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Paulo Freire, Pedagogy and Oppression

From Treason of the Intellectuals Teachers and ex-teachers – more numerous these days than in the past – will be familiar with the old saw: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach, teach teachers.” This is a slur on a noble profession, recognized as such by attentive students and many teachers, retired or otherwise. There is much in the postmodern world that militates against teaching, hence the increase in dropouts in the profession, and we all should recognize that teaching is at its core both a profession and a professing of some sort of doctrine or truth. Socrates and Christ, for example, were teachers. Pedagogy has never been everyone’s cup of tea. In postmodern America, just as everyone is either selling something or buying something – a product, a service, an idea, etc. -- so, in the teaching profession, teachers offer to their students the benefits of their minds and experiences. Personalized knowledge that comes from a live mouth to a listen
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The Biden-Blinken Apologia

Here follows, reprinted in full, CNN’s account of what we should call the Biden-Blinken apologia related to his conspicuous failures in withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan: Blinken: "We inherited a deadline, we did not inherit a plan" on withdrawing US from Afghanistan From CNN's Ellie Kaufman Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration “inherited a deadline, we did not inherit a plan,” referring to former President Trump’s May 1 deadline for the US to withdraw from Afghanistan. Here's how the exchange between Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, and Blinken unfolded in today's hearing: Sherman: Did the Trump administration leave on your desk a pile of notebooks as to exactly how to carry out that plan? Did we have a list of which Afghans we were going to evacuate? Did we have a plan to get Americans from all over Afghanistan to Kabul and out in an orderly way? How meticulous was the planning for the Trump Administratio

Lamont’s Autocratic Powers, A Plea For Republican Governance

In Lewis Caroll’s Through The Looking Glass , Alice and Humpty Dumpty are having a quarrel concerning the proper meaning of words. “’When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ “’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ “’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’” This dispute is, among other things, a political primer. Such is the power of autocracy that the autocrat can shape the language as he chooses in a system in which all important political matters are decided by arrogant, Humpty Dumpty like figures,. Modern chief executives usually deploy degreed communication directors to persuasively “make words mean so many different things.” Since autocratic political force essentially shatters the sacred republican-democratic covenant between rulers and the governed, according to which the governed must assen

The Passing Moment

Murphy Some moments last longer than the passing moment. On September 11 of this year, we descended into one of them. The Associated Press reported, “President Joe Biden will visit all three 9/11 memorial sites to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the  Sept. 11 attacks  and pay his respects to the nearly 3,000 people killed that day. “Biden will visit ground zero in New York City, the Pentagon and the memorial outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Flight 93 was forced down, the White House said Saturday (9/4/2021). “Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a separate event before joining the president at the Pentagon, the White House said. Harris will travel with her spouse, Doug Emhoff.” Biden shed a tear at what has come to be called “ground zero” in New York City. No doubt the tear was sincere, although some men of his age, 79, have learned to cry on cue. What tears mean depends on who is shedding them. Nero, after he had clai

The Body Count In New Haven

Winfield Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent is keeping a body count. From January to March alone, the publication notes,  “ Alfreda Youmans, 50, and Jeffrey Dotson , 42 , were found dead by the police inside a Winthrop Avenue apartment,  Jorge Osorio-Caballero , 32, was shot and killed in Fair Haven,  Marquis Winfrey , 31, was shot and killed in Newhallville, and  Joseph Vincent Mattei , 28, was shot and killed in the Hill. Someone  shot Kevin Jiang, 26, to death  in Goatville on Feb. 6.  Angel Rodriguez, 21, was shot to death  in Fair Haven in mid-February, his body dumped by the Mill River in East Rock.  Dwaneia Alexandria Turner, 28 ,  was shot to death in the Hill on March 16 during an argument with two other women.” And the year’s total body count for the city that has given us Yale, two nationwide recognized pizza houses, the inimitable Roger Sherman, and William Celentano, a funeral director and the first Italian-American mayor of New Haven -- indeed, the last Republica

Blumenthal Is Furious And Frustrated

Blumenthal Sworn In By Biden U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, we learn from a piece in the Washington Examiner , is furious at his chief. “Sen. Richard Blumenthal,” the paper reports, “took aim at the White House and State Department on Monday, saying he is ‘furious’ over struggles to secure planes to evacuate a group of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan.” And here is the money quote, carefully authored, one can be sure, by some member of his staff who has learned to be furious on cue: “’I have been deeply frustrated, even furious, at our government’s delay and inaction,’ Blumenthal, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. ‘I expect the White House and State Department to do everything in their power, absolutely everything, to make this happen. These are American citizens and Afghans who risked everything for our country. We cannot leave them behind.’” In fact, we have left them behind and do not know, at this point, their precise numbers, who t

The Silence of Connecticut’s Liberal Lambs

Afghan women seeking equal rights The plan is to ship to various points in the world for prescreening victims of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. This assumes the remaining victims will be rescued -- by whom it is not clear -- from the prehensile claws of the victors in America’s “never ending war." Kosovo, we learn from recent news reports, is one of these countries.   Here in Connecticut, U.S. Senators Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have opened compassionate arms. Christopher Hitchens, everyone’s favorite atheist, should be alive at this moment. One can only imagine his response to the too frequent policy absurdities of the current President of the United States, who is reputed to be a liberal. Hitchens was a liberal, one of his saving graces. On the authoritarian dimensions of Islam, he pulled no punches. America has always lifted its freedom torch to refugees fleeing illiberal regimes, many of which in the modern and postmodern period were, Hitchens sadly admitted