Monthly Archives: August 2012

Colored Me

This is the marriage license of my great-great grandfather,  born in Ireland in 1854 and married to a Virginia native in 1884. His race, you’ll notice, is given as “colored.” Since when are Irishmen colored? My father found this when he started doing family history after he retired. We mostly laughed, a lot, when he […]

Going for the Gold

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform calls for the establishment of a “Gold Committee,” to explore ways of returning to the gold standard. It would also call for or conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve. The gold standard has been a favorite hobby of the GOP, off and on, for many years. The last gold […]

The Ego Fountain

Lesser-known DC: the Cogswell Temperance Fountain, an example of how ego paints good intentions with ugliness. Henry Cogswell started adult life as a dentist, in an age when dentistry didn’t require formal credentials, a discomforting fact to contemplate. Born in New England, he took his dental skills to California during the gold rush. Although he […]

The Olympics, Race, and the power of Government

The Olympics send a very clear message, not about individualism, or about race, but about the importance of government. The BBC website offers a nice list of medal rankings by nation. It’s an interesting list, because of what it says about human diversity, race and culture. The US at the moment is ranked second, almost […]

The end-game of critical thinking

A friend sent me this link, from last month’s Washington Post, about the Texas GOPs Party platform calling for a ban on critical thinking. The plank in question reads: We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) […]