I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading.
Disclaimer: Reproducing an article here need not necessarily imply agreement or endorsement!
Join us for next episode of Modern Workplace, “The Future of Work: Build, attract, connect,” airing April 11, 2017 at 8 a.m. PDT / 4 p.m. BST. In this episode, learn how your organization can adopt cutting edge methods to better communicate, collaborate, and stay ahead of the curve in the future of work.
- Angela Oguntala, speaker and United Nations “future innovator” will share how you can see fast results for your organization by breaking down growth opportunities into small, actionable steps.
- Jacob Morgan, speaker, futurist and author of the new book “The Employee Experience Advantage,” will reveal why experiential companies are poised for the greatest future success, and what that could mean for your organization.
Plus, learn how you can elevate your team’s productivity using the new chat-based workspace, Microsoft Teams.
- Register for a demo of Microsoft Teams.
- Get “The Ultimate Guide to Chat-Based Tools.”
- Download the eBook, “Psychology of Workplace Collaboration.”
The post Learn how to stay ahead of the curve in the future of work appeared first on Office Blogs.
So watch this one to the end. A laugh-out-loud book trailer.
Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.
Office 365 provides the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration between individuals, teams and entire organizations. Updates this month make the experience even better with co-authoring in Excel, the general availability of Microsoft Teams and more. We’ll also be announcing the latest roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive at the SharePoint Virtual Summit on May 16th. Read on for the details.Co-authoring is coming to Excel
We’re taking a significant step in completing the co-authoring story across Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Today, we’re enabling co-authoring in Excel on Windows desktops for Office Insiders Fast. This allows you to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working and view changes automatically within seconds. We’ll continue using feedback from Insiders to improve the experience before making it available more broadly. Co-authoring is already available in Excel Online, Excel on Android, Windows Mobile and iOS (for Office Insiders). We’re also working on co-authoring in Excel for the Mac—stay tuned for more!
Co-authoring in Excel on Windows desktops allows you to see where others are editing at the same time as you in a spreadsheet.
We’re also bringing AutoSave to Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for files stored in SharePoint Online, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. With AutoSave, you can stop worrying about hitting the Save button, whether you’re working alone or with others.Availability: Co-authoring in Excel on Windows desktops is rolling out for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast. Co-authoring in Excel on iOS is currently available for Office Insiders, as well as for all customers in Excel Mobile on Windows, Excel on Android and Excel Online. AutoSave is rolling out to Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast. Microsoft Teams is now generally available
Earlier this month, we announced that Microsoft Teams—the chat-based workspace in Office 365—is now generally available in 181 markets and in 19 languages. Last week, we also made Teams available in Office 365 Education, free for faculty, staff and students. We’ve introduced over 100 new features and addressed top requests from over 50,000 organizations who have started using Teams since the preview began in November. The updates span all four of the core Teams promises: chat for today’s teams, a hub for teamwork, customizable for every team and security that teams trust. Notably, over 150 integrations with other apps, services and bots are either already available or coming soon. We are thrilled by the enthusiasm for Teams and look forward to seeing how customers build Teams into the way they collaborate every day. We’ll also continue updating Teams—along with our other Office 365 apps and services. Learn more about Microsoft Teams and start using Microsoft Teams today.Availability: Microsoft Teams is now generally available for commercial and education customers on Windows desktops, Macs, Windows Mobile, iOS and Android, as well as the web. Microsoft Bookings is rolling out worldwide
Last week, we announced the worldwide rollout of Microsoft Bookings to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers. Bookings makes it easy for small businesses to schedule and manage appointments with their customers, and we’ve introduced several new capabilities based on feedback from last year’s initial release to customers in the U.S. and Canada. Now you can connect your Office 365 calendar to Bookings, add buffer time between appointments, customize your Bookings page, and stay connected on the go with iOS and Android apps. Read more about Microsoft Bookings.
Your Bookings page can be accessed on desktop or mobile.Availability: Microsoft Bookings is rolling out to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers worldwide. It can be accessed on the web, iOS and Android. OneNote inking and accessibility updates
We’ve made a number of improvements to OneNote this month, making inking more powerful and available in the browser, as well as helping you create more accessible notes.
- Ink math assistant improvements—OneNote can now graph handwritten equations and even let you manipulate variables to see the visual effect of changes. It can also teach you the steps to solve systems of equations. This expanded built-in intelligence within OneNote makes it an even more powerful math coach to help you learn in context. Learn more in this blog, and give it a try today!
OneNote can now graph handwritten equations, in addition to teaching you how to solve them.Availability: Ink math assistant graphing and support for systems of equations are now available in OneNote for Windows 10, for all Office 365 subscribers.
- Accessibility Checker now in OneNote—The Accessibility Checker, now available in OneNote for Windows 10, helps ensure your notes can be consumed without barriers by people with visual impairments. It analyzes your material and provides recommendations alongside your notes, which helps you understand how to fix errors and create more accessible notes over time. Simply select Check Accessibility under the View tab to get started.
The Accessibility Checker helps you find and fix issues that might make your content difficult for people with visual impairments to consume.Availability: The Accessibility Checker is now available and easily discoverable for all customers in OneNote for Windows 10. It is also available in several Office applications on Windows desktops, Macs and Office Online.
- Inking in OneNote Online—We’re bringing inking and the Draw tab to OneNote Online, so you can make your mark with ink or highlighter while taking, reviewing, or editing your notes in the browser.
OneNote works the way you do, with new inking capabilities in the browser.Availability: Inking is rolling out for all customers using OneNote Online in Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Visio integrates with Excel and PowerPoint in new ways
Visio, Excel and PowerPoint work better together than ever, helping you seamlessly generate flowcharts automatically from data then share them effortlessly as presentations. Create a flowchart directly from Excel in a few clicks using the new Data Visualizer templates. Then, use the new Slide Snippets pane to select specific diagrams or snippets, title them and export as slides in a new PowerPoint presentation. The Morph transition is even applied automatically to create cinematic transitions between overlapping snippets on different slides. Get started with Visio Data Visualizer templates and creating a PowerPoint presentation from Visio.
Visio, Excel and PowerPoint work better together to help you seamlessly create flowcharts from Excel data and export diagram snippets to share as PowerPoint slides.Availability: The new Data Visualizer templates for Excel data are now available in Visio on Windows desktops, for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insiders Slow. The Slide Snippets pane is currently available in Visio on Windows desktops, for all Office 365 subscribers. Other Office 365 updates this month
We also have a few additional updates this month. See the links below for more details:
- Learning Tools for Word Online and OneNote Online now available, plus new languages
- Office apps have improved support with JAWS 18 screen reading software
- Office 365 is now available in 181 markets
- Visio Online is now generally available for Office 365 commercial customers
- Registration is open for the SharePoint Virtual Summit on May 16
Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.
The post New to Office 365 in March—co-authoring in Excel and more appeared first on Office Blogs.
The new updated PHP for EasyApache 4 are available from our production repository.
NOTE: ea-php51 and ea-php52 have no PHP-FPM support. Please use mod_lsapi instead (http://docs.cloudlinux.com/index.html?mod_lsapi_installation.html).
- using ea-libcurl 7.53.1 instead of system curl package, see https://features.cpanel.net/topic/update-curl-for-easyapache-4-and-cloudlinux-6-8 for details.
To update run:yum clean all yum update ea-php*
To install run:yum install ea-php*
So the time has come for me to encourage all you who area within driving distance of Moscow to make a point of coming to the concert this Thursday night (3/30/17) at the Nuart Theater—at 7 of the pm. This event is our kick-off to the Grace Agenda, which extends into the weekend. Please check that out also.
Now when I say “encourage,” what I mean is “imperiously demand.” Well, maybe not demand, but I do want to say this event is always a boatload of fun. The evening is dedicated to a mash-up of classic rock as performed by a bunch of people engaged in the important work of classical education. These are two things you don’t normally associate with one another, but once you experience it, you realize that it is kind of like chocolate and peanut butter—strangers with a shared destiny.
There will be two sets—the first on the lighter side of classic rock, the second heavier. Come for one set or both, depending on your tolerances. Now by saying “lighter side,” I do not mean to indicate easy listening or soft rock. Nothing here by the Carpenters. A couple songs from the first set, for example, would be, Sharp Dressed Man and Call Me the Breeze. The second set has songs like Sultans of Swing and Somebody to Love. I will be participating on two of the songs this year—Call Me the Breeze and City of New Orleans. If I were any better I would probably be showing off on these songs, but as it is I will be behaving with modesty and decorum.
There will be open guitar cases around so that you can contribute, with all the proceeds being donated to Logos School. We hope to see you there.
Here is the event’s Facebook page, and below is the concert’s promo video. Enjoy.
It’s an issue that has been much discussed among Reformed churches: what is the place of welfare ministries in the life of our churches? Some churches probably wouldn’t encourage their members to get involved in social initiatives at all, in case they’ll be distracted from evangelism—even if they aren’t actually doing much of either. Other churches approve of these ministries for individuals but not for churches. Still others would encourage their members to get involved in social-welfare ministry of every kind and, whether or not there is any gospel conversation, call it mission. But we’d do well to remember these words from John Piper:
“In all the attempts to alleviate suffering, we must not forget to alleviate eternal suffering by the proclamation of Christ.”
This rightly prioritizes evangelism. But does that mean that church members shouldn’t get involved in social justice at all? How can churches maintain Jesus’ priority of Word ministry, while obeying Jesus’ teaching to love our neighbor?
I’ve been wrestling with these questions in the two decades since we set up the Co-Mission church planting initiative in London. I’ve noticed that, while each church plant has been focused upon evangelistic outreach, as they’ve grown, they’ve attracted new church members with the skills to be active in a range of social ministries, such as our crisis pregnancy ministry, prison visiting, debt counseling, and outreach to the homeless.
Social justice and evangelism are both ways of loving our neighbors. The first has great but temporary benefits for this world, while the second has glorious benefits both now and in the world to come. So, in understanding how they relate, we’ve found three enormously helpful principles that are illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. The key for focusing our priorities lies in this one word: “Especially.”
1. Especially the needy (Luke 10:30)
Jesus pictures a man being mugged on the notoriously dangerous road from Jerusalem to Jericho. We might have said, “They bashed him over the head with a baseball bat, stabbed him in the back with a beer bottle and kicked him to the ground, took his phone, wallet and sneakers, and left him unconscious in a pool of blood.”
Jesus describes something that could happen to any of us. We could be mugged by thieves or by redundancy, by a cancerous lump or the death of a child, by a creeping addiction to gambling or pornography. Many of us already have been. We could self-righteously enquire what this man was doing traveling alone. But Jesus doesn’t bother with blame. We all make bad decisions and do stupid things. It’s ugly when the well and wealthy criticize the poor and sick because of contributory foolishness; and it’s particularly ugly in Christians, for Christ saved us despite the stupidity of our own sin. Jesus is plainly telling us to be concerned for those in need. We need to gradually reach all the communities of our cities, and not just attempt to reach the elites in the name of strategically accessing leadership potential.
2. Especially our neighbours (Luke 10:31–32)
God commands us to love our neighbors as generously as we love ourselves. Jesus was not limiting those we help to those who are closest to us; rather, Jesus was expanding our definition of neighbours to include anyone we come across in need, whatever their race, religion, class or kind of problem! But Jesus wasn’t suggesting that the priest and Levite who passed by should have abandon their ministries to search the roads of Palestine for battered travelers (and the Samaritan went on with his life after caring for the injured man). And Jesus wasn’t telling us to help everyone, for we all feel bewildered by the scale of need even in our own neighborhood, let alone the world. He’s telling us to help the one person we can all help—the needy person we come across in daily life.
"Jesus tells us to help the one person we can all help-the needy person we come across in daily life."
Jesus doesn’t for a minute suggest anyone should abandon gospel work for social justice. But none of us are doing gospel work all the time. Jesus wasn’t telling churches to divert resources from gospel preaching into poverty relief. He was telling individual disciples to put ourselves out for someone in need. We can each help one elderly lady in our block of flats, one distressed colleague at work, or one migrant family in our area trying to find work. For we were all lying in the spiritual gutter when Jesus found us.
3. Especially with the gospel (Luke 10:33-35)
Rather than abandon the man as soon as possible, or just call an ambulance, the Samaritan drove him to the hospital and covered the costs. This was practical love—involving costly self-denial. Samaritans were generally hated by the Jews. But this Samaritan didn’t allow his own experience of prejudice to become an excuse to neglect a foreigner in need. He didn’t offer help in order to earn favor with God, nor in the hope that the wounded man would be grateful and join his church! He just did it for the man’s sake, out of compassion; he “took pity on him”.
When we get involved in compassionate care, we shouldn’t do so just to gain evangelistic opportunities. This can easily become manipulative subterfuge. We should offer our works of compassion as simply the justice and righteousness in which God delights. But opportunities often do arise when people wonder why we help them, and the gospel is the most precious gift we can offer—for evangelism is compassionate care to relieve eternal suffering.
But let’s also welcome opportunities to help a needy neighbor—because Jesus says bluntly in verse 37, “Go and do likewise”! In all of life, we are to live compassionately like the good Samaritan… especially towards the needy, especially towards our neighbors, and especially with the gospel… pointing people to the Greatest Samaritan of all, who came to us in our desperate spiritual need and rescued us from dying in the gutter of sin—to Jesus.
This article is adapted from Richard Coekin's new book, Gospel DNA: 21 Ministry Values for Growing Churches, which is available to pre-order now.
The new updated CloudLinux 7 kernel (version 3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.42) is available for download from our updates-testing repository.
Changelog since 3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.40:
- fixed a deadlock with HPC backup solution;
- CLKRN-92: megaraid driver panic fixes;
- CLKRN-94: improved a symlink attack protection by checking nested symlinks;
- CLKRN-95: reduced high-order allocation impact in filesystem mount code;
- CLKRN-97: fixed race condition in common hashtable implementation;
- Implemented global_root_enable flag which increases symlink owner protection (disabled by default). Find details in our documentation.
To install new kernel please run the following commands:yum clean all --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing yum install kernel-3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.42.el7 kmod-lve-1.4-42.el7 --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing
"Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!"
These, of course, were the last reported words of William Tyndale who was strangled and then burnt in 1536.
Here are is an exhortation from David and Sally Michael from their conference message, “A Vision for Biblical Literacy in the Next Generation”:
Children need to learn how to rightly handle the Word through incremental age-appropriate instruction in studying Scripture through the use of inductive Bible study skills.
Exposure to the whole counsel of God is vital, but children must also be taught to rightly understand the Word. Our children and young people need the same prodding that Paul gave to his spiritual son:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.—2 Timothy 2:15
In a postmodern culture where it is acceptable to define your own truth, children must realize that truth is not “what a Bible verse means to me,” but rather that truth is found in discovering the author’s original intent interpreted in light of the whole message of the Bible, leading to the God-given meaning of the text. Therefore, we must guide the next generation to be students of the Word who have the necessary tools to interpret Scripture correctly, as Paul did for Timothy:
Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.—2 Timothy 2:7
Start with simple questions about texts as children are young, and give them more tools as they mature. This is in direct opposition to what is happening in our culture as we move from a language-based system of learning to an image base.
It will be very difficult for children to become serious students of the Word if they are used to a steady diet of sound bite technology. Over exposure to sound bite technology will reap a crop of students who are incapable of serious, careful Bible study, who will not be equipped and competent for every good work.
We must impress on the next generation the discipline of Bible study—careful observation of the text; thoughtful, objective interpretation; and appropriate life-application—as well as the value of meditating on the Word “day and night” and memorizing Scripture.Questions to Think About
- Are we careful to emphasize and use “the Book” in our teaching rather than media and “sound bite technology”?
- Do we have age-appropriate goals and measures in place for assessing our students Bible study skills?
- Does the curriculum we use encourage and help students to interact with the text?
- Are we providing our students with resources that will instruct them in proper Bible study skills?
- Are our teachers adequately trained in the use of inductive Bible study methods?
The EU Court of Justice published two reports on 27th March. Both concerned the legitimacy of firms banning their employees wearing Islamic headscarves. This being the EU, the Court came to opposite conclusions. In one, the ban was upheld as it was the firm’s general policy. In the other, the ban was disallowed as it was merely to satisfy customers.
The key finding in the former case was that the ban, to be acceptable, had to be “objectively justified by a legitimate aim, such as the pursuit by the employer in its relations with its customers of a policy of political, philosophical and religious neutrality, and the means of achieving that aim were appropriate and necessary.” The key word, amongst several hundred words of verbiage, turned out to be “objectively”.
The latter case concluded that the ban “was not a genuine and determining occupational requirement justifying a difference in treatment of the worker”. This is curious: banning all headscarves for everyone cannot be discriminatory whereas banning Islamic headscarves clearly is. In this case, it would appear, all headscarves were banned. But the crunch comes at the end: Banning the headscarves was not “a requirement that was objectively [my emphasis] dictated by the nature of the occupational activities concerned or of the context in which they were carried out. It could not, however, cover subjective [my emphasis] considerations, such as the willingness of the employer to take account of the particular wishes of a customer.”
The Times headlined this as “Need to humour customers does not justify Islamic headscarf ban”. The Times appears to agree that humouring customers is a silly and subjective thing that no right-minded company should do.
This attitude harks back to the days when judges and other gentry would not allow their children to take up anything so vulgar as trade, except perhaps the wine trade. Never mind being below the salt, to be caught actually selling anything cost one a place at the dining table altogether.
Objective reality is that all companies depend on the cash provided by customers and their employees owe their livelihood to that too. Customers are entitled to spend their money how they wish. They have freedom of choice. They may not do so on the basis that judges would like them to, but that is for the customers to decide, not judges, and there is nothing subjective about it.
The new updated apache24 version 2.4.25-4.cloudlinux.1 for EasyApache 4 is available for download from EA4 beta repository.
ea-apache24 version 2.4.25-4.cloudlinux.1
- Fixed 60189 bug.
- Fixed MPM event crash on restart (MODLS-395).
Run:$ yum clean all --enablerepo=cl-ea4-testing $ yum update ea-apache24 --enablerepo=cl-ea4-testing $ service httpd restart
For update:$ yum clean all --enablerepo=cl-ea4-testing $ yum update ea-apache24 --enablerepo=cl-ea4-testing $ service httpd restart
The new updated httpd24-mod_hostinglimits (CloudLinux 6) and httpd24-apr packages are available for download from our updates-testing repository.
- Added extra check of lve_enter result and store it for further analysis. Avoiding lve_leave error in dmesg.
For installation/update:yum install httpd24-mod_hostinglimits httpd24-apr --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing
We are pleased to announce that the new updated Imunify360 2.0-7 is now available. The latest version embodies further improvements of the product as well as new features. Imunify360 also has become more reliable and stable due to the bug fixes described below.
Should you encounter any problems with product or have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact our support team at helpdesk.cloudlinux.com: Imunify360 department. We’d be more than happy to help you.
- [DEF-1144, DEF-1103] - implemented on demand scan;
- [DEF-1072] - added preview for quarantine and suspicious files;
- [DEF-1069] - implemented suspicious files table.
- [DEF-985, DEF-1287] - fixed malware scanner ignore list settings;
- [DEF-930, DEF-954, DEF-1039] - reduced CPU usage, optimized messages processing;
- [DEF-998] - using ModSecurity COMODO rules instead of OWASP CRS;
- [DEF-1058] - capturing incidents only with specified severity level;
- [DEF-1153] - implemented commands for suspicious files;
- [DEF-1157] - pure-ftpd scans depend on MOVE_TO_QUARANTINE option;
- [DEF-1169] - tweaked ModSecurity SecRuleEngine responsibly;
- [DEF-1187] - implemented new communication options for CLN server and imunify360 server;
- [DEF-1207] - does not install ModSecurity ruleset if LiteSpeed is installed;
- [DEF-1222, DEF-1223] - added license expiration notification;
- [DEF-1267] - installing ea-php only for ea4;
- [DEF-1269] - blocking IP by ModSecurity critical events by default;
- [DEF-1307] - renamed Alt-PHP to HardenedPHP;
- [DEF-1229] - improved browser support;
- [DEF-1076] - enabled setting comment when adding IP to white/black list;
- [DEF-1069] - implemented suspicious files table;
- [DEF-1232] - set max value validation for auto whitelist timeout;
- [DEF-1080] - added group action button for group removing of IPs.
- [DEF-1123] - fixed saving incorrect config;
- [DEF-1128] - fixed empty ModSecurity Hits List;
- [DEF-1133] - fixed bug when Imunify360 displayed "expiration" incorrectly;
- [DEF-1136] - fixed broken menu bar layout;
- [DEF-1138] - maldet --mkpubpaths executed by cron job;
- [DEF-1152] - fixed Cloudlinux 7 captcha server crashes on start;
- [DEF-1164, DEF-1212] - fixed SSL certs errors for DNS Only installations;
- [DEF-1172] - fixed captcha spelling error;
- [DEF-1195] - fixed error with pure-ftp scan;
- [DEF-1204] - fixed blocking by country if a user is auto whitelisted;
- [DEF-1230] - fixed max allowed expiration for auto whitelist IP;
- [DEF-1280] - mod_security does not block uploads if maldet misconfigured;
- [DEF-1085] - fixed "event is not defined" error;
- [DEF-1310] - removed unused fields from settings requests;
- [DEF-1086] - grammar fixes;
- [DEF-1215] - fixed Add button confusing behavior in Whitelist section;
- [DEF-1189] - country search button disabled if incorrect country is entered;
- [DEF-1190] - fixed an error when country name instead of country code can be sent to the server as key for searching IP;
- [DEF-1168] - "Actions" column in IP/Countries list does not contain number of selected items;
- [DEF-1126] - forbidden GET-requests to handlers/sendRequest.cgi.
To instal new Imunify360 version 2.0 please follow the instructions in documentation.
To upgrade Imunify360 run the command:yum update imunify360-firewall
The Guardian carries a long piece about Brexit, tariffs, beet and cane sugar and so on. Should we continue to protect beet growers? Should we just abolish the tariffs and let cane rule?
Our answer is obvious, abolish the protections and see what happens. Not all agree:
Even then, its farmers claim the burden of living in a high-wage economy means it is unfair to pit them against surplus cane that is dumped on the world market below the average cost of production by developing economies.
“If we are living in a higher-cost economy than Brazil, and as a society we value things that those higher costs support, then a degree of tariff protection to make that sustainable is legitimate,” argues Martin. “In an ideal world run by rational people, that is what tariff barriers used sensibly can help to balance out.”
Actually, that's the argument for cutting tariffs entirely and the heck with it. Because that very fact that we are a high wage economy is precisely why we should not be doing low value add things. We should only be doing things which add a lot of value - wages do after all reflect the value being added in the economy.
If there are people out there willing to grow sugar for $300 a month while we would need £3,000 a month to do it then we should be buying from them and not producing ourselves. We should be off doing something which adds more than £3,000 a month to justify those wages.
Again, the fact that we're a high wage economy isn't an argument to build protection around it, it's the very argument that we shouldn't be doing the low value things that poorer people in other places could be.
The “second Reformation” introduced Reformed liturgy and teaching into Lutheran Germany. This was seen by some as a continuation of the Reformation and a purgation of Catholic remnants. The effort to carry on “further reformation” led to disputes with Lutherans. As Bodo Nischan has put it, the hottest debate in German Protestantism in the late 16
century “was the very meaning of the Reformation itself” (“Second Reformation”).
The late William J. Stuntz spent his life studying the American criminal justice system. In a 2001 article on our “pathological politics of criminal law,” he lays out the institutional barriers to the fundamental reform that we need.
Over the course of approximately six hours, the Left in the United States made a spectacular, 180 degree turn on federalism and states’ rights without even recognizing it. Although this lack of self-awareness shouldn’t be particularly surprising coming from the modern Left, which seems to have missed the irony when it goes about shutting down debates on free speech.
I’m old enough to remember when the Tea Party was making hay about nullifying Obamacare and Rick Perry even floated the idea about Texas seceding from the union. Not surprisingly, the Left was rather opposed to such antiquated ideas.
Rachel Maddow referred to talk of nullification as “confederates in the attic,” Chris Matthews described it as the “terms of Jim Crow” and Princeton professor Sean Wilentz referred to the doctrine of nullification as “the essence of anarchy” and “neo-Confederate dogma.” I’m sure nullification and states’ rights are also sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic, but these are short segments so they had to be concise.
Apparently, we were told, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution stated not just that “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land,” but also “that this includes any law, no matter how blatantly unconstitutional passed by Congress or executive order issued by the president or signing statement or edict from an unconstitutional bureaucracy made of unelected administrators as long as it’s part of the federal government.”
Then all of a sudden, on November 8th, 2016, Donald Trump beat out all the predictions and won the presidency. Suddenly, states’ rights became rather appealing to the Left (and lost their allure to much of the Right).
The rallying cry for the Left so far has been “resistance” and that includes more than just protesting in the street. The Hill notes that “In blue states, agenda is clear: Resist Trump.” The New Republic ran an article titled “10 Ways to Take Trump on” and item number 3, written by California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is “Look to the Cities and States.” He notes,
We’re not a monarchy. We’re a representative democracy, so we have agency, we have a voice. We have the ability not just to navel gaze, but to act, to be engaged — to resist. We’ve got to dust ourselves off and step up, and not just roll over and act as if we don’t have a very potent role to play in our democracy, particularly at the city level … if he does try to build a wall, there is legislation in California to challenge the administration, by requiring the construction of the wall to be put to a vote of the people of California.
In other words, Newsom will recommend nullifying a federal order with a state referendum.
And the whole Calexit movement would quite obviously be much more similar to the secession of the southern Confederacy (hopefully without the war) than Britain leaving the EU. Yet liberals seem to be rather silent on this obvious point. If Calexit succeeded, it would also be the virtual end of the Democratic party in the United States, but that’s another matter.
Indeed, nullification in everything but name has been tried or successfully used on all sorts of issues such as gun laws and Real I.D laws and a host of issues most liberals generally support, such as marijuana legalization and sanctuary cities, which we shall return to shortly.
New England states … appealed to nullification (or interposition) against President Jefferson’s embargo, against what they considered the unconstitutional calling up of the New England militia during the war of 1812, against the use of military conscription, and against a law providing for the enlistment of minors.
American history is littered with examples of nullification. Obviously not all were for good causes, but many were. Fortunately, some liberals, such as Kirkpatrick Sale and Jeff Taylor recognized this prior to sometime in the late evening of November 8th, 2016.
If this point isn’t obvious enough, a thought experiment regarding the reason liberals generally dislike federalism, that I put forth in my review of Tom Woods’ book Nullification, should clear it up,
Let’s say it was the federal government that had mandated segregation and not the states. Do you believe for one second that Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed states nullifying that particular federal law? Martin Luther King Jr. was trying to crush segregation and I find it patently absurd that he would neglect a non-violent method of doing so if the situation had been as described.
I think it’s safe to say that it was less the how (other than nonviolence) and more the what that civil rights activists cared about.
And the same goes for secession. Indeed the United States wouldn’t even be a country if it weren’t for secession! In addition, Eastern Europe would also still be a collection of Russian satellites and much of South America would still be part of Spain, etc. And now that the Left has finally embraced states’ rights, at least that puts them on the opposite side of that Adolf Hitler guy many liberals like to accuse others of literally being,
National Socialism must claim the right to impose its principles on the whole German nation, without regard to what were hitherto the confines of federal states …
And pretty much every other totalitarian dictator agreed with Hitler on that matter.
So federalism and localism are critical to a free society in general. But let’s return to the present and the whole matter of the so-called “sanctuary cities” that thumb their nose at federal immigration law. Indeed, even the conservative Helen Rittelmeyer observed that “In the absence of a federal solution, state and local governments have begun to take matters into their own hands. This may be a blessing, too.” The reason being that, “If cities wishing to drive illegal immigrants from their communities have the freedom to do so, then it follows that those cities wishing to draw illegal immigrants into theirs must have that freedom, too, within the bounds of the law.”
But one should look even further than Rittelmeyer’s “nullification for both sides” concept then just immigration. Perhaps neither liberals nor conservatives have gone far enough with their federalism.
Right now the United States is extremely divided and growing more so with every passing day. There are massive differences of opinions between north and south, the coasts and flyover country, urban, suburban and rural and regarding race, religion, and political beliefs.
Pew notes that "Democrats and Republicans [are] More Ideologically Divided than in the Past." And it’s not just politically divided, Republicans and Democrats are becoming far more geographically divided as well. Over the past 40 years, Republicans and Democrats have moved to communities of more like-minded people. According to Bill Bishop in The Big Sort, “… [in] 1976 … Just over 26 percent of the nation’s voters lived in landslide counties [counties where one party won by 20 percentage points or more] … By 2000, the number had risen to 45.3 percent.”
And it’s only gotten worse since then.
The average New Yorker has much more in common with the average Londoner than the average person in Topeka, Kansas. Other than language, the same would probably go for Berlin, Madrid, or Paris as well. We may all be part of one political union, but it’s hard to make the case we’re all part of one country.
Perhaps it’s time we looked to localism instead of Washington. Perhaps it is time to ask whether 320 million people should be governed by one swamp on the East Coast.
April Fools Day is coming. Prank your friends opening a never ending fake update screen on their computer. Sit back and watch their reaction.
There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.
If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using Section 702 of the FISA Act. Could it have been then-President Obama? We don’t know. Could it have been other political enemies looking for something to harm the Trump campaign or presidency? It is possible.
There is much we do not yet know about what happened and there is probably quite a bit we will never know. But we do know several very important things about the government spying on Americans.
First there is Section 702 itself. The provision was passed in 2008 as part of a package of amendments to the 1978 FISA bill. As with the PATRIOT Act, we were told that we had to give the government more power to spy on us so that it could catch terrorists. We had to give up some of our liberty for promises of more security, we were told. We were also told that the government would only spy on the bad guys, and that if we had nothing to hide we should have nothing to fear.
We found out five years later from Edward Snowden that the US government viewed Section 702 as a green light for the mass surveillance of Americans. Through programs he revealed, like PRISM, the NSA is able to collect and store our Internet search history, the content of our emails, what files we have shared, who we have chatted with electronically, and more.
That’s why people like NSA whistleblower William Binney said that we know the NSA was spying on Trump because it spies on all of us!
Ironically, FISA itself was passed after the Church Committee Hearings revealed the abuses, criminality, and violations of our privacy that the CIA and other intelligence agencies had been committing for years. FISA was supposed to rein in the intelligence community but, as is often the case in Washington, it did the opposite: it ended up giving the government even more power to spy on us.
So President Trump might have been “wiretapped” by Obama, as he claimed, but unfortunately he will not draw the right conclusions from the violation. He will not see runaway spying on Americans as a grotesque attack on American values. That is unfortunate, because this could have provided a great teaching moment for the president. Seeing how all of us are vulnerable to this kind of government abuse, President Trump could have changed his tune on the PATRIOT Act and all government attacks on our privacy. He could have stood up for liberty, which is really what makes America great.
Section 702 of the FISA Act was renewed in 2012, just before we learned from Snowden how it is abused. It is set to expire this December unless Congress extends it again. Knowing what we now know about this anti-American legislation we must work hard to prevent its renewal. They will try to scare us into supporting the provision, but the loss of our liberty is what should scare us the most.
According to reports, Danielle Bregoli, the 14-year-old girl who became a popular internet meme this year due to a failed intervention on the Dr. Phil show, has signed a deal for her own reality television show. On a personal level, there is much to find offensive in Bregoli’s fame, in spite of her obvious marketing prowess. She is, after all, internet-famous simply for her improper English, toxic personal behavior, and apparent lack of respect for anyone around her. On an economic level, however, her rise is an interesting example of how capitalism rewards the interests of the masses, regardless of the opinion of the cultural elite.
Criticism of trashy pop culture is, of course, nothing new. Ludwig von Mises, for example, felt the need to defend commercial literature from socialist criticism. In The Anti-Capitalist Mentality he wrote:
What characterizes capitalism is not the bad taste of the crowds, but the fact that these crowds, made prosperous by capitalism, became “consumers” of literature — of course, of trashy literature. The book market is flooded by a downpour of trivial fiction for the semibarbarians. But this does not prevent great authors from creating imperishable works.
The term “semibarbarian” perhaps describes Ms. Bregoli’s TV persona as accurately as the excerpt describes the success of “trashy” reality TV. Capitalism has made access to television programming (and its internet equivalent) as large as it has ever been before. This constant competition for content has not only opened the doors to innovation — from the growth of cable and satellite networks, to the rise of Netflix and Amazon as content producers, to social media live streaming challenging traditional cable news — but it has also led to producers throwing money at content appealing to all sorts of demographics, apparently including those who’d want to watch the life of a troubled 14 year old.
Of course, it’s quite possible that the show’s producers have erred in their entrepreneurial judgment. TV shows fail all the time, with the industry known to jump at such bizarre concepts as a sitcom based on auto insurance commercial character, to one based on a lead character whose mother was reincarnated as a talking car. Even reality shows, whose popularity with producers is largely driven by a budget-friendly format, have had their own market failures — such as when Monica Lewinsky hosted a dating show, or The Baby Borrowers, a British series based on teenage couples looking after other people’s kids.
Just as in any other sector of the economy, capitalism incentivizes producers to create content for the masses, but doesn’t dictate that the masses have taste. As Mises put it:
Capitalism could render the masses so prosperous that they buy books and magazines. But it could not imbue them with the discernment of Maecenas or Can Grande della Scala. It is not the fault of capitalism that the common man does not appreciate uncommon books.
In spite of the fact that Dr. Phil’s show is spawning cringeworthy spin offs, an argument can be made that the television trends of Americans actually demonstrate a growing appreciation for quality television. Last year seven of the top 10 most watched shows have won Emmy’s during their run. Meanwhile, AMC, the network credited for creating a “golden age of television” by creating a number of critically acclaimed television dramas, has been rewarded with commercial success — including three of the top cable television premiers last year. Even Downton Abbey, the PBS period piece about British aristocrats and their staff, has enjoyed ratings of 10 million views — roughly three times more than Here Comes Honey Boo Boo ever enjoyed.
Capitalism cannot give consumers taste, just as democracy cannot give voters wisdom. What capitalism does do, however, is give consumers choice — and creates the incentives necessary for producers to meet the desires of the people. Democracy simply offers the masses the ability to enforce the whims of the majority against the wishes of the minority. In America no one will be forced to watch a minute of a reality show about Danielle Bregoli, but should it find commercial success, its viewers will have the ability to shape American policy going forward.
If someone wants to defend the merits of democracy after coming to grips with that reality, perhaps it’s time for their own intervention on Dr. Phil.