Month: April 2013

Boston Marathon Athletics

As the individual and media coverage ramped up, it became pretty clear who would be hurt by the marathon bombings, and that led me to wonder who would benefit. In retrospect, not a particularly insightful question though my answers were the gun lobby and the safety industry. As with the multiple stabbings a few weeks […]

Learning From The Masters

“That’s golf. Sometimes you make those putts sometimes you don’t,” said Angel Cabrera when playoff rival Adam Scott sank his putt on the second extra hole after Cabrera missed by inches. The two had previously exchanged thumbs up signs when their 200-yard approach shots landed a dozen feet from the hole in driving rain. Earlier, […]


About a dozen years ago, when Larry Summers was appointed President of Harvard, I asked an undergraduate what she thought of the selection. She replied, “I don’t know, some fat guy.” Thus, did Lawrence Henry Summers, 27th President of Harvard and former Secretary of the Treasury, become “Larry the fat guy.” Despite a rocky tenure […]

T. M. Luhrmann

I learned a new word today when a friend emailed me a link to How Skeptics and Believers Can Connect written by T. M. Luhrmann,  a professor of anthropology at Stanford and the author of “When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God.” Here is how Professor Luhrmann describes it. “Anthropologists have a term for […]

Malcolm Endicott

Daniel Pfeiffer is Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications. He was previously a member of Obama’s presidential transition team. I hear he is a nice guy, but there is no way I would know it. Daniel Pfeiffer and I had breakfast together last […]

Lawrence Lessig

Loyal readers know that libertyPell tries hard not to ask for too much of your time. Think of drinking frozen orange juice without adding water. Here’s hoping you are not thinking the opposite. It is very unusual to ask you for 18 minutes — 10 times the normal commitment — but sometimes it is worth […]

surprised baby

How often do you get to say, “It has been an interesting week in demography?” Pretty much never so it is best to seize the moment. Congressman Don Young of Alaska made an infelicitous public comment that used the term “wetbacks” presumably telegraphing his view on immigration. Susan Patton, President of the Princeton class of […]