Category Archives: Uncategorized

curiosities from Wikipedia (an occasional series)

From the entry on Norfolk Island, pop. 1,748, which lies 877 miles from mainland Australia: This common heritage has led to a limited number of surnames among the islanders – a limit constraining enough that the island’s telephone directory also … Continue reading

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new CIRCLE youth survey: high youth engagement in the 2018 election

From today’s CIRCLE release: The 2018 midterms have the potential to be historic for youth political participation, with young people receiving campaign outreach, paying attention, and intending to vote at unusually high levels (34% “extremely likely” to vote) that come … Continue reading

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reforms for a broken Supreme Court

In the Republic of A, the highest appeals court may overturn legislation based on the text of an idealistic but short and vague constitution (without further appeal to the legislature), that court consists of just nine justices appointed for life, … Continue reading

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the regime that may be crumbling

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan would be pleased that Trump has signed a massive tax cut, presided over deregulation, and saved NAFTA by essentially reenacting it after running for president against it. Nevertheless, his worldview and his coalition are inconsistent … Continue reading

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defining equity and equality

You can find authoritative explanations of the differences between “equity” and “equality,” but I think the definitions of these words vary, and there is no objectively correct distinction. However, we can generalize a bit. To say that something is “equal” … Continue reading

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was Lincoln trying to tell us something?

The penultimate paragraph of Lincoln’s “Lyceum Address” (Jan 27, 1838) [Memories of the sacrifices of the American Revolution] were the pillars of the temple of liberty; and now, that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their … Continue reading

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the pivotal youth vote in Ayanna Pressley’s election

Early this month, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley defeated incumbent Rep. Mike Capuano in the Democratic primary. CIRCLE’s analysis shows that Pressley performed best in precincts where young adults or people of color are most numerous. Those precincts also saw the … Continue reading

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how Brexit is unlike Trump (and what to do about it)

When they think about Brexit, most of my American friends equate it with the election of Donald Trump. Both events are seen as manifestations of xenophobia, paranoia toward elites, and even Russian propaganda. You can tell that this analogy is … Continue reading

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self help: a short story

Political prisoner K. was sentenced to solitary, with only cement walls, a cot, a stinking bucket, and a food slot for company. One day, on his way back from interrogation, he saw a tattered paperback on the floor. The guard … Continue reading

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nonviolent civic work under conditions of extreme violence

My Tufts colleague Anjuli N. Fahlberg, a sociologist, has done extraordinary work in Rio de Janeiro’s City of God. Despite a staggering level of violence in that neighborhood, the residents have created a wide array of impressive initiatives that offer … Continue reading

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