News Meeting Groups

I believe I’ve talked about the following concept several times before, but I can’t find my posts or thread(s) on it, nor do I know if I even started a thread. Because of that, I’m starting a thread on this topic now. The basic concept is as follows:

  1. A group of people, preferably one that is preferably diverse in terms of their politics, ethnicity, gender, age, etc., meets periodically (maybe weekly, monthly, or quarterly), to receive, analyze, and discuss the most important information about current events and news.
  2. Preferably, a news agency (e.g., Start-Advertiser, Civil Beat, or even the Atlantic magazine) could oversee, lead, and facilitate these meetings, but a non-profit group (such as, the league of women’s voters, Common Cause, etc.) could also do so as well. This would.
  3. Here’s another idea that I may not have mentioned before. Continue reading “News Meeting Groups”

Why Americans Should Care About the Current Rules-Based International System

Today, Veteran’s Day, I came across the twitter thread below, which I thought was apropos. The thread does an overview of WWI, and how it lead to WWII. What’s important in my view is that an international system based on the rule of law versus the rule of the jungle has been the key to peace. An international system characterized by the rule of the jungle–where might makes right–likely leads to war and military conflict–one that we should assume would involve the U.S. (Ludes lists the number of people that died in both wars, breaking them down by country.)

I hope you take the time to read the thread. It’s fitting for our current politics and also fitting for a day when we should reflect on those who gave their lives to serve their country.

Notes on The Atlantic’s “Why Is College In America So Expensive?”

Article written by Amanda Ripley

The easiest way for universities to make up for the cuts was to shift some of the cost to students—and to find richer students. “Once that sustainable public funding was taken out from under these schools, they started acting more like businesses,” says Maggie Thompson, the executive director of Generation Progress, a nonprofit education-advocacy group. State cutbacks did not necessarily make colleges more efficient, which was the hope; they made colleges more entrepreneurial.

Some universities began to enroll more full-paying foreign and out-of-state students to make up the difference. Over the past decade, for example, Purdue University has reduced its in-state student population by 4,300 while adding 5,300 out-of-state and foreign students, who pay triple the tuition. “They moved away from working to educate people in their region to competing for the most elite and wealthy students—in a way that was unprecedented,” Thompson says.

(emphasis added) Continue reading “Notes on The Atlantic’s “Why Is College In America So Expensive?””

Notes on Yuval Noah Harari’s Attack on Free Will

Yuval Harari Noah has an article in The Guardian about the way new technology and its impact on democracy. Actually, Harari’s conception of free will is the most intriguing parts of the article. In this thread, I want to ponder (out loud) and analyze the ideas he presents in this article. As always, others are welcomed to join. Continue reading “Notes on Yuval Noah Harari’s Attack on Free Will”

The Fate of Our Nation May Rest on Our Ability to Talk About White Grievance (Draft)

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln said that, and I agree with him. I’ve talked a lot about the Russian threat, but, really, I’m confident the threat would be relatively small–that we could deal with it effectively–if we were more unified, instead of polarized. If I had to name the biggest threat to our country, I might choose polarization–specifically, polarization revolving around race. I’m no historian, but my sense is that race has been an existential threat from the founding, and the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement or Barack Obama’s election hasn’t extinguished this threat. At the same time, my sense is that racism, especially the belief that whites are superior to non-whites, may not necessarily be the major threat now. Instead, what I would like to suggest is that
white grievance–the sense of anxiety and resentment white Americans have towards losing their majority status to non-whites–might be the greater threat, especially if far more white Americans feel this grievance, to some degree, instead of believing whites are superiority or white nationalism. In this thread, I’d like to do two things. First, I want to explain the reasons I think racial tensions pose an existential threat to our country. Second, I want to explain the difference between white grievance and white supremacy and the reasons I think understanding and expressing these differences when we talk about race is vital to extinguishing the threat. Continue reading “The Fate of Our Nation May Rest on Our Ability to Talk About White Grievance (Draft)”