Discovery

This Week’s Canvas: Something is Burning

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August 11, 2017 Returning to the fight to find something smart to read and we’re keeping our cool. No easy feat given the climate change report leaked recently suggests it’s nothing but record-setting high temps from here on out. Maybe devastation is the new black. Let’s see what we can figure out about how we got here. North Korea WTH (also DJTWTH) Is there anyone with more than WTH to say about the escalating war of words between North Korea and President Trump? I thought that was the only rational response until NYT’s new(-ish) podcast, The Daily, came to my…

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National Academy 2017: Questions, Answers and More Questions

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In today’s political forum, no one is looking to start another argument. It’s still true, however, that a good argument can make all the difference in what happens next. Good arguments require connecting ideas. Listening to one another and thinking through a logical framework together. When we avoid arguing reasonably together, we also turn away the connectedness and empathy it cultivates. Sadly, Election 2016 has us all imagining partisan battle stations with perfectly calibrated talking points. One good argument could bridge the gap between fighting one another and thinking together. Good arguments rely on good questions. One good question could…

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This Week’s Canvas: Complications–in Taxes, Health Care and Hope

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Three themes from the week ending May 6th, 2017 The push to make 100 days matter dumped a whole lot of headlines on everyone this week. It was tempting to stick with Star Wars socks and not so fun facts about the Civil War for this round. Too Simple Math A single-page tax plan from the Executive Branch has everyone talking about what’s missing. The specifics are scarce and the math doesn’t add up. The Boston Globe offers a nice rundown of the proposition under the title, “We’re a Typical Family. What Would Trump’s Tax Plan Mean for Us?” The paper’s answer…

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This Week’s Canvas: Counting, Courting and Creative Opposition

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Three themes from the week ending April 29th, 2017 What’s 100 days? There’s some truth that this is an arbitrary marker. FDR planted the flag as he took office picking up the pieces after the Great Depression. He wanted the American people to know he was on the job and it’s a marker we’ve observed ever since. Trump isn’t the first to feel the pressure so why should we forego the ritual and the fun? With a particularly apropos approach, The Telegraph turns to the new President’s Twitter feed to reflect on his first 100 days. It appears that he has been getting…

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#CitizensRead: “Gumption” and the Battle Cry of a Decent People

#CitizensRead: “Gumption” and the Battle Cry of a Decent People

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American founders worried about limiting our expectations if we only understood ourselves through lists. In the original case, the question revolved around the perils of listing fundamental rights. That list became our Bill of Rights, a document that many mistake for the sum total of their constitutional rights. That’s what Madison was afraid would happen. More than two hundred and twenty-five years later, Nick Offerman has his own list for us and a powerful example of how to understand lists as a set of forward-looking propositions that require our participation. In Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest…

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How to Start Something: Criminal Justice Reform and Buying In

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Lucy’s niece had been convicted to life in prison. Watching Hannah endure the proceedings, she could hear the phrase we’ve all mumbled by heart, “And justice for all,” as it became a more and more distant echo. One injustice came after another and no one else seemed to notice or care. Hannah’s odds kept getting worse and worse. Lucy had watched the case from the courtroom convinced this story was an anomaly. Something had gone wrong. There was a misfire somewhere so she watched quietly believing the tragic circumstances would crumble when someone rushed in with undeniable proof or when…

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Our Civic Health: Discovering the Art & Science of Working Together

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There’s a chorus asking us to think about our civic health. A relatively quiet (i.e., hardly noticeable) effort in Arizona added the citizenship test to graduation requirements. Then there was San Bernardino. And, in President Obama’s State of the Union speech, he asked American citizens to join him in creating a “better politics.” The question that rose above the usual position taking in San Bernardino sounded like one we all expected so it was easy to miss. It wasn’t whether or not HE was crazy but whether or not WE are. The implication is that it’s possible for us to…

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