Monthly Archives: February 2013

Testing: How Many Questions Should I ask?

This year I have switched to asking only short-answer questions on my American Government exams, instead of using multiple choice questions (and I have only rarely used long essay questions for that class), primarily to push the students to learn … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Sequester! Any Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on the sequester issue? – What’s going to happen? – Will there be a deal? Will the Tea Parties allow a deal? – Will Boehner craft a working majority of more moderate Republicans and the Democrat … Continue reading

Posted in Politics in General | 64 Comments

Another Reason I Can’t Break the Libertarian Habit

A person with a gun and a government badge asked me to swear in writing that a lie was true today. And when I didn’t do what she wanted she simply took my boat and asked me to leave. The … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Solitary Confinement–Why George Will Is Still the Most Interesting of Conservative Pundits

George Will has a recent column about solitary confinement, and the law-and-order conservative doesn’t like it. [T]ens of thousands of American prison inmates are kept in protracted solitary confinement that arguably constitutes torture and probably violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition … Continue reading

Posted in Laws-Damned Laws-and Statists, Politics in General, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Undigested Thoughts on North Korea’s Bomb Test

Conveniently, North Korea’s latest nuclear test came just as my Nuclear Weapons and Power class was coming to the section on proliferation, so of course it has me thinking. But I don’t have a fully coherent set of thoughts that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics in General, Research Blogging | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Somewhat Conflicted on the Budget

Reading up on the latest budget battle stories (yawn), I had one of those moments that make me pause and think about what I think about government. The line that made me blink was; House Republicans passed a bill last … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Final (?) 2012 Election Comment

All the conservative criticism of the election polls last year emphasized the belief that Republicans were being under-sampled in the polls. Had that been true, Romney’s popular vote percentage should have been higher than his poll percentage, which was a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Saving the Liberal Arts, part I

The Associated Press recently ran a very good article about liberal arts colleges that featured my very own workspace, Adrian College. It discusses the challenges of liberal arts colleges in an age when most students (and their parents) want pre-professional … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | 4 Comments

This Is Not a Chicken

Daughter #1 showed this to me the other day. How long does it take you to figure out what it is?

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

I Heart Liechtenstein

Not that I’ve ever been there, but… I have evolved over the last few years to using, very explicitly, a comparative approach in my American Government class. As I tell my students, our system is just one case study in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments