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Perspectives: Reform Public Higher Education

November 23, 2012

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American public higher education has been increasingly scandalous. Academic standards have been lowered to increase enrollment and university coffers; irrelevant courses which have nothing to do either with economic productivity or civic education are increasingly the rule; and graduation rates are falling. When governors like Rick Perry of Texas had the audacity to insist that his state’s […]

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Posing As An Adult: The Wires That Bind Us

November 22, 2012

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I am a phone game junkie. I came a little late to the party on “Angry Birds,” but I immersed myself quickly; then there’s “Words With Friends,” “Scramble With Friends” and “Hanging With Friends,” not to mention “Song Pop” and anything else word-related that I can find. I would say, of these games, I know […]

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Perspectives: The Decline of Romantic Love

November 16, 2012

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In an article in the New York Times (11.3.12)Richard Friedman writes about the importance of unpredictable love or unpredictability in general. We are programmed to seek out the unpredictable because it is an effective survival mechanism, according to Friedman: “The brain’s reward circuit has evolved over millions of years to enable us to recognize and […]

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Memories of Grade School–Ron Parlato

November 8, 2012

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My first memory of elementary school was from kindergarten, where this baby-breath fat kid kept poking me in show-and-tell.  My mother said he was probably still sucking the bottle and was infantile and to pay no attention to him. My father told me to hit him in the nose the next time he did it. Funny how only […]

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Opting Out of Vaccinations – Is It Ethical?

October 4, 2012

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Opting out of vaccination programs has become common in many parts of the country. Parents, concerned about the reputed side effects from immunizations, fearing government-pharmaceutical conspiracy, or simply ‘going organic’, have decided to take their chances in what they perceive to be a benign environment where cases of measles, whooping cough, and other childhood illnesses are extremely rare. Yet […]

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Monday Morning Water Cooler Talk for Sept. 24, 2012

September 24, 2012

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I’M BACK!!!!!!!! Tell me if you have heard that before. Starting today, I am back to blogging on Mondays and Fridays. So, from this day forward, you can expect to see original commentary in both “Monday Morning Water Cooler Talk” and “At Week’s End”, once again. So, to kick things off, here are some observations […]

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At Week’s End for Sept. 21, 2012

September 21, 2012

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Losing Weight – Does Product Labeling Help? Martin Bruegel, writing in the New York Times,provides a short history of public education on nutrition, an activity which surprisingly began almost 150 years ago. “Nutritional recommendations were born at the end of the 19th century with the discovery that humans need 20 calories per pound of weight […]

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At Week’s End for August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

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Another Reason To End Foreign Aid A friend was about to travel to Zimbabwe to develop programs of child welfare. Why, I asked, would he want to provide support to one of the world’s most corrupt and destructive dictators, Robert Mugabe?  “For the sake of the children,” he responded. When a company for which I was […]

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At Week’s End for August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012

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Pre-Crime – Coming Soon To Your Neighborhood Most people are familiar with the concept of pre-crime from “Minority Report,” a film in which Tom Cruise, using clues and visionary fragments from the brains of psychic twins, identifies and catches criminals before they commit a crime.  Stopping crime before it occurs has always been the goal […]

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At Week’s End For August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012

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Radicals and the Left Sean Wilentz, writing in the New York Review of Books discusses Michael Kazin’s “American Dreamers: How The Left Changed A Nation,” a book which looks at the role of radical politics and the impact they have had on American society. The radical Left, Kazin observed, has succeeded far less than is commonly […]

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At Week’s End For August 3, 2012

August 3, 2012

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Poverty and Why We Can’t End It Poverty in America continues, and while it has been higher – 15 percent in 1983 – it now stands at 11.3 percent, the second-lowest rate on record and only a fraction over the very lowest since records have been kept (11.1 percent in 1973). So it isn’t that poverty has increased as a percentage of […]

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At Week’s End for July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

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Big Brother in a Soda Can A recent article in the New York Times reports on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on supersized soft drinks. “New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort […]

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At Week’s End for July 20, 2012

July 20, 2012

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Rousseau – The Social Contract and the Individual The Founding Fathers were very much concerned with respecting the rights of the individual, but also with the fostering of civic community which would offer protection and benefits.  They sought to achieve a balance between the inviolable rights of the individual to pursue his spiritual needs and […]

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At Week’s End for July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012

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Misconstruing the Constitution The Constitution is a document which both establishes the structure of government and sets forth rights which provide the foundation for American democracy. More than just a document of guiding principles, it is a statement of our values, ideals, and vision.  Moreover, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, these rights are inalienable […]

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At Week’s End for July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012

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Selling Dreams – American Electoral Politics in 2012 There is no greater difference in approach to electoral politics than that of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.  Carter talked about human frailties and the need to overcome them. We were in “a crisis of confidence,” he said, and needed to rally our best instincts to overcome it. […]

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At Week’s End for June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012

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Homeownership Means Little to Economic Growth A recent article in the Atlantic documents the finding that home ownership is not correlated or even associated with economic growth – that is, buying a home does not guarantee individual wealth; and policies to promote home ownership are extravagant wastes of money. Robert Shiller of Yale University documents that from “1890 to […]

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At Week’s End for June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012

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Curiosity Human beings are curious. While some will stop at investigating the noise in the alley, many more will wonder where words come from, why we age, and why the sky is blue. In an interesting article in BBC News, the author talks about the evolutionary roots of curiosity, and why it is one of our most characteristic and […]

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At Week’s End for June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012

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Are We Happy Yet? A number of books on happiness have been published, recently.  On the surface, this subject should be of marginal interest.  After all, we all know when we are happy and when we are not, so why go any further? While this is true, since the “pursuit of happiness” is enshrined in […]

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At Week’s End for May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012

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The Decline of American Institutions and the Rise of Individualism An article in the Atlantic (4.12.12) describes the decline of American institutions – church, government, school – and discusses the increasing alienation of those who have not adapted to a world without them.  This alienation is the reason why many have turned away from the Democratic Party, […]

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Monday Morning Water Cooler Talk for May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

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Do You Drive A Prius Or A Ford F-150? In a very amusing column in the Washington Post (5.12.12), George Will reviews “Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars” and writes how cars reflect our individual identity.  Detroit turned out models which would appeal to image rather than practicality, shortly after […]

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Check Out These Articles!

May 15, 2012

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We have recently added the following articles to our website. These articles were originally published in the May 9, 2012 print edition of The Real Story. Simply click on the article title to be re-directed to the appropriate page on our website. America and the War on Women Ask Meagan!: Discrimination in the Workplace Consumer […]

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The Myth of Cultural Homogeneity

May 11, 2012

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Recent articles have focused on the economic consequences of declining birth rates and restrictive immigration policy, and on the more far-reaching changes in society caused by a distortion of the normal age distribution. However, they do not discuss the more fundamental issue underlying the persistent and increasingly xenophobic demands for cultural purity – the insistence […]

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Monday Morning Water Cooler Talk for April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

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Liberal vs. Conservative Brains A recent article in the Washington Post discusses the differences in the way conservatives and liberals think.  They don’t simply view the issues differently, but have a completely different psychological makeup, the author argues.  Liberals tend to have an open view of the world in which they are willing to consider […]

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Martin Case Highlights Several Issues

April 3, 2012

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It’s been a little over a month since Sanford, Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin, was gunned down on his way home from the store, by self-appointed neighborhood watch “Captain” George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was questioned by local law enforcement, but he was released after claiming self-defense. The lack of a thorough investigation led to an overwhelming public […]

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Going with the Flow Pays Off!

April 3, 2012

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in our March 28, 2012 print edition. A couple of years ago, when my book, Creating Your Heaven on Earth, was just published, I was on my way to upstate New York for a book signing and speaking engagement. This was my first book signing in a city […]

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It Never Was About the Condoms

April 2, 2012

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In an excellent article in the March 13, 0212 New York Times by David Brooks, he writes about The Fertility Implosion, reflecting on the dramatic reductions in fertility in most countries. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/opinion/brooks-the-fertility-implosion.html?_r=1&ref=opinion Despite decades of US intervention, tens of millions of dollars, and hundreds of millions of condoms, advertising campaigns promoting small families, improvements in education and, […]

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Employers – Keep Your Hands Off My Facebook

March 23, 2012

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The assault on privacy not only never ends, it escalates, gets more intrusive, and more dismissive of individual rights every day.  The latest episode concerns demands for prospective employees’ Facebook passwords.  It apparently is not enough for employers to browse through what is put up publicly; they, now, want to see what is posted only for […]

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Betting vs. Polling – Betting Wins!

March 16, 2012

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There has been a lot of discussion, recently, about how markets are better predictors of outcomes than polling; and how an aggregation of random individuals is better than selected experts; and, finally, how an aggregation of cognitively diverse individuals is perhaps the best of all. This is a fascinating field of inquiry, for it challenges the conventional wisdom that […]

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Certainty – Or Was It Uncertainty?

March 13, 2012

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I have always been fascinated by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which states that one can never know with any certainty both where a particle is, and how fast it is travelling. The most fundamental elements of the physical world are based on uncertainty: “In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg principle states a fundamental limit on the accuracy […]

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Family Values

March 8, 2012

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Charles Murray, a libertarian, and currently a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has written a book entitled Coming Apart, in which he laments the decline in traditional values of industry, hard work, discipline, respect for authority, patience, family, and a strong code of ethics and morals among the white population.  He has found that for 30 percent of white families, […]

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