The Kids Are Coming Apart

AP

Think of an upper-middle class high-school boy who just got his driver’s license. One day after lacrosse practice John decides to go to his friend’s house instead of straight home. While there, his friend offers him some weed. He hasn’t smoked before, but he’s heard it is relatively safe and won’t hurt him, so he smokes a joint with his buddy.

On the way home, a police officer pulls John over for erratic driving. The cop sees his bloodshot eyes and smells the marijuana on his clothes, and he arrests John for driving under the influence.

Bad Weed

AP

Two trends have been at work in American culture over the past few years, and not much attention has been paid to the tension between them. On one side is the push for greater public health, manifested in limits on soda sizes and a stigmatizing of cigarette smoking. In many areas, local governments have outlawed smoking tobacco in bars and restaurants and near building entrances, and PSAs trumpet the health risks of smoking. On the other side, a push for greater acceptance of marijuana is gaining ground, with cities and whole states legalizing weed despite federal laws outlawing it.

The Left’s History of Obamacare

AP

A question recurs throughout this book: Why do liberals seem to be the only ones offering genuine solutions to our health care problems, and why do conservatives seem to oppose everything? It is a question that Stephen Brill never really answers.

At over 450 pages, America’s Bitter Pill is long on details. Brill has attempted to give us a comprehensive account of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare. His narrative begins before President Obama was elected to the White House and ends with the rollout of the law only months before the book’s publication.

Burn Baby Burn

Oil pumps in California / AP

Alex Epstein’s argument in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels is unconventional. Millions of people will die, he says, if we attempt drastically to restrict the use of fossil fuels in the United States. The usual rationale for doing so is that it will save lives. Environmentalists such as Bill McKibben and Tom Steyer argue that we will have a catastrophe on our hands if we do not reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we are putting into the air. The sea will rise, flooding our cities; droughts and hurricanes will ravage our plains and coasts; the world’s food supply will be cut substantially, causing millions in developing countries to be decimated by famine. More greenhouse gases, the byproduct of burning fossil fuels, will mean a much more dangerous world—at least so we are told.

Obamacare in the New Year

Healthcare.gov

If 2013 was the year of the Obamacare meltdown, 2014 was a year of mitigated success for the president and his signature law. Enrollment went as smoothly as could be expected for the first part of the year, more people signed up for insurance in the fall without any huge hiccups, and the president replaced his secretary overseeing the law with somebody who appears competent.

The Connected Soul of C.S. Lewis

AP

To most, C.S. Lewis is probably known for his fantastic imagination. The Chronicles of Narnia have been a core part of millions of people’s childhoods, and with good reason: Lewis builds out a whole world and develops a rich array of characters, and the themes he develops are provocative enough for most parents to enjoy the books, too.

Many others know Lewis for his incisive mind and Christian faith, which combined to make one of the best popular Christian works of apologetics ever written, Mere Christianity. Originally delivered as a series of radio addresses to Britain during World War II, the book has come to be one of the most influential Christian books of the last century.
Many others know Lewis for his incisive mind and Christian faith, which combined to make one of the best popular Christian works of apologetics ever written, Mere Christianity. Originally delivered as a series of radio addresses to Britain during World War II, the book has come to be one of the most influential Christian books of the last century.