Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Two from today's Times

Mother of Acts of Hope (age 90 - her birthday was the weekend I moved after the Great Tree Disaster) highly recommends this op-ed by Bob Herbert (photo left), "When Madmen Reign."

When President Bush went on television last week to drum up support for the bailout package, he looked almost dazed, like someone who’d just climbed out of an auto wreck.

“Our entire economy is in danger,” he said.

He should have said that he, along with his irresponsible Republican colleagues and their running buddies in the corporate and financial sectors, put the entire economy in danger. John McCain and his economic main man, Phil (“this is a mental recession”) Gramm, were right there running with them.

Meanwhile, back home in France...

This fascinating report, also published in today's New York Times, speaks of Catholic schools as havens of interreligious tolerance and companionship.

In France, which has only four Muslim schools, some of the country’s 8,847 Roman Catholic schools have become refuges for Muslims seeking what an overburdened, secularist public sector often lacks: spirituality, an environment in which good manners count alongside mathematics, and higher academic standards.

No national statistics are kept, but Muslim and Catholic educators estimate that Muslim students now make up more than 10 percent of the two million students in Catholic schools. In ethnically mixed neighborhoods in Marseille and the industrial north, the proportion can be more than half.

The quiet migration of Muslims to private Catholic schools highlights how hard it has become for state schools, long France’s tool for integration, to keep their promise of equal opportunity.


Fran said...

Thank you for pointing me to both of these pieces!

Algernon said...

No doubt the ensuing depression will also be "mental."

pj said...

I love Bob Herbert. My non-fic prof described him as one of the last of the "gentlemanly" op-ed writers. Just look at him -- he has such sad eyes. We must give Bob Herbert happy eyes.

Happy Eyes for Herbert, '08!