Archive - 2014

Date

May 4th

The racists among us

    Let's not pretend that deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy and basketball team owner Donald Sterling are the last two racists in America. They have company.

    I hear regularly from proud racists who send me -- anonymously -- some of the vilest and most hateful correspondence you could imagine. You'll have to trust me about the content; this stuff, mostly vulgar racial insults directed at President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, is too disgusting to repeat.

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Brown’s Bittersweet Legacy

    What a bittersweet 60th anniversary: On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared “separate but equal” school systems inherently unconstitutional.

    After making great progress toward integrating public schools, our nation reversed course. Resegregation gradually replaced integration as a leading educational indicator over the past 25 years.

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Campus Rape

    For years, when I was on the speech circuit at colleges and universities, I would always inquire about how many instances of sexual assault had occurred on campus that year -- not how many convictions, but how many instances. The answers I got were, quite literally, unbelievable. None, I would be told, which was almost as ridiculous of reports of one or two such instances. At no campus I visited were there ever more than four or five.

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Derailing the High-Speed Trading Bullet Train Before It Crashes Our Economy

    On the afternoon of May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its fastest nosedive ever. Within minutes, a trillion dollars in wealth went “poof.”

    What happened?

    What actually set it off remains in dispute. Yet we do know that high-frequency traders, relying on computers programmed to make trades at speeds measured in the millionths of seconds, accelerated the freefall by withdrawing from the market en masse.

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If You Can Get Fired Over Your Politics, What Good Is the First Amendment?

    Now that the controversy over Mozilla's firing of CEO Brendan Eich over his anti-gay politics has subsided (and before something similar happens again, which it surely will), it's time for a brief tutorial on McCarthyism.

    Because, if those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, Americans -- who don't notice history even as it's happening -- are condemned to the endless purgatory of idiocracy.

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It's Only a Million

    It's sad what a million dollars has fallen to.

    I have been thinking about this recently, ever since The Times had an article about Jeb Bush's scramble to make up for the fact that he left the governorship of Florida with a net worth of only $1.3 million.

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Job Crushing or Life Saving?

    Speaker John Boehner blasts "job-crushing regulations." The House majority leader, Eric Cantor, prefers a variant: "job-destroying regulations." That mantra has been repeated so much that we might think that all regulations do is crush, destroy, annihilate, maim, gut, crucify and extirpate jobs.

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Profit, not ideology, behind China's 'Big Bang' ban

    China's nanny state outdid itself on April 25 when authorities suddenly pulled "The Big Bang Theory" and three other popular U.S. television programs off Chinese streaming video sites. Keeping with their usual practice, regulators didn't explain why they'd clamped down on the wildly popular programs (why should they?). Instead, the sites were left scrambling to respond to angry viewers, claiming that the shows had been pulled for familiar causes such as "violations of relevant rules" and "policy reasons."

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Sterling and the Issue of Power

    Donald Sterling, the now banned-for-life owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, accomplished something that might be seen as a political miracle: The racist ranting that led the National Basketball Association to oust Sterling brought President Obama and Sen. Ted Cruz together.

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Sterling tarnished all he touched

    Donald Sterling, 80, the now-banished owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, reminds me of every guy I've heard say, "I can't be racist. I've even dated black women."

    Recordings released by the gossip website TMZ and confirmed by the NBA of Sterling, who is white, making racist comments to his mixed-race lady friend shows how some people can have ample cross-cultural contacts and still sound like a bigot.

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