This must be my week for interesting encounters and unlikely conversations. Yesterday, I headed down to McDowell County to do spend the afternoon with some children in a summer program. McDowell is one of the poorest and most economically distressed counties in the nation. The kids were in Keystone, a predominately African-American community which is a pretty marginalized place in a very marginalized county.
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't find it. When I got there, there were three other people who planned on meeting with this small group of kids, including a representative of US Senator Joe Manchin, one from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, and a member of the WV House of Delegates.
For real. How cool was that?
As if that wasn't odd enough, the delegate began his presentation to the kids, one of whom was as young as six, with a Latin quote from philosopher Rene Descartes. You guessed it, "cogito ergo sum." He then discussed the implications of "I think, therefore I am" in ways that Descartes never would have thought of. And they got it.
I don't know about you, but generally speaking I can go for a pretty long time in this state without running into someone, much less an elected official, who brings up 17 century French philosophers.
You just never know.
SUPERSIZE THIS. Fast food workers are on the move for a living wage.
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. It's bad for the brain and doesn't exactly bring out the best in people.
"LIBERTARIAN POPULISM." According to Michael Lind, it's Ayn Rand in disguise.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED