Best Defense

Two items in a Maine newspaper: China is kicking our ass in education while we fire cannons across the pond

An item in the Ellsworth American, which has overcome its “know nothing” nativist origins to become a fine newspaper, should scare us. A Chinese student studying at a high school in Maine was asked whether he finds school in the United States difficult: “English, yes. Math and science, no. Physics here is really easy — ...

An item in the Ellsworth American, which has overcome its “know nothing” nativist origins to become a fine newspaper, should scare us. A Chinese student studying at a high school in Maine was asked whether he finds school in the United States difficult: “English, yes. Math and science, no. Physics here is really easy — basic compared to my five years study in China.”

Meanwhile, in the same newspaper’s extensive police reports — I prefer to think of them as the local box scores — I see that after someone on Great Pond reported hearing explosions, Lt. Tim Cote investigated and found a guy firing a homemade cannon. It being Maine, the officer extracted a promise that the weapon would not be shot off “at any unreasonable hours.”

They’re tougher on that sort of behavior down in hoity-toity Bar Harbor, where last year a drunk who was firing off a small black powder cannon was given a warning. But, it still being Maine, the tipsy artillerist was not arrested.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1
A decade of Global Thinkers

A decade of Global Thinkers

The past year's 100 most influential thinkers and doers Read Now

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola