Monthly Archives: January 2020

Reviewing a Review: Annie Murphy Paul on Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?), Juvenal, Satire VI On January 21, 2020, Annie Murphy Paul’s “review” of Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath appeared in The New York Times. Being reviewed in the Times is a big deal.  Such … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Technology, Trump (Don the Con) | 7 Comments

The Trump “Trial”

Everybody knows. Trump is pathetically insecure and profoundly ignorant, a lout, a moron, a pathological liar, a racist, a bully and a thug, clinically an exhibitionist narcissist, a serial sexual predator, a ne’er-do-well would-be playboy and business failure, a con … Continue reading

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One-Dimensional Man: The Exhibitionist Narcissist

Trump is a stereotype. A caricature of a man. All surface. But beneath all that is the little boy who was so, so terribly wounded by his distant, disapproving parents and the yawning gulf, the abyss, of the despair he … Continue reading

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Espinoza v. Montana

So, the Supreme Court is hearing a case called Espinoa v. Montana Department of Revenue. It’s about whether a state can refuse to provide religious schools with the same per pupil support (typically, seven or eight thousand per student, though … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Religion, Trump (Don the Con) | 3 Comments

Robert’s Rule

ROBERT’S RULE: If you are wondering whether a new policy, procedure, technology, law, regulation, or system is a good idea, just think of the worst person at the worst time in the future wielding its power. –Robert D. Shepherd Bob’s … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Existentialism, Technology, Trump (Don the Con) | 2 Comments

Why Science Fiction Is Impossible: A Science Fiction Writer’s Confession

When I was still a child, I fell in love with Sci Fi. I stayed up nights devouring stories and then novels by Asimov and Heinlein, Clarke and Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Frederick … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Short Stories, Teaching Literature and Writing | 2 Comments

History of Ideas: Background to Puritan and Pilgrim Protestantism in North America

For some 1,300 years, from roughly 300 to 1600 CE, the Catholic Church, headquartered for most of this time in the city of Rome, was the most powerful institution in the Western world. It was the ultimate spiritual and temporal … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Teaching Literature and Writing | 4 Comments

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Notes Introducing a Debate Unit on Transformative Technologies

This is a little backgrounder on Shelley’s Frankenstein that I created for a Powerpoint presentation to a high-school Debate class. We were starting a unit in which students would be debating the merits of various emerging transformative technologies. In preparation … Continue reading

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How Do I Loathe Thee?

Trump, as Trump will tell you, is the best. I quite agree. He is, of politicians, the most abhorrent, amoral, anti-democratic, arrogant, authoritarian, autocratic, avaricious, backward, base, benighted, bloated, blubbering, blundering, bogus, bombastic, boorish, bungling, cheap, childish, clownish, clueless, common, … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Trump (Don the Con) | 2 Comments

Essential Reading | Book Review

  Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools In these dark days of Trumpism, reasons for optimism are the spars to which the rest of us, the passengers on the … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform, Teaching Literature and Writing, Trump (Don the Con) | 2 Comments