What’s the deal with Democratic Socialism?

“Democratic Socialism” in the United States has been catching on. To most Americans, the idea either sounds scary because it will undermine the success of the free enterprise system or seems like the natural evolution to a more equitable society that provides greater opportunity for every citizen. Which of these...

All the world’s a stage- and its politicians players

SCENE. U.S. Department of Justice Reporters frantically flip through the pages of a report. TV crews focus their cameras. Enter Rod Rosenstein. Rod: To indict, or not to indict? That is the question. PAUSE! At what point did we start watching government press conferences like Broadway productions of Hamlet? Why...

Back to school musings | Troy Podell

Back to School is upon us. For students, teachers, parents, administrators, and all stakeholders in public education, we’re about to embark on yet another amazing journey of growth and discovery. In what I hope will be an annual tradition, and in homage to my favorite columnist of all time Dr....

Putin’s fights will be won and lost at home

The State Department has finally gotten around to blaming Russia for the Novichok poisonings in England, and sanctions are due by month’s end. For the U.S., that’s a baby step, and all is not well in President Vladimir Putin’s Russia. NATO intelligence services are turning up the pressure, and the...

With Kavanaugh, Democrats must lose the battle to win the war

Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Clair McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp need to vote for the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh- for the good of the Democratic Party. Full disclosure, I consider my political beliefs to be mainstream but will acquiesce...

Commanders-in-Chief Who Became Commander-in-Chief

  Three of our Presidents, including George Washington, U.S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower, served as our chief military commander before entering the Oval Office.  How do their careers compare? What kind of Presidents were they?   Washington If measured solely on his battlefield performance, Washington was the least successful general...

Trump Tweet Intended for Jurors

President Trump’s latest outrageous tweet characterizing the charges against Paul Manafort as a “hoax” is a huge gift to the Manafort defense and a criminal act by the President. Let’s start with the gift. Remember that the President is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.   As such,...

Opinion polling’s identity crisis

As the midterm elections loom, the political world is doing what it does best: pointing to the polling numbers with either pride or alarm. In any election year, pundits can pick and choose polls on either side of the aisle to boost their argument. But why have so many polls...

To win, Democrats need to make the midterms all about Trump

If the Democrats can make the midterms about President Trump, as the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggests, Republicans are in deep trouble. The whole article’s here, but we reprint their table  for discussion:     Good news for analysts: the poll ran with multiple choices for approve/disapprove, differentiating between...

Teaching the next generation with games

This past summer marked my first as the Academic Director for the Yale Pre-College Summer Program with Julian Krinsky Camps and Programs. At the program, high school students from around the globe collaborated in small teams and competed against one another to design initiatives focused on environmental sustainability by combining...

How to separate fact from fiction in 2018

When there is so much conflicting information broadcast by different mainstream media outlets, one wonders how an average voter can come to an informed opinion about important national issues this day in age. A prime example of how vastly different interpretations can emerge from the same set of facts involves...

Does our view of U.S. presidents change over time?

We like to rank things.  The best movies, best golfers, best actresses, and so on. Presidents are no exception. Who were the best Presidents and who were the worst? And, as time passes, do some presidential reputations improve or worsen? To examine this issue, I looked at nineteen surveys performed...

What summer camp can teach us about school

In my life as an educator, I wear many hats. I teach in both secular and religious institutions, in some operating as a teacher and an administrator in others. I work with students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Through such variety, I am capable of appreciating a holistic perspective of...

Redesigning our economy for a more equitable future

A capitalism-socialism dichotomy makes the American setting vulnerable to destructive division as any polity and its complex systems cannot rely on any one way or code of conducting itself. The previous centuries have presented a front that exploitation as a means for superfluous gain is most in touch with dynamics...

After Helsinki, Trump Isn’t Up to the Job

By any objective measure, President Trump had a bad day in Helsinki. (68% of Republicans, according to a CBS poll, somehow think he did fine, but partisans are not always beacons of clear-eyed objectivity.) Trump put Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word on par with that of America’s own intelligence community....

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