The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Lifting Our State Above Mississippi and Alabama
California is home to both Silicon Valley and Hollywood, two of the world's greatest wealth-producing engines, and much of the state enjoys tremendous affluence. By some estimates, my own town of Palo Alto has the world's highest per capita concentration of billionaires. But California also has pockets of enormous poverty. The U.S. Census recently estimated... Read More
PALO ALTO---Regulators looking at how stock options are accounted for have seen cause for concern. I see opportunity. It's true that when actual expenses don't appear on an operating statement it can make for some rude surprises--as at Enron and elsewhere. But faced with the worrisome risk of our economy falling into a double-dip recession,... Read More
For the first time in living memory, California's entire diverse galaxy of campaign finance reform groups has united behind a single ballot measure campaign. Surprisingly, this reform grand alliance is actually aimed at defeating a campaign finance reform proposal--namely, Proposition 34, a measure placed on the November ballot by Gov. Gray Davis and the Democrats.... Read More
Letter to the Editor
Agustin Gurza accuses me ("
Trade: Information Industries Cannot Match the Export Strength of the Manufacturing Ones That Fueled America's Rise
For anyone who imagines that the new information-based economy is a panacea for America's economic ills, the U.S. trade figures released Sept. 21 are a startling wake-up call. Not only do they show that the United States' chronic trade problems have not gone away, but they raise fundamental questions about the wisdom of America's New... Read More
The flow of money to candidates and causes calls the idea of the people's best interests into question
There are many areas of the world where ordinary citizens suspect that their elections are for sale. But California is one of the few places where these purchases are publicly disclosed. Consider last November's Proposition 9, an initiative sponsored by consumer activists that would have slashed utility rates in the state. The utility companies spent... Read More
Giving school boards total authority over methods means potential for reversal at every local election
If a pending state Senate bill purporting to reform bilingual education becomes law, it could ignite ethnic tensions in California for years to come. The fundamental principle behind the bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) and Assemblyman Brooks Firestone (R-Los Olivos), is local control--namely, placing most decisions on language acquisition policy in the hands... Read More
A system that ensures failure is kept alive by the flow of federal dollars. A 1998 initiative would bring change
As each new microchip and fiber-optic cable shrinks the circumference of our world, more and more Americans recognize the practical importance of bilingualism. Even today, entrepreneurs or employees fluent in Chinese, Japanese or Spanish have a distinct edge over their English-only peers. But if other languages such as Chinese or Spanish are of growing world... Read More
Timothy McVeigh, alleged perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing, is said to have believed that, while he was in the Army, the government implanted a microchip tracking device in his buttocks. Most of us would dismiss this as the ravings of an obvious madman. But to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, McVeigh is just a bit ahead... Read More
The revelation that Gov. Pete Wilson, leading scourge of the undocumented, had himself employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper will certainly deepen our political cynicism. Wilson joins the sorry band of hypocrites Dianne Feinstein and Michael Huffington, both of whom made the crusade against illegal immigration the centerpiece of their senatorial campaigns and were then revealed... Read More
California, the leader in national trends, is approaching another crossroads: We can confront the challenges of our ethnic diversity either through the means symbolized by last November's Proposition 187 or by those of the proposed civil rights ballot initiative. Although it began as a measure eliminating government benefits for illegal immigrants, by the end of... Read More
Housing: With High-Rise Building Limited to Restrict Consumption, Residents Were Crammed in Unsafe Dwellings
The confirmed death toll from the Kobe earthquake, now close to 5,100, is more than 80 times that of the Los Angeles earthquake a year ago. Why did Kobe suffer so badly? Some of the reasons have already been publicized. Kobe took a stronger jolt than Los Angeles. And the Kobe authorities seem to have... Read More
In 1942, during a period of sharp wartime hysteria, Californians blackened our state's good name by overwhelmingly endorsing the imprisonment of all Japanese Americans, most of them native-born U.S. citizens and nearly all deeply loyal to America. Only one member of Congress, Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio, the leading conservative Republican of his day, opposed... Read More
Her ill-conceived plan to boost business is grounded in politics and geared to 'correctness'
Sometimes a single phrase can summarize an entire political philosophy. Early in her campaign for governor, Kathleen Brown announced her support for re-imposing California's asset-forfeiture laws, which involve confiscating the property of individuals who have not been convicted of any crime. Her position paper defended such laws as a "badly needed source of revenue .... Read More