Overheard (Jan/Feb 2021)

Through her attention-attracting assault on the public education system, Betsy DeVos has actually given the next secretary of education an opportunity — to recommit to public education as a public good, and a cornerstone of our democracy.

Jack Schneider  and Jennifer Berkshire, in the op-ed, “Trump’s Longest-Serving Cabinet Official May Start a Revolution.” The two are co-authors of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door.

Washington Post, 12-1-20


I once took heat for calling Betsy DeVos “dumb as a bag of hammers.” But after her 4 years as our Education Secretary, I now realize an apology is owed. To hammers.

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, after the secretary of education said that staff should “be the resistance” to the Biden administration.

Twitter, 12-16-20


The last thing this country with a rapidly increasing nonbeliever population needs, is for the Supreme Court to keep defining religious citizens as being in a class above all others, empowered with the ability to stomp out dissent or competing nonreligious views, even within government programs.

Attorney Tyler Broker, in his column, “Arguments for religious ‘accommodation’ have become tyrannical.”

AboveTheLaw.com, 12/14/20


If I get to the bottom of the Cracker Jack box and there’s a prize, I’m happy.  But if there isn’t, I just enjoy the Cracker Jack. My happiness here doesn’t depend on something that’s awaiting me after it. I don’t have a complex orthodoxy; I have a vague spiritualism that tells me if I live a good life, good things will happen. But I don’t have any expected reward or expected afterlife or anything like that. I just want to make the most of this life and make as positive an impact as I can on the people around me and be grateful for their love and attention and try to do something worthwhile, and no count on getting a do-over.

Actor Michael J. Fox, in an interview on “Fresh Air.”

NPR, 12-21-20