Month: March 2015

Black history should be a year-round lesson: Reflections on Julian Bond’s LBJ Speech

Julian Bond. Photo: Courtesy Virginia Film Festival, 2012 Since 1996, the Barbara Jordan Forum has been a means of honoring its namesake, a celebrated Texas politician and a beloved former LBJ professor. As a kick-off to this year’s program back in February, civil rights activist Julian Bond delivered a keynote address to a packed auditorium of about 800 attendees, including middle and high school students from the greater Austin community. His speech, and the problems they address, merit attention well after Black History month. Mr. Bond’s illustrious background includes co-founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and being elected...

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How the Senate should be [s]elected

The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution changed how Americans select senators and, in doing so, fundamentally changed how Congress operates. The people form the basis of power and hold the sovereignty in our democratic republic. The people in turn surrender some sovereignty to the states, through charters and constitutions. During the Revolutionary War and immediately following, the early states were a confederation, not an integrated federal system. They printed their own money, levied their own tariffs and taxes, and even conducted their own foreign policy. When the Founding Fathers created the Constitution, the states operated generally as...

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Why Should We Bother Debating the Business of Giving?

A Partnership Piece from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy Photo Credit: Andre da Loba from the New York Times On its surface, the nature of philanthropic giving hardly seems to demand the need for public concern. With ISIS causing terror from afar and anti-vaccination parents sowing the seeds of discord from within, surely the idea of debating the subject of tax-deductible contributions to charitable organizations sounds trivial. But when there are over 1.45 million tax exempt organizations in the U.S. that together accounted for 5.3% of the total GDP in 2014, and when more than...

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