Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas: “Gun control shows how Washington really works”
Gun control has emerged as an unusually clarifying test case for how Congress really works. On one side of the ledger is most everything that we think moves Congress: Public opinion, a national tragedy, the president’s bully pulpit, elite opinion. On the other side is everything we wish didn’t move Congress: a powerful but increasingly controversial interest group and, arguably, the minority’s natural incentive to foil the majority’s agenda.
Guess which side is winning?
Jean Ann Esselink: “Thank You Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Because of You, I Got My Money Back”
If you have an unresolved problem with a financial institution, here is an overview of the complaint process, and the place to get started. If you don’t need it now, I urge you to bookmark it for the next time you have been wronged in the wallet. Besides banks, the CFPB also accepts complaints about credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and credit reporting. They work quickly, and they get results.
Thomas MacAulay Millar: “Teach Consent! (But What Good Is Teaching Consent?)”
Even if you believe, as I do, that the predators are not confused and can’t be educated, there are two good reasons to believe that consent education can make the climate better. First, because there are rapists who are not that small percentage of predators. Second, the predators absolutely depend on what I call the Social License to Operate, the climate that explains away or excuses what they do in certain circumstances, calls it not rape, calls it the survivor’s fault, minimizes it and lets him get away with it. Without that, the rapists can’t do it over and over because they’d get caught, excluded from their social circles, disciplined by commanding officers or expelled from campus, and they’d either have to stop or end up in prison.
… The Social License to Operate is the set of beliefs that make rape seem like a continuation or extension of normal sexuality, instead of an aberration and personal violation. By normalizing rapists and rape, by blurring the lines between rape and sex, we create a culture where instead of responding to the crime like we should, there’s always room to argue for and or excuse or mitigate the rape and the rapist.
Maybe the way in which evangelical read the Bible and conceive of its authority is the problem in the evangelical system that needs to be rethought, rather than being the non-negotiable hill to stand and die on for addressing every issue that comes down the road?
This isn’t about evangelicals accepting or rejecting the Bible. It’s about thinking self-critically about how they read it and their approach to biblical authority.
The problem, though, is that the evangelical view of the Bible as God’s inerrant authority for the church is its ground floor raison d’etre. Evangelicalism exists, at least intellectually, to defend and promote this view. To ask evangelicals to do a critical self-assessment of how they read the Bible is in effect to ask them to assess the entire system.
Helen Lee: “Yet Another Reason to Love Trader Joe’s”
You would think more companies would be able to grasp the wisdom of this strategy, that paying your employees well and treating them as a valuble source of competitive advantage can actually help rather than hinder the bottom line. But for many companies, especially those that see themselves as low-cost providers, the flawed thinking goes that to save money in order to offer those discount prices, you have to offer low wages and benefits and expect high turnover. (Case in point: Walmart.)
But this is not just an issue for companies such as Wal-Mart. Christian companies often fall into a similar mindset as they try to balance ministry goals, economic challenges, and an aversion to wastefulness or excess in their spending. What they may not realize is that by treating their human resources as an expenditure and not an asset in which to invest, they are missing a huge opportunity.