The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
Hall remembers the president talking about Robert Frost’s trip to Russia when Obama gave Hall the National Medal of Arts back in 2010. But he didn’t realize how deep the president’s interest in poetry ran: When Obama whispered a few sentences into his left ear — in which, Hall said with a laugh, he’s stone deaf — he didn’t think too much about what he was missing.
This is a major problem in contemporary poetry. The young are not reading the older living poets as much as they should, but it’s also obvious to me that the older poets are also not reading the young.
-A great conversation taking place over at John Gallaher's blog
We’ve become accustomed to a new way of being “alone together.” Technology-enabled, we are able to be with one another, and also elsewhere, connected to wherever we want to be. We want to customize our lives. We want to move in and out of where we are because the thing we value most is control over where we focus our attention. We have gotten used to the idea of being in a tribe of one, loyal to our own party.
Our colleagues want to go to that board meeting but pay attention only to what interests them. To some this seems like a good idea, but we can end up hiding from one another, even as we are constantly connected to one another.-NYT
But are we really becoming another Greece or Spain, a wasteland of opportunity for anybody under the age of 25? Not quite. What the new statistics really tell us about is the changing nature, and value, of higher education.