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Archive For: Culture

The Pinnacle Of Self-Esteem

bride_mirrorA 36-year-old North Dakota woman, Nadine Schweigert, recently married herself! According to news reports, there was a ceremony attended by her friends, and even an exchange of rings with her “inner husband.” The whole affair was not a gimmick, the bride/groom explained, but instead a celebration of herself.

There will be plenty of scoffers. They’ll say it’s one more example of the denigration of marriage and the broader decline of our culture.… Read More


An Elderly Man’s Wisdom

In the mid-1950s, during my first year out of college, I was a social caseworker. Like most of my colleagues, I had a variety of cases, including single mothers and their children, blind and disabled people, and individuals on old age assistance. One of the most memorable lessons in my life came from one elderly client.

When I visited the couple’s walk-up tenement apartment for the first time and the man let me in, I saw his wife moving back and forth in her rocking chair and sobbing uncontrollably.… Read More


Can Poverty Be Created?

povertyThe Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (EOA) launched the “war on poverty.” This legislation, promoted by Lyndon Johnson and supported by his successors Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, was a key part of what is known as the Great Society program.

From its inception, the war on poverty was a noble undertaking. After all, no decent person would argue for the preservation of poverty. Unfortunately, that very fact discouraged most people from questioning or criticizing it.… Read More


An Old Lesson Not Yet Grasped

WordleIf you think American students’ language deficiency is a new problem, think again. It was first identified before World War I when Americans who traveled in Europe noticed how well Europeans, particularly the French, spoke and wrote their native languages. At that time even uneducated pushcart peddlers displayed a linguistic facility surpassing that of the average American college graduate. On hearing such reports from travelers, one inquisitive educator, Rollo Walter Brown, wondered what caused this shortcoming in American youth and decided to investigate.… Read More


An Odd Kind Of Hunger

As I write, The Hunger Games continues as the top box office hit. The film depicts a future North America divided into districts, each of which must send a boy and a girl to compete in an annual, nationally televised kill-or-be-killed competition.  The event, we are told, is a continuing punishment for a previous rebellion against the dominant Capitol district, and the drama arises from the combatants’ struggle for survival.… Read More