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jerryking : civics   38

US declining interest in history presents risk to democracy
May 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

America today has found a less bloodthirsty way of erasing its memory by losing interest in its past. From an already low base, the number of American students majoring in history has dropped by more than a third since 2008. Barely one in two hundred American undergraduates now specialise in history......Donald Trump is a fitting leader for such times. He had to be told who Andrew Jackson was.....He also seems to think that Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and 19th century abolitionist, is among us still.....But America’s 45th president can hardly be blamed for history’s unpopularity. Culpability for that precedes Mr Trump and is spread evenly between liberals, conservatives, faculty and parents........Courses on intellectual, diplomatic and political history are being replaced at some of America’s best universities by culture studies that highlight grievances at the expense of breadth.......Then there is the drumbeat of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Most US states now mandate tests only in maths and English, at the expense of history and civic education...... In a recent survey, only 26 per cent of Americans could identify all three branches of government. More than half could not name a single justice on the US Supreme Court.....
the biggest culprit is the widespread belief that “soft skills” — such as philosophy and English, which are both in similar decline to history — do not lead to well-paid jobs.....folk prejudice against history is hard to shake. In an ever more algorithmic world, people believe that humanities are irrelevant. The spread of automation should put a greater premium on qualities that computers lack, such as intuitive intelligence, management skills and critical reasoning. Properly taught that is what a humanities education provides.......People ought to be able to grasp the basic features of their democracy. [Abiding] Faith in a historic theory only fuels a false sense of certainty....What may work for individual careers poses a collective risk to US democracy. The demise of strong civics coincides with waning voter turnout, a decline in joining associations, fewer citizen’s initiatives — and other qualities once associated with American vigour......There is no scientific metric for gullibility. Nor can we quantitatively prove that civic ignorance imposes a political cost on society. These are questions of judgment. But if America’s origins tell us anything it is that a well-informed citizenry creates a stronger society.
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here is what robots can't do -- create art, deep meaning, move our souls, help us to understand and thus operate in the world, inspire deeper thought, care for one another, help the environment where we live.......The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand.
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algorithms  automation  citizen_engagement  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  democracy  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  empathy  engaged_citizenry  false_sense_of_certainty  foundational  historians  history  historical_amnesia  humanities  ignorance  political_literacy  sense-making  soft_skills  STEM  threats  U.S.  vulnerabilities 
may 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
Why boring government matters
November 1, 2018 | | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 219 pages.

John MacWilliams is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who becomes the risk manager for the department of energy. He regales Lewis with a horrific catalogue of all the things that can go wrong if a government takes its eye off the ball, and provides the book with its title. Asked to name the five things that worry him the most, he lists the usual risks that one would expect — accidents, the North Koreans, Iran — but adds that the “fifth risk” is “project management”.

Lewis explains that “this is the risk society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions.” In other words, America will suffer if it stops caring about the unsung but vital programmes that decontaminate billions of tonnes of nuclear waste, fund basic scientific research and gather weather data.

That trap, he makes clear with instance after instance of the Trump administration failing to heed or even meet with his heroic bureaucrats, is what America is falling into now.

We should all be frightened.
books  book_reviews  boring  bureaucracy  bureaucrats  cynicism  Department_of_Energy  government  Michael_Lewis  public_servants  risks  technocrats  unglamorous  writers  short-term_thinking  competence  sovereign-risk  civics  risk-management 
november 2018 by jerryking
Sandra Day O’Connor, first female justice on U.S. Supreme Court, reveals she has dementia - The Globe and Mail
OCTOBER 23, 2018 | THE NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | MATTHEW HAAG.

Ms. O’Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Arizona on the Lazy B Ranch, 250 square miles of high desert along the state’s border with New Mexico. Her upbringing has remained a point of pride, and she has often referred to herself as a cowgirl.

“It is possible to survive and even make a living in that formidable terrain,” she wrote in her memoir of her childhood, “Lazy B,” in 2002. “The Day family did it for years; but it was never easy. It takes planning, patience, skill and endurance.”

She left Arizona for Stanford Law School, where she finished third in her class in 1952. It was also where she met her future husband, a fellow law-review editor at the university.

The top graduate in her class was William H. Rehnquist, the future chief justice, who received a clerkship on the Supreme Court.
cancers  civics  dementia  judges  lawyers  Sandra_Day_O'Connor  trailblazers  U.S._Supreme_Court  women  Alzheimer’s_disease 
october 2018 by jerryking
Private service held for John McCain before burial at Naval Academy - The Globe and Mail
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2, 2018 | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | SUSAN WALSH
ANNAPOLIS, MD.

One scheduled speaker at the service, Sen. Lindsey Graham, said before the service that he would tell the audience that “nobody loved a soldier more than John McCain, that I bear witness to his commitment to have their back, travel where they go, never let them be forgotten.”..........“There’s a lesson to be learned this week about John McCain,” said Graham, R-S.C.

“No. 1, Americans appreciate military service. ... If you work hard and do your homework and know what you’re talking about, people will listen to you. That if you pick big causes bigger than yourself, you’ll be remembered,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

“He tried to drain the swamp before it was cool, that you can fight hard and still be respected. If you forgive, people appreciate it, and if you admit to mistakes, you look good as a stronger man. That’s the formula, John McCain. This was a civics lesson for anybody who wanted to listen. Why do we remember this man? Because of the way he conducted his public life.”
civics  John_McCain  obituaries  tributes  lessons_learned  military_academies 
september 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite - The New York Times
By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist

May 28, 2018

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
See also
"Jun 18, 2007 | WSJ | Robin Moroney. Extreme intelligence might
undermine a person’s managerial capacity, he speculates. “What is
required at the top levels of govt. is not brilliance, but managerial
skill,” says Posner. That includes knowing “when to defer to the
superior knowledge of a more experienced but less mentally agile
subordinate.” Especially intelligent people also have difficulty
trusting the intuitions of less-articulate people who have more
experience than they do. That might be why many smart senior officials
in govt. have tried to reason their way through problems on their own,
assuming their civil servants’ inadequate explanations rendered their
judgments invalid."
the_best_and_brightest  books  civics  mental_dexterity  David_Brooks  diversity  dysfunction  elitism  failure  fractured_internally  the_Greatest_Generation  institutions  IQ  meritocratic  Steven_Brill  college-educated  baby_boomers  Tailspins 
may 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | The American Renaissance Is Already Happening - The New York Times
May 14, 2018

In many of the cities the local library serves as an all-purpose community center. In Bend, Ore., the library has a few dozen local partnerships — AARP volunteers help people do their taxes in the library; Goodwill workers teach résumé writing. In Charleston, W.Va., and Columbus, Ohio, the libraries zero in on programs for infants to 3-year-olds, so children enter school ready to learn.
social_mobility  David_Brooks  libraries  civics  James_Fallows  renaissance 
may 2018 by jerryking
The Dying Art of Disagreement
SEPT. 24, 2017 | The New York Times | Bret Stephens.

The title of my talk tonight is “The Dying Art of Disagreement.”.......But to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; etiam si omnes — ego non — these are the words that define our individuality, give us our freedom, enjoin our tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere. Galileo and Darwin; Mandela, Havel, and Liu Xiaobo; Rosa Parks and Natan Sharansky — such are the ranks of those who disagree......The polarization is geographic.......The polarization is personal........Finally the polarization is electronic and digital, .......What we did was read books that raised serious questions about the human condition, and which invited us to attempt to ask serious questions of our own. Education, in this sense, wasn’t a “teaching” with any fixed lesson. It was an exercise in interrogation.

To listen and understand; to question and disagree; to treat no proposition as sacred and no objection as impious; to be willing to entertain unpopular ideas and cultivate the habits of an open mind ....uChicago showed us something else: that every great idea is really just a spectacular disagreement with some other great idea....to disagree well you must first understand well. You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say........there’s such a thing as private ownership in the public interest, and of fiduciary duties not only to shareholders but also to citizens. Journalism is not just any other business, like trucking or food services. .....But no country can have good government, or a healthy public square, without high-quality journalism — journalism that can distinguish a fact from a belief and again from an opinion; that understands that the purpose of opinion isn’t to depart from facts but to use them as a bridge to a larger idea called “truth”; and that appreciates that truth is a large enough destination that, like Manhattan, it can be reached by many bridges of radically different designs. In other words, journalism that is grounded in facts while abounding in disagreements.

I believe it is still possible — and all the more necessary — for journalism to perform these functions, especially as the other institutions that were meant to do so have fallen short. But that requires proprietors and publishers who understand that their role ought not to be to push a party line, or be a slave to Google hits and Facebook ads, or provide a titillating kind of news entertainment, or help out a president or prime minister who they favor or who’s in trouble.

Their role is to clarify the terms of debate by championing aggressive and objective news reporting, and improve the quality of debate with commentary that opens minds and challenges assumptions rather than merely confirming them.

This is journalism in defense of liberalism, not liberal in the left-wing American or right-wing Australian sense, but liberal in its belief that the individual is more than just an identity, and that free men and women do not need to be protected from discomfiting ideas and unpopular arguments. More than ever, they need to be exposed to them, so that we may revive the arts of disagreement that are the best foundation of intelligent democratic life.
assumptions  Bret_Stephens  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  courage  critical_thinking  dangerous_ideas  demagoguery  difficult_conversations  disagreements  discomforts  dissension  dual-consciousness  free_speech  good_governance  high-quality  identity_politics  journalism  liberalism  open_mind  polarization  the_human_condition  uChicago 
september 2017 by jerryking
Giving Away Your Billion
JUNE 6, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

Recently Brooks has been reading the Giving Pledge letters. These are the letters that rich people write when they join Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge campaign. They take the pledge, promising to give away most of their wealth during their lifetime, and then they write letters describing their giving philosophy......Most of the letter writers started poor or middle class. They don’t believe in family dynasties and sometimes argue that they would ruin their kids’ lives if they left them a mountain of money. Schools and universities are the most common recipients of their generosity, followed by medical research and Jewish cultural institutions. A ridiculously disproportionate percentage of the Giving Pledge philanthropists are Jewish.......What would David Brooks do if he had a billion bucks to use for good? He’d start with the premise that the most important task before us is to reweave the social fabric. People in disorganized neighbourhoods need to grow up enmeshed in the loving relationships that will help them rise. The elites need to be reintegrated with their own countrymen. .....Only loving relationships transform lives, and such relationships can be formed only in small groups. Thus, I’d use my imaginary billion to seed 25-person collectives around the country.....The collectives would hit the four pressure points required for personal transformation:

Heart: By nurturing deep friendships, they would give people the secure emotional connections they need to make daring explorations.

Hands: Members would get in the habit of performing small tasks of service and self-control for one another, thus engraving the habits of citizenship and good character.

Head: Each collective would have a curriculum, a set of biographical and reflective readings, to help members come up with their own life philosophies, to help them master the intellectual virtues required for public debate.

Soul: In a busy world, members would discuss fundamental issues of life’s purpose, so that they might possess the spiritual true north that orients a life.
social_fabric  David_Brooks  philanthropy  moguls  high_net_worth  Warren_Buffett  elitism  collectives  personal_transformation  plutocracies  plutocrats  disorganization  daring  relationships  emotional_connections  soul  North_Star  virtues  engaged_citizenry  civics  Jewish  biographies  friendships  self-reflective  giving 
june 2017 by jerryking
Why I’m Moving Home
MARCH 16, 2017 | The New York Times | By J. D. VANCE.

" The economist Matthew Kahn has shown that in Appalachia, for instance, the highly skilled are much likelier to leave not just their hometowns but also the region as a whole. This is the classic “brain drain” problem: Those who are able to leave very often do.

The brain drain also encourages a uniquely modern form of cultural detachment. Eventually, the young people who’ve moved out marry — typically to partners with similar economic prospects. They raise children in increasingly segregated neighborhoods, giving rise to something the conservative scholar Charles Murray calls “super ZIPs.” These super ZIPs are veritable bastions of opportunity and optimism, places where divorce and joblessness are rare." ......“The sociological role [colleges and universities] play is to suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities.” There have always been regional and class inequalities in our society, but the data tells us that we’re living through a unique period of segregation....This has consequences beyond the purely material. Jesse Sussell and James A. Thomson of the RAND Corporation argue that this geographic sorting has heightened the polarization that now animates politics. This polarization reflects itself not just in our voting patterns, but also in our political culture...JD Vance has decided to move [back] home-to Ohio....."we often frame civic responsibility in terms of government taxes and transfer payments, so that our society’s least fortunate families are able to provide basic necessities. But this focus can miss something important: that what many communities need most is not just financial support, but talent and energy and committed citizens to build viable businesses and other civic institutions."
sorting  segregation  compartmentalization  neighbourhoods  polarization  geographic_mobility  brain_drain  super_ZIPs  cultural_detachment  Rust_Belt  midwest  Red_states  whites  political_partisanship  political_polarization  working_class  J.D._Vance  industrial_Midwest  Appalachia  cities  engaged_citizenry  talent  Charles_Murray  civics  social_mobility  self-perpetuation  values  opportunity_gaps  college-educated  geographic_sorting  regional 
march 2017 by jerryking
A moment to revisit our Canadian values - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE HILL
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 05, 2015
Lawrence_Hill  values  civics  Canadian  Syria 
september 2015 by jerryking
Three generations of de Gaspé Beaubien family give back to Canada - The Globe and Mail
ROY MACGREGOR
GATINEAU, QUE. — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 05, 2015

Working with Ottawa Riverkeeper’s capable executive director, Meredith Brown, the partnership last weekend hosted a summit, AquaHacking 2015, in a hotel just across the river from Parliament Hill. With the help of co-sponsor IBM, they held a “hackathon” and gave out $20,000 in prizes to computer wizards who came up with the best applications to help gather data on the health of the river. Some came from as far away as California to compete.
philanthropy  family  family-owned_businesses  water  family_business  public_service  Quebec  civics  youth  leadership  giving  serving_others 
june 2015 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria: ‘We are meant to be engaged with the big questions’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015

Q: How is your defence of a liberal-arts education more than nostalgia for a bygone era of higher learning, now out of sync with today’s hyper-competitive, skills-based economies?

...what’s happening in advanced manufacturing. In almost every industry, basic production is getting commoditized. It’s becoming routine and simple, and most everything we consume, to put it bluntly, can be made by a machine or a factory worker. You can manufacture a $30 sneaker anywhere in the world but, to sell it for $300, there has to be a story around it, there has to be beautiful design, there has to be interesting marketing; you have to understand social media....because product[s]stand out only if you understand how human beings use technology....Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook is more about psychology and sociology, two liberal arts, than technology...a liberal education provides you with a rounded education in every sense of the word. It teaches you how to write, which I think is the most important aspect, because you learn how to think. It teaches you how to learn. These are soft skills but they’re not lesser skills.
liberal_arts  humanities  Fareed_Zakaria  Rudyard_Griffiths  social_media  Mark_Zuckerberg  education  civics  psychology  sociology  soft_skills  thinking  design  product_design  Daniel_Pink  UX 
april 2015 by jerryking
The Laneway Project: How one small idea could bring new life to Toronto’s back alleys - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

The Laneway Project. Its organizers, a trio of Toronto planners and urban designers, are working with city officials and community groups to find ways to green, beautify and enliven Toronto’s back lanes, turning them into places where people want to spend time instead of simply pass through.
ideas  civics  design  public_spaces  neighbourhoods  Toronto  green  beautification  urban  Marcus_Gee 
march 2015 by jerryking
Shape My City - TOOLKIT
Shape My City brings the power of networks to your idea, project or organization, helping you create a better Toronto.
Toronto  tools  civics  events  networks 
january 2015 by jerryking
The importance of being courteous: Why she is touting it to young women
Jul. 17 2014 | The Globe and Mail | LEAH MCLAREN.

Institutional achievement and politeness should not be mutually exclusive, but both are essential for young people to find fulfilling work and relationships later in life. ...Raising well-behaved children well should be a significant civic duty.

Manners, which an increasing number of parents dismiss as old-fashioned, actually matter more than ever before. As Reardon pointed out in her speech, this is not about “using the right spoon for soup or eating asparagus with your left hand” but the importance of “being polite and respectful and making the people you interact with feel valued.”

Such deep internal values must be impressed upon children from the outside in. When it comes to character we must fake it in childhood to make it as adults. Am I implying that teaching a child to simply say, “Excuse me,” before interrupting can lead to a successful career and a happy marriage later in life? Yes, absolutely.

In the digital era, when kids are communicating through a coded vortex of social media and smartphone screens rather than face to face, it’s especially important for parents to invest time and energy to impart social rules for how to communicate properly with other humans in the flesh....The thing about manners is that they are actually much more time-consuming to instill in your children than, say, teaching them to play the cello or speak fluent Mandarin. That’s because most parents will naturally outsource the latter two skills (unless they happen to be Chinese cellists) whereas good manners require tireless, everyday, hands-on effort. Take “please” and “thank you” – by far the most superficial of all our accepted behavioural etiquette constructs. To teach a child to say these things consistently and without prompting, the average parent must correct that child several dozen times a day from the time they are initially verbal until about 5 or 6. On average, that’s more than 100,000 verbal cues until a child actually gets it. Your pet goldfish learns tricks faster than that. And that’s not even counting the thousands of mandatory apologies, forced thank-you-notes and supervised household chores. Raising a well-mannered kid is a slog, and no babysitter, tutor or fancy private school is going to do it for you
parenting  etiquette  civics  commencement  high_schools  Leah_McLaren  courtesies  civility  students  women  girls  youth  verbal_cues 
july 2014 by jerryking
Here’s my list of the most obnoxious Torontonians - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 13 2014

Amy Alkon, the American author of a new book with the cute title Good Manners for Nice People who Sometimes Say F*ck, says it is inevitable in a busy urban environment.

"We can behave badly when we are around strangers, and we're around strangers almost all the time," "This allows people to do stuff they would never do to a neighbour. The guy that's flipping you the bird in traffic is counting on the fact that he's never going to see you again."

Rude people in cities somehow persuade themselves that all those other people around them simply don't exist – or, at least, don't merit bothering about.

These rude people are self-declared islands in the urban sea, pursuing their self-interest and supremely indifferent to the effects on the rest of us.The road hog cyclist was like that, but there are many others like him.........Most people follow the simple rules of urban etiquette that keep the modern metropolis functioning, even when there is no one around to enforce them.

Most dog owners pick up after their pets with plastic bags, a relatively new practice, simply because it is expected. Most city dwellers who aren't the mayor still experience shame......Amy Alkon is off base. Most of us don't feel we can behave badly around strangers. When that guy rammed me with his bike, everyone getting off the streetcar and passing by on the street knew he was in the wrong. Even as he bombed off through the intersection, I'm sure he felt it. It is that collective judgment that we fear and, by and large, respect.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  civics  courtesies  etiquette  civility  humility  public_decorum  anonymity 
june 2014 by jerryking
Sandra Day O'Connor and Jeff J. Curley: Founding Principles in the Digital Age - WSJ.com
April 21, 2014 | WSJ | By SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR And JEFF J. CURLEY

The College Board and Khan Academy—a nonprofit digital education platform—will partner to provide "free, world-class test prep" for the new exam.

These changes may sound unrelated, but they represent a fascinating paradox in education today: What is old in education has never been more important, but it may take what is new in education to truly prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

Teaching the Constitution and the nation's other foundational texts is as old as public education itself. America's public schools were founded on the idea that education is vital to the success of democracy. But these texts are demanding and complex. Understanding them takes hard work and concentration. The effort is invaluable, though, not least because it instills the discipline that will equip young people with the knowledge and the habits of mind necessary to become powerful actors in civic life.

Millions of students taking the SAT will now encounter texts like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as the writings of individuals from James Madison to Martin Luther King Jr. But old test-prep methods like flashcards and rote memorization will not be sufficient. Students will need more sophisticated tools to help them understand the material and engage with it. Digital technology will be essential to achieving that goal.
civics  SAT  Khan_Academy  high_schools  students  tools  digital_media  standardized_testing  engaged_citizenry  public_education  constitutions  hard_work  foundational  education  paradoxes  platforms  judges  lawyers  Sandra_Day_O'Connor 
april 2014 by jerryking
Canada’s real wealth lies in its institutional integrity, not its resources - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY
Canada’s real wealth lies in its institutional integrity, not its resources Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 17 2014

Canada’s wealth, and the reason why the world beats a path to our resources, lies not in the resources themselves. What makes that endowment almost uniquely valuable in the world is that it exists within another vastly more important endowment of rules, institutions and behaviours.

My list of those institutions and behaviours include the rule of law; independent judges and reasonably speedy and reliable resolution of disputes; the enforcement of contract; the absence of corruption among government officials and the police; respect of private property; a moderate, predictable and stable taxation and regulatory burden; a stable currency that keeps its value; responsible public finances; freedom to trade both domestically and internationally; a well-developed work ethic; and a refusal to resort to violence to resolve political disagreements. That is the greatest endowment that we have.

What happens when you nest a rich natural resource endowment inside this endowment of rules, institutions and behaviours? Companies can invest billions of dollars to unlock opportunities, such as the oil sands, reasonably secure in the knowledge that they know the fiscal, regulatory and contractual conditions they will face over a period of years that are sufficient to recoup their investment and make some money.
natural_resources  institution-building  institutions  Canada  independent_judiciary  integrity  political_infrastructure  predictability  property_rights  civics  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  work_ethic  oil_sands  judiciary  judges 
april 2014 by jerryking
Life’s Work: Sandra Day O’Connor
December 2013 | Harvard Business Review |Interviewed by Alison Beard .
HBR  U.S._Supreme_Court  women  lawyers  mentoring  interviews  civics  judges  Sandra_Day_O'Connor 
december 2013 by jerryking
We must help ourselves
December 3, 2002 | Share Newspaper | By DR. SHELDON TAYLOR.

A revitalization program may include components geared to a three-pronged approach with policy development as the essential principle. The Black business sector should receive up-front attention in the plan‘s initial phase. We should find the ways and means of attracting new approaches to entrepreneurship and sound management ideas that will allow community businesses to thrive. Only with such encouragement will more vital Black commercial community structures emerge.

It's a given that Toronto's Black community cannot be reinvigorated without money. Even if we are able to, we should resist going the government subsidy route. The person paying the piper is the one that gets to name the tune and for far too long we've had to dance to other people's music....The third aspect of the revitalization process should emphasize programs geared to the development of youths in our midst. One of the more recent difiiculties affecting growth in Toronto's Black community is that, at best, improvements don't last more than two generations. Between the end of the Second World War and the mid-1980s, advancements in concert with a larger Black population were noticeable in Toronto. Yet as the community's leadership aged, conditions waned and fewer younger candidates came forward to assume the mantle of leadership.
The interest of young people in community voluntarism must be nurtured from an early age. In conjunction with accessing educational opportunities, community service is key toward maintaining their African-Canadian identity. Young people should invest in their community. In turn, leadership succession and innovative ideas will facilitate the community's longer-term growth and development.
African_Canadians  Toronto  self-help  revitalization  Sheldon_Taylor  entrepreneurship  self-reliance  youth  leadership  volunteering  civics  community_service  young_people 
august 2012 by jerryking
Denying Students ROTC
May 18, 2005 | WSJ | David Thomas.

Serious citizens concerned with the perpetuation of a civil society (perhaps even of the human race) will insist that college students not be permitted to enter a vacuum of thought and experience as they try to mature into serious citizens themselves. War and peace exist side by side in this world with civil rights, feminism, genocide, capitalism, socialism and other phenomena humans have created over the centuries. Our fellow citizens come in all stripes. We need to deal with that; sometimes arguing, sometimes giving in, sometimes compromising.
ROTC  civics  education  Colleges_&_Universities  letters_to_the_editor 
may 2012 by jerryking
This Column Is Not Sponsored by Anyone - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: May 12, 2012

Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel’s new book, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” Sandel sees a negative trend in which “Over the last three decades,” he states, “we have drifted from having a market economy to becoming a market society. A market economy is a tool — a valuable and effective tool — for organizing productive activity. But a ‘market society’ is a place where everything is up for sale. It is a way of life where market values govern every sphere of life.” ...“The great missing debate in contemporary politics,” Sandel writes, “is about the role and reach of markets.” We should be asking where markets serve the public good, and where they don’t belong, he argues. And we should be asking how to rebuild class-mixing institutions.

“Democracy does not require perfect equality,” he concludes, “but it does require that citizens share in a common life. ... For this is how we learn to negotiate and abide our differences, and how we come to care for the common good.”
Tom_Friedman  books  civics  democracy  free_markets  public_goods  social_fabric  covenants 
may 2012 by jerryking
Charles Murray on the New American Divide - WSJ.com
JANUARY 21, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES MURRAY

The New American Divide
The ideal of an 'American way of life' is fading as the working class falls further away from institutions like marriage and religion and the upper class becomes more isolated. Charles Murray on what's cleaving America, and why.

When Americans used to brag about "the American way of life"—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity.

Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America's core cultural institutions.
Charles_Murray  family_breakdown  marriage  religion  social_integration  social_classes  '50s  '60s  values  civics  underclass  cultural_institutions  social_fabric  whites  working_class  fault_lines  hard_work  disintegration  shared_consciousness  upper-income 
january 2012 by jerryking
Modern citizens know a library’s worth
Aug. 30, 2011 | Globe &Mail | VINCENT LAM. There are two
priceless features of each of the 18 million annual library visits in
this city. First, sharing wisdom through the library & its programs
increases the wealth of our community. We learn, innovate and enrich our
city by sharing knowledge through books, films, lectures and
discussion. Second, the library is completely democratic. It provides
access to information, culture &leisure for new immigrants and
established Canadians, to children and the elderly, and to all
Torontonians whether they’re rich or going through tough times.

Speaking of tough times, in which we’re told that all belts must
tighten: Such are the precise times in which those with less disposable
income need access to good libraries more than ever. Those who can’t buy
books need to access the library’s collections, not to see acquisitions
or library hours cut. The destruction of the ancient Library of
Alexandria is one of the intellectual tragedies of antiquity.
civics  citizenship  libraries  Toronto  Rob_Ford  cutbacks  hard_times  austerity  TPL  social_fabric  commonwealth  institutions  engaged_citizenry 
september 2011 by jerryking
The silence that kills
Dec. 15, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Editorial
It was not the justice system that failed Ephraim Brown, an 11-year-old
gunfire victim in Toronto whose two alleged killers were acquitted of
second-degree murder on Monday. It was his community that failed him.

Sixty people were at the outdoor birthday party where he was killed in
July, 2007; only one, a teenage cousin, Kishauna Thomas, now 21, came
forward as a witness.

Impunity endangers everyone.

....The justice system is not something that, like an appliance, can be
taken to a repair shop to be fixed. It depends on people looking out
for one another and willing to do the right thing. When too few people
are engaged enough or brave enough, inevitably, the gangsters feel
empowered, and more innocent people are shot.
criminality  silence  impunity  civics  editorials  Canadian_justice_system  endangered  engaged_citizenry 
december 2010 by jerryking
Knowledge of math = personal success + better citizenship - The Globe and Mail
September 2, 2010 | Globe & Mail editorial.

Modern citizens should be able to approach quantitative studies and claims both critically and respectfully. Indeed, non-scientific lay people may be better able to evaluate them than they expect, because statistical studies often depend upon some quite loose, non-mathematical concepts, and common sense may detect imprecision and even fallacies in the very premises of the research in question.

Democracy and the market economy, in this age of mathematical science, require a public that is numerate enough to have some sense of what is valid - and won't just acquiesce or shrug their shoulders.
citizenship  civics  democracy  engaged_citizenry  fallacies_follies  imprecision  infoliteracy  life_skills  mathematics  numeracy 
september 2010 by jerryking
Canada is failing history
Jun. 18, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by Marc Chalifoux and J.D.M.
Stewart. To function in a modern democracy, citizens must understand
the country’s past. We must teach them. Caanda's first four prime
ministers were: (1) John Alexander Macdonald (C) (2) Alexander Mackenzie
(L) (3) John Joseph Caldwell Abbott (C) (1st Cnd. born) and (4) John
Sparrow David Thompson (C).
Canada  democracy  education  engaged_citizenry  history  schools  Dominion_Institute  nation_builders  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  civics 
june 2009 by jerryking
Civic entrepreneurship in Australia; Opening the "black box" of tacit knowledge in local government top management teams
2008 | The International Journal of Public Sector Management.
Bradford: Vol. 21, Iss. 5; pg. 509 | by Patricia A. Rowe, Michael J.
Christie.
civics  entrepreneurship 
april 2009 by jerryking

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