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Life

February 03, 2014

"Hot Date or Just Hanging Out? Many Americans Don't Know Anymore"

I've written this before but allow me to reiterate. I don't know how dating declined in the U.S., or why--AIDS and other STDs that antibiotics couldn't cure?-- but pending a better understanding of the how and the why, I think the decline of dating has been a bad, sad development.

January 10, 2014

"Auburn Coach Repeatedly Tosses Gleeful Kids Onto Couch"

There are some days you wish they could stay little forever

January 09, 2014

"19 Reasons Socializing Is Not For You"

Excellent. I agree with almost all of them.

January 08, 2014

"The Talmud: Why has a Jewish law book become so popular?"

From BBC News:

Scratching his head, the confused man says: "Rabbi, you asked me the same question three times and you gave me three different answers. Is this some kind of a joke?"

"This is not a joke, my son. This is Talmud."

December 27, 2013

"The 23 Most Agonising Middle-Class Problems Of 2013"

Yes, indeed, life is tough for some Americans in 2013. 

December 12, 2013

This is sweet

"Westjet Airlines And Santa Claus Gave These Passengers A Heartwarming Early Christmas Present".

So is this: "Little Girl Signs Class's Christmas Song So Deaf Parents Don't Miss Out".

 

"Twin Titans of Stuyvesant High School"

More kids like this, please.

Four years ago, when they felt they’d reached the academic ceiling of the Ramaz School, a private modern-Orthodox yeshiva on the Upper East Side, they decided to try testing into Stuyvesant, which has the highest cutoff score for the entrance exam of the city’s nine specialized public high schools. Their mission: Divide and conquer. And they’ve mostly conquered. Jack is in student government, David got the newspaper; plus, they’re a formidable debate team and passionate agitators for a variety of causes. They have A averages; study Mandarin (they also speak Hebrew and Spanish); have lobbied successfully to audit a class during their lunch period and audited several others at New York Law School on their own time; have held national positions with the Junior State of America; are Huffington Post columnists; were intern supervisors for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; and have started a business, Guerrilla Joe, selling ad space on the sides of coffee carts throughout the city. Last year, they even squeezed in time for girlfriends.

December 09, 2013

"Giving To Charity Can Cause More Harm Than Good"

Spot on: a lot of charity, whether public or private, is designed to make the givers feel better, consequences for the recipients be damned.

The result of these exchanges reminds me of the "Jesus Comes at Christmas" trips our family would take to some of the relatively poor families in our North Jersey suburb. These were quick drop-offs of holiday food baskets that included toys for the kids, but it was hard not to have a bit of a savior mentality as we drove house to house. 

In the light of this exchange, we all knew who was playing the part of Jesus. I vividly remember the feeling of disappointment when a young child answered the door and sheepishly accepted our gift basket and closed the door quickly without any of the appreciation that we were all secretly expecting to receive. The problem was that we had no relationship with these families except to play Santa Claus one day a year. Looking back, both families were a bit worse off by the awkward exchange. 

Our family left disappointed by the thankless welfare mentality we observed, and any feelings of superiority we harbored at the beginning of the expedition were only reinforced. The receiving family had to endure the humiliation of another unknown do-gooder family showing up at their doorstep on their journey to save the world. 

See also "Let's Kill the Aid Industry".

December 03, 2013

"Teachers ask. You choose."

Today is "Giving Tuesday". If you're moved to give a little, please consider Donors Choose. Alicia Zimmerman, third grade teacher at P.S. 33 in Manhattan, does a good job of explaining why

(Another one of my favorites is Atlas Corp., where my younger daughter works. For one hour today, 11 a.m. to 12 noon EST, your donation will be matched 100%.)

December 02, 2013

"The Folly of Resentment"

Another fine column by Theodore Dalrymple, featuring this great sentence:

It used to be said that anti-Semitism was the socialism of fools, but socialism is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals. 

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