Archive for the 'Literacy' Category

With a little help from my friends (‘Why I may appear to have been writing less, of late,’ Part One of Three)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Friends and fans — if few in number then all the more cherished — have been asking why I seem to have been writing less this year. I hope I don’t take too much on myself if I’m reminded of Paul McCartney reporting the press reaction when the Beatles stopped touring and went almost a […]

What would an engineer need to know about ethics? (‘Why I may appear to have been writing less of late,’ Part Three of Three)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Dad always thought those studying the sciences should be taught more of the history, the philosophy, and especially the ethical dilemmas which had been faced by their predecessors. Those in charge of the university’s Electrical Engineering (and Computer Science!) Department scoffed. Their slates were full helping these kids schedule all the “How to fit Tab […]

It’s better to be thought a fool than to sit down at the typewriter and remove all doubt . . .

Monday, March 17th, 2014

I bought a few jazz records over the weekend, as I do whenever the opportunity arises. One was a 10-inch Mercury LP from 1950, produced by Norman Granz and titled “Charlie Parker with Strings.” The disc was a bit controversial when producer Granz brought it out. Critics wondered whether Bird Parker, who had fought the […]

No longer trusted to tell them what’s ‘news’

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

For centuries, a few hundred wealthy individuals, families and corporations have had de facto control over what we consume as “news” — simply because they could afford to buy big printing presses, and ink by the barrel. Despite early fears in the newspaper industry, neither radio nor television ever broke this monopoly. You’d quickly realize […]

How are we doin’?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

How are we doing, safeguarding those “unalienable Rights” with which we are “endowed by our Creator” — in support of which 56 patriots solemnly pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred Honor, 236 years ago? We remain free by many measures. Americans can still pretty much live where we want, work where we want, […]

That’s a lot of extra schoolbooks

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I see where two local groups have announced the largest in-kind donation ever made to Southern Nevada’s Public Education Foundation, the nonprofit that channels charitable aid to the Clark County School District. The Latin Chamber of Commerce and Another Joy Foundation plan to give to the Foundation textbooks for which they list a value of […]

With ‘reform’ dead, why do we need the DOE?

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Mark Aug. 8 on your calendar. Few realize it, but the events of Aug. 5 through 8 marked the beginning of massive changes in America. No, I don’t write today about the overdue Standard & Poor downgrade of the actuarially bankrupt federal government’s bond rating, or even the (possibly more important) whining, petulant, vapid reaction […]

‘I resemble that remark’

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

It used to take years to get a book into print. And during the laborious process of re-keyboarding the manuscript, plenty of people had a go at the thing. Today’s technology has enormously speeded the process of creating a book from the author’s original computer disc. But in an era when young high school graduates […]

The brash prose-poetry of Ella Mae Brewer

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

“Vin, sometimes you run excerpts from letters that arrive at your desk, but you rarely run an entire letter, much less an uninterrupted series of letters from the same writer, which would give us a better idea of the thought process of a typical reader.” Yes, and there’s a reason for that. But since such […]

Members of Congress channel John McEnroe

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

When a reporter for CNSNews.com last Thursday asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., where in the Constitution Congress is delegated the specific power to order Americans to buy health insurance — a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of Obamacare — Ms. Pelosi responded: “Are you serious? Are you serious?” “Yes, yes […]