Category Archives: Education

In Pursuit of Assholes

It says something about our times that a book called “Happiness: A Very Short Introduction” includes an index entry for “assholes.” “Happiness” is among the slender paperbacks of Very Short Introductions published by Oxford University Press that focus on specific topics – Theology, Drugs, Computer Science, the Harlem Renaissance, Law, Fungi, the Great Depression – […]

Garrison Keillor’s History Project

On this day in history something awful happened, and nobody remembers it anymore – except Garrison Keillor. And on this day in history something significant happened that changed lives, and nobody remembers it anymore – except Garrison Keillor. Also on this day, a poet, a novelist, a scientist, a musician, a politician was born. No […]

Secrets of the Urban Forest

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. I’d like to get rid of some rats. What we want has something in common, but one is much easier to condemn than the other. To most people, rats are disgusting and unwanted; they are disease carriers. The illegal immigrants that Trump wants to keep out are human beings. […]

Dr. Carson’s Remedy

What a shame Ben Carson doesn’t have the street cred of rapper Young Thug. The media might have treated the retired neurosurgeon and presidential candidate with more respect when he suggested that crime victims should fight back. Carson was portrayed as another loony tune Republican when he made his suggestion after a mass shooting earlier […]

Lounging in the Life of the Mind

An alleged rape victim recently made headines when she won $800,000 in a settlement against the University of Oregon, but other news in the same backyard was barely noticed: Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner, who declined to prosecute the alleged rape, resigned to become a state police captain. As one of the state’s workhorse […]

Charlie and the Cagers

Poor Charlie Hales. He once was anointed by the media as the prime mover behind Portland City Council’s embrace of the streetcar. He reveled in the naming of BridgePort Brewery’s Streetcar Ale. “Whoever named a beer after a bus?” he crowed. (See “A Streetcar to Admire,”The Columbian, Sept. 14, 2003.) Back then, Charlie called streetcars […]

Rutting Season Never Ends

Before the University of Oregon blows a half million dollars to fight “sexual violence,” it might want to figure out what exactly sexual violence is. It’s unfortunate that the school has already embraced as fact a belief that 20 students per week are the victims of “unwanted sexual contact” or “sexual assault” or “sexual violence.” […]

Hanging on to the N-word

Twenty-five years after Spike Lee burned down Sal’s Famous Pizzeria, his people are still trying to do the right thing. Some of them don’t have a clue. Take LaRue Bell, a black senior at Cajon High School in San Bernardino, Calif. Earlier this month he said that when he arrived in math class, he asked […]

Lessons in Faking It

Three University of Oregon basketball players, who crowded into a bathroom with a drunken young woman and treated her like a glory hole, thought she was being a good sport. “It seemed like she was cool with it …,” Dominic Artis is quoted as saying in a Eugene Police Department report, referring to the UO freshman […]

No Equity in ‘Restorative Justice’

A school board that is scared of its teachers and students is a school board that needs to grow a spine. It says something about the Portland School Board that only Steve Buel remained when 400 students, teachers and their supporters interrupted a meeting to protest contract negotiations. (Andrew Davidson, the student representative to the […]