In the brief sketch capturing a day-in-the-life of Mrs. Hanson, a “pretty, somewhat faded woman of forty” selling corsets and girdles to the good people of Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, the editors should have seen a tale of their own Depression, national malaise and personal endurance, even if they felt the messenger himself was better off frozen in amber, sealed from time much like the way memories of events leading up to a crash are often deeply suffused with unchangeable meaning.
John Tormey Johnny
From Quincy, MA. Happily married, father to one with another on the way.
But what if these assumptions are simply wrong? What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits? It’s a question that applies not only to cars, but to several other traditional categories of big spending—most notably, housing. And its answer has large implications for the future shape of the economy—and for the speed of recovery.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Recent federal reforms, which cut private loan companies out of the federal student loan program, have brought a rare opportunity for the government to abandon this rigid and punitive system in favor of one that is more flexible and forgiving—one that allows students to pay back loans on terms they can actually afford. Such a system would adopt the financing... instrument known as the income-contingent loan, which allows borrowers to repay their debts based on their incomes. Economist Milton Friedman proposed this system as far back as 1955, and other countries have successfully used it as their primary repayment method for at least a decade. If the United States ever hopes to clean up the wasteful, complex, burdensome mess that is the student loan system today, it should adopt the income-contingent loan as its sole method for repaying debt.
At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious, or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, the former Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Others predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of Fourth... Generation warfare and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.
The simple assumption of racial politics as the driver of campaigns is what's striking. Karl Rove became what he is - a persistent whitehead on the face of American politics - because he learned the art of race-baiting politics in the South. Romney - having given up on Latinos and blacks and gays - is now betting the bank on the white resentment that has been fast losing potency since the 1990s.... Which is where Bill Clinton comes in. He is used in that ad. His speech at the DNC should take on this lie aggressively, call Romney personally on it, and demand that the lie end. No one has more cred on this than Clinton. He should punch hard.
It's no secret that David comes from an elite background and that his family will be fortunate enough to survive many of the worst effects of the great recession. Yet this was never something he felt content with. He once remarked "The future will be fine for me, its everyone else I'm worried about."
The irony of President Barack Obama is best captured in his comments on the death of Trayvon Martin, and the ensuing fray. Obama has pitched his presidency as a monument to moderation. He peppers his speeches with nods to ideas originally held by conservatives. He routinely cites Ronald Reagan. He effusively praises the enduring wisdom of the American people, and believes that the height of... insight lies in the town square. Despite his sloganeering for change and progress, Obama is a conservative revolutionary, and nowhere is his conservative character revealed more than in the very sphere where he holds singular gravity—race.
Around the same time that Guthertz was digesting this news, I was calling education officials in search of a school that would let me spend time inside its classrooms. I was looking for a grassroots view of America's latest run at school reform: How do we know when schools are failing, and why is it so hard to turn them around? Is the close to $4.4 billion spent on testing since 2002—with scores... now used for everything from deciding teacher pay to allocating education budgets—getting results? Is all that data helping us figure out what really works, or seducing us into focusing only on what the tests can measure?
But natural gas is in the process of overtaking coal as the top fuel in America -- and fast. The energy system, as you can see in the chart, tends to change slowly. But just look at the last three years in the chart below. That's the kind of growth that you tend to see in the high tech industry, not energy. That's an honest-to-goodness hockey stick.
The problem with all of this is that, despite my own experience, I've always been committed to public schools, and I believe in them for many of the reasons I outlined above. Public school put me in contact with kids who were a lot different than me, and forced me to learn to relate. It taught me how to navigate other worlds, and appreciate vocabulary that wasn't particularly native to me. At my... middle school, you couldn't erect a wall between yourself and the kids from the projects. You had to learn to cope. That's a lesson that I'd like the boy to learn also, but not at the expense of eight hours of test prep. I'm not sure what we're going to do. I'd really hate--hate--to put him in private school. But at least up here, it feels like public school is now mainly a means of steering people out of poverty. Maybe that always was the point, and even it's not, maybe that should be the point. But I still think there's something to be said for institutions that bring different kinds of people together. Maybe it's all just a continuation of the a'la carte society. I don't know.
The limits of language are not the stopping point, says the Wake; they are the point at which we must begin to tell the tale.
Before we get to the crime, let’s consider the cover-up. I’m not sure there even was one. Previously Warren had said that he didn’t recall telling Harvard Law School that she was Native American. She also had said that she didn’t know that Harvard Law School, whose faculty she joined on a permanent basis in 1995, had counted her as a Native American in a 1999 compliance report to the Labor... department, which monitors the affirmative action efforts of federal contractors. She had admitted, however, that prior to receiving tenure at Harvard she’d listed herself as Native American in a professional directory.
Defending my right to go on food stamps seemed ridiculous. It still does. As much as I wanted to tell this woman—whose skin was as white as mine—that you don’t need to be toting two kids or living in housing projects to find yourself in need of help with buying groceries, I said nothing to her. I’ve thought about what I would have said, had I been more compelled. How many people I knew in the same... position. How many jobs I’d applied to in the last year. How many interviews I’d had, in maddeningly high disproportion to the number of applications I’d completed. How my education, for me, had functioned as a harbinger of upper-middle class consumption, with suburban comforts like Starbucks and Chipotle on campus. How this was complicated by a prudish and shortsighted view of class and privilege, ideas we dissected in the abstract, from the safe distance of black and white texts on Xeroxed course packets. I could have talked, too, even though I’m more sensitive about this than anything, about my high-school educated parents’ own inexperience with institutionalized education and white-collar professions; how it affected every day of my four years in undergrad, and afterward, as I applied to jobs, blindly guiding myself with the occasional advice of former bosses and professors. There is a fair amount of shame in this situation. I can’t deny that. To talk about it is to talk about fear, my own prejudices, my assumptions of what privilege and underprivilege look like, about social and cultural capital, urban and rural divides, about race and its relationship to modern economic class segments. In a post-race, class-absolved society, like the one my university seemed so bent on fostering, acknowledging nuance in any concrete way is beating a dead horse. Instead, privilege is stripped of any nuance, wiped clear of context, then packaged, stamped and sold for laughs. They call it “white-person problems.”
It should be noted without equivocation that Poland’s Holocaust record, while far from perfect, is better than most countries under Nazi occupation. Unlike most of Germany’s European colonies, Poland produced no native SS division. Those who served with the German army were primarily Volksdeutsch (Polish citizens of German extraction), and, unlike citizens of other countries under occupation, no... Poles eagerly worked as death camp guards. But wartime Poland was a strange case of deeply rooted, historical anti-Semitism coexisting with anti-Nazi resistance. In 1942, the celebrated Catholic writer and resistance figure Zofia Kossak-Szczucka appealed for outside assistance on behalf of the Jews languishing and dying within the Warsaw Ghetto. But, lest it be seen as a philo-Semitic gesture rather than an act of Catholic decency, she added: “Our feelings toward the Jews haven’t changed. We still consider them the political, economic and ideological enemies of Poland.” The idea that Polish Jews were an alien political body, disproportionately active in pro-Soviet politics and therefore an obvious target for partisans, persists among many contemporary Polish historians.
After venturing a little farther into the store you come across a machine that looks like a copier. The only reason you’re pretty sure it isn’t a copier is because of the Plexiglas chamber in the middle with robot parts that seem to be making something. At first you’re a bit excited and hope that it’s one of those Mold-a-Ramas you remember from childhood visits to the natural history museum and... that a warm, wax dinosaur will pop out of the chute. But no, instead a warm Stephen King paperback pops out. And as you look closer at the Plexiglas chamber you see that the machinery inside is making books, paperback books, one at a time.
I DON’T THINK MY MOTHER will die today. It’s late at night already. She’d have to die in the next forty-five minutes, which doesn’t seem likely. I just saw her for dinner. We ordered in and watched a mystery on PBS. She kissed me goodnight and I took a taxi home. For my mother to die today, things would need to take a rapid turn.
Part of the reason The Atavist works is that it meets a need that its founders had in their own lives, much the way Facebook did for its founders, and was not conceived in a bald effort to exploit a market. They wanted a tool and a platform that would be fungible enough to allow articles to be sold for the iPad, the Kindle and other e-readers. Because they and others used the software, the technology has been tweaked in very practical ways.
The presumption here is that race can somehow be bracketed off from the perception that Obama is "ultra-left." Thus unlike other shameful acts of racism, opposition to Obama race as a possible "factor" but goes "beyond it." Or in Kornacki's formulation Obama, presumably unlike past victims, is facing a complicated opposition which can't be reduced to raw hatred of blacks. The problem with... these formulations is that they are utterly ahistorical. There is no history of racism in this country that chalked "up only to race." You can't really talk about stereotypes of, say, black laziness unless you understand stereotypes of the poor stretching back to 17th century Great Britain (Edmund Morgan again.) You can't really talk about the Southern slave society without grappling with the relationship between the demand for arable land and the demand for labor. You can't understand the racial pogroms at the turn of the century without understanding the increasing mobility of American women. (Philip Dray At The Hands Of Persons Unknown.)
The extended metaphor has a deep tradition in hip-hop. Theres of course Commons I Used To Love Her, as someone pointed out yesterday Nas I Gave You Power, and Mobb Deeps Drink Away The Pain. Im lukewarm to the first (too earnest) a little more enthralled by the second (hard not to love, I see niggas bleedin runnin from me in fear\stunningly tears fall down the eyes of these so-called tough guys,... for years.) and much more in love with the latter. The awkwardly awesome cameo from Q-Tip comes like a left-hook (the aim of Oswald) from the days before there was something called backpack rap.
My idea - and it's a rough one - is that there's a hierarchy of innovation that runs in parallel with Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs. Maslow argued that human needs progress through five stages, with each new stage requiring the fulfillment of lower-level, or more basic, needs. So first we need to meet our most primitive Physiological needs, and that frees us to focus on our needs for... Safety, and once our needs for Safety are met, we can attend to our needs for Belongingness, and then on to our needs for personal Esteem, and finally to our needs for Self-Actualization. If you look at Maslow's hierarchy as an inflexible structure, with clear boundaries between its levels, it falls apart. Our needs are messy, and the boundaries between them are porous. A caveman probably pursued self-esteem and self-actualization, to some degree, just as we today spend effort seeking to fulfill our physical needs. But if you look at the hierarchy as a map of human focus, or of emphasis, then it makes sense - and indeed seems to be born out by history. In short: The more comfortable you are, the more time you spend thinking about yourself.