America’s Anti-Agoge

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “….Instead of softening their feet with shoe or sandal, his rule was to make them hardy through going barefoot. This habit, if practiced, would, as he believed, enable them to scale heights more easily and clamber down precipices with less danger.” – Xenophon, The Polity of the Lacedaemonians “Be quiet! […] Read more »

Military Reform through Education

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff facilitating Adaptive Soldier/Leader exercises at Fort Benning Fred Leland at LESC Blog recently had a guest post up by Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight regarding the important work Don Vandergriff is doing to reform professional military education and training: Military Reform Through Education: From The […] Read more »

West Wing Week: 08/07/15 or, “The Measure Of A Leader”

This week, the President announced a new historic action to cut harmful carbon pollution, advocated for the Iran deal, celebrated his 54th birthday, and inaugurated a new class of Mandela fellows. read more Read more »

Follow Dr. Biden’s Trip to Asia on Instagram

Kicking off Dr. Biden’s four-nation tour through Asia, Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Seoul, Republic of Korea on Saturday afternoon.

Military families greet Dr. Biden at Osan Air Force Base outside Seoul, Republic of Korea. https://t.co/FWl9zOw2zh pic.twitter.com/qJYu5yQsJP

— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) July 18, 2015

Her first stop was the Jinkwansa Temple, an ancient monastery that dates back to 1011. It is home to female monks, who use the temple as a place to demonstrate important spiritual, cultural, and historical values in Korean culture. The female monks also serve as leaders in their community, helping empower women and girls in Korea.

The monks led Dr. Biden around the temple grounds, explaining its rich history and showing her the dozens of pots that store doenjang, or fermented soybeans that they prepare.

“We just wanted to say how excited we are to be here in Korea and how wonderful the sisters have been to us today,” Dr. Biden said at the temple. “They’re educating women and empowering women. That’s one of the purposes of this trip.”

In the evening, Dr. Biden continued her discussion of women and girls by meeting with Jim Hee-Jun, the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Gender Equality and Family. The meeting focused on gender equality and women’s leadership in society.

Coming out of their meeting, the two leaders then visited a reception honoring female leaders in the Korean and American communities, including U.S. military personnel.

“Ann yeong haseyo!” Dr. Biden told the crowd, meaning “Hello!”

“President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and my husband Joe, the Vice President, have worked to empower women in the workforce and to shape every level of our government so that their voices are heard throughout society and all around the world,” Dr. Biden said. “To see those same efforts being made in the Republic of Korea shows how far we’ve come – not just as women in individual nations but as a global community of men and women working together toward full gender equality.”

In the Republic of Korea, Dr. Jill Biden delivered the keynote address at a reception hosted by the Minister of Gender Equity & Family. Watch below:

“Throughout my trip, we’ll meet with more women like all of you – women entrepreneurs, youth, and political leaders who are all empowering their communities and the next generation of women, because they know a nation cannot reach its full potential until its women reach theirs.”

Stay tuned as Dr. Biden continues her travels to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Follow her Journey on Instagram

Ahead of a week-long visit to the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Japan, Dr. Jill Biden is joining Instagram to give followers a unique inside look at her trip across Asia. Instagram followers will have access to behind-the-scenes photos from the road as she meets with students, women entrepreneurs, and military families.

Check out her first post:

 

Throughout her travels, Dr. Biden will highlight the importance of women and girls in the workforce and the power of education. While in Japan, she will participate in events as part of her Joining Forces initiative to show support for service men and women, veterans, and their families.

Stay tuned for photos during and after the trip, and don’t forget to follow Dr. Biden on Twitter to see the latest from her travels.

Check back here for updates from the road as Dr. Biden makes her way through Asia!

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West Wing Week: 06/19/15 or, “Her Map & Compass”

This week was Maker Week and Pollinator Week! The President was a busy bee himself. He stopped by a Congressional baseball game and a Congressional picnic, congratulated My Brother's Keeper mentees, and presided over the ceremonial swearing-in of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Meanwhile, the First Lady crossed the Atlantic in the name of Let Girls Learn and Let's Move! That's June 12th to June 18th or, "Her Map & Compass."

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West Wing Week: 05/29/15 or, “High Fives For Everybody!”

This week, the President donned a yarmulke at Adas Israel Congregation, where he also sang and danced with some preschoolers; marked the first Memorial Day since our war in Afghanistan came to an end; hosted the NATO Secretary-General in the Oval Office; and answered your questions on climate change during a Twitter Q&A in Miami. That's May 22 to May 28th or, “High Fives for Everybody!”

 

Friday

  • The President greeted rabbis at Adas Israel, one of Washington’s oldest synagogues, to mark Jewish American Heritage Month – and made an impromptu visit to a preschool classroom.
  • The President hosted foreign diplomats for an annual reception in the East Room.

Monday

  • On Memorial Day, the President joined 5,000 people at Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and reflect on the day with the families of those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Tuesday

  • Reporters from all over the world joined the President and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office, following their bilateral meeting.
  • The President teamed up with the Vice President to surprise Vivian Bailey on her White House tour.

Wednesday

  • The EPA announced its finalized Clean Water Rule, after reviewing over a million public comments. The Rule will protect safe and clean drinking water for millions of American families.

Thursday

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West Wing Week: 05/08/2015 or, “Viva Los Estados Unidos!”

This week, the President visited Lehman College in New York City for the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, taped an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, hosted a Cinco de Mayo celebration, announced his nominee for the new Cha... Read more »

Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address at Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah, April 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) In this week’s address, the Vi... Read more »

West Wing Week: 04/10/15 or, “A Good Deal”

This week, the President made an important announcement about preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, traveled west to champion high tech jobs in Louisville -- and clean energy jobs in Salt Lake City, had some fun at the 137th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, and flew to Jamaica for a meeting with leaders of Caribbean nations. That's April 2nd to April 9th or "A Good Deal."

 

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How English Keeps India Together

Hindi, to hundreds of millions of Indians is a foreign language. If it became the sole national language, non-Hindi speakers and their children would be severely disadvantaged in seeking out-of-state jobs and education. However, so long as all ambitious Indians must be able to handle English effectively, the playing ground is level for the entire population. It may be a tough hurdle, it may be an odd hurdle that has its roots in the colonial past, but it’s the same hurdle for everyone. Read more »