Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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Here’s the Data to Prove School Choice Is Working
Patrick Wolf, The Daily Signal

Private school choice initiatives have become increasingly common across the United States. Far from being rare and untested, private school choice policies are an integral part of the fabric of American education policy.

Malaysia: Human Traffickers’ Camps Had 139 Suspected Graves
Associated Press

Malaysian authorities say a cluster of abandoned jungle camps used by human traffickers contained 139 suspected graves as well as barbed-wire pens likely used to cage migrants, shedding more light on a regional trade that preyed on some of Southeast Asia’s most desperate people.

Christian Ethics, Evangelicals, and Functional Marcionism
Jake Meador, Mere Orthodoxy

The maneuver is simple enough to understand: Any time someone uses an Old Testament passage to argue for a specific idea about morality, you should start talking about shellfish and mixed fabrics.

Maryland’s ‘free range’ parents cleared of neglect in one case
Donna St. George, Washington Post

A Maryland couple investigated for neglect after they let their two young children walk home alone from local parks have been cleared in one of two such cases, according to the family’s attorneys and documents.

Yazidi women searching for family members

Yazidi women searching for family members

Young girls kidnapped from their beds. Yazidi women and girls sold into sex trafficking. Rumors of female Muslim teens being used as suicide bombers. It is hard to imagine that Islamic extremists could make things more difficult for women and girls in war-stricken areas, but they are.

A United Nations team of sex crime investigators has been working in and around Islamic State war zones since 2009. Middle East Eye reports:

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jefferson-portraitThomas Jefferson was a Deist who famously cut and pasted, with a razor and glue, his own version of the New Testament to remove all the miracles of Jesus and any reference to his Resurrection. So why did Baptists in New England cheer when he won the presidency and claim he had won a providential victory over John Adams?

As Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins explain, despite their differences the Baptists were able to find common cause with Jefferson on the issue of religious liberty:
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Ilunga Malea Shabani

Ilunga Malea Shabani

A refugee camp, by definition, is meant to be temporary. Yet, in many places in Africa, young people know nothing but life in a refugee camp. And they are wasting away – perhaps not physically, but mentally, emotionally and in terms of feeling useful.

In Tanzania, Ezad Essa explored some of these camp, talking to young people.

Ilunga Malea Shabani, 26, says he does not recall his journey to Tanzania well.

It was some time in 1997 when major fighting broke out in South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

His uncle and aunt grabbed him and fled across Lake Tanganyika into Tanzania.

That was 18 years ago.

He hasn’t heard about the fate of his parents since. The only world he knows is the Nyarugusu refugee camp where he has lived since he was an eight-year-old boy.

“I have never been out of the camp. I have seen things on my phone, like pictures from Cape Town,” he says with a grin …

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no-job-openings-signMany of the current debates about minimum wage revolve around whether such laws increase unemployment. Such disputes often make it appear that there is a lack of consensus on the issue when, in fact, there is broad-based agreement. For example there are two groups who clearly understand the connection between government-mandated wage floors and unemployment of low-skilled workers: right-leaning economists and left-leaning politicians.

Conservative and libertarian economists are frequently vocal in their opposition to the minimum wage because they know it decreases employment. Left-leaning politicians, however, are less likely to admit the connection but show by their actions that the increases will harm employment. That is why every minimum wage hike proposed by localities has been designed to be phased-in gradually over several years rather than being raised immediately: Seattle’s $15 per hour minimum wage won’t take effect until 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2021 depending on the size and type of employer, Los Angeles’s $15 per hour minimum wage won’t take full effect until 2020, and San Francisco’s $15 per hour minimum wage won’t be in effect until 2017.

If the minimum wage benefits the poor, then why not, as Bryan Caplan asks, just immediately impose the minimum wage you actually want? The reason, Caplan explains, is that local governments want to hide the disemployment effect:
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Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
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Warren Buffett explains — simply and clearly — why a $15 minimum wage is bad for workers
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Wise words from Warren Buffett. The Oracle of Omaha predicts how the rush to sharply raise the minimum wage will end. (Spoiler: badly for the people the policy purports to help.) And Buffett also offers a smart alternative to help low-income workers.

Appeals courts shoot down Catholic groups in contraception mandate cases
Gabriel Malor, Hot Air

It was a rough week for Catholic groups arguing that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects them from being forced to facilitate the provision of contraception to their employees in violation of the groups’ religious beliefs.

Why making sure girls go to high school is the best possible investment in public health
Angélique Kidjo, Vox

The Millennium Development Goals brought incredible attention to the importance of primary education for both girls and boys. But I think the level of education required to understand complex health information extends beyond primary school.

Should We Just Give Money and Then Walk Away?
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

We cannot solely focus on the short term. Doing so is a necessary but not sufficient condition for poverty alleviation.

Have you been inspired and influenced by the Acton Institute’s film series, For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles? What have you learned? How has it changed your perspective on work, culture, and whole-life discipleship?

As Evan Koons explains, we’re interested in hearing your stories:

Your story may get used in a blog post or a video, and if it does, you may even get some free stuff! (more…)

rice paddyThe Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations and the World Women’s Alliance for Life and Family are currently meeting in Rome to discuss the role of women and global sustainable development. Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, told Vatican News that he considered 2015 to be a crucial year for this issue. With the U.N. Millenium Development goals expiring this year, and new Sustainable Development goals to be set for September, Turkson believes now is the time to discuss – in the context of faith – the role of women in these goals.

Conference organizer Flaminia Giovanelli, Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, says women have much to contribute to the achievement of every goal on the list. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 22, 2015
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memorial-dayOn Monday, Americans will observe Memorial Day, a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Here are five facts you should know about this day of remembrance:

1. Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military both in wartime or peacetime.

2. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. Three years after the Civil War, Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the head of an organization of Union veterans, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30 since it was believed flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
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Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 22, 2015
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Can We Have Religious Liberty In Modern America?
Luma Simms, The Federalist

Our liberty is a natural right protected via constant tension between all of our branches of government, representing the tensions between all of us as a people. It is through this tension that we ought to end up with equal and just laws that are good for society as a whole.

‘Sin taxes’ yield more than double business taxes in Mich.
Chad Livengood, The Detroit News

Smokers and drinkers paid more taxes last year than Michigan companies paid in net business income taxes — a new development that’s likely to inflame a raging legislative debate about the fairness of the state’s tax code.

Teenage Wageland
Jared Meyer, City Journal

Los Angeles cuts off a rung of its economic ladder.

Trade legislation overcomes Senate filibuster
Timothy B. Lee, Vox

On Thursday the Senate cleared a key procedural hurdle to passing Trade Promotion Authority, which would guarantee President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership an up-or-down vote in Congress.