Enraged at Balaam, Balak struck his hands together. “I called you,” Balak said to Balaam, “to damn my enemies, and instead you have blessed them these three times!”
The king, Balak, sent Balaam to curse the Israelites, who were amassed at the border of Moab. King Balak was aware that the Israelites were on the march. He was also aware that they were capable of crushing their enemies. Curse them, Balak commanded, and deny them entry into the land. more >
Ways to support undocumented immigrants
How to conjugate regular Spanish verbs
Phone number Brookline Booksmith more >
“If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
Like many, I’ve been trying to understand of late exactly what Facebook’s executives did or did not do, what they knew, when they knew it. more >
I’m stewing, as usual, as I put together a new syllabus. In the fall, I’ll be teaching 35 undergraduates a history of the United States – the entire history, from the nation’s colonial roots to the present day. This is a difficult task at any time, but it’s especially difficult for me at the moment as the country plunges ever more deeply into a free-for-all over the meaning of who “we” are.
Though I am thoroughly opposed to using textbooks, especially at the university level, I also know it’s helpful to give students something to lay down a narrative. I’ve relied on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United Statesfor the past eight years in the course on early American history I’ve offered at UMass Boston. A sprinkling of students over the years, usually from liberal, private high schools, has encountered the text before my class. For the rest, the book has mostly been a welcome introduction to early America, the subject of the course. I’m not sure Zinn’s overview will be the right fit for the class I’ll be teaching this fall, which will be at a somewhat selective, private college. I’ve tried to find an alternative, but I’m coming up empty-handed. more >
How were they, who were once part of the fabric of society, the body politic, ripped asunder, extirpated?
Debórah Dwork, Children with a Star: Jewish Youth in Nazi Europe, 1991, xlvi.
There are so many questions to ask about how a people reaches a point allowing its government to separate children from their parents and, for all intents and purposes, incarcerates them. And there is another set of questions to ask about what activates this people to insist that its government change course.
Making people feel, I’ll argue, is perhaps the greatest single factor in that activation process. more >
They had left the oncologist’s office. Bad news, again. Each pushed sunglasses onto noses. They blinked, bug-like, in the mid-day, Dallas sun. more >
“Would being armed change the dynamic between teacher and student in the classroom?” WBUR’s Deb Becker asked Lisa Graustein, teacher and equity coordinator at Boston’s Codman Academy. Codman is a successful K-12 charter school in Dorchester, a majority minority neighborhood in Boston whose public schools have long struggled to meet the demands of its population. Ninety-nine percent of students at Codman are low-income and of-color.more >
Most pundits commenting on the probable election tomorrow of Roy Moore as a U.S. Senator from Alabama are focusing on his “sexual misconduct.” His history of “dating” teenagers when he was in his thirties has provoked outrage and soul searching, with NY Times columnist Gail Collins asking whether Republican voters are willing to vote for “an upstanding family man” who could be relied on to support Democratic agendas or “an awful slimeball who you could count on to support all the things you believe in.” A third option? “No fair answering moving to another state,” she writes. Bah-dah-bum.more >
There’s been much to celebrate in the last few weeks: Mark’s and my 30th wedding anniversary, my 55th birthday, and the graduation of a bunch of middle schoolers heading to private high schools whom I’ve gotten to know through Beacon Academy, a one-year academic boot camp. I volunteered to help plan and prepare for the graduation reception, which fell on my birthday. The committee opted to serve tea, whole strawberries, and homemade cookies, which seemed great to me, but not sufficiently festive. It took me a minute to figure out what was missing. Punch.more >
Gather, several religious congregations have beckoned, for reconciliation, for healing, for hope. Though I would take comfort from being with others who are similarly dismayed by Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, I will not – cannot – attend. Not because I am otherwise engaged. But because I refuse to be reconciled or to heal.more >