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Politics to Porcelain

Politics to Porcelain

I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine. John Adams wrote…

Job shaming: a new American bias

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Job shaming: a new American bias

At the beginning of September, social media and celebrity watchers ganged up on actor Geoffrey Owens to “job shame” him for working as a cashier and bagger at a Trader Joe’s grocery between acting roles. As a young man, Owens was a principle player on the television series The Cosby Show (1984 – 1992), which launched him into stardom and kept him before the public since…

The Pilgrim's Retreat

The Pilgrim's Retreat

Humans like systems. They give a sense of security and structure. There is nothing wrong with liking systems, but they can be problematic if people believe that they have built their lives on one that failed. Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, described in an interview with The New Yorker his roots in Louisiana and small-town America: He [Dreher] wrote a book, “Crunchy Cons,”…

Student debt and educational protectionism

Student debt and educational protectionism

About a month ago, I finished a hazing ritual that most American university students endure annually: completion and submission of the federal loan forms. Pretty much everyone has to suffer this process since even financial awards – i.e. the person is being paid to attend the institution rather than paying – cannot be disbursed without a federal financial record. Immediately before…

The American "neo-family"

The American "neo-family"

Since the end of World War II, the United States has experienced prosperity unimaginable for preceding generations. With it has come a variety of anxieties and concerns. The most pressing one today is the question of maintaining prosperity. With this question has come uncomfortable realizations about the societal framework and family. Culturally, Americans place tremendous importance on the…

Yankee spirit lost

Yankee spirit lost

In general, Americans have regressed from those studied by Alexis de Tocqueville in De La Démocratie en Amérique. The Frenchman expressed perplexity at contemporary Americans’ focus on money and attitude toward thrift that passed into parsimony. Conversely, he also recognized that such values were appropriate for a young, developing nation and, coupled with what he deemed…

Whose rules?

Whose rules?

The word “beneficiary” is a legal term defining simply the person or persons designated as the lawful heirs upon the decease of a third person. In the hands of the social justice warriors (SJW), the term has assumed a new and sinister significance. The word’s original usage requires an object, i.e. the full phrase is “beneficiary of –.” The SJWs use the word…

Coins in the jungle

Coins in the jungle

There is a myth about the clearing of Penang Island during British colonization that can serve as a modern morality tale. According to the story, Captain Francis Light (1740 – 1794), the military officer charged with clearing the jungle, loaded his unit’s cannons with gold coins and fired them into the jungle, which promptly swallowed them. Knowing that retrieval of the coins required…

Literati - or not

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Literati - or not

On 20 December, 2017, the BBC published an article titled “Educationism: The Hidden Bias,” explicating the idea that those with less formal education suffer prejudice at the hands of the more formally educated and society at large. While there is an undeniable conflation of formal education with intelligence that is very concerning, there is another facet to the socio-cultural dynamic…

Intergenerational difference

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Intergenerational difference

Millennials are socially cast as schizophrenic. One view of holds them to be ultra-perfectionists and super-achievers whose drive ruins their lives and those of others around them; the other version casts them as special snowflake narcissists who have been protected and shielded all their lives by helicopter parents to whom they cling with unhealthy attachment. Both visions, though, share blaming…

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