I recommend this great article on the Classical Learning Test (CLT), which is an alternative to SAT and ACT. I never heard of it before but it sounds interesting. And the article is well-written and funny. The part about penguins is simply excellent.

N got me a subscription to National Review for our wedding anniversary. Obviously, because I asked him to. He wouldn’t know the difference between National Review and Vogue to save his life.

Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown is really in the game for the nomination. I just got a message from his (proto) campaign. And it’s a very good one. It’s all about workers and worker rights. Not a single stupid identity-based truism. I’ll be very excited if he’s the nominee. I’d actually go knock on doors and phone-bank for this candidate.

Wouldn’t it be great to elect somebody like Sherrod Brown, folks? I believe he can carry the Midwest and I can’t think of anything that goes against him. Plus, I think he’ll do good in a debate against Trump.

Criminal Justice Reform

Wow, this is really good and sorely needed:

President Trump is throwing his support behind legislation that could shorten sentences for some drug offenders and help prisoners adjust to life after incarceration. . . It will also include measures to address sentencing disparities and inequities.

I don’t think marijuana should be legalized and I believe that Canada did a horrible thing by legalizing it. But I don’t for a second think that addicts should be put in jail. Large-scale dealers should be incarcerated, not folks who suffer from addiction.

Fake News

Before my sister went to Saudi Arabia, she researched and prepared for weeks. And then she got there and realized that most of what she read and saw in North American media was a lie or an exaggeration. So much of what goes on in reporting is ridiculous hype, and eventually people lose trust and don’t take anything they read seriously.

My sister wasn’t even asked to cover her head while she was there. And the very stylish abaya came in very useful because stupid Air France (truly the worst airline in the world) lost her suitcase and she had nothing but a pair of pijamas bought at an H&M in Riyadh to wear under the abaya. It’s ok to wear makeup, men do offer handshakes to women, there were women smoking outside the conference center, it’s ok to take photos and videos, and it’s also ok to walk around with a man who is not your husband.

Saudis are trying hard to change and be relevant in a changing world. It’s not an instantaneous thing. There’s still a lot of stuff that Westerners don’t get but it’s not going to help if we keep looking at Saudis as crazy savages running around with the goal of slaughtering everybody in sight.

Saudi Arabia is a very rich country that has a unique power to mess with the oil prices and hence sabotage the world economy. It’s best to welcome their attempts to change and get better, even if those attempts are slow and uneven, than to bark at them for not being exactly like the West (like the Canadian foreign minister did recently.)

The world is complicated. Other cultures are extremely complicated and hard to understand. People blab a lot about diversity without even trying to understand what it really means. I’m not saying, let’s forget everything and celebrate the Saudis. I’m saying, let’s notice a positive trend if it exists and not sabotage it needlessly.

My sister’s talk in Riyadh was sold out and there was a long line of people hoping to get in even after it sold out.

Globalization Is Funny

My sister slaughtered with her talk in Saudi Arabia. I just received a photo of her in a designer abaya standing in the midst of Saudi men dressed in their white robes of whatever you call them. It’s hilarious. I can’t share because it’s not my photo but it’s truly funny.

All those Saudi men paying for a Jewish woman from Ukraine to come teach them about business. And providing a designer abaya. You’ve got to agree it’s funny.

Lost Faith

I just read a long discussion on FB where people seriously argued that there is no difference between hiring a person with an MA and a PhD. The attempts to explain that some administrators, in order to save money, hire instructors with MAs to do the work meant for people with PhD skill set + publications + experience and that weakens programs enormously failed. Instead of engaging in a productive discussion, people complained about credentialism.

I lost faith in humanity and decided to fight insomnia with melatonin instead of Facebook.