Monday, April 2, 2012

Soul Debt

Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.

-- Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality

St. Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go.
I owe my soul to the company sto'

 -- Merle Travis (sort of), "16 Tons"

In this week's sift:
  • Prejudice, Bigotry, and "Reasonable" Racism. How reasonable was George Zimmerman's assumption that a black teen must be up to no good? And what should he have done next?
  • Student Debt: The New Involuntary ServitudeStudent debt is now over $1 trillion, guaranteeing that young people trying to move up in the world will spend a big chunk of their careers under compulsion rather than freedom. The half-truths about choice and responsibility that justify this situation need to be exposed.
  • Supreme Panic and other short notes The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on ObamaCare this week, and liberals panicked. Should they? And what's the right answer to the Broccoli Argument? A quantum theory of Romney. Massive solar energy spills. Hate crime laws misunderstood. "Cracked" strikes again. And more.
  • Book recommendation of the week: Drift by Rachel Maddow. The Founders wanted a peaceful republic, suspected the martial ambitions of the Executive Branch, and so invested the war-declaring power in Congress, which they expected to drag its feet rather than rush to war. How did we get from there to the current situation, where presidents make war at will and Congress begs to get a seat at the table?
  • Last weeks' most popular post. Trayvon Martin: The Racism Whites Don't Want to See got 451 views, and has a sequel this week. The most-clicked link was to Cara Santa Maria's piece on the new Tennessee evolution law. (I guess that's what happens when I describe someone as "a hot chick".)
  • Expand your vocabulary. The distinction this week's lead article makes between prejudice and bigotry deserves to catch on.

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