Lincoln’s law: How did the Civil War change the Constitution?

Does the President get to decide when to ignore the law?

  • During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln decided to suspend habeas corpus, a protection in the Constitution that prohibited imprisonment without a trial.
  • From Lincoln's point of view, following the law to the letter during that unprecedented and pivotal moment in history (i.e. the threat of war and secession from the Union) would put lawfulness itself at risk, so some restrictions of civil liberties were necessary.
  • The war and the president's actions changed how the founding document is interpreted and sometimes challenged by the rule of men.
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Cultural accommodation: How to navigate societal diversity

Establishing cultural rights to protect diverse groups may not be the answer.

  • While it is good to recognize societal diversity, it is difficult to argue in favor of creating cultural accommodations to preserve and protect specific groups.
  • Creating protections for people who belong to certain traditions can result in the creation of cultures that did not previously exist. The challenge would be to find a way to provide protections that are not too explicit while also being careful not to advantage one internal group and disadvantage another.
  • The classical liberal response is a principle of hyper-tolerance. Groups are free to form, members are free to dissent, and there are no acknowledgements of special protections or of the right to force conformity within cultures.
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The philosophy of protest: Thoreau, King, and Civil Disobedience

The protesters on the street aren't just taking up space, they carry on a well thought out tradition.

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  • Nonviolent protests designed to effect change are a common occurrence around the world, especially today.
  • While they may seem to be a sign of sour grapes or contrarianism, there is a serious philosophical backing to them.
  • Thinkers from Thoreau to Gandhi and King have made the case for civil disobedience as a legitimate route to change.
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Why generational pressure is the key to climate change policy

Change is coming, but not from the generation that currently holds positions of power.

  • With figures like Greta Thunberg and demonstrations like the global climate strike, it's become apparent that young people are driving the effort to stop climate change.
  • This generational pressure is the key to change. In the same way that smoking became less accepted in society, even frowned upon, so too can the behaviors that have sped up climate change.
  • Moving forward, energy companies will play a major role if they can reimagine themselves as part of the solution to this crisis and forge a better path to save the planet.
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The one book you need to understand alt-right trolls

Antisocial is a deep dive into the extremist views.

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  • The New Yorker's Adam Marantz spent three years embedded with leading alt-right voices.
  • His book, Antisocial, carries you deep inside the mindset and motivation behind online trolling.
  • To get back on track, Marantz believes we need a "new moral vocabulary."
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