Category: Society

Baltimore Public School Data Shows 41% of Students Have a 1.0 GPA or Less

We have previously discussed the continued failing of the public schools in preparing African American students for college or the workforce. I have specifically discussed the horrific figures coming out of Baltimore despite being one of the top districts in terms of per capita spending. Recent data now offers another chilling statistic: 41 percent of students in the Baltimore system have a 1.0 (D) GPA or less. Continue reading “Baltimore Public School Data Shows 41% of Students Have a 1.0 GPA or Less”

Nikole Hannah-Jones Turns Down Tenure at UNC and Accepts Chair At Howard University

We have been discussing the controversy over the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media offering a chair and tenure to New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones. After the university rescinded the tenure offer, Hannah-Jones agreed to accept the position on a non-tenured basis.  She then later demanded tenure and the board changed its position after a national campaign. Now, Hannah-Jones has denounced the university and accepted a position at Howard University. Continue reading “Nikole Hannah-Jones Turns Down Tenure at UNC and Accepts Chair At Howard University”

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth is one of my favorite holidays as an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our common article of faith in the independence of a nation committed to freedom and individual rights.  While the New York Times ran a piece this weekend on the divisiveness of the American flag and the Washington Post ran a story on how the Statue of Liberty is now a sign of hypocrisy, there are many who still view this country as the greatest hope for freedom in the world.  Those are the symbols of the people we strive to be — and the millions who came before us. The American Republic was always meant to be a work in progress.  I have criticized our erosion of freedoms and individual rights (particularly free speech) but those are our transgressions — our failure to live up to what this country stands for or the symbols of our long struggle. For example, the assault on free speech across this country is being carried out despite our founding principles, not because of them.

On this day, it is important to remember and to celebrate what was have accomplished in the protection of liberty. We have the ability to change our society but our constitutional system remains the greatest vehicle of justice and equality in the world.  This holiday unfortunately shows how our differences threaten to overwhelm our common article of faith in this representative democracy. However, there is more than unites us than divides us and this holiday is a reminder of that transcendent fact. Many of us will join today to celebrate these United States and its history and values.  My family will celebrate with a cookout and, of course, lots and lots of fireworks. Continue reading “HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!”

Politics By Other Means: Why Giuliani’s Suspension Should Worry All Lawyers

Below is my column in The Hill on the suspension of Rudy Giuliani by the New York Bar. The widespread hatred for Giuliani may be blinding many to the more troubling aspects of the opinion by the New York Supreme Court.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Politics By Other Means: Why Giuliani’s Suspension Should Worry All Lawyers”

Out of Sight, Out of Mind? United Kingdom Moves to Ban Junk Food Advertising

We have previously discussed the tendency of the United Kingdom toward “nanny state” legislation.  Now, starting in 2023, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is moving to ban junk food advertising online and before 9pm on TV — a move that will not only limit speech rights but undermine broadcasters who rely on such revenue. It is a move reminiscent of the Big Gulp laws of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York as the government moves to protect consumers from themselves. As will come as little surprise to many of this blog, I oppose such moves both as a limitation on speech rights and the freedom of choice. Continue reading “Out of Sight, Out of Mind? United Kingdom Moves to Ban Junk Food Advertising”

Student Athletes or Independent Contractors? The Supreme Court Moves the Goalposts on College Sports

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent ruling on college athletes by the Supreme Court.  The decision could prove to be the critical “crossing the Rubicon” moment for college sports and force schools to address long unsettled questions regarding big sports programs.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Student Athletes or Independent Contractors? The Supreme Court Moves the Goalposts on College Sports”

“Educate Yourself”: Seattle Human Rights Commission Dismisses Complaint Over Requiring Whites To Pay “Reparations Fees” For Pride Event

There is a controversy in Seattle over plans for a pride event to charge people more based on their race. The Seattle Human Rights Commission is under fire this week after sending a letter dismissing a complaint over the announcement that the Taking B(l)ack Pride on June 26th would charge White entrants a “reparations” fee. The Commission told Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson of Capitol Hill Pride that they needed to “educate” themselves and consider the harm that they would cause by being participants in the event.  Update: While the response of the Commission caused outrage from many, Lipson and LeFevre quickly apologized for even raising the issue.

Continue reading ““Educate Yourself”: Seattle Human Rights Commission Dismisses Complaint Over Requiring Whites To Pay “Reparations Fees” For Pride Event”

“Just Blind Chance”: The Rising Call For “Random Selection” For College Admissions

Random selection is not generally an approach that most people opt for in the selection of doctors or even restaurants or a movie. However, it appears to be the new model for some in higher education. Former Barnard College mathematics professor Cathy O’Neil has written a column calling for “random selection” of all college graduates to guarantee racial diversity. It is ever so simple: “Never mind optional standardized tests. If you show interest, your name goes in a big hat.” She is not the only one arguing for blind or random admissions. Continue reading ““Just Blind Chance”: The Rising Call For “Random Selection” For College Admissions”

Fairfax Board Member Rails Against The Dangers Of “Excessive Individualism” In High School Graduation Speech

There has been a great deal of controversy over the graduation address of Fairfax County school board member Abrar Omeish to the Justice High School in Falls Church on June 7th. In her remarks to the graduates, Omeish praised a teacher who made social activism part of her class and warned the graduates that they are going into a world filled with racism and white supremacy. However, what really struck an admittedly libertarian chord with me was the third danger that she warned about: “excessive individualism.”  Like free speech, individualism is now being presented as a danger rather than a strength in our society.

Continue reading “Fairfax Board Member Rails Against The Dangers Of “Excessive Individualism” In High School Graduation Speech”

No, The Second Amendment Was Not Primarily About Suppressing African Americans

The media has given highly favorable coverage to a new book by Dr. Carol Anderson, chair of Emory University’s Black Studies Department, that argues that “[the Second Amendment] was designed and has consistently been constructed to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable.”  In interviews with media outlets like CNN and NPR Anderson’s theory is not challenged on the history and purpose of the Second Amendment. Like the contested claims of the “1619” project (which posited that slavery was the motivation for the establishment of the colonies), there might be a reluctance by academics to raise the countervailing historical sources out of fear of being labeled insensitive, defensive, or even racist.  However, this is not a new theory and, while there were concerns at the time about slavery and uprisings, the roots of the Second Amendment can be traced largely to England and the fears of government oppression. The point is not to dismiss this consideration for some pro-slavery figures at the time but to put those statements in a more historically grounded and accurate context. Continue reading “No, The Second Amendment Was Not Primarily About Suppressing African Americans”

Unpacked and Undivided: Is The Court Sending A Message With A Litany Of 9-0 Decisions?

Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court issued two more unanimous decisions in Garland v. Dai and United States v. Cooley.  This follow two unanimous decisions last week.  The weekly display of unanimity is notable given the calls by Democratic leaders to pack the Court. Yesterday, I wrote about how the heavy-handed campaigns might backfire with the justices. As we await important and likely divided decisions on issues like abortion, Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues seem to be sending a message that the Court is not so rigidly ideological as Democratic members and activists suggest. Continue reading “Unpacked and Undivided: Is The Court Sending A Message With A Litany Of 9-0 Decisions?”

Will Eliminating Standard Tests Really Reduce Racial Disparities In Education?

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the announcement that the University of California will now join the “test-blind” movement and end the use of the SAT and ACT in its admissions decisions. Some have called for the change to increase diversity in the schools, particularly after California voters refused to change the long ban on affirmative action in education under state law.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Will Eliminating Standard Tests Really Reduce Racial Disparities In Education?”

Hunter Biden Is Back In The News. . . So The Media Goes Again For The Scoop

It seems like whenever Hunter Biden is in the news, the Biden staff screams, the media screams, “we all scream for ice cream.” On October 19, 2020, the Biden campaign and its protective cocoon of media faced the discovery of Hunter’s presumed laptop with details of his (and his uncle’s) influence peddling while Joe Biden was Vice President. The solution? Joe Biden went for ice cream and the media peppered him with questions about his confectionary choice (Spoiler: he ordered a two-scoop chocolate and vanilla combo) Then they went away.

Now, Hunter is back in the news as new emails surfaced that directly contradict what Joe Biden has said to those every same reporters. Biden and the media seemed to make a beeline for the nearest ice cream shop. It turns out that now Biden now prefers . . . (wait for it). . . chocolate chip. Continue reading “Hunter Biden Is Back In The News. . . So The Media Goes Again For The Scoop”

Dr. Fauci Emerges As An Unlikely Witness For Trump In The “China Flu” Case

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the statement of Dr. Anthony Fauci and others that the origin of Covid-19 could well have been the virology lab in Wuhan, China. The increasing recognition of that theory could make a recent lawsuit against former President Donald Trump more of an opportunity than a liability. Indeed, Trump’s counsel may secretly want the flawed complaint by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition to survive standing and other threshold challenges in order to secure a ruling on the use of terms like the “China flu.”

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Dr. Fauci Emerges As An Unlikely Witness For Trump In The “China Flu” Case”

“Neo-Nazi Murderer Lover”: Columbia Professor Under Fire After Attacking A Baruch Student On Social Media For Defending Trump

Columbia Professor Jeffrey Lax is under fire on conservative sites like the The College Fix for attacking Baruch College student Gabriel Montalvo for defending former President Donald Trump on Facebook. Lax appears entirely unhinged in the exchange and lashes out at Montalvo who at the time was a student at Queensborough Community College. To his credit, Montalvo did not call for Lax’s termination — as is often the case in college protests for those holding opposing views. However, he did call for Columbia to investigate Lax. I believe that such an investigation would also be an abuse despite viewing Lax’s postings as juvenile, hysterical, and unworthy of a professor. As will come as no surprise to many, I viewed the postings as exercises of free speech that should be protected by all academic institutions. Continue reading ““Neo-Nazi Murderer Lover”: Columbia Professor Under Fire After Attacking A Baruch Student On Social Media For Defending Trump”