Doctor Cleveland's picture

    No, Colleges Still Require Shakespeare

    You may have seen news stories, timed for Shakespeare's more-or-less birthday, claiming that top American colleges have stopped requiring Shakespeare. This is not news (nothing about college requirements has changed lately), and not really true.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Flash Crash Boy

    When I was at Forbes I learned that the American Stock Exchange, once known as "the curb," also had the nickname, "The Scam-ex."  This was where people bought and sold shares of subprime public companies and where insiders and bucket shops conducted pump and dump scams on retail investors.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Marathon, Democracy

    It's Marathon Monday in Boston, the second Marathon since the bombing. A Massachusetts jury is currently deciding whether the surviving bomber should serve life in prison or be executed, but that jury  will not meet today, because it is a holiday. Today is Patriot's Day.

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    Do Women Desire Peaceful Gentle Partners

    According to Washington Post book reviewer Joanna Scutts, anthropologist Melvin Konner argues in Women After All that we can look forward to a peaceful future because women will increasingly mate with "caring, committed partners" rather than "feckless brutes". 

    At least three assumptions underlie Konner's conclusion:  1) Going forward, young women will have a greater degree of agency when it comes to selecting reproductive mates.  2) Women with agency will choose caring unassuming mates.  3) The offspring of gentle empathic men will be gentle and empathic.  While the truth of each assumption may be questioned, this post briefly examines the second and finds it dubious.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    Botched Rollout

    For married-with-children New York suburbanites in the 1970s and 80s, nothing spelled success like a Mercedes S-Class Sedan in the driveway.  After the big promotion, hot shot investment bankers, law firm partners, and ad agency execs headed over to Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.  There they handed Hans a fat check and the keys to the family's now superfluous Gran Torino before cruising back to Scarsdale or Darien in 450 SEL splendor.

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    Ramona's picture

    As Long as There is a Constitution, The GOP Can't Win

    It's been a while, but here I am.  Illnesses and the vagaries of the gypsy life have taken a toll, frazzled my brain, and, if you can believe it, have led me to thinking about things other than the state of the nation.  During my enforced R&R I read a few novels, watched a few movies, spent time with friends, marveled at scenery, and all-around de-fragged.  I hung around on the edges of the political debates, but found myself thinking the unthinkable:  "Who cares?"

    Now I'm back.

    So. . .

    What the devil has gotten into those Republicans?  Are there no grownups left in that party? It's as if, this past January, they all just got out of juvie, where they were plotting their mischief, and now's the time to put their malicious but childishly goofy plans into action.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Another Thing About the 47%

    You heard, during the last campaign, that 47% of Americans "don't pay taxes," by which we mean Federal Income taxes (they pay many others at all levels of government).  It has somehow been difficult to convince people that 47% of the population does not actually make enough money that they can be taxed in any meaningful way but at a median income of $50,000 a year and long-term, inflation-adjusted wage stagnation, I've always suspected it's true.  From The Big Picture, some further evidence:

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Myth of the Militant Homosexual

    Indiana Governor Mike Pence is shocked—shocked—that people see anything objectionable in Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “Was I expecting this kind of backlash?” he exclaimed, “Heavens no.”

    After all, who could object to religious freedom?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Religion Is Not A Counterculture

    I spend too much time on Ross Douthat and his sensei, David Brooks. Today, Douthat wrote a piece casting America’s practicing religious communities as a counterculture.  He then calls for the same tolerance that most countercultures, from beats to hippies to punks to vegans to gays have asked for but rarely received.

    Douthat says:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Tolerance Doesn't Cut It

    This week, Ross Douthat and his mentor David Brooks both wrote pieces cautioning the “victors” of the battle for civil rights for gay people to be “gracious” in their ascendance.  Both have made this argument before.  First, they say, that the civil rights proponents could very easily go too far in an essentially conservative culture and second, they say, they owe a nod to tolerance of dissent by the religious.

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