Link

Government with unlimited powers? No thanks.

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5 and Section 3, Clause 1: Analyzing the Constitution for 90 Days

Explaining the constitutional set-up of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Morrisey discusses differences between the Constitution and the previous Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation had outlined a federal government in which all three powers—legislative, executive, and judicial—resided entirely in one Congress. This was ineffectual. Meeting in Philadelphia, the Framers were forced to invent an effective system that would balance the branches they envisioned, while, at the same time, not concentrating in any one too much power.

Photo

It appears that paganism’s got her groove back.

The bulletin boards of libraries, local co-ops, and college campuses are increasingly populated with flyers inviting you to a summer or winter solstice celebrations. (Poor equinoxes… they don’t get as much attention.) The blogosphere is dotted with examples of homes that have reintroduced elements of pagan worship into their everyday routines.

In our enlightened, technological civilization, this renaissance of paganism strikes many as odd. But actually, it makes perfect sense.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/pagans-among-us

Link

We're not imagining it...things are getting worse

Young Adults After the Recession: Fewer Homes, Fewer Cars, Less Debt

Quote

"

‎”For the real aims of the game of politics are order and justice and freedom, not the winning of polls and primaries.”

- Russell Kirk, ‘The Sword of Imagination’

"

Photo

Here’s a chart comparing Minneapolis with two metro area suburban districts (Chaska/Chanhassen and Edina)…

Why are the suburban schools more successful? Is it mainly because they have less poor, ELL, and special ed students? Or, is there something else?

Photo

The Social Justice You Don’t Hear About

Social Justice is justice usually sought for at a distance. Supporting social justice involves advocating for equal rights for various groups and classes within a society. Ideally, it is motivated by a desire that a society provide conditions that allow all men and women to flourish.

But let’s face it: justice is much more comfortable when done at a distance. It is much easier to offer support – vocal, legislative, or financial – for justice at the collective, ideological, and faceless level. It is much more difficult to be consistently “just” to those we encounter on a regular basis.

Fyodor Dostoevsky reminds us of this difficulty in The Brothers Karamazov. At one point Ivan Karamazov says to his brother Alyosha, “I could never understand how one can love one’s neighbors. It’s just one’s neighbors, to my mind, that one can’t love, though one might love those who live at a distance.” In another scene, Father Zossima recalls a doctor once saying to him, “The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.”

The classic definition of justice is “rendering to each his due.” Justice presupposes that people have something “due” to them – that they have rights – and that we have knowledge of what is due to them and act accordingly. Theoretically, the better we know someone, the more likely we are to know exactly what is due to him or her. Humans have general needs, but they are also unique, and only those closest to individual men and women can know the particularities of what is and is not good for them.

It is both tragic and ironic, then, that we are less likely to be just to those around us. This has likely always been the case. It is said that “familiarity breeds contempt.” Familiarity also seems to breed injustice, as we are more likely to let down our guards with those we interact with frequently. These injustices with the familiar take familiar forms: saying unkind words to parents, losing our patience with our children, failing to return a friend’s phone call. It takes a lot of energy to exercise justice toward familiar faces with regularity – at least, at first. It is much easier for us to muster our forces of justice for the occasional stranger or distant object of charity.

But the atomization of society has seemingly made things worse. For much of human history, men and women have primarily identified themselves by their family, friends, and local community. Now, however, Americans primarily define themselves as individuals in relation to the larger society. As a result, the traditional relationships of family, friends, and community appear more dispensable, and we are less likely to worry about committing injustices within them.

Thus, social justice at a distance appears to be flourishing today. One can scarcely open a newspaper with seeing various calls for more freedom, equality, and rights for various groups. But justice at the more proximate levels appears to be suffering as evidenced by the decline and separation of the nuclear family and our impoverished notion of friendship.

The rub is that the justice of the larger society is a reflection of the justice that its members exercise toward one another on a daily basis. Social justice from afar is good, but only if complemented by acts of justice that are up close and personal. In other words, continue to strive for social justice, but don’t forget to be socially just to those around you, as well.

Answer
Photo

For the Love of Money

Last year, marking the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, my husband gave me, a former citizen of East Germany who emigrated to the United States almost nine years ago, a diamond encrusted pendant of the dollar sign.

Ah, yes, I hear your gasps: How distasteful, you might think. Money is the symbol of naked greed, grubby materialism, shameless profiteering, and exploitation. Money is the root of all evil!

Let me explain. In one sense, money is neither moral nor immoral; only the actions of individuals using money can be morally evaluated. Money is simply a medium of exchange that facilitates the trade of goods and services.

In another sense, money is a symbol. It is the symbol of the human mind’s productive power. By paying someone for the goods or services he has produced we recognize that productive power.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/love-money

Link

The War on Kids

Flashback to 2010 we were having a much different conversation. Do you think this is a conversation we should still be having?

In 95 minutes, THE WAR ON KIDS exposes the many ways the public school system has failed children and our future by robbing students of all freedoms due largely to irrational fears.  Children are subjected to endure prison-like security, arbitrary punishments, and pharmacological abuse through the forced prescription of dangerous drugs.  Even with these measures, schools not only fail to educate students, but the drive to teach has become secondary to the need to control children.”

Link

In surprise, GDP shrinks by 0.1 percent in fourth quarter

Will anyone really be surprised if we slide into another recession/depression? Let’s all be honest, a part of GDP calculation is government spending. Guess what? When the government borrows and spends roughly an extra $1 trillion every year that counts towards “GDP growth”. 

In other words, if you made $35,000 each year, but spent an extra $10,000 every year on the ole credit card, the way government spending counts towards GDP that would mean your income was actually $45,000! 

So, even with borrowing and spending roughly an extra $1 trillion, GDP still went negative in the 4th quarter. Friends, we have no idea how long this charade can be kept up, but do know that not all of the prosperity you see around you is as real as we all wished. You can only act rich for so long before the bills catch up to you. That’s true for America, too.