Featured, Poetry »

I am afraid he is in ecstasy #poem

By | March 10, 2017

That cloud: a white, fluffy boxing glove.
The amputated man that sits on the seat
of the cliff: I am afraid he is in ecstasy.
He stole a spandex dress from a seven-
year-old girl and donned it himself.
Amazing, isn’t it?
The woman with elongated breasts: she
seems to exit a Mario video game.
His unabbreviated thigh casts two
shadows.
Their ability: to sketch two dark marks
on the side …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

How Abolitionists Fought—and Lost—the Battle with America’s Sweet Tooth

By | March 10, 2017

Today, land developer and businessman William Cooper is best known for founding Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But back in the 1790s, Cooper was a judge and a congressman who used his power to market a different sort of pleasure—American-made maple syrup—as an ethical homegrown alternative to molasses made from cane sugar, which was at that time farmed by slaves. …

Connecting California, Headline »

The Olympic Movement Is Relentlessly Corrupt, so Why Should Southern California Host in 2024?

By | March 9, 2017

Los Angeles should drop its bid for the 2024 Olympics—before it gets chosen.
It’s true that Paris has long been the favorite to be awarded the games during an upcoming vote in September. The Paris bid has broad international support, the City of Light has come close to winning the games in recent bids, and sentiment is on its side. 2024 would be the 100th anniversary …

Headline, Nexus »

How a Burned-Out Basketball Coach Rebounded in Ireland by Learning to Love a Lost Cause

By | March 8, 2017

“Time out!” I yelled.
It was something I said a lot that year, in the midst of a losing streak that would culminate in a dead last place finish. This was in the Irish Super League—perhaps the lowest level of pro basketball in the world—and I was the coach of the Tralee Tigers.
My team gathered around me on the bench, and I wondered for an …

Featured, Nexus »

In the Era of the On-Demand Economy, Government Must Consider Both What Citizens Want and What They Can Contribute

By | March 7, 2017

In the 20th century, the legitimacy of governments was based almost solely on the rule of law and the right to vote.
In the democratic upheaval of the 21st century, citizens still want the protection of laws and the ability to choose representatives, but those powers may no longer be enough to make government legitimate in the eyes of the people. In the future, governments may …

Featured, Nexus »

If You Want to Rule Brazil, Draw Power from the Streets

By | March 7, 2017

Last August, Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff was forced to step down from office after the nation’s senate voted to impeach her. But Rousseff’s true downfall came months earlier, when record numbers of Brazilians turned out in street protests to demand her resignation.
The deeply unpopular Rousseff wasn’t the first Brazilian leader, and likely won’t be the last, to lose her legitimacy after millions of people …

Headline, Wanderlust »

Are the Politics of Nihilism a Backlash Against the Enlightenment?

By | March 7, 2017

When I was a gloomy 16-year-old grasping to find some meaning in the world, my father gave me a tattered copy of social philosopher Michael Novak’s The Experience of Nothingness. Seriously.
There have been times over the past few decades when I’ve considered this “gift” a few yards short of insensitive and maybe even borderline teenager abuse. But I’m quite certain Dad’s intentions were …

Featured, Nexus »

Why Will Donald Trump Hate the Presidency? Because He Doesn’t Understand the Difference Between Strength and Power.

By | March 6, 2017

Donald Trump entered politics as a self-proclaimed “strong leader.” He castigated his supposedly tepid predecessor for lacking necessary strength. Trump, by contrast, would sweep away the establishment and remake America. But Trump quickly faced opposition from, among others, protesters, federal judges, career civil servants, and states. His executive order on immigration, for example, which temporarily banned all travel to the United States from seven majority …

Featured, Nexus »

To Keep Authoritarianism at Bay, Western Democracies Need to Root Themselves in a Vision of the Common Good

Why is democracy in trouble? Long before democracy’s global slump became conventional wisdom, Yascha Mounk was warning that support for democracy was on the decline in the world’s most advanced societies.
In a paper published in the Journal of Democracy, Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard University, and his colleague Roberto Stefan Foa showed that public satisfaction with democratic governments was the lowest it had …

Headline, Nexus »

How Thomas Jefferson’s Feud with Aaron Burr Defined What It Means to Betray America

By | March 6, 2017

One answer lies in our nation’s founding document. Treason is the only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution, which states: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
The Founders borrowed this language from the law of King Edward III of England. Enacted in A.D. 1350, Edward …

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