The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

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Could You Repeat That in English? We're Global.

University administrators in the United States currently have two diametrically opposed habits.

First, they love to proclaim that their university is becoming more "global." You hear this all the time.

Second, they tend to cut foreign languages from the curriculum.

So, for example:

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The Second Amendment Right to Kill You

Someone with an assault rifle shot up the University of Texas today. And then he killed himself. I'm pretty nauseated just writing that first sentence, considering UT's history. No one is dead but the gunman, who shot himself.

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Teaching Shakespeare and the New Normal

My profession has a lot of annual rituals, some obvious and some not, and one of them happened the week before last: the annual job list went live (and, in another annual ritual, came precariously close to crashing for the first afternoon).

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How They Measure the "End" of a Recession

So, despite the way the economy feels in your neighborhood, there's been an official statement that the recession ended last June. Yup. All over. That is a perfectly sound statement at the same time it doesn't mean what the rest of us mean by "end of the recession."

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Bewitching Jesus

So, Saturday night the news was that Christine O'Donnell "dabbled into witchcraft" before becoming a hard-line evangelical Christian. And you know what? I wasn't surprised at all. Surely I wasn't surprised that a candidate like O'Donnell was attracted to the supernatural, since all of her politics are about magical thinking. I shrugged it off, and Sunday morning I went to church.

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Ask Tamburlaine: Burning Korans Is a Bad Idea

Who on Earth is crazy enough to burn the Koran? Until two weeks ago, my answer has always been "raging lunatics in Elizabethan drama." You know, stage characters from the age of Shakespeare, the kind of people who are prone to cutting off their own hands, biting off their tongues and spitting them on the stage, or baking their enemies in pies and serving them for dinner. The people who make Hamlet seem well-adjusted. Certainly, I didn't think of it as the kind of thing real people did.

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What Happened to America's Economy

We're always told that economics is a complicated science, which is true, but also that bottom-line practical economics is very simple. But the simple rules we've all learned seem to have landed us into an incomprehensible mess. Let me try to recap what's happened.

Obviously, every business needs to make a profit to survive. This is done by keeping costs lower than revenues. If you're selling something, you need to make more money selling it than you spend in making or buying the product and in paying your workers.

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A Proposal for Our Libertarian and Objectivist Friends

Since David's recent blog has attracted attention from some self-described Objectivists and Libertarians, let me say a few things to those new commenters.

It's clear that you feel that all taxes are illegitimate ("stolen money"), and do not believe in any social contract (a la John Locke) by which citizens preserve the maximum freedom possible for them by delegating their personal legislative rights to a freely chosen legislative authority. In short, you don't accept taxation with representation. We can argue the point, but many of you seem quite set in your convictions.

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Welcome to Dagblog

Hi, all. We have some new readers and new reader bloggers today, for a sad reason. Some people are coming here out of fear that Talking Points Memo may shut down its reader blogs.

Everybody here at Dagblog would like to see the TPMCafe stay open. Most of us met each other, as bloggers, at that page, and we would like to see it thrive.

But whatever the fate for TPMCafe, we would like you to know that you are all welcome here, and that we will always be glad to see you.

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Obama vs. The Magicians

President Obama's response to crazy conspiracy narratives about him is predictable and cool. He doesn't want to wade into the nonsense, and in that much he's absolutely right: you can't argue people out of their irrational beliefs. And in general, Obama has put his faith in the public's preference for real-world results over conspiracy theories.



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Personal Information


Doctor Cleveland is a transparent pseudonym for Shakespeare scholar Jim Marino, who blogs about politics, education, literature, and the arts. His personal obsessions include live theater, Red Sox baseball, and powerful black coffee. He teaches college, somewhere along America's glorious North Coast. He has also been known to write about Shakespeare and early modern theater.

While he blogs about the general academic life, he does not discuss his current institution, its students, or its employees on the blog. Nor does he use any university resources to blog. Opinions expressed on the blog are not those of his employer, and do not reflect the content of his classes.


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