Sugar, we're going down swinging.
In just eight years, Pinellas County School Board members turned five schools in the county’s black neighborhoods into some of the worst in Florida. First they abandoned integration, leaving the schools overwhelmingly poor and black. Then they broke promises of more money and resources. Every year, they turn out a staggering number of children who […]
It was on this day in 1935 that Congress approved funding for President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, known as the WPA, a program designed to put unemployed Americans back to work. The WPA was run by Roosevelt’s right-hand man, Harry Hopkins, a former social worker and public health administrator. Hopkins was a firm believer […]
Today is the 125th anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. I read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee as an assignment in high school and then I read it again on my own a few years after college. It’s heart-wrenching and awful, and certainly one of the most important pieces of […]
What bothers me the most about the recent cyber-hack of the Anthem BlueCross system is not that a company that large and that profitable — one tasked with the care of the most personal data of millions of Americans — did not have adequate security in place to prevent such a thing from happening. That’s […]
An exploration of life aboard the International Space Station, and the surprising reasons the mission is still worthwhile
Stanford research shows right-to-carry gun laws are linked to an increase in violent crime.
Obamacare is really, really difficult to understand. So here is a really, really good explanation to help. If you are a person who is alive, you should read it. (And, no, it’s actually not biased! It’s just a straightforward explanation!)
What has happened to us in this country? If we study our own history we find that we have always been ready to receive the unfortunates from other countries, and though this may seem a generous gesture on our part, we have profited a thousandfold by what they have brought us.
Eleanor Roosevelt – 1939
Originally posted September 18, 2001 It’s been one week. So this is the first anniversary of sorts. And next week it will be two weeks. And then it will be a month since. And then it will be six months. And then a year. And then five years. And then ten years. When all the […]
I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.
John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights Announcement, June 11, 1963
Imagine yourself in a bar where a pickpocket takes money out of your wallet and with it buys you a glass of chardonnay. Although you would have preferred a pinot noir, you decide not to look that gift horse in the mouth and thank the stranger profusely for the kindness, assuming he paid for it. You might feel differently, of course, if you knew that you actually had paid for it yourself.
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
The regional government in Calabria, Italy, has approved a bill that would reduce prison sentences in exchange for reading books: For certain inmates, sentences would be cut three days per book. The bill will now go to the Italian Parliament. The bill was inspired by “Redemption Through Reading,” a similar program that’s been successful in […]
Urge the FDA to Say YES to Accelerated Approval for safe, effective therapies for children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — the leading genetic killer of children, which impacts one out of every 3,500 boys born in the United States.
A few weeks ago I did a little web searching on a mission to see if it would be possible to acquire duplicates of any or all of my grandfather’s service medals. He fought as a member of Merrill’s Marauders in the Pacific Theater in WWII and I know he had been awarded (at least) […]