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Norbert Bufka

Author   Historian   Speaker

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Being Catholic Becoming Faithful

I have had a lifetime of faith … or what I thought was faith. Now that I am in my post-retirement years, I have concluded that I was being Catholic, but religion is not faith. It is something much deeper and personal. For me, my Catholic religion has neglected the development of my faith and focused…

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School Safety is of Paramount Importance

School safety in my youth were mundane concerns compared to the safety issue today. School shootings occur far more frequently in the United States than anywhere else in the world. When combined with other mass shootings, eleven of the worst 50 mass shootings were in the United States.  We have only…

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Is Donald Trump fit to be President?

David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote that Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship.” I will explore in this column why Brooks made such a bold statement.


Words are the building blocks of communication, whether in personal conve…

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Gun violence must stop

Once again I am saddened by the massacre at a school in Florida. This is the 6th school shooting in 2018. What will it take to make Congress act?

Between the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 and now, Congress has passed only one law regarding guns and gun violence. That was in February 2017 to …

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History Lessons

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana, American philosopher and author.

If you can’t remember history, then it is very important to study it. David McCulloch, Ron Chernow, and others make history come alive by telling the story of people: who they were, …

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Guns and domestic terrorism

Some of our national leaders are so intent on spreading fear and hatred against Muslims in the name of security that they are blinded by the very real threat of domestic terrorism. They get all angry about the killing of eight people in New York but show no sign of anger about the shooting of 58 peo…

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The Electoral College Must be Changed or Ended

The United States Constitution is an amazing document. We praise it and hold it in as high esteem as the Bible or Qu'ran or other sacred books.  But just as the sacred books are interpreted in many ways and misunderstood in the process, so is the Constitution. It was created by men for the purpose o…

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Is Hillary Clinton fit to be president?

Earlier this month I raised the question of Donald Trump’s fitness to be president of the United States. (See previous blog) It is only fair I ask the same question of Hillary Clinton. In Trump’s case, I based my comments on his self-serving use of words, his inability to focus on a subject for more…

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It is time to reframe the gun debate

The meaning of the Second Amendment has been interpreted to mean that the private ownership of guns “shall not be infringed.” The right to life is also guaranteed in  the Constitution.  Clearly the right to life is a superior right to that of owning a gun.

After the massacre in Orlando, the…

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Lessons from the Flint water crisis

The Flint water crisis can teach us several lessons if we are willing to pay attention to this debacle. The crisis was a tragic mistake that allowed the city to draw water from the Flint River for residential use without proper evaluation.

Common good

The common good is the sum total of the co…

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Let there be peace on earth

At this time of year it is customary to share greetings of happiness and best wishes for the New Year. These greetings are based on the Christian tradition of celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace. Peace and harmony are at the heart of all religions. Unfortunately these sentiments are often l…

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Ferguson case raises many questions

In 2007 I published a book entitled, A Journey to Peace through Justice. I chose the word justice because of Pope Paul VI comment, “If you want peace, work for justice.” Today I would not use that word but rather compassion.

Justice is bound up with our legal system in this country and implie…

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Let us Celebrate our Independence

With our annual celebration of Independence Day on July 4th, it is good to reflect on our founding documents that led to our separation from England in the eighteenth century.

Founding documents

The primary document associated with Independence Day is, of course, the Declaration of Independenc…

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Distorted property views are serious threat to democracy

In early October my wife and I visited the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. In anticipation of that I began reading Chesapeake by James Michener. It was fascinating to tour the area Michener described so well from several hundred years ago to today. In the midst of his accounts of waterm…

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The NRA response to the Newtown massacre is shortsighted

On December 14,2012,  there was a terrible massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown Connecticut. I was filled with sadness when I heard the news about this massacre and was filled with compassion for the surviving mothers, fathers, and siblings of those children and adults who were brutally gunned d…

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Are you prepared to vote November 6, 2012?

This election cycle is quickly drawing to a close but the most important event has yet to take place: voting on Tuesday November 6. Voting is not only a right but a privilege. Here are some thoughts on the issues facing us.


Some people have been declaring that there is too much unc…

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Have the Pope and Bishops abandoned the Gospel?

The phrase “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” is very well known. What I learned recently however is that Lord Acton used this phrase in reference to Pope Pius IX in 1870. The Pope had just lost rule over the Papal States in Garibaldi’s effort to unify the people of the Italian pen…

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