Who Owns Your Children (and other stuff worth reading)

When Swedish artist Christer Johansson and his wife Annie took their seven-year-old son Domenic out of school for a month, prior to their permanent move to Annie’s native India, they could not possibly have foreseen the consequences. This minor domestic arrangement would be seen as an act of defiance against the government. Over the next four years it would wind up in the Supreme Court of Sweden and before the European Court of Human Rights, would involve the Swedish ambassador in Washington, and would see the Johanssons legally deprived of all parental rights and effectively denied custody of Domenic for the rest of his childhood. Their predicament resonated in the minds and hearts of parents all over the world: Who is responsible for the welfare and upbringing of Domenic? Christer and Annie Johansson, or the Swedish government? Christer and Annie believe that they are. But the Swedish government has gone to seemingly bizarre lengths to establish that they are not, and so far it has succeeded. Domenic has been kept for four years in foster homes to underline the point. –The Christians

I’ve never believed in global warming or anthropogenic climate change. As would any sane, knowledgeable person, I believe in climate change, but that’s because I know that the complex interaction of earth and sun has meant that our climate has changed since the day the earth came into being. But I don’t believe man does anything worse than create pollution and and cause waste. Both of those are pretty darn bad, of course. They can destroy vast swaths of land and water, and wipe out whole species — but they are still not the same as humans cooking the earth into an alternately arid or flooded globe, incapable of being inhabited by man or animal. –Bookworm Room

Much has been made, since the Boston Marathon bombings, of how social media have transformed policing and counterterror techniques. A less-remarked aspect of social networks is the way they have changed how individuals respond to disasters, whether man-made or natural. In particular, some who think nothing of snapping and instantly posting photos of themselves around the clock also have no compunction about snapping and instantly posting photos of the view outside their office windows or across the street during an attack or disaster. What they’re viewing and enabling others to view may be not only gruesome but also intensely personal—images of people gravely wounded or dying. Do people have the right to endure their suffering in private? –City Journal

In the Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus wrote: “There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide.” Sisyphus.pngSisyphus was doomed to push a boulder up a hill, watch it roll back down, roll it back up, watch it roll back down, so on and so forth to no end. Such is the lot of man, reasoned Camus. What to do? Embrace the meaningless. Bravely defy it by knowingly, voluntarily persisting in the face of it. Push that boulder simply because you can. Vive la résistance! –Evolution News & Views

Meanwhile, the present generation continues, through debt, to spend the tax dollars of tomorrow, today. Instead of parents leaving an inheritance to their children, they are spending not only what they should pass on, but the very resources of the next generation. Indulging in unrealistic expectations and shirking the fundamental responsibilities of our most basic relationships fuel a passion for government provision in all areas of life, well beyond a safety net of last resort. Rather than arguing over which sector of civil society will carry each burden, the common passion today continually pushes to the state, considering centralization the only solution, despite its obvious insolvency in the long run. –Commentary

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