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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Our knowledge of the early life of Alexander the Great is based upon very slender literary evidence.[*] Arrian devotes only a few sentences to the years prior to Alexander's campaigns. Plutarch's coverage of Alexander's youth is also very condensed, and both he and Arrian rely almost exclusively upon pro-Alexander sources such as Ptolemy and Aristoboulos.... Read More
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A couple of years ago, I launched my Unz Review, providing a wide range of different alternative perspectives, the vast majority of them totally excluded from the mainstream media. I've also published a number of articles in my own American Pravda series, focusing on the suspicious lapses and lacunae in our media narratives. The underlying... Read More
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An alliance of pro-immigrant Democrats and anti-immigration Republicans could finally fix our broken system
From everything I've heard Swedes seem like very pleasant people, rather agreeable to have around, while my personal experience with Mexicans leads me to a similar conclusion. But suppose so many millions of Swedes poured across the borders into our southern neighbor that within just a few decades Mexico City had become majority Swedish, while... Read More
Reconstruction of TWA Flight 800.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Some years ago as I became increasingly aware of the severe dishonesty of our mainstream media on all sorts of controversial topics, I began telling a joke to a few of my friends. Suppose, I would say, that I happened to be out walking one pleasant afternoon in Palo Alto, and suddenly heard a gigantic... Read More
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Over the last few decades, I doubt that any American political organization has received greater negative attention in our national news and entertainment media than the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK. For example, although white activist David Duke left that group over 35 years ago, the media still often identifies him as one of its... Read More
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When I'm driving, my car radio is invariably tuned to KOIT, the leading "easy listening" station in the San Francisco Bay area. My tastes are humdrum and unsophisticated, so the songs merely provide some pleasant background music, occasionally punctuated by commercial ads, mostly annoying but occasionally amusing. One of the better ones began running only... Read More
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A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn't any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War... Read More
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About a decade ago I'd gotten a little friendly with the late Alexander Cockburn, one of America's premier radical journalists and the founder of Counterpunch, a leading leftist webzine. With virtually all of America's mainstream media outlets endlessly cheerleading for the total insanity of our Iraq War, Counterpunch was a port in the storm, and... Read More
General Patton U.S. commemorative stamp, issued in 1953.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
During the long Cold War many Russians grew sufficiently disenchanted with the lies and omissions of their own news outlets that they turned to Western radio for a glimpse of the truth. The growth of the Internet has now provided Americans with a similar opportunity to click on a foreign website and discover the important... Read More
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Several years ago, my articles advocating a large hike in the minimum wage caught the attention of James Galbraith, the prominent liberal economist, and we became a little friendly. As president of Economists for Peace and Security, he invited me to speak on those issues at his DC conference in late 2013. And after the... Read More
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.  Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons
For months the business headlines of America's leading media outlets have been charting the looming downfall of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, now on the verge of losing control of his enormous media company to Shari Redstone, the once-estranged daughter of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone. Just a few years ago, he was America's highest-paid chief executive,... Read More
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Twenty years ago, California public schools were forcing thousands of Latino children into Spanish-almost-only classes against the wishes of their parents. In 1996, The Los Angeles Times told the story of a group of Latino immigrant parents who began a public protest against their local elementary school for refusing to teach their children English, boycotting... Read More
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To recast a famous philosophical conundrum, what would happen if hundreds of thousands of Americans died, but the media never reported that calamity? I spend hours each morning closely reading the print editions of my daily newspapers, and for over a decade that question has seemed real rather than merely hypothetical. The reason may be... Read More
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The Best Picture winner at this year's Academy Awards was Spotlight, which seemed an excellent choice to me. That powerful ensemble performance showed a handful of daring investigative reporters at The Boston Globe taking on the political and cultural establishment of their city, breaking the story of how the Catholic Church had long shielded its... Read More
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Last week America suffered the loss of Sydney Schanberg, widely regarded as one of the greatest journalists of his generation. Yet as I'd previously noted, when I read his long and glowing obituary in the New York Times, I was shocked to see that it included not a single word concerning the greatest story of... Read More
Sydney H. Schanberg, center, in Cambodia, August 1973
The death on Saturday of Sydney Schanberg at age 82 should sadden us not only for the loss of one of our most renowned journalists but also for what his story reveals about the nature of our national media. Syd had made his career at the New York Times for 26 years, winning a Pulitzer... Read More
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As a software developer and company co-founder who has lived in Palo Alto since the early 1990s, I understand the extraordinarily important contribution that immigrants have made to our technology industry over the last half century and the crucial role they play in maintaining American competitiveness. I've found it unfortunate that for years top Silicon... Read More
The greatest problem with most universities today is that tuition is much too high, forcing an entire generation of students into long-term debt-servitude. Total student loans now exceed $1.2 trillion, and millions of students will probably never be able to pay them off. During the mid-1970s, tuition at UCLA, Berkeley, and the other UC campuses... Read More
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Keeping English, Raising the Minimum Wage, Fixing Immigration
I'm willing to take clear stands on issues, including some controversial ones, regardless of ideology or political orientation. Maybe you'll agree with me and maybe you'll disagree with me, but at least you'll know what I a U.S. Senator, I'll carefully listen to both sides of every issue, do my own research, and support the... Read More
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I appreciate that the Crimson has afforded denied me an opportunity to reply to their highly misleading article of the 14th, featuring the particularly lurid headline "Overseers Candidate Donates to 'Quasi-White Nationalist' Group," and supposedly documenting my links to various rightwing extremists. Coming at the peak of alumni voting, such unfair accusations have the potential... Read More
Victory Night for Prop. 227 in 1998. Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP
As some of you may have already heard, a few days ago I made a last-minute decision to enter the U.S. Senate race for the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer in California. I took out my official papers early Monday morning and returned them with the necessary 65 signatures of registered voters on Wednesday... Read More
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Over the last few months I've been much too preoccupied with my Harvard University Overseer project to pay much attention to the unfolding saga of the presidential race; I've closely read my morning newspapers as I always do, but not watched a single one of the endless debates. Still, even out of the corner of... Read More
I first began collecting and organizing my old print articles early last summer, believing that having them all conveniently available in book form would be useful for my planned Harvard Overseer campaign. Now at very long last the regular hardcover edition of The Myth of American Meritocracy and Other Essays has been delivered from the... Read More
As most readers have probably heard, a few days ago we were notified by Harvard University that the alumni signatures on the nomination petitions we had submitted were sufficient in number, and our "Free Harvard/Fair Harvard" slate of candidates would therefore appear on the forthcoming ballot for the Harvard Board of Overseers. An important public... Read More
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This last Saturday night I took a red-eye flight to Boston accompanied by an all-important carry-on bag, containing some thirty pounds of signed nomination petitions for our Free Harvard/Fair Harvard campaign for the Harvard Board of Overseers. With potentially major changes in the structure of American higher education hanging in the balance, I could not... Read More
As many of you already know, I recently launched the "Free Harvard/Fair Harvard" campaign, aimed at electing a slate of five candidates to the Harvard Board of Overseers on a platform of (1) increasing the transparency of today's opaque and abuse-ridden admissions process and (2) immediately eliminating undergraduate tuition as being unnecessary given the huge... Read More
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Schools like Harvard have become tax-exempt hedge funds with huge returns. Ending tuition would be a form of payback.
Although Harvard is widely known as one of America's oldest and most prestigious colleges, that public image is outdated. Over the last couple of decades, the university has transformed itself into one of the world's largest hedge-funds, with the huge profits of its aggressively managed $36 billion portfolio shielded from taxes because of the educational... Read More
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What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Although the memory has faded in recent years, during much of the second half of the twentieth century the name “Tokyo Rose” ranked very high in our popular consciousness, probably second only to “Benedict Arnold” as a byword for American treachery during wartime. The story of Iva Ikuko Toguri, the young Japanese-American woman who spent... Read More
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Last year I published Our American Pravda, making the case for the utter corruption and unreliability of the mainstream American media, both in the past and especially in recent years. The enormous lacunae I daily noticed in the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading media outlets were a... Read More
The letters column of the Sunday New York Times Book Review carried a sharp attack on Nicholas Wade's best-selling new book A Troublesome Inheritance by several individuals, organizers of a denunciatory public statement that they had persuaded some 139 prominent genetic scientists to sign. Although these signatories may be credible experts in their own scientific... Read More
Having been enormously preoccupied with software development work over the last few weeks, I was forced to sacrifice my own writing, but certain important recent developments are overdue for mention. While I was deeply immersed in the intricacies of PHP and CSS, my small webzine marked its first major media success. As many readers may... Read More
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Last week I was invited to speak at the annual conference of the Education Writers Association, with the topic of my panel being the perspective of Asian-Americans on Affirmative Action policies in college admissions. Despite having the only white face among the four presenters, I believe my analysis made a useful contribution. A couple of... Read More
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Although my own academic background is in theoretical physics, I’m the first to admit that field seems in the doldrums these days compared with human evolutionary biology. The greatest physics discoveries of the last couple of years---the Higgs Boson and strong evidence for Cosmological Inflation---merely confirm the well-established beliefs that physicists have had since before... Read More
Last week I noted in a column that the California Republicans in the Education Committee of the State Senate had joined an 8-to-0 vote to repeal Proposition 227 and restore Spanish-almost-only “bilingual education” in our schools. The academic performance of over a million immigrant student had doubled in the four years following the implementation of... Read More
On Friday, several top national Republicans including Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Tim Pawlenty all publicly declared their support for raising the federal minimum wage. Such a dramatic political breakthrough---obviously coordinated at the highest levels---greatly increases the likelihood it will actually happen, and tens of millions of low-wage American workers will see a large rise... Read More
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After almost seventeen years history may be about to repeat itself in California politics, though perhaps with a strong element of farce. Late last week, the Senate Education Committee voted 8-to-0 to place a measure on the November 2016 ballot repealing Prop. 227 and restoring “bilingual education” in California public schools. The long-dormant Language Wars... Read More
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When I first began investigating the minimum wage a couple of years ago, one of my early surprises was its sharp decline across the decades, having fallen by roughly one-third in real value since its 1968 peak. This drop was greatly magnified when we considered the economic growth of American society given that our per... Read More
Earlier this week unfortunate Americans were shown the advantages of a functioning political system as the German government announced it would establish a minimum wage of $8.50 Euros or almost $12 per hour. In the past Germany had had a minimum wage, but the extremely high level of labor unionization had ensured very high hourly... Read More
House Speaker John Boehner, the highest ranking Republican in America, has famously declared that he’d rather commit suicide than pass a minimum wage increase. Meanwhile, California’s own Nancy Pelosi, his opposite number, is a strong supporter of hiking the minimum wage, and her close ally, the retiring Rep. George Miller, is the sponsor of the... Read More
In all respects except one, the last week couldn't have been better for my California initiative to raise the state minimum wage to $12 per hour, the highest in the America. NPR broadcast a remarkably long 14 minute interview segment on my effort. Although the airing of the show had been delayed a couple of... Read More
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Three weeks ago the powerful political momentum favoring a large minimum wage hike received a major setback as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report indicating that the Democratic goal of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 might lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs. The CBO is widely respected as non-partisan in its... Read More
An important story ran Saturday ran in the Los Angeles Times: Bid to hike L.A. minimum wage gets pair of powerful backers As the L.A. City Council examines the 'living wage' issue, philanthropist Eli Broad and developer Rick Caruso say they support a higher minimum wage. James Rainey, The Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2014... Read More
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Our media naturally tends to cover stories that are surprising or unexpected far more than boringly routine ones, and this has certainly been a central aspect of my ongoing initiative campaign to raise the California minimum wage to $12 per hour, the highest rate in America. Labor unions and some prominent liberals have promoted minimum... Read More
The current debate raging over the role of the minimum wage is usually presented as being fought between two choices. On the one side are those who advocate a large wage hike and on the other are those who oppose any change. But in reality, there is a third alternative, namely cutting the minimum wage,... Read More
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Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour
During the 1950s peak of America’s post-war prosperity, Detroit was our wealthiest city, General Motors our biggest employer, and GM CEO “Engine Charlie” Wilson delivered the famously misquoted claim that “what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice-versa.” Times have changed. These days retail giant Wal-Mart is our largest corporation,... Read More
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Over the last couple of months the minimum wage has moved into the political headlines, but most of the arguments for raising it have come from liberals. That’s fine, but since I’m not a liberal, I’d rather focus on the conservative reasons for supporting a much higher minimum wage, which are just as compelling. Cutting... Read More
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Simple ideas buoyed by a tidal wave of popular sentiment are difficult to oppose, and subterfuge is one of the favored methods. National support for raising the minimum wage runs between 70% and 75% in most polls, with close to 90% of Democrats backing the idea. Meanwhile, our initiative to raise the minimum wage in... Read More
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Millions of California immigrants work in low-wage service industries. They would be among the greatest beneficiaries of our ballot initiative to raise the state minimum wage to $12 per hour. Latinos, many of whom come from a relatively recent immigrant background, would gain the most. The data shows that around half of all Latino wage-earners... Read More
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Although our school textbooks claim we live in a democracy or a representative republic, a more accurate formulation might label our polity a “mediocracy.” Our views and votes as well as those of our elected representatives are largely shaped by the ambient waves of media emanations that wash over us during so many of our... Read More
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In my last column I had noted that the national debate over poverty and inequality had drawn a peculiar response from mainstream conservatives. Whereas liberals advocated making work pay by raising the minimum wage, their conservative counterparts proposed raising welfare payments instead. Sometimes this position was explicit, as when economist Martin Feldstein took to the... Read More
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About Ron Unz

A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.

He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.

In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.

In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.

After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.


Personal Classics
A simple remedy for income stagnation
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
What the facts tell us about a taboo subject