Category Archives: Politics

Language and Rhetoric

It is hard to think clearly about a passage when the first thing you learn about it is that it is crucially important. That’s been my experience, at any rate. When you learn, later on, that a good deal of … Continue reading

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“Wartime moral clarity and passion”

I had never heard of Nitsuh Abebe before he wrote this piece. In fact, I had failed to notice that the New York Times Magazine carried a feature every week called “First Words.” Since “First Words” is about language and … Continue reading

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Just a joke among Friends

In the New York Times on March 23, Ginia Bellafante wrote about a firing at Friends Seminary, a private school in Lower Manhattan. The story she tells isn’t as interesting as it would have been had it not come in … Continue reading

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“Great Decisions” and underlying themes

I once had a Latin teacher who said that teaching Latin was the ONLY way to learn Latin. I don’t think that’s really true. Being a Latin teacher, he often used the device of a minori ad maius [1] so … Continue reading

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Politics is the least of our worries

I argued two years ago this month, that as scary as the Trump candidacy was, the conditions that made it possible for such a candidate to be successful were much scarier.  I still think that’s true and since then, Trump, … Continue reading

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Nationalism for Progressives

The title points to a connection I am not comfortable with. I am going to try to get over that today. This essay rests on two pieces from the New York Times. On March 4 by Yasha Mounk; the other … Continue reading

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Lent and inconvenience

If only we had more time, right? If only. If we had more time, we would…um…we would… OK, what would we do with more time? A professor of mine at Wheaton College [1] once told a story about himself that … Continue reading

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