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Founding Fathers

Alabama, Islam and the Founding Fathers' Belief in Religious Tolerance

Craig Considine | Posted 07.05.2014 | Religion
Craig Considine

Recent comments made by the Chief Justice of Alabama shows that much work needs to be done in educating some of America's most powerful figures on the...

China Needs To Lighten Up. America Needs To Tighten Up.

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.29.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

As governing systems, both China's autocracy and America's democracy are facing crisis. In many ways, their crises are the mirror image of each other -- and so are the solutions. To fix itself, China needs more re-politicization -- robust popular feedback and accountability to aerate its hidebound mandarinate. American democracy needs more de-politicization --stronger meritocratic, non-partisan and deliberative practices and institutions -- to escape its capture by the populist, short-term horizon of voters, organized special interests and the paralyzing gridlock of its adversarial political parties. Our two political cultures are as distinct as our economies are intertwined. Yet both have much to learn from each other's strengths as well as weaknesses. In short, China needs to lighten up; America needs to tighten up.

The Revolution at Colonial Williamsburg

Scott S. Smith | Posted 06.21.2014 | Travel
Scott S. Smith

If you think Colonial Williamsburg is the Republican Disneyland, you haven't been there in a while. The nation's largest living history center once had that reputation in the way it depicted the American Revolution. But that's been banished, along with George Washington's cherry tree.

The Obstacles to Income Equality

Frank A. Weil | Posted 05.24.2014 | Politics
Frank A. Weil

Electing a functional Congress, rather than a limp gesture of sidestepping the one we have, must be a first step toward tackling inequality.

What Did George Washington Do In This Room?

AP | Posted 03.21.2014 | Politics

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) — George Washington ate here, but nearly as much as we first thought. The keepers of Washington's Mount Vernon estate on Fri...

"The Pun and Only"

Jerry Zezima | Posted 05.18.2014 | Comedy
Jerry Zezima

By Jerry Zezima As a guy who has always loved puns, and has been known to use as many as 10 at a time (even if they don't work, I can say, "No pun in...

Gerrymandering, ALEC and the Red Tide That Is Stealing Your Vote

Lisa Longo | Posted 05.06.2014 | Politics
Lisa Longo

How many times a day do you catch yourself thinking, "What the hell is happening here?" We have gone from the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Br...

Rights Only for the Right People

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 05.03.2014 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

All those rights Americans cherish, those fundamental human and political freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution, Republicans contend those aren't really inalienable rights or anything solid or permanent like that.

The Wisdom of Privacy

Mark Weinstein | Posted 04.20.2014 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

The wisdom of privacy is fundamental to the healthy evolution and future of human beings. It is perhaps the most essential ingredient of the natural order and balance in the social milieu and for a healthy human existence on earth. It makes the privacy revolution we are facing real, relevant, and vital to preserving ourselves as societies and individuals.

How 'His Highness' George Washington Became 'Mr. President'

Harlow Giles Unger | Posted 04.16.2014 | Politics
Harlow Giles Unger

On February 22, 1789, George Washington won a unanimous election as his nation's first president -- indeed, the first popularly elected president in world history. His election, however, presented him and the rest of the nation with an unexpected problem... no one knew what to call him.

Missing From Presidents Day: The People They Enslaved

The Zinn Education Project | Posted 04.15.2014 | Education
The Zinn Education Project

t may be uncomfortable to give up long-held and even meaningful beliefs that in many ways build both collective and personal identities. However, erasing enslaved African Americans from the White House and the presidency presents a false portrait of our country's history.

The Sum of Us All

Lisa Longo | Posted 03.30.2014 | Politics
Lisa Longo

We need to remember this, our country was founded by a bunch of rabble-rousing activists who believed that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were worth dying for. Don't you think it is at least worth a few hours a month of your time?

Two Eighteenth Century Feuds That Could Disarm the President in the Fight Against Senate Gridlock

Carl Cecere | Posted 03.15.2014 | Politics
Carl Cecere

A case being argued at the United States Supreme Court next week, NLRB v. Noel Canning, threatens to do away with the chief executive's ability to use recess appointments to deal with senatorial stonewalling.

Religion and Politics Do Mix

William B. Bradshaw | Posted 03.13.2014 | Religion
William B. Bradshaw

It has long been said there are two topics that should be avoided in "polite company," that is, at social gatherings, parties, service clubs, during i...

Yes Virginia, Guns Do Kill People

Lisa Longo | Posted 02.14.2014 | Politics
Lisa Longo

Guns aren't also used for transportation. So do not tell me how cars kill as well. Knives, rope, even baseball bats. All have other primary purposes. Except guns. They have one goal. To kill.

How a U.S. Senator Can Avoid "The Senate Curse" and Get Elected to the Presidency

Rich Rubino | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Rich Rubino

Between 1960 and 2008, 50 U.S. Senators sought the Presidency and lost. U.S. Senator Barack Obama broke the nearly half-century "Senate Curse" in 2008 by wining the Presidency.

Tea and Sympathy

Atiba Madyun | Posted 12.17.2013 | DC
Atiba Madyun

Thousands of federal employees returned to work this morning as the 2013 #GovernmentShutdown ended. With the damage left by the tea party, a small f...

Checks and Balances: The Government Shutdown in Perspective

Jack Pinkowski | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Jack Pinkowski

Conservative Republicans are using the system, because they can, to bring the healthcare bill back on the agenda by refusing to pass the omnibus budget bill for 2014. This is possible by design and a result of the Separation of Powers. That system of checks and balances incorporates the need for agreement and compromise between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.

The One Thing Everyone Wants More Than Anything

Steve McSwain | Posted 12.09.2013 | Healthy Living
Steve McSwain

What is happiness? And where is it found? And further still, if we found it, how would we know that what we found is actually it?

Tea Party: The Constitution Is an Inconvienent Truth

Zach Friend | Posted 12.07.2013 | Politics
Zach Friend

Apparently they love the Constitution until it becomes inconvenient. Kind of like how they love to rail against "big government" until they can get photo-ops about governmental programs they like.

Football and the Ideal Republic

Aristotle Tziampiris | Posted 11.30.2013 | Sports
Aristotle Tziampiris

Studying the Constitution and the country's foundational documents can be very helpful. But so can be focusing on America's contemporary passion: football.

6 Lessons From the Government Shutdown

Jeanne Zaino | Posted 11.30.2013 | Politics
Jeanne Zaino

How did we get to this point? How we can avoid being in this position in the future? We don't yet have the perspective necessary to answer these questions fully.

What Our Founding Fathers Said About Success Will Change Your Approach To Life

Posted 09.17.2013 | Politics

Of all American pastimes, perhaps the most popular is musing about what the Founding Fathers would have thought about this or that issue. But on one i...

'We the People': Celebrating Constitution Day and Registering New Voters

Elisabeth MacNamara | Posted 11.10.2013 | Politics
Elisabeth MacNamara

In framing the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers underscored the importance of America's voting system, which they believed to be critical to a strong democracy. Today, we still have work to do to make the most out of our nation's voting system.

Liberty, Security, and Fear

David Bromwich | Posted 10.02.2013 | Politics
David Bromwich

"Thoughtless people," wrote Emerson, "contradict as readily the statement of perceptions as of opinions, or rather much more readily." The leaders and functionaries who in the past twelve years have imposed on the United States a massive system of secret surveillance are best looked on not as betrayers but as thoughtless people. They have forgotten the moral perceptions that were once felt to make the United States a country exemplary for its freedom. The work of this moment is to compel them to see again what people who understand liberty have never failed to see.