• Home
  • /Articles posted by ' Vincent Ryan Ruggiero '

Archives

About President Trump’s Tweets

Donald Trump’s tweets have been in the news since long before he ran for the presidency, and they have been a continuing focus of commentary since he was elected. Some of his supporters see them as harmless and amusing—just “Donald being Donald,” as they say. Other supporters believe the tweets are at best a distraction and at worst an obstacle to his agenda. His opponents see them as so outrageous that they constitute evidence of his unfitness for office.… Read More

 

Death by a Thousand Slurs

This has been the mainstream media’s intention from the Republican primary, through the presidential campaign, and throughout Donald Trump’s first year in office. First there were the characterizations of him as a rude, insulting, narcissistic fool who had no business running for office. After his election, the depiction changed to evil genius who conspired with Russia to subvert the election. Since investigative efforts have revealed that Hillary Clinton is more suspect than Trump in that regard, the narrative has shifted again.… Read More

 

A Different New Year’s Resolution

Common New Year’s resolutions involve quitting something such as smoking or drinking, eating too much, being too sedentary, being rude to others, procrastinating, or living beyond our means. Most of us are familiar with them because we’ve made them, in many cases again and again. Sometimes we’ve even been partially successful in achieving them.

The resolution I am recommending differs in that it emphasizes, not stopping something, but starting something that our busy pace has caused us to neglect.… Read More

 

Our Perception of Social Problems

I recently read a description of troubling social problems, in particular increasing violence and the decline of moral standards. It included this description:

People “contemptuously rejecting temperance as unmanliness . . . insolence [as] breeding and . . . impudence [as] courage . . . [In this Age] the father gets accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son to be on a level with his father, having no shame or fear of his parents.” Similarly, “the teacher fears and flatters his scholars, and the scholars despise their masters and tutors .… Read More

 

Why I’m Suspicious of Polls

It’s not that pollsters are dishonest, though some may be. Nor is it that the people polled give answers they think the pollsters want or political correctness demands, though many timid folk may do so. No, the reason I am suspicious of polls is that many people don’t have carefully formed opinions of their own—the kind formed by weighing real facts and drawing logical conclusions.… Read More

 

The Alabama Republicans’ Dilemma

The special election in Alabama is over, with Democrat Doug Jones having defeated Republican Roy Moore, but the dilemma faced by Christian Republican voters remains a fascinating case study in ethical decision-making.

The contrast between the candidates’ positions on the issues could not have been sharper:

Jones supports abortion, stating “I fully support a woman’s freedom to choose what happens to her own body. That is an intensely, intensely personal decision that only she, in consultation with her god, her doctor, her partner or family [can make], that’s her choice.” Moore opposes all abortion, as well as any federal funding of its chief provider, Planned Parenthood.… Read More

 

A Teaching Moment Missed, Part II

Part I told the (true) story of Daniel, a high school junior whose correct answer to a test question was marked wrong and whose teacher refused to consider his explanation of the thought process that led to his answer. The teacher thus missed an opportunity to teach her class a valuable lesson about critical thinking.

Sadly, innumerable opportunities for teaching critical thinking are missed, even in schools that claim to be dedicated to such teaching.… Read More

 

A Teaching Moment Missed, Part I

Daniel is an 11th grade student who takes Advanced Placement courses in history, physics, English, calculus, and social studies and earns almost perfect grades. If he gets a single question wrong on a test, he is eager to learn where he went wrong so he can avoid similar errors in the future.

On a recent test in Health class, Daniel encountered this question:

The average life expectancy in the U.S.… Read More

 

An Honest Conversation About Gun Control

I’d love to have an honest conversation with a liberal about gun control, but the truth is, the liberals I know are willing to talk to me, or at me, but not with me, at least not about this subject. So I’ve decided to have an imaginary conversation. The challenge for me is to avoid making my imaginary liberal friend (LF) a straw man, so I’ll do my best to put in my liberal friend’s “mouth” only what I have heard actual liberals say on the subject.… Read More

 

Education’s Failing Grade

In 2016, Minneapolis scholar Katherine Kersten reported that public schools were the most dangerous places in St. Paul, MN. The use of obscene language, overturning of furniture and trash cans, and fistfights had become common in grade schools, she noted, and even worse behaviors—including physical attacks on teachers, death-threats, and multi-student riots—were occurring in high schools.

When I read Kersten’s report, my mind flashed back to my visit to Singapore in the late 1980s, not because my experience had anything in common with what Kersten described, but because it was so dramatically different!Read More