening, including the truth about three common Covid vaccine myths. Myth 1:   Covid Vaccines are FDA approved. Reply: The vaccines have only been authorized so far…

What is Responsible Voting?  

What is Responsible Voting?  

Since we are responsible for the actions of those we elect, how should we vote when there is no perfect candidate? Obviously, the same way we make other prudential decisions in an imperfect world… we prioritize and weigh competing issues and considerations. This does not make us a “single issue” voter but we do have…

History and Racism- who are the racists?

History and Racism- who are the racists?

We hear a lot these days about systemic or institutionalized racism, especially in connection with the police and persisting economic disparity between races. Protesters say historical racism is so embedded in our western culture that we need to erase symbols of our tainted past like statues and the names of cities, schools and sports teams.…

Contact Tracing, Mandatory Smartphone Apps and China

Contact Tracing, Mandatory Smartphone Apps and China

As our society gradually unwinds the Covid-19 shutdowns and people reenter the public workforce, we’re seeing new government efforts to “protect” us whether we like it or not. This increasingly involves mandatory health screenings and various forms of technology-assisted “contact tracing,” including new smartphone apps to identify people who are sick or have associated with…

Working Our Way Back

Working Our Way Back

We all agree on the need to start reopening the economy, and our lives in general, as soon as possible to avoid a cascading array of catastrophes—major economic problems, business failures, unemployment, depression, domestic problems, suicides, possible food shortages, increased poverty and the like.    We also need to remember that the U.S. Constitution remains…

Back to Church

Back to Church

When the Coronavirus pandemic first hit, the Catholic Church was among some of the first organizations to “self quarantine.” Public worship was quickly shut down, including Masses and confessions. Unfortunately, as time has passed and safety procedures are being developed, little effort has been made to reopen the sacraments, even during Easter week, and even…

What is Wrong with Moral Investing and How can it be done better?

What is Wrong with Moral Investing and How can it be done better?


Much has been written about the morality of investing in the stock market, often expressed in terms of an obligation to avoid stock in companies that are engaged in immoral businesses. This can be very difficult considering the wide variety of business activities of major corporations and the diverse stock holdings in modern mutual funds,…