Kindly Explain This

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Maybe you’ve heard that there is student debt in the United States. Intellectuals say there may be a political solution to this. Yes, and Saturn’s moon Titan may have life that breathes nitrogen instead of oxygen. It’s possible.

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Parties Search for a Theme

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One of the most valuable gifts Donald Trump has given the Democratic Party is a postponement of the need to define itself. Right now it looks like running as the anti-Trump is an adequate winning strategy.

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Why I Learned French

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Nineteen sixty-four, and I was flunking French. I don’t mean “doing badly,” but as in, getting straight Fs. The first assignment that freshman year was to read 70 pages of Le Rouge et le Noir of Stendhal, and to do it within 48 hours. They might as well have put me in an advanced Indonesian, for the preparation I had.

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“Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History”

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Houston’s superlative Gilbert and Sullivan Society will give six performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida between July 22 and July 31. If the preview I saw at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck Pub is any indication of what is to come, audiences can look forward to performances that combine fine singing with nimble comic turns.

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Our Moment in Cuba?

Last month I had the privilege of joining a study tour to Cuba with former members of Congress — sponsored by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC). We met with government and Communist Party officials, members of the National Assembly and Foreign Ministry, artists, scholars, academics, economists, entrepreneurs, even cigar workers. Cubans feel genuine optimism that the recent normalization of relations with the United States may usher in a new era of cooperation. Continue reading Our Moment in Cuba?