Journal 11/18/2012 (p.m.)

    • even before the Great Recession we had a mounting skills problem as a result of 25 years of U.S. education failing to keep up with rising skills demands, and it’s getting worse.
    • The big issue in America is not the fiscal deficit, but the deficit in understanding about education and the role it plays in the knowledge economy.”
    • It’s one reason we have three million open jobs around the country but 8 percent unemployment. We’re in the midst of a perfect storm: a Great Recession that has caused a sharp increase in unemployment and a Great Inflection — a merger of the information technology revolution and globalization that is simultaneously wiping out many decent-wage, middle-skilled jobs, which were the foundation of our middle class, and replacing them with decent-wage, high-skilled jobs. Every decent-paying job today takes more skill and more education, but too many Americans aren’t ready. This problem awaits us after the “fiscal cliff.”
    • Consider the Hispanic vote. Are Democrats winning Hispanics because they put forward a more welcoming face than Republicans do — one more in keeping with America’s tradition of assimilating migrants yearning to breathe free? Yes, up to a point. But they’re also winning recent immigrants because those immigrants often aren’t assimilating successfully — or worse, are assimilating downward, thanks to rising out-of-wedlock birthrates and high dropout rates. The Democratic edge among Hispanics depends heavily on these darker trends: the weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems.
    • But if conservatives don’t acknowledge the crisis’s economic component, liberalism often seems indifferent to its deeper social roots. The progressive bias toward the capital-F Future, the old left-wing suspicion of faith and domesticity, the fact that Democrats have benefited politically from these trends — all of this makes it easy for liberals to just celebrate the emerging America, to minimize the costs of disrupted families and hollowed-out communities, and to treat the places where Americans have traditionally found solidarity outside the state (like the churches threatened by the Obama White House’s contraceptive mandate) as irritants or threats.
  • tags: charity

  • tags: economy

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Journal 11/11/2012 (a.m.)

  • “GREENVILLE—Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend might be a couple of senior citizens fronting a band they co-founded nearly a half-century ago, but they clearly aren’t ready for the nostalgia circuit.

    The fact that – for The Who’s first North American tour in four years – they had the audacity to trot out a nearly 40-year-old concept album containing only a few songs instantly familiar to the masses is proof of that.

    The Who performed its landmark 1973 double LP, “Quadrophenia,” in its entirety on Thursday at the Bi-Lo Center, offering a hi-octane show that seemed as artistically relevant as it did purely entertaining.

    Daltrey marched about the stage with vigor, energetically swinging his microphone wire in a lasso-like manner and eventually unbuttoning his shirt and baring his chest. His still powerful voice particularly soared on the album’s finale, “Love, Reign O’er Me.”

    Townshend, meanwhile, thrilled the audience by repeatedly flailing his right arm in his patented windmill motion as he attacked the strings of his guitar. Along with some bombastic instrumental solos, he also gave beautifully understated vocal performances on such pensive songs as “Cut My Hair” and “I’m One.”

    As the 10-piece touring band – which included bassist Pino Palladino, guitarist Simon Townshend (Pete’s brother) and drummer Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr’s son), among others – ripped through the musical selections, multiple video screens constantly flashed an array of images that conveyed the themes of disillusionment, teen angst and rebellion that play such a key role in “Quadrophenia.”

    It was especially neat to see classic video footage of The Who from its younger days in the 1960s and ‘70s.

    Of course, none of the visuals were as powerful as those of deceased original band members John Entwistle and Keith Moon.

    During an electrifying rendition of “5:15,” Entwistle was shown on a video projection, performing a mind-boggling bass solo. Although Entwistle died in 2002, it felt, for that moment, almost as if he were actually there.

    The same concept was later used to highlight Moon, who died in 1978.”

    tags: music

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