Tag: Culture and Society
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Makes Idaho a No-Go Zone

“California will restrict state-funded travel to Idaho as a result of two discriminatory bills signed into law in Idaho this year despite,” proclaims California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a June 22 statement. This action extends a travel ban already in place since 2016.

Is State-Sponsored Racism Staging a Comeback?

“Is now the time to bring back affirmative action in California?” wonders Ben Christopher of CalMatters, in a piece about Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, which could allow voters to repeal Proposition 209 in November. The 1996 ballot measure, the Sacramento Bee editorial board contends, “banned affirmative action in all state institutions.” In reality, the…
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Are Police Forces the Best Candidates for Defunding?

In the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis cop, calls are ringing out to defund the police. Those who question the wisdom of such a move might want to consider some other candidates for defunding. The U.S. Department of Education would be a good place to start. 

What the George Floyd Protesters Should Demand: Five Top Reforms

Unfortunately, we have seen this before: police beat, shoot, or kill an unarmed person, people gather in the streets to demonstrate peacefully, but eventually rioting and looting follows. Anger erupts, blood is spilled, property destroyed, neighborhoods are ruined, but, in the end, local policing is largely unaffected. Typically, the governmental response involves creating a…
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Is Anyone Fact-Checking Twitter’s Fact-Checkers?

Overshadowed by recent events, Twitter’s fact-check of President Trump’s tweet about mail-in ballots did not get the attention it deserved. The president’s posts were flagged as “potentially misleading,” which could be said about countless tweets on subjects ranging from politics to the COVID-19 crisis. For example, tweets about the federal Centers for Disease Control…
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Will California’s Destructive Restrictions on Freelance Workers Go National?

California Assembly Bill 5, signed last September by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is now slated for reconsideration on the November 3, 2020 ballot. An initiative, qualified for the ballot on May 22, establishes criteria for determining whether rideshare drivers are “employees” or “independent contractors.” Voters might keep a few realities in mind.

Waco Demonstrates the Real Dangers of Militarizing Law Enforcement

On April 19, 1993, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ended a 51-day standoff with a religious cult located outside Waco, Texas, by leading a massive military-style assault on their compound. The complex was left in ashes, killing 76 members of the Branch Davidian religious sect. Among the dead were 25 children, two pregnant…
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Pandemic Reading Tips: Part Deux

“Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world,” wrote Albert Camus in his 1947 novel The Plague, “yet somehow we refuse to believe in ones that come crashing down out of a clear blue sky.” In Oran, in French Algeria, the residents were unprepared, and “how should they have given…
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Pandemic Reading Tips

When a new book comes out, C. S. Lewis reportedly said, be sure to read an old one first. Anybody now cooped up at home might follow that advice and take up a real oldie, such as The Gallic War, by Julius Caesar. The Roman imperialist fought it out with tribes such as the…
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Lessons in Helping the Homeless

“In March 2018 I wrote an article in this newsletter outlining why I thought Sacramento County was in need of a work program for people who are homeless,” writes Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost in her April newsletter. Frost set out to identify 40 homeless people who were both willing to work and stay…
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