Dare to Be Different

“Who is whistling?” Spoken with a Transylvanian accent and the imperious inflection of a person with the habit of command. I’m guessing Fall 1964. On the steps of gym in some Godforsaken place called Devon PA. Little did my 13-year old self know this would be a life-changing day for me. Damn good thing. IContinue reading “Dare to Be Different”

Finally, A Use for Mein Kampf

A Southlake Carroll schools leader recently told teachers that, should they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also have materials that show an “opposing” perspective, NBC News reported. The news outlet — which has chronicled the deeply divisive fight in Southlake over how to teach race and racism in schoolsContinue reading “Finally, A Use for Mein Kampf”

California and Texas and Us

This is another one of those posts that is somewhat personal. It may strike you as self-serving. I guess it is. Yet given how much discussion there is in the news of the supposed exodus from California to Texas–my man Elon being the latest trekker–I find myself uniquely positioned to comment on the phenomenon. See,Continue reading “California and Texas and Us”

Down the House

Nope. Not Downashore. Maybe Joe Villari said downahouse, but I don’t think so. When I was a kid, “the House” meant only one place on Earth. The house of Pietro Delia and Maddalena Mangano. You didn’t know I was part Mangano? Learn something. They lived a lot places in Philadelphia, but “the house” was 913Continue reading “Down the House”

Computers will take all our jobs away. And other Fairy Tales

For a while, all I could read in the newspapers was some story about how robots, computers, some form of automation, was going to steal all our jobs. In vain I have tried to persuade people that this isn’t really good economics–a kind of “just so” story that Americans seem to thrive on. Please. Think.Continue reading “Computers will take all our jobs away. And other Fairy Tales”

Hurricanes (and other stuff) I have known

I was reading a fabulous (well, it is ok) book called Three Days at Camp David by Jeffrey Garten. Super nerd alert: it recounts the decisions that went into bringing an end to the gold-exchange standard in August 1971. I’m sure you’re just dying to know the details, but I’ll spare you. It is oneContinue reading “Hurricanes (and other stuff) I have known”

We Share Your World With You

Now that I am retired from teaching (I know, no one noticed), I have a little more time than I did before to pursue various projects. Some are serious: an economic history of Mexico (about 60 percent drafted, but the worst is yet to come); and publications on the Lizardi family of Mexico, New Orleans,Continue reading “We Share Your World With You”