1. The GOP likes to think that the vast majority of people in America are entirely self-sufficient and need no help from the government. For the most part, that's true. But stories like this one remind me that it's not so true that we can end all government assistance to people who desperately need it. It's no good pretending we can cut programs, force people to spend money they don't have in the private sector, or close our eyes and make all our poverty problems go away in order to save money. Government has a role in our nation: it's called caring for the people.
2. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently signed a bill into law that will allow schools to teach the Bible as a historical document in an elective course. My question is, will they be having electives that cover the other major religious texts from a historical viewpoint? If not, they should. I don't care if it's an elective, since it's then a student's choice to take the course. However, with that comes that caveat that it must be done in a way that's fair to all religions.
3. A sad look at the state of affairs in Europe written here. Europe is showing signs of recovery, but it's slow going. There are those who say they should continue with austerity, while others say they need a more balanced approach. Whatever they do, they need to get back on an even footing. Hopefully, it happens sooner rather than later...
4. Finally, here are seven and a half things you should know. The top one in particular is very interesting. The EPA has finally passed national standards that limit the amount of pollution allowed from fracking. Hopefully, the new standards will make emissions from the drill sites much less dangerous. However, I haven't seen anything new on reports of groundwater contamination due to fracking.