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Aimee & Jaguar

Aimee & Jaguar(1999) is a film based on a true story centering on Felice, a Jewish woman who lived in Berlin until 1944 and belonged to an underground lesbian, anti-Nazi (spying) organization. To be a Jewish lesbian in Nazi Germany cannot have been an easy life, with possible catastrophe just around the corner on any given day.  In the film, Felice becomes romantically involved with Lilly, a mother of four and wife to a Nazi solder who is fighting at the eastern front. The film is essentially a love story between the two women. I want to draw out some of the ethical issues raised in the film—with the love story serving as my critique of two ethical theories—utilitarianism and duty-based ethics—that are implied in the film.  

The full essay is at “Aimee & Jaguar.”

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Temptation Trail

What are you aiming to get or longing for in your life? Are you pursing it on the Righteous Road or are you on the Temptation Trail? Just remember, you’ll likely get there either way, but the outcome and fulfillment may be dramatically different.

The post Temptation Trail appeared first on Diane Markins.

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Ethical Leadership: Pruning Off the Debris

As business practitioners grapple with the intangible yet potentially valuable notion of ethical leadership, it is left to scholars to assess whether those practitioners are “coloring within the lines.” It is admittedly all too easy to draw in exogenous material that is pleasing to the eye; it is all too easy to deem such material required for ethical leadership rather than ballast weighing it down, unnecessarily. One business practitioner characterizes ethical leadership as that which “inspires the behaviors in people necessary to create competitive advantage.” As achieving a sustainable competitive advantage is the task of strategy, inspiration alone can be extracted as that which is particular to leadership. Strategy is what is left once one has extracted inspiration from the characterization.

The full essay is at “Ethical Leadership: Pruning Off the Debris

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Natural Rights in Europe and America: Shoring-Up Each Other’s Weak Spots

The Declaration of Independence made by the thirteen newly sovereign American states in 1776 recognizes “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These rights are not dependent on any government, and thus exist equally so in the state of nature. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, made in Europe thirteen years later, omits any mention of a creator-deity. “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.” The equality here is more limited, being solely in terms of rights, “man’s natural and imprescriptible rights” in particular. These “are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” We can thus compare and contrast the two sets of rights, which important implications for public policy for both America and Europe.


The entire essay is at “Natural Rights in Europe and America

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Sex-Obsessed Lefty Horrified by ‘Toxic Purity Culture’

Ms. McDonough provides an unvarnished glimpse into the profligate mind of the postmodern “progressive.” (Yes, you read that right. Purity is warped and biblical sexual morality has taken over America.)

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Recovering The Habits Of Self-Government

For those who yearn to recover some of the better aspects of the regime and culture that has passed us by, the question is: how? Continue reading Recovering The Habits Of Self-Government . . . → Read More: Recovering The Habits Of Self-Government

Is Prodigal GOP Inching Home?

Ronald Reagan often spoke of a “three-legged stool” that undergirds what I call “complete conservatism.” The legs symbolize a strong national defense, strong free-market principles and strong traditional social values.

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10 Liberal Limericks for 2013

Time for a little good, clean, limericky fun at liberals’ expense because – well, because they just make it so darn easy.

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Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind

New Years Day is a new beginning, an opportunity to start over. It is a chance to draw a line at the end of an old year and start fresh. Continue reading Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind . . . → Read More: Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind

A Modern Exodus

the true Gospel message always leads to action. Always! The Gospel requires action. Natural Law is little more than the practical application of the Gospel. The call to preach the Gospel is a call to action. Continue reading A Modern Exodus . . . → Read More: A Modern Exodus

America’s Chief Export: Immorality

America groans because the wicked rule. Indeed, under this president, America’s chief export has become immorality. Sexual deviancy, murder of the unborn, redistribution of wealth and other evils have been sanitized and propagandized as “basic human rights.”

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If the Ear Won’t Listen, Tell It to the Eye

Does the name Emmett Till mean anything to you? It should. Photographs of Emmett Till are credited by some with launching the modern-day Civil Rights movement. . . . → Read More: If the Ear Won’t Listen, Tell It to the Eye

The Real Elephant in the Room

Is Chris Christie ready to face America’s immoral entitlement system? . . . → Read More: The Real Elephant in the Room . . . → Read More: The Real Elephant in the Room

American Pragmatism Invades Colleges

From 2010 through 2012, freshman enrollment at more than 25 percent of American 4-year private colleges declined 10 percent or more; from 2006 through 2009, fewer than one and five such schools had suffered a similar decline.[1]Georgian Court “University” in New Jersey saw its entering class shrink by a third in 2012. Rockford College, the administration of which had foolishly spent the college’s entire endowment to buy a college in Europe only to sell it without realizing much if any financial gain, “re-invented” the college as a university in 2013. The name-only change made it possible for more foreign students aided by their respective governments to attend. To be sure, hubris was also palpable in the motivation, particularly as the college was still a college on the ground, such as in the insistence that locals use the word UNIVERSITY. In short, the colleges having distant orbits from the academic sun self-identified themselves by their own desperate measures. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

More than one factor likely contributed to the declining trend pertaining to the small 4-year colleges. In this essay, I bring out a rather subtle contributor.

First, the usual suspects. College costs, and thus tuition, were increasing at triple the rate of inflation. Academics, at least those without business experience or a M.B.A., may not be equipped to manage a college efficiently. For example, how many colleges hire lecturers to teach the basic courses, reducing the payroll of professors? Additionally, how many colleges encourage faculty to video-tape lectures for the students to watch on-line so class sessions can concentrate on problem-solving (e.g., mathematics) and answering questions? Each faculty member would be able to teach more courses per term, hence lowering the faculty payroll.

Another factor typically in the media is the onslaught of lower-cost online courses especially at the “on-line universities” such as the University of Phoenix. The number of Americans taking at least one course on-line increased 45 percent between 2008 and 2013.[2]Although administrators at some traditional “brick and mortar” colleges were adding on-line course options, the increase of 45 percent generally put increasing pressure on courses that are delivered traditionally rather than on-line. Why pay so much more if the learning outcome is the same? Or is it? Do we know, particularly if a moving target is involved?

Lest it be thought that changing democraphics—fewer people entering college following the baby-boomers’ children—account for the decline, the on-line-oriented for-profit “universities” saw greatly expanding enrollment numbers. This is not to say that this factor is a dead-end. The very notion of a for-profit university oriented to delivering content in ways that are most convenient to students evinces a conflation of vocationalism and education—skill and knowledge, respectively. Whereas the former answers how toquestions, the latter explains and thus is oriented to mostly to why questions. On-line “universities” were able to leverage the credibility in educational institution while using technology fit particularly for skills.

Moreover, the value of a college degree was increasingly based on vocational criteria. According to the Wall Street Journal, “questions about a college degree’s value” were “challenging centuries-old business models.”[3]In other words, the lack of any good job prospects for graduating seniors was assumed to mean that the college degree had lost value. That a college might exist to answer intellectual curiosity and, moreover, enable people to be educatedhad been largely forgotten. The value of the practical in American society had finally interlarded itself in “higher” education. What would Jefferson and Adams, who agreed that a virtuous and educated citizenry is vital to a viable republic, think?

 


1. Douglas Belkin, “Private Colleges Squeezed,” The Wall Street Journal, November 9-10, 2013.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

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Working With the Democrats

The battle within the Republican Party these days seems to be breaking down between those who believe they can work with the Democrats and those who are working to stop the party in power from destroying our country. . . . → Read More: Working With the Democrats . . . → Read More: Working With the Democrats

Two Kinds Of Republicans

Newspapers, along with TV anchors and infobabes love to tell stories of dissension within the ranks of the Republican Party. The problem is that there is some basis for the stories about factions within the Grand Old Party. . . . → Read More: Two Kinds Of Republicans . . . → Read More: Two Kinds Of Republicans

Sexual Predator Honored With U.S. Postage Stamp

What would you call a 33-year-old man who both had and axiomatically acted upon a deviant sexual appetite for underage, drug-addicted, runaway boys? . . . → Read More: Sexual Predator Honored With U.S. Postage Stamp . . . → Read More: Sexual Predator Honored With U.S. Postage Stamp

Negotiating Alone

Dealing with Barack Hussein Obama requires wisdom, courage and a commitment to achieving a satisfactory outcome. . . . → Read More: Negotiating Alone . . . → Read More: Negotiating Alone

Public Schools “Celebrating” LGBT History Month

Public schools from California to Florida are celebrating LGBT History Month, where they highlight a homosexual or lesbian each day. . . . → Read More: Public Schools “Celebrating” LGBT History Month . . . → Read More: Public Schools “Celebrating” LGBT History Month

Ted Cruz, Liberty Counsel’s Got Your Flank

With his inspirational and unprecedented show of leadership on the floor of the U.S. Senate this past week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made hundreds of enemies in Washington. . . . → Read More: Ted Cruz, Liberty Counsel’s Got Your Flank . . . → Read More: Ted Cruz, Liberty Counsel’s Got Your Flank