Back a couple weeks ago, a new poll showed that Americans displayed, well, undesirably-low levels of knowledge about the Holocaust.   At the time, I wrote skeptically about it, suggesting that more important than knowing more details on death camps is understanding that genocides have taken place at other times and places, even far more recently. Now the head of the consulting firm which conducted the poll has co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post, “Want to fight anti-Semitism? Teach people… Read more

Today the AP reported on Cub Scout packs which have plunged into inviting girls to join up.  How’s it going?  The key paragraphs: Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all boys or all girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single-gender or not. Scouting leaders have some leeway, particularly in smaller communities. In Durham, for example, den leader Tuck Pescosolido recently led a group of… Read more

I try not to do too many of the “take a look at this terrible article” type of post, but I couldn’t help myself today. The article in question is at Slate (where else?), “The Work of “Marital Maintenance” Is a Privilege.”  In it, the author explains to readers that she is divorcing her husband and is tired of being told by friends that she and her husband should have worked harder at “marital maintenance,” which is apparently the new word… Read more

A Seinfeldian protest, if you will, that is, in reference to the TV show that famously was a “show about nothing.” In the Chicago Tribune today, “Supporters rally for gay teacher amid discrimination claim after he told 1st-graders about same-sex marriage.” It’s something of a he-said, she-said sort of incident.  A gay teacher’s husband arranged to have flowers sent to the first-grade classroom, prompting questions from the children about who the flowers were from.  Subsequently, a parent complained, and the… Read more

Last week, two black men were arrested at a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks, after a dispute in which they, according to their and their defenders’ telling, appeared to be loitering but were simply waiting for a third business associate in order to conduct a meeting, and did not make a purchase before asking to use the bathroom because they wanted to wait for that third person to arrive.  Also according to this telling, the manager did not ask them to leave… Read more

So I was shopping today . . . and, well, you could tell that Greek Easter wasn’t all that long ago, judging by the number of packages of miscellaneous lamb parts and pieces. (I’ll refer readers to a John Kass column from a week ago, “The Greek Easter lamb debate: Head on or off?”) Among them (page break added for the truly squeamish): Read more

The headline is dramatic:  66% of Millennials don’t know what Auschwitz was, and 22% don’t even know what the Holocaust was.  That’s according to a new poll, the Holocaust Knowledge Awareness Study, produced by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Just how dire a situation is it? For comparison, the ADL produces an ongoing poll about antisemitic attitudes globally, and their 2015 poll reports that 93% of Americans say they have “heard about the Holocaust.”  Of these, 89%… Read more

I’m reading about Social Capital and looking to write something about the issue as it relates to retirement, and hoping readers will share their stories, not here, but at JanetheActuary.com. What is Social Capital? It’s social networks, community and church involvement, the bringing of casseroles at funerals and when loved ones are in the hospital.  It’s giving and receiving support.  And I’d like to hear what readers have to say, about their own experiences, or those of people they know,… Read more

Some time ago, I wrote about the shocking statistics on declining enrollment at Illinois’ “regional” universities — that, with the exception of SIU-Edwardsville, all of these second-tier Illinois universities have seen dramatic decreases in enrollment in the past decade, from 21% for Northeastern to as high as 40% at Eastern and 49% at Chicago State (which is, admittedly, an outlier). Part of this is due to the budgetary crisis of the past couple years, which caused students to worry about… Read more

For those of you who don’t follow All The Right People on twitter, former National Review writer Kevin Williamson was hired by The Atlantic a few short weeks ago, then fired after one article, due to the “discovery” of a podcast in which Williamson took the position that women who obtain abortions ought to be treated as murderers.  Here’s a report from The Hill which also includes a link to the memo itself.  Defenders of Williamson’s termination cast the decision… Read more

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