Stenographers, Megaphones, or Journalists?

Yesterday I posted the following on my Facebook status: The New York Times gives us ‘news’ on the CTU strike and includes this: ‘Mayor Rahm Emanuel has focused on trying to improve the quality of public education, with a longer school day and more meaningful teacher evaluations. The Chicago Teachers’ Union, meanwhile, has been intentContinue reading “Stenographers, Megaphones, or Journalists?”

Breaking Bad Season 5 Speculation: Reconciliations for Redemption

Having finished watching Season 4 of Breaking Bad, and having no access to Season 5 till it emerges on DVD or streaming, I’m going to go ahead and speculate a bit about the show’s eventual direction and conclusion.  Many of the issues raised and provoked by the first four seasons seem to require resolution ifContinue reading “Breaking Bad Season 5 Speculation: Reconciliations for Redemption”

Mitt Romney, Tired Old Tropes and the Myth of Self-Reliance

Mitt Romney‘s comments at a May fundraiser describing 47% of the American population as, roughly, a bunch of no-goodnik moochers are merely the latest expression of one aspect of a peculiar view that many reasonably intelligent folks are fond of espousing. It is a view that insists on imposing a facile dichotomy on this worldContinue reading “Mitt Romney, Tired Old Tropes and the Myth of Self-Reliance”

Brooklyn Cooking: My Nose’s Best Friend

One of the pleasures of living in Brooklyn, and more specifically in zip code 11218, supposedly once the most ethnically diverse zip code in the US, is the aromatic extravaganza available to one’s olfactory apparatus. In plain English: you can smell a lot of really delicious things around here. Once you are done with theContinue reading “Brooklyn Cooking: My Nose’s Best Friend”

Seamus Perry on Samuel Palmer and the Laying Bare of the Artist

A quick pre-disclaimer: Pardon me for referencing the London Review of Books two days in a row, but that’s what weekend-catching-up-with-a-stack-of-unread reviews can do to you. In reviewing Rachel Campbell-Johnson‘s Mysterious Wisdom: The Life and Work of Samuel Palmer (‘The Shoreham Gang‘, LRB, 5th April 20120), and in particular, on Palmer‘s ‘The Valley Thick with Corn,’Continue reading “Seamus Perry on Samuel Palmer and the Laying Bare of the Artist”

Roald Dahl’s Magical Chocolate World

The editors of the London Review of Books blog have reminded me–not personally, silly, I don’t know them that well, or rather, at all–that September 13th was Roald Dahl Day. They do so by noting Michael Irwin’s review of George’s Marvelous Medicine (which, sadly, I have not read), one that references in turn, Charlie andContinue reading “Roald Dahl’s Magical Chocolate World”

Breaking Bad: This Generation’s Western

The fourth season of Breaking Bad is done and dusted. (Yes, I am a Netflix-viewer of television series, and so, invariably lag behind; in this case, a full season.) I’ve not written on this blog before about Breaking Bad, and given my admiration for the show, find myself surprised by this omission. So here goesContinue reading “Breaking Bad: This Generation’s Western”

The CTU Strike: Facile Reliance on Evaluation Won’t Work

Reading responses to the CTU strike has dismayed me: that there is so much hostility directed at teachers and their unions in a country where the path to middle-class success used to be understood as a good public education, but which is now directly under attack from a shrieking horde of carpetbaggers and rent-seekers. (Thankfully,Continue reading “The CTU Strike: Facile Reliance on Evaluation Won’t Work”

The New York Times Joins the CTU-Bashing Party

This morning, I posted the following on my Facebook status: I wouldn’t use today’s NYT Editorial on the CTU strike as a window-cleaning schmatta. Unfortunately, editorials in influential newspapers cannot be dismissed so easily. So let’s take a closer look. The editorial begins unpromisingly: Teachers’ strikes, because they hurt children and their families, are neverContinue reading “The New York Times Joins the CTU-Bashing Party”

Blaming Unions: The Easiest Game in Town

And so, here we go. A teacher’s union is on strike–more specifically the Chicago Teacher’s Union–and the bewailing begins: the strike is hurting students; the teachers should put their selfish interests last; get back to work, don’t you know you are hurting the students? As I pointed out a few days ago, if there isContinue reading “Blaming Unions: The Easiest Game in Town”