Saturday November 29, 2014
May 4th, 2014
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
From the Gatling gun to the nuclear bomb, from hot air balloons to drones, the military has enlisted scientists to develop ever-more effective war technologies. Now comes a long-sought scientific breakthrough that the military brass consider the ultimate advantage for battlefield effectiveness: ready-to-eat pizza.
I met my friend Rachel because we were both in the same situation: We each had neighbors who inexplicably hated our chickens. Rachel and I each had small flocks of hens, no roosters, and sprawling, fertile, organic vegetable gardens in our yards. And we live in urban San Diego.