Books 2019

A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay This was a re-read for me, as it just became available on Kindle.  It in fact wrapped up my complete re-read of Kay’s fiction, which I mostly handled in 2018. Grant by Ron Chernow After reading the award-winning (and musical-inspiring) Hamilton by Chernow, I was moved to pick this […]

Looking for hive mind help on a course

Actually, on two courses.  The school I’m at (Newark Academy) ends the year with a nine-day “June Term”, wherein students take one class for six hours a day.  June Term classes are supposed to be experiential and rigorous, and maybe a bit weird.  All teachers are supposed to suggest courses; I made three idea proposals and […]

Regarding >> “America has a simple ideology”: how one of Russia’s top US experts tries to explain America – Vox

A couple of observations: What might underlie this Russian perception — which I think is over the top — is something far more threatening to the Russian psyche than the idea that America is scheming and plotting to topple them.  Far worse indeed is the truth, which is that since the end of the Cold […]

Josh Marshall, spot-on as always

From Talking Points Memo: Yes, George W. Really Should Remain Silent For all my many criticisms of him during his presidency, I have come to respect President Bush’s post-presidency. He’s kept out of the toxic political battles that came after he left office. He’s had the confidence or perhaps simply the realism and detachment to […]

One sentence can pull you out of an entirely fine essay

I actually agree with most of what Fareed Zakaria writes in his Washington Post op-ed “Why America’s Obsession with STEM Education is Dangerous”.  We need balanced, robust, well-rounded education, not narrow business-driven training.  It will take many different vantages points to see solutions to the problems we face in this hardest century of human history.  Students […]

College Admissions Hunger Games

Today the NY Times published an Upshot op-ed called “For Accomplished Students, Reaching a Good College Isn’t as Hard as It Seems”.  It’s one of those article that seems to say more than it does.  It doesn’t actually support the conclusion it asserts.  Saying that roughly the same percentage of “top students” still get admission to […]