We Need History About Roma

NPR has the right idea. This week we need to be reminded of the history of the Roma people instead of just focusing on fear and stereotypes. In their story “New Stories Dredge Up Old Stereotypes of Europe’s Roma” Dr. Jennifer G. Illuzzi, assistant professor of history at Providence College in Rhode Island, talks briefly…

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Must Watch Alert: PBS “Many Rivers to Cross”

Talk about history we need: Professor Henry Louis Gates and PBS have put together a six part mini-series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” that starts with the black man who accompanied Ponce de Leon as they first stepped foot on Florida and ends with President Barack Obama.* The description from their website reads:…

Family History and Financial Advice

Advisers Go Extra Lengths to Keep Wealthy Clients, New York Times, October 15, 2013 This is not an article I would normally read. I’d rather not know about the lengths that financial advising firms will go to in order to keep their wealthiest clients (apparently hunting bears and arranging fishing trips). But look at this…

Streetlights in Germany

  The Fight Over Berlin’s Charming Streetlights, The Atlantic (Oct. 11, 2013) This is a tricky one. Germany is such a leader in technology and especially renewable energy and energy efficiency, but this sentiment does resonate: “So why the passionate response from gas lamp supporters? Put simply, Berlin has already lost so much old stuff…

Quick-n-Dirty History of Government Shutdowns

The first government shutdown or “funding gap” occurs in 1976. Happy Bicentennial, President Ford! How many government shutdowns since 1976? Eighteen counting this one. Has anything changed? Julian Zelizer says we see two shifts: first, in 1980, when President Carter says that federal workers have to stay home during a shutdown, and second, in 1995/96,…