Category Archives: Politics

New fashions in exculpation

  When fashion writers comment on the new styles of the new season, then don’t stop to call their readers’ attention to the fact that all these people have chosen to wear clothes.  They take that for granted and so … Continue reading

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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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