Michael Novak, R.I.P.

Former John Locke Foundation Headliner Michael Novak has died at age 83. In 2010, Novak spoke about the connection between religion and the founding of the American government.

Novak shared with CarolinaJournal.com his thoughts on religious faith’s role in preserving the American constitutional republic.

Watch the full event below.

Summerfield going urban….

The Greensboro suburb Summerfield—known for its horse farms, large lots and large house—wants to add so-called “Planned Development” to its zoning ordinances, which would allow for more high-density development.

Surprise—large lots and large homes are why people move to Summerfield, which is 12 miles north of Gboro up U.S. 220:

On Thursday, about 200 people gathered at the Christian Life Center at Summerfield First Baptist Church to give the Town Council a mix of opposition and support.

Sarah Wimbish was typical of many residents who said they chose to live in the town because of its large lots and distance from Greensboro about 12 miles to the south.

“We chose larger lots and peace and quiet over convenience,” Wimbish said. “Vote ‘no’ or put some heavy restrictions on developers.”

The Town Council will likely take up the ordinance in may.

Good news on occupational licensing from Arizona

Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon details one piece of good news in the fight against overly expansive occupational licensing.

Arizona’s Republican governor sent a letter condemning the state’s cosmetology board for launching an investigation into a student who gives free haircuts to the homeless because he does not have a state-issued cosmetology license.

Juan Carlos Montesdeoca, who used to be homeless, has been going to a Tucson park to give haircuts to homeless individuals, some of whom haven’t had their hair cut in years. The Arizona State Board of Cosmetology alerted Montesdeoca in January that it was investigating an anonymous complaint that he was performing the service without a license, as required by state law.

Now Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is sticking up for Montesdeoca, calling on the board to end the “outrageous” investigation in a letter.

“The fact that one of our own citizens is volunteering his time and talents in an effort to help those who need it, is exactly the kind of citizenship we should be encouraging and celebrating,” Ducey wrote. “I find this outrageous, and I call on you to end your investigation.”

Montesdeoca told a local news station that he gives the haircuts “out of the kindness of [his] heart” and “out of the memory of [his] mom, because she lost her hair.”

He is working to obtain his cosmetology license, but worries the free haircuts he gave could jeopardize his application to the board.

“They can suspend–even before I even try to get a license, they can say no,” he said. “That would be very very unfortunate.”

The board would not comment on Montesdeoca’s case, but said it stands by the statute that states “a person shall not perform or attempt to perform cosmetology without a license or practice in any place other than in a licensed salon.”

Ducey wrote that Montesdeoca was being stifled by the “heavy hand of government.”

Cruz wants to kill Warren’s legacy

Thomas Phippen explains in a Daily Caller column how legislation from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz takes aim at colleague Elizabeth Warren’s regulatory legacy.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a two-page bill Tuesday to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the darling of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

The Repeal CFPB Act, which Cruz and four other Republican senators sponsored, would repeal the Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the part of the Dodd-Frank bill that created the CFPB and granted it sweeping authority over banks, money lenders and financial institutions.

“Don’t let the name fool you, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does little to protect consumers,” Cruz said in a statement.

“During the Obama administration, the CFPB grew in power and magnitude without any accountability to Congress and the people, and I am encouraged by the actions President Trump has begun to take to roll back the harmful impacts of an out-of-control bureaucracy,” Cruz said.

Exploring the contours of nationalism

John O’Sullivan extends an ongoing National Review Online debate about the nature of nationalism in the age of Trump.

[T]hough the election of Donald Trump is one of the two main reasons why we are all debating nationalism, I don’t think we should focus excessively on what he says about it. The new president is a force of nature and not to be underestimated but not someone I would select to lead a philosophy seminar or a debating team.

Thus, when he disavows “American exceptionalism” as a phrase that makes him uncomfortable because he doesn’t want to humiliate the foreigners who will shortly be losing to America, I don’t think he is saying the same thing as Obama. Obama was telling Americans that, hey, every thinks it’s special — i.e., nobody is, we’re not. Trump was saying: When you intend to shoot a man, it costs nothing to be polite. It was an affirmation of exceptionalism rather than a denial of it.

We are debating nationalism, however, less because Trump says he’s for it than because a number of conservative writers, represented here by Jonah and Ben, responded to his support by declaring that they were against it. Nor were they saying so just because it felt good to contradict the then-candidate (though I imagine it did). Quite the contrary. Several conservatives advanced the argument “If nationalism is Trump’s defense against the accusation of not being a conservative, it’s no defense at all, since nationalism is incompatible with conservatism rather than a strand in it.” …

… Nationalism in this debate, however, is about the attitude that conservatives should take toward their nation and state and, by extension, toward the kind of policies, mainly in international relations, that its government should pursue. Jonah’s leading argument is that nationalism, except in small doses, is a bad thing, and is to be distinguished from its wiser and more principled brother, patriotism. Both are passions, but patriotism is a passion that has been refined and disciplined by liberal ideas — in the U.S., the flag, the Constitution, and the liberties for which they stand. Nationalism, however, is the raw spirit, unrefined and dangerous. Without the right ideas to restrain the passion, nationalism and nationalists will threaten others, wage wars, and produce carnage from a sort of national egoism.

Much of this I can accept. But what is the “passion” under discussion? It is the love of country. It’s a pre-rational sense of fellowship, common destiny, and loyalty that, because of the spread of communications, has expanded from the inhabitants of a village to the citizens of a nation united by, well, several things — a common language, common institutions, the mystic chords of memory, songs, poems, etc. Might this sense of common-fellowship encompass the globe and produce global citizens in time? Possibly. I can’t forecast the future, but for the moment “the largest we” is the nation.

Philanthropy and ‘Big Aid’

Kevin Williamson‘s latest column at National Review Online highlights a challenge to the standard model for philanthropy.

Philanthropy can be a funny business. Let’s say you’re a do-gooder in Malawi and you hear about a little girl who has been attacked by a crocodile. She is badly hurt, but her family has no money for medical care at a private clinic.

What do you do?

The traditional philanthropic approach would be, approximately: build a hospital, staff it with the best doctors and nurses you can hire, and endow it generously so that little girls who have been chewed up by crocodiles and whose family has no money for medical care have a place to get help. Philanthropists love infrastructure, partly as the result of the natural human desire to see concrete results (maybe a big building with one’s family name over the door), partly because organizational leaders almost inevitably think in organizational terms, and partly out of lack of imagination. Without being uncharitable to the charitable, philanthropic enterprises are not immune to the effects of bureaucratic inertia, vanity, and career-building. …

… Gret Glyer, a young Grove City College graduate who did years of humanitarian work in Malawi as well as stints in Haiti, understands that better than most managers of name-brand philanthropic enterprises do. He also understands the need for more accountability and transparency in relief funding, having seen too many expense-account heroes ensconced in four-star hotel suites and white-tablecloth restaurants miles from the action. He has a keen appreciation for the Twitter generation’s love of instant gratification. The result is DonorSee, an app that directly connects charitable benefactors with local needs around the world.

The premise of DonorSee is straightforward: A trusted aid worker or local source identifies a problem — this little girl has been attacked by a crocodile, that one is deaf and needs a bone-conductor hearing aid — and puts up a request for funding (often in the low-hundreds-of-dollars range), donors transfer funds, and, a short time later (possibly within minutes or hours) the donors get a video of a patched-up girl returning to her family or of a little girl hearing for the first time.

That is the sort of thing that will get you fired from the Peace Corps.

Glyer can be pretty pointed on the subject of Big Aid. “They should be embarrassed of how ineffective they are, by how much they spend on infrastructure instead of projects,” he says.

This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

The art of targeting voters through data analytics develops rapidly from election cycle to election cycle. David Seawright, director of analytics and product innovation at Deep Root Analytics, discusses the latest developments during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

Terry Stoops assesses key highlights from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s latest report on dropout rates, school crime, and other important information about the state’s public schools. Law school professor Baylen Linnekin explains how government rules limit food choices and promote food waste.

You’ll also hear highlights from legislative debates about a proposal to tweak state school class size requirements and to help children who are homeless or in foster care.

New Carolina Journal Online features

Kari Travis reports for Carolina Journal Online on the N.C. Senate’s initial vote to shrink the size of UNC’s Board of Governors.

Jesse Saffron’s Daily Journal focuses on recent controversies involving community college governance.