A local college professor’s blog got a mention in the New York Times on Sunday. Mark Rice is the chair of American Studies at St. John Fisher College. His blog is called “Ranking America” and he told the Times why he started it in an article about American exceptionalism:
Of course, the reason talking directly about serious American problems is risky is that most voters don’t like it. Mark Rice, who teaches American studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., said students often arrived at his classes steeped in the notion that the United States excelled at everything. He started a blog, Ranking America, to challenge their assumptions with a wild assortment of country comparisons, some sober (the United States is No. 1 in small arms ownership) and others less so (the United States is tied for 24th with Nigeria in frequency of sex).
“Sure, we’re No. 1 in gross domestic product and military expenditures,” Mr. Rice says. “But on a lot of measures of quality of life, the U.S. ranking is far lower. I try to be as accurate as I can and I avoid editorializing. I try to complicate their thinking.”
Although Rice’s work has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, I hadn’t discovered it until today. I look forward to more of his posts.
Links of the Day:
– The Buffalo News looks at the cost of retiree healthcare in the public sector. Of course, those getting low-cost health care say those coming after them shouldn’t get the same benefit because “times have changed.” While I have no problem with public sector workers and retirees contributing more to their health care, I do think it’s wrong to let corporate America, which has largely abdicated responsibility to workers to increase profits, to set the agenda.
– The killing of Penfield native Daniel Metcalfe in Afghanistan is detailed in the New York Times.
– Bobcats are heading to Western New York.
– How a stammering kid became Cuomo’s spokesman.