Modern linguistics is founded on a radical premise: the equality of all languages. “All languages have equal expressive power as communication systems,” writes Steven Pinker. “Every grammar is equally complex and logical and capable of producing an infinite set of sentences to express any thought one might wish to express,” says a recent textbook. … Where native speakers are concerned, no language, dialect, or accent can meaningfully be described as primitive, broken, or inferior.
Excellent Dissent magazine article on Rob Ford that looks beyond his disastrous single term as Toronto's mayor and examines the neoliberal strain in Canadian politics that has caused the larger problems facing Toronto, of which Ford's 2010 election is only a particularly appalling symptom.
"On September 19th, the Census Bureau released the American Community Survey (ACS) estimates of poverty and income. Based on a much larger survey sample than the older Current Population Survey, the ACS affords a closer look at state, regional, and local income patterns (like health and education spending). It is not a pretty picture." --Neat Data visualizations of the survey info from Dissent Magazine.
In 2003, only two colleges charged more than $40,000 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Six years later more than two hundred colleges charged that amount. What happened between 2003 and 2009 was the start of the recession. By driving down endowments and giving tax-starved states a reason to cut back their support for higher education, the recession put new pressure on colleges and universities to raise their price. When our current period of slow economic growth will end is anybody’s guess, but even when it does end, colleges and universities will certainly not be rolling back their prices. These days, it is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization. If corporatization meant only that colleges and universities were finding ways to be less wasteful, it would be a welcome turn of events. But an altogether different process is going on[more inside]
1968: Lessons Learned. Dissent Magazine examines the transcontinental legacy of one of the most tumultuous years in world history. Essays from Marshall Berman, Robin Blackburn, Mitchell Cohen, Ralf Fuecks, Vivian Gornick, Michael Kazin, Enrique Krauze, Lillian B. Rubin, Christine Stansell and Michael Walzer.