Links: 30 million words, U.S. customs, etc.

1. A project to make sure children hear more words. A “study in the 1990s found that a child born into poverty hears 30 million fewer words by age 3 than a child born to well-off parents, creating a gap in literacy preparation.”

2. “Earlier this month, On The Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman, her family, and her friends were detained for hours by US Customs and Border Protection on their way home from Canada. Everyone being held was a US citizen, and no one received an explanation.” More here.

3. James Fallows describes the Republicans’ recent obstruction: “Compromise itself is as much their stated enemy as is Obamacare.” And from a commenter to Fallows’s blog:

The Republicans don’t simply reject health care reform, they reject the legitimacy of the elected President, and, even more important, the legitimacy of the voters, along with their elected representatives, who rejected their positions in the last election.

4. In order for there to be civil discourse, there has to be an agreement on the rules of discourse, or as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo wrote this weekend, “the state requires for it to function a penumbra of norms surrounding the formal mechanisms of government.”

5. The U.S. government shutdown, as if it were a political situation in another country. A sample:

While the factions have come close to such a shutdown before, opponents of President Barack Obama’s embattled regime now appear prepared to allow the government to be shuttered over opposition to a controversial plan intended to bring the nation’s health care system in line with international standards.

6. Matthew Yglesias: “Why Obama Can’t Compromise on the Debt Ceiling. Jonathan Chait’s take is here.

7.When A&E used to be about arts and entertainment.

8. Fonts that can’t be read by computers.

9. Punctuation history.

10. Someone who quit Teach for America.

11. Medium’s new homepage.

12. Teaching quality: Tenured professors, full-time non-tenured profs, adjuncts.

13. Auden.

14. Free will and science.

15. One of the recent MacArthur winners is — Robin Fleming, a medieval historian at Boston College who’s written extensively on the lives of common people in Britain in the years after the fall of the Roman Empire. A review of her book is here.

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