Mystery Machines or Master Teachers: Which Do You Prefer?

What’s optimal for education, the teacher as adjunct to the machine—or the other way around? Whatever the rest of us might decide, Silicon Valley has answered this question to its own satisfaction—one way… Continue reading

In Praise of the Unheralded

Too much of what goes on around the teaching profession these days seems designed to undermine the confidence and effectiveness of teachers. I know, it’s not meant that way, not really. But low… Continue reading

Call Me Naive If You Will…

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only…. ” “….The… Continue reading

Sham Admissions and the Sham Meritocracy

In all of the hoopla about a fake meritocracy, illegal shenanigans for college admissions, legacy and other legal but questionable methods of getting in, and all the other things swirling around the internet… Continue reading

Anti-Semitism: The Invisible Scourge

Once I knew a woman named Laura. Her light brown hair and hazel eyes were unremarkable in white American society. She told me a story–this was in 1975–about something that had happened to… Continue reading

McPherson and Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country”

It shouldn’t work. After all, jukebox musicals are an abuse to the songs, most presented as a verse and a chorus or two, the idea of the music enough, so move along. With… Continue reading

Disinfecting the News?

I’ve avoided visiting the Newseum in Washington, DC. for some time. I vaguely remember when it opened at its first location 21 years ago, but I was long out of the profession and… Continue reading

Is Academia a Cult?

There’s an article in The Washington Post from earlier this week that all of us within academia today might want to pay attention to. By Andrew Marzoni, an English PhD, it is called “The Cult… Continue reading

How the Other Half Lives

The following is excerpted and adapted from Chapter Five: How the Other Half Lives of my book The Cult of Individualism: A History of an Enduring American Myth (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishers, 2013). It… Continue reading

“Just then Tom Paine, himself/Came running from across the field”

“This will be an election of… common sense,” said Donald Trump recently. Common sense? The greatest American writer of common sense (though Ben Franklin might believe he should take that crown) was Thomas… Continue reading