Cruel to be Brutal?

I hope I can be forgiven for being brief today, I am working on a masterpiece, an essay of such significance and profundity that it will alter the way people in the future understand the words growth and development. Absolutely. Watch this space! (I might be exaggerating a little.) In the meantime I have a

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Drive II

John Oliver on “The Daily Show” insists that you can tell an American from a foreigner by simply asking the question: “Walk or drive?” My wife and I shared a night out with her sister and her husband and met at a local restaurant which has another outlet very close to where they live in

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Freaky Facts

I was re-reading the opinion piece in which Stanford professor Sean F. Reardon said “It may seem counterintuitive, but schools don’t seem to produce much of the disparity in test scores between high- and low-income students”, and I was thinking of some of the other references to data which make the same claim. So I

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Drive

I drive to work. I confess this at the outset because, to me, it is without doubt the single thing I would most like to change about my life. It is a “reverse commute”, which is to say I drive 11 miles into suburbia to teach high school while suburbanites come toward the city to

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No Place to Hide

This is beautiful: But for decades people have been complaining about the nefarious deeds which were taking place under cover of the bushes. Years ago I recommended that the bushes be removed or cut so low that they could not provide cover to anyone except perhaps a garden gnome. Finally, the mega-bushes have been removed

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Sitting on the Bench

The beautiful, though empty, Court Square. Boutique cities can be idealistic. Northampton has been in the throes of a debate about the removal of benches from their Main Street. The benches were removed because they had become less an amenity for visitors, and more a home to the homeless. After a little political wrangling and

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Knucklehead on Knucklehead

My cousin posted a meme on Facebook which entailed a graphic of an American Flag beside the Union Jack with the numbers of “Violent Crimes per 100,000 People” listed as United States: 466, and Britain: 2034. It turns out the numbers are slightly skewed by differences which exist in the categorization of crimes between the

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It’s the Schools, Stupid! IV

The idea behind the “It’s the Schools, Stupid” series is straightforward. One of the problems faced by cities like Springfield in attracting the middle class is the perceived lack of quality of their public schools. Parents either formally (by examining standardized test data) or informally inquire regarding the quality of schools in communities in the

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It's the Schools, Stupid! IV

The idea behind the “It’s the Schools, Stupid” series is straightforward. One of the problems faced by cities like Springfield in attracting the middle class is the perceived lack of quality of their public schools. Parents either formally (by examining standardized test data) or informally inquire regarding the quality of schools in communities in the

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Memento Mori

There are so many realities, paradigms, truths, and facts fighting for my consciousness and attempting to direct my actions that it is easy to be overcome by cognitive dissonance. Issues like climate change, fossil fuel depletion, government debt, personal debt, water shortages, de-industrialization, and the loss of topsoil to name just a few are clearly

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