February 18th, 2014
10:58 AM ET

What I'm reading

By Fareed Zakaria

“Free speech has innumerable enemies in India, and comparably few principled defenders – against whom vast legal, political, and social obstacles are arrayed,” writes Jonathan Shainan in the New Yorker. “A writer, publisher, or newspaper editor can fight a case in court, provided he has the patience to endure the interminable delays of the legal system. In the end, he may even win, though the relevant laws have been interpreted, over the decades, to carve out larger and larger exceptions to the right of free expression enshrined in India’s Constitution. No political leader will dare speak in defense of a text under attack unless the book in question targets his enemies; supporting the freedom of unpopular speech only costs votes and never wins them. And the state does not offer much protection from physical harm. When death threats are phoned to your home, or a mob comes to vandalize your office, you’re on your own.”

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“The missed opportunity of the STEM skills gap isn’t limited to the specific industries that require such training,” writes John Lechleiter in Forbes. “Done right, science and math classes equip students with critical faculties applicable in all kinds of professions – analytical skills that are valuable whether you’re running a law firm or a laundromat.”

“When it comes to inspiring kids to pursue STEM education, it’s critical to start as early as possible in the education process – from kindergarten on up – and help kids make the connection between STEM subjects and the miracles of the modern world. That’s the revelation that can spark the passion that fuels a career.”

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“For much of the past century, society’s greatest tool in helping Americans prosper has been education,” argues Zachary A. Goldfarb in the Washington Post. “We may not come up with more blockbuster ideas such as compulsory primary education – which revolutionized the workforce in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – or the GI Bill, which did the same after World War II. But there are about 30 million Americans over 18 who lack a high school diploma and 142 million over 25 who don’t have a four-year college degree, according to the Census Bureau. If these people were able to add to their skills and take advantage of new technologies, they’d become more productive workers.”

“We’re already making progress on this front.”


soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. bobcat2u

    A story is told of a Jewish man who was riding on the subway reading an Arab newspaper. A friend of his, who happened to be riding in the same subway car, noticed this strange phenomenon. Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader.
    "Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?"
    Moshe replied, "I used to read the Jewish newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty. So I switched to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news is so much better!"

    February 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  2. chrissy

    Awww @ bobcat! Lol ive so missed your jokes! Im so glad you are back!😉

    February 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  3. bobcat2u

    Hopefully to stay for a while chrissy. And you need to hit me with a dose of Weird News.

    February 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  4. bobcat2u

    Oh, and I meant to ask too about Superman and Javier. Wasn't it Javier who had that bad climbing accident ?

    February 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  5. chrissy

    Yep you have a good memory @ bobcat. They are both well. Javier cant climb anymore mountains though and that really upsets him. Superman just came back from a climb tho and Javier was with him in the beginning. They are both going to South America soon for their yearly climb and he will help with the set up etc.

    February 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  6. bobcat2u

    I'm glad to hear that Javier is still being active for what he can do in that arena. I hate for him that he's not able to fully participate anymore. Tell them both I said hello.

    February 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  7. chrissy

    I most certainly will @ bobcat. And Todays Quirky News: Central Michigan University now offers a course in the Apocalypse. Oh, come on. Its not the end of the world!

    February 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Reply

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