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Thomas Jefferson

The Genius of Free Governments

Lewis Hyde | Posted 12.03.2011 | Home
Lewis Hyde

This week the Supreme Court will hear a case concerning what ought to be called "copyright rendition." The plaintiffs are challenging a 1994 law that, for the first time in U.S. history, removed hundreds of thousands of works from the public domain.

Bashing the European Union in the United States

Franz-Stefan Gady | Posted 11.26.2011 | World
Franz-Stefan Gady

Since the recession, bashing the European Union has become a sport for U.S. commentators. Just skim the most recent headlines, and one is led to believe that the old continent is on the brink of economic, political and social collapse.

"I Tremble for My Country"

Clarence B. Jones | Posted 11.25.2011 | Politics
Clarence B. Jones

What should be of grave concern to all persons of goodwill is the rising antipathy, meanness, disrespect, anger and hostility not just to President Obama's policies but to him personally. There is a palpable atmosphere of anger and bitterness.

The Constitution We Nearly Had

Robert J. Spitzer | Posted 11.15.2011 | Politics
Robert J. Spitzer

Imagine a very different Constitution -- one where Congress could kill any state law, where a twenty-six member Senate controlled treaty-making with other nations, and where the president's veto was exercised jointly with the Supreme Court.

Thomas Jefferson: No Bullshit

Jeff Wald | Posted 11.04.2011 | Politics
Jeff Wald

Below are the accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson, one of the most important of our founding fathers. It seems in spite of these accomplishments, the...

WATCH: Jefferson Slave Paternity Rumors Come Into Question

Posted 11.02.2011 | Home

Thomas Jefferson stamped his place as a founding father with a slew of political and scholarly accomplishments. From his authoring of the Declaration ...

"Delay Is Preferable to Error": On the Eve of the Dedication of the National 9/11 Memorial

Paul Gunther | Posted 10.25.2011 | Arts
Paul Gunther

The ten years it took to create the National 9/11 Memorial is just right. So-called delay is actually a benediction. Intervening events that often seemed like delays were instead a sum of outcomes spawned by competing and largely honorable intent.

The New Madrid Earthquake: 200 Years Later

Landon Jones | Posted 10.24.2011 | Green
Landon Jones

If you think this week's East Coast tremblor was disconcerting, consider that this is the 200th anniversary of the Mother of All American Earthquakes.

Demands of Aid to Religion Endanger Schools, Anger Moderates

Hans Johnson | Posted 10.12.2011 | Education
Hans Johnson

Efforts by Rick Perry and others to undo the separation of church and state, meant to appeal to religious conservatives, are alienating a potentially large group of moderate voters who often have a decisive role in elections in presidential years.

Is the Constitution Breaking Down Under Divided Government?

Lyle Denniston | Posted 10.08.2011 | Politics
Lyle Denniston

If Madison could see the role that partisan factions played in Washington this summer, he might well have been sympathetic to the concerns of those observers who fret that his constitutional remedies might not be working so well when power is shared by two rival factions.

Thomas Jefferson Hated Dogs and Clergymen

Carol Muske-Dukes | Posted 09.26.2011 | Politics
Carol Muske-Dukes

What Thomas Jefferson's severe lapses in what we might call (as a generic) "Christian" behavior meant was that he was merely human.

The Founding Fathers and Campaign Civility

Harry Graver | Posted 09.23.2011 | Politics
Harry Graver

We seemingly jump from crisis to crisis as harsh rhetoric replaces substantive reform. However, the lack of civility certainly apparent today is far from new. In fact, it is as old as our republic and, historically speaking, much tamer.

In Search of the Public Good

Paul Stoller | Posted 09.16.2011 | Politics
Paul Stoller

As the debt ceiling clock ticks down, we will soon find out if we are a people possessed by selfish personal desire or a people who promote the public good. In what kind of society do you want your children to live?

"Preach a Crusade Against Ignorance" -- Don't Sacrifice the Future!

Michael Roth | Posted 09.16.2011 | Education
Michael Roth

Let us not ignore our responsibility to invest in the future by supporting education. We must not allow our representatives to protect tax breaks for the most advantaged while ignoring our responsibility to give the next generation the education they need.

How Educated Is Your State Legislator?

Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney | Posted 09.12.2011 | College
Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney

How educated is your state legislator? The answer varies considerably from state to state. While many lawmakers hold a college degree, support of public higher education, it seems, has always been a challenge.

Spirit Of Independence: Best Books On Founding Fathers (And A Few Mothers Too)

Posted 09.03.2011 | Books

Yes, we know the 4th of July is more about fireworks and picnics than the Revolutionary War, but we are, after all, celebrating American Independence....

'God Of Liberty': The Role Of Religion In American Independence

Anil Mundra | Posted 09.01.2011 | Religion
Anil Mundra

America has always been religious -- and also religiously diverse. The historical narrative suggests that it's this special combination to which the United States owes its existence.

The Damaging Three Words of the Declaration of Independence

Alison Owings | Posted 09.01.2011 | Religion
Alison Owings

While Native Americans celebrate this 4th of July weekend, probably with hotdogs and fireworks, and possibly a powwow, I wonder whether we might all consider what that three word phrase wrought.

Freedom: What Do July 4th and Alice in Wonderland Have in Common?

C. M. Rubin | Posted 08.31.2011 | Books
C. M. Rubin

July 4, 1862 is also known to many as Alice in Wonderland Day, the day that commemorates Lewis Carroll's first telling of the famous children's story to his young inspiration, Alice Liddell.

Strauss-Kahn and the Age of Reputation

Steve Clemons | Posted 08.30.2011 | World
Steve Clemons

In today's fast-paced world, a reputation can be destroyed rapidly -- and if, as in the case of Strauss-Kahn it seems, the consequences of charges made actually precede the processing of those charges.

A Warning From Thomas Jefferson

Larry Flynt | Posted 08.30.2011 | Politics
Larry Flynt

When it came to setting up our government, Thomas Jefferson had three concerns: tyranny of kings, tyranny of theocrats, and tyranny of the wealthy. For the time being we seem to be safe from kings and theocrats. We are not, however, safe from the superrich.

Thomas Jefferson, The American Mind and the Cosmic System

John W. Whitehead | Posted 08.27.2011 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

On May 26, 1776, John Adams, who represented Massachusetts at the Second Continental Congress, wrote exultantly to his friend James Warren that "every...

Unelectable Past Presidents: Part 1 of 3

Jonathan Hobratsch | Posted 08.14.2011 | Politics
Jonathan Hobratsch

The following are the first nine of twenty-seven American presidents that would not be electable today. It is interesting to ponder what the fate of these men would be in the 21st century.

Can We Please Get Out of Bed With Weiner?

Cynthia Ellis | Posted 08.10.2011 | Politics
Cynthia Ellis

Ideally, we'd like our leaders to set a good example, but should a (sometimes painfully stupid) personal mistake end a promising political career?

The Jefferson Key: Berry's Best

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 07.31.2011 | Books
Jackie K. Cooper

The Jefferson Key is Steve Berry at his very best. He manages to combine history with fiction in such a way that it all seems absolutely possible and believable.