When I'm home on a Sunday afternoon, I like to make sure some simple household task coincides with On the Media so I can listen to it.Inevitably the task takes more than an hour and I end up also hearing Marketplace Money. Nothing against the personal-finance show, but my low tolerance for hearing other people's awkward conversations makes me kind of hate call-in shows generally. (See also: why I can't handle a lot of what passes for comedy anymore.)
Anyway, this past week I was doing the dishes and half-listening when a caller suddenly brought me almost to tears.
When I posted on the government shutdown last week, I grabbed a photo from the closed-down Statue of Liberty. It was an enticing editorial choice: Give me your tired, your poor, your furloughed federal employees yearning to just do their damn jobs again. But it was also probably an unhelpful choice.
Bloomberg’s magazine piece on the drug trade in Chicago is insightful and well reported as far as it goes. Here’s how far it goes: it more or less blames the city’s high murder rate on one man, the head of a Mexican cartel.
A couple weeks ago, President Obama introduced a plan to try to contain the cost of going to college. This was soon buried by a series of stories on Syria policy, with its high-intrigue mix of exceptionalist saber-rattling and Mr. Magoo diplomacy.
So in case you missed it, the administration's higher-ed plan has some good stuff in it.
This past spring, Mary Louise Bringle revealed in theCentury that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hymnal committee voted against including the popular song “In Christ Alone” after the copyright holder rejected a lyric change (“Debating hymns,” May 15).
President Obama's speech last night was a strange one. The administration's strategy of speaking out of both sides of its mouth on Syria continues. (This is a narrow, punitive mission...motivated by broad, humanitarian concerns such a mission won't really address.)
Stranger still was the fact that Obama gave the speech at all.
Too much religion can harm a society’s economy by undermining the drive for financial success, according to a new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. . . . The study found that religious people in religious cultures reported better psychological adjustment when their income was low.
You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
Yes, this is a hyperbolic provocation. I agree with a lot of what Benedikt says, but I don’t think that private-school parents—or, for that matter, the many private-school teachers I know—are bad people.
James Fallows is impressed with Obama’s decision to go to Congress. So, presumably, are the almost 40,000 people who signed this MoveOn petition. And sure: if your main concern is (1) constitutionality, (2) the growing power of the executive branch, and/or (3) legislators’ ability to make a lot of noise about (1) and (2) without having to actually record a vote one way or the other, then this is welcome news.