Students Protest Decision to Ban Protest

A School Board in Colorado seeks to ban the teaching of dissent and protest in the public school curriculum in favor of celebrating free enterprise, respect for authority and a particular brand of patriotism.  In response the students stage a walk out and protest. (Click here or photo for link) My students of social movements […]

Why Poor Students Struggle in College

Here is an article from the New York Times that discusses some of the cultural challenges students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds confront when they go to college…

Labor Dazed

On Labor Day I took my daughter to the parade.  It’s an event full of meaning but for her it was mainly about the candy. She was not disappointed.  In a scene resembling feeding time at the barnyard candy was thrown like chicken feed from passing floats.  Children scurried, pecked at the ground, pushed and […]

This is How Power Works: A Primer and Illustration

To my students who are inspiring me, Summarizing power in 1000 words is nearly impossible; to apply this analysis in the same 1000 words is a fantasy. But, my students are engaged in social change and don’t have time for long-winded academic treatments; they need understanding that will be helpful to them right now.   Thus, […]

The half-million dollar question

Here is a link to a guest column I wrote for our campus newspaper.  It deals with, among other things, the way that powerful actors are able to insulate themselves from accountability.  In this case the Illinois State University Board of Trustees paid a half-million dollars to its 18th president following his resignation after only […]

Four Decades Of Taxes And Spending, In 2 Graphs

Here is an interesting look from the Planet Money team at NPR at how our taxing and spending has changed little over the last forty years.  It puts the current political debate over spending and taxes in perspective. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/02/24/271558863/four-decades-of-taxes-and-spending-in-2-graphs

Let Them Eat Peppers!

I recently had a chance to visit an old friend who moved to Scotland several years ago.  He and his wife now have two beautiful children and, as happens in life after kids, our visits now entail more parenting activities than the pub-related kind. One day we went to pick up their seven year old […]