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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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On the night of Jan. 31, 1968, as tens of thousands of Viet Cong guerrillas attacked the major cities of South Vietnam, in violation of a Lunar New Year truce, Richard Nixon was flying secretly to Boston. At 29, and Nixon's longest-serving aide, I was with him. Advance man Nick Ruwe met us at Logan... Read More
————————— 1. Gulliver's Travels By Jonathan Swift 1726 One component of curmudgeonliness is the Cold Eye, seeing humanity plain. Jonathan Swift saw us rather too plain. The "savage indignation" he wrote of in his own epitaph was rooted in the disgust, physical and moral, he felt toward people. His famous satire Gulliver's Travels — about... Read More
Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World, by Eugenie Samuel Reich
Like other complex human enterprises, science has a "front" and a "back." The model here is a restaurant. In the front, waiters in spotless uniforms glide between tables murmuring suggestions and delivering exquisitely arranged platters. Meanwhile, the kitchen — the back — is a chaos of noise, heat, haste, breakage and rancor. Now and then... Read More
The Numerati, by Stephen Baker
The world is buried in data, great banks and drifts of the stuff. In recent years a new technology has emerged: computer programs that will drill through it all to pick out hidden patterns and trends — information that may be useful to marketers, politicians, employers, doctors, match-makers, or national-security analysts. Such programs are extraordinarily... Read More
Send, by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe
One of the basic rules of good manners hammered into me at an early age was: Don't impose! If one were to see a famous person in the street, for instance, it would be quite wrong to impose on that person's time and privacy by introducing oneself. It often seems to me that advances in... Read More
I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Consciousness — what on earth is it? Most of us, if pressed on the matter, would confess a vague dualism. There is, we would say, mind-stuff and matter-stuff. Though non-physical, mind-stuff can push matter-stuff around somehow. Further, mind-stuff comes in discrete units, each unit attached in some more or less inextricable way to the brain... Read More
Calvin Coolidge, by David Greenberg
While Calvin Coolidge will probably never make the top ten in those rankings of our presidents that emerge periodically from academic surveys, his reputation has been considerably rehabilitated over the past 40 years from the depths to which the New Deal historians consigned it. His strengths as chief executive are now appreciated, and the immense... Read More
Talk to the Hand, by Lynne Truss
A stock character in the science-fiction stories of the 1950s was the lone telepath who went through life hearing the endless babble of other people's thoughts. Sometimes the telepath could shut off the din by an act of will. In those stories where he could not, I always found myself wondering: Wouldn't he go crazy... Read More
Moving jobs overseas can cut a company’s costs. But is it bad for the U.S. economy? Two economists debate the issue.
By TIMOTHY AEPPEL Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL May 10, 2004; Page R6   Does offshore outsourcing hurt the U.S. economy by draining away jobs and investment, or does it ultimately make the U.S. stronger? Is it a cost-cutting tactic that should be encouraged, or should it be punished in some way? The... Read More
It's fair to say that when arguably the most liberal Democratic state in the U.S. has abandoned bilingual education, it is indeed an idea whose time has passed. In recent months, the home of Harvard and Michael Dukakis, and the only state that voted for George McGovern in 1972, is rediscovering the value of good... Read More
Letter to the Editor
In his Aug. 8 editorial page commentary, "The Real Value of Options," Harvey Golub, the former CEO of American Express, argued that the issuance of stock options should not be treated as an accounting expense because no outlay of corporate cash is required. Profits per share might fall, but total profits should not. This reasoning... Read More
Just a few years ago, congressional Republicans overwhelmingly supported proposals to expel a million or more Hispanic children from American public schools. Now, perhaps in a misguided attempt to expiate that political sin, the Republican-controlled Senate has voted by an overwhelming two-to-one margin to quadruple the federal budget for Spanish-only bilingual education programs, largely aimed... Read More
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The Golden State isn't too liberal for the GOP. Its leaders simply scared away immigrant voters
Just 10 years ago, California was a GOP bastion, regarded as the cornerstone of the Republican Electoral College "lock." The 1990 elections merely confirmed this impression, with the GOP winning its third gubernatorial race in a row, its fifth of seven. Two years earlier, the 1988 presidential race had marked the sixth straight California victory... Read More
John McCain's victory in Michigan was impressive, but he would have lost badly if not for the crossover votes of Democrats and independents. The crucial March 7 primaries in California and New York are both closed to non- Republicans, so Mr. McCain must now concentrate on winning GOP votes. One issue can win him the... Read More
Everyone agrees that the current campaign-finance system is dreadfully flawed, consisting as it does of a mishmash of contribution limits unadjusted for 25 years of inflation and a gigantic "soft money" loophole that has grown large enough to devour any and all financial restrictions. But the virtual defeat yesterday of the McCain-Feingold bill marks an... Read More
Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush has now announced that he will not impose an abortion litmus test on his Supreme Court nominees. Such views may also be shared by most of Mr. Bush's leading rivals, thus transforming abortion into a word whose pronunciation is silence. The wide consensus of reporters, pollsters, consultants and major... Read More
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With the victory of Washington state's Initiative 200, which ends affirmative action in government hiring, contracting and education, supporters of racial preferences have asked us to imagine an America in which members of some ethnic groups are virtually excluded not only from state university campuses but elite institutions in general. But no imagination is actually... Read More
The Republican Party has within its grasp long-term political control over several states, including California and Texas, the nation's two largest (the Census Bureau reported this week that New York has slipped to third place). If it misses this historic opportunity, the consequences will probably not be victories for the Democrats, but instead the likely... Read More
PastClassics
The Golden State isn't too liberal for the GOP. Its leaders simply scared away immigrant voters