Tag: Politics

Imposing Costs on Russia: How about a Food Embargo? »

President Obama has threatened to impose costs on Russia for their intervention in Ukraine, but so far, his involvement has been high on rhetoric but low on action. Here’s a proposal that ought to hit Russia where it hurts: impose a food embargo on them. Americans and Europeans of a certain age can remember...
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Prize-winning Mathematician Says Common Core Math Doesn’t Add Up »

Last fall Marina Ratner was helping her grandson with his sixth grade math homework. His Berkeley middle school had just implemented Common Core, which had been touted as rigorous college- and career-ready standards that are internationally benchmarked to standards from top performing countries. According to Ms. Ratner, her grandson’s middle-school math class spent so...
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California Lawmakers Mandate Students Study about Obama »

You know your presidential popularity must be tanking when a state legislature has to pass a mandate requiring students to study about you in school. Recently the California State Legislature passed a new law (AB 1912) requiring the Instructional Quality Commission, which helps oversee the state’s Common Core standards, to consider revising the social...
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Reflections on the YAL National Convention 2014 »

“Let the American youth never forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.” —Justice Joseph...
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Orwellian Language: Peace Abroad; War at Home »

Governments often misuse language to build emotional and patriotic support for their policies. This Orwellian use of language is clearly evident in the way that US government policy uses the words “war” and “peace.” Everyone is well aware of the US military invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initiated during the Bush administration and continued...
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Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
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Gov. Brown Invokes Religion to Open the Border, but Path to Faith-based Schools Remains Closed »

Earlier this week Gov. Jerry Brown was in Mexico City “urging politicians ... to ‘heed the religious call ... to welcome the stranger’ in addressing the [immigration] crisis,” according to the Sacramento Bee. Gov. Brown continued by saying: These are children, and many of them have relatives that are in California and other parts...
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The War on Poverty and the War on Drugs »

As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Despite the similarity in their names, there is an important difference...
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Ban Government—Not Sweets—in Schools to Combat Bureaucratic Obesity »

In recent weeks states have been grappling with a host of unintended consequences stemming from new USDA regulations affecting food and beverages available in schools. Chocolate milk was a near casualty in Connecticut. Earlier this month one Washington state school district threw in the towel and banned birthday cupcakes in classrooms. Instead of baked...
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Are Lawsuits Ending or Mending Teacher Tenure? »

Last month Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu handed down a landmark decision in Vergara v. California. A group of student plaintiffs supported by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur argued that state tenure laws violated the State Constitution, kept bad teachers on the job, and deprived them of a quality education. A similar...
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