As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.
So many wells have been dug in Changzhou that its groundwater has been over-exploited, and the local ground level has sunk by two feet. The city has officially banned new wells and mandated the installation of pollution controls, but China's endemic corruption ensures that neither measure has much meaning.
Charles C. Mann
History is filled with examples of men and women who rendered highly effective performance without the conventional badges of accomplishment in terms of certificates, diplomas, or degrees. Diplomas and tests are useful servants, but Congress has mandated the commonsense proposition that they are not to become masters of reality.
Warren E. Burger
Yes, 4% is the government-mandated target to the MPC. The plus/minus 2 percentage-point upper and lower bands are the tolerance levels specified by the government. If we breach those for three consecutive quarters, we need to inform the government of why that happened and what we propose to do to bring inflation within the two bands.
What do teachers and curriculum directors mean by 'value' reading? A look at the practice of most schools suggests that when a school 'values' reading what it really means is that the school intensely focuses on raising state-mandated reading test scores- the kind of reading our students will rarely, if ever, do in adulthood.
Nobody understands that by the time the addiction has set in the alcoholic is mandated to drink ... he cannot not drink! Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, 'Jiminy Cricket, I feel sensational! My life is really in great shape! I think I'll become an alcoholic!' I firmly believe that when a shaking-to-pieces alcoholic says he needs a drink or he will die, he means it.
In an effort to civilize combat sports, authorities mandated padded gloves and instantly made the sports far more savage. Granted, putting gloves on the hands seems like a nice thing to do. If you were being punched in the brain by a powerful man, wouldn't you rather he strap a pillow around his fist? But the glove doesn't do anything to diminish your brain damage.
Engaging the body in acts of being present with God, including certain ceremonial practices, opens us up to God in new ways. People of faith in ancient times understood that such physical acts and practices as rest and worship, dietary restrictions, and mandated fabric in their wardrobes were of great value to their faith and life.
A minimal level of sportsman ethics afield is mandated by written law. Beyond that, say, when an action is legal but ethically questionable, or when (as Aldo Leopold long ago pointed out) no one is watching, hunter ethics is an individual responsibility. As the existentialists would have it, we determine our own honor minute by minute, action by action, one decision at a time.
In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar, two highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and prone to fanatical irrational indestructible beliefs "" not least the notion that you can flush a 950-page book down one of Al Gore's eco-crazed federally mandated low-flush toilets, a claim no editorial bigfoot thought to test for himself in Newsweek's executive washroom.
Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker's productivity worth that amount""and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.
Stated in the simplest terms, the recognized solution to the problem of foodborne illness is a comprehensive prevention strategy that involves all participants in the food system, domestic and foreign, doing their part to minimize the likelihood of harmful contamination. And that is the strategy mandated by FSMA. It is not a strategy that assumes we can achieve a zero-risk food supply, but it is a strategy grounded in the conviction that we can better protect consumers and the economic vigor of the food system if everyone involved implements reasonably available measures to reduce risk.
Michael R. Taylor
One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endle¶sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate. I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.
Consider the great Samuel Clemens. Huckleberry Finn is one of the few books that all American children are mandated to read: Jonathan Arac, in his brilliant new study of the teaching of Huck, is quite right to term it 'hyper-canonical.' And Twain is a figure in American history as well as in American letters. The only objectors to his presence in the schoolroom are mediocre or fanatical racial nationalists or 'inclusivists, ' like Julius Lester or the Chicago-based Dr John Wallace, who object to Twain's use-in or out of 'context'-of the expression 'nigger.' An empty and formal 'debate' on this has dragged on for decades and flares up every now and again to bore us. But what if Twain were taught as a whole? He served briefly as a Confederate soldier, and wrote a hilarious and melancholy account, The Private History of a Campaign That Failed. He went on to make a fortune by publishing the memoirs of Ulysses Grant. He composed a caustic and brilliant report on the treatment of the Congolese by King Leopold of the Belgians. With William Dean Howells he led the Anti-Imperialist League, to oppose McKinley's and Roosevelt's pious and sanguinary war in the Philippines. Some of the pamphlets he wrote for the league can be set alongside those of Swift and Defoe for their sheer polemical artistry. In 1900 he had a public exchange with Winston Churchill in New York City, in which he attacked American support for the British war in South Africa and British support for the American war in Cuba. Does this count as history? Just try and find any reference to it, not just in textbooks but in more general histories and biographies. The Anti-Imperialist League has gone down the Orwellian memory hole, taking with it a great swirl of truly American passion and intellect, and the grand figure of Twain has become reduced-in part because he upended the vials of ridicule over the national tendency to religious and spiritual quackery, where he discerned what Tocqueville had missed and far anticipated Mencken-to that of a drawling, avuncular fabulist.
In times of strife, taliban have usually mobilized in defense of tradition. British documents from as early as 1901 decry taliban opposition to colonialism in present-day Pakistan. However, as with so much else, it was the Soviet invasion and the US response that sent the transformative shock. In the 1980s, as guns and money coursed through the ranks of the Kandahar mujahedeen, squabbling over resources grew so frequent that many increasingly turned to religious law to settle their disputes. Small, informal bands of taliban, who were also battling against the Russians, established religious courts that heard cases from feuding fighters from across the south. Seemingly impervious to the lure of foreign riches, the taliban courts were in many eyes the last refuge of tradition in a world in upheaval... Thousands of talibs rallied to the cause, and an informal, centuries-old phenomenon of the Pashtun countryside morphed into a formal political and military movement, the Taliban. As a group of judges and legal-minded students, the Taliban applied themselves to the problem of anarchy with an unforgiving platform of law and order. The mujahedeen had lost their way, abandoned their religious principles, and dragged society into a lawless pit. So unlike most revolutionary movements, Islamic or otherwise, the Taliban did not seek to overthrow an existing state and substitute it with one to their liking. Rather, they sought to build a new state where none existed. This called for 'eliminating the arbitrary rule of the gun and replacing it with the rule of law-and for countryside judges who had arisen as an alternative to a broken tribal system, this could only mean religious law. Jurisprudence is thus part of the Taliban's DNA, but its single-minded pursuit was carried out to the exclusion of all other aspects of basic governance. It was an approach that flirted dangerously with the wrong kind of innovation: in the countryside, the choice was traditionally yours whether to seek justice in religious or in tribal courts, yet now the Taliban mandated religious law as the compulsory law of the land. It is true that, given the nature of the civil war, any law was better than none at all-but as soon as things settled down, fresh problems arose. The Taliban's jurisprudence was syncretic, mixing elements from disparate schools of Islam along with heavy doses of traditional countryside Pashtun practice that had little to do with religion. As a result, once the Taliban marched beyond the rural Pashtun belt and into cities like Kabul or the ethnic minority regions of northern Afghanistan, they encountered a resentment that rapidly bred opposition.