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Posts Tagged ‘supreme court’

I often think that malls today are wasted space. Public places sheltered from the elements, they could be used so much better than they are. When Suzanne was 18 months or so, East View Mall was my favorite place for having her work off steam. She loved toddling up and down the aisles and looking at all the sights. Everyone fussed over her, which meant her sometimes wall-climbing stay-at-home mom enjoyed much-needed adult conversation.

Lately, if outdoor walking is too wet or icy, I may choose to take my morning walk in Providence Place. I think other people could consider the mall for walking and toddler entertainment. And malls themselves could promote more uses since they must now compete with online shopping and a renewed preference for small boutiques. Cities could help malls fund certain public activities.

I was quite surprised on my Friday walk to find a traveling exhibition of elaborate Lego creations in Providence Place. Lego is advertising itself while also sharing a little history of government in the United States.

So as unnerving as it was to see our beloved Independence Hall surrounded by flashy clothing stores and run-amok consumerism, I’d rather feel the inspirational vibes from Independence Hall there than not.

In addition to Philadelphia’s most beloved landmark, note the Supreme Court, the Statue of Liberty, and a gigantic recreation of the Rhode Island statehouse. These photos represent only a sample of what is there until the show moves on to another state capital. Meanwhile, there is also a nice Lego play area for kids to make their own constructions.

(Isn’t it funny how a Lady Liberty made of Legos makes my fuzzy photography doubly pixilated?)

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Juliette Kayyem,  assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the United States Department of Homeland Security, often writes op-eds for the Boston Globe. Her piece today is on new polling by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center. An interesting finding of the poll is that among different religious groups in the United States, American Jews are more likely to see Muslim Americans as loyal to the United States.

“Jewish Americans are much more likely than any other non-Muslim faith to see US Muslims as loyal. Eighty percent of Jewish Americans have trust in Muslim Americans as Americans. (Only 56 percent of Protestants and Mormons said the same.) Muslims and Jews are the most likely to believe that Muslim Americans have no sympathy for Al Qaeda.”

Kayyem sees common ground here, and she moves on to what William Brandeis said in 1905  as the first Jew named to the Supreme Court. His paper “What Loyalty Demands,” she opines, is a powerful argument for the belief that adherence to one’s own religious values is “the greatest form of fidelity to America.”

Read the article here.

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