This election is nothing if not interesting. One of the biggest surprises for me was the response to Marianne Williamson, the spiritual adviser to Oprah and self-help author. I considered her performance at the debate to be truly cringe-worthy but her polling numbers have risen and a columnist has declared that “Marianne Williamson is just what the Democratic Party needs.” Continue reading “Williamson’s Call For Harnessing Love Picks Up Support As A New Age Anti-Trump”
Below is my column on last week’s major developments on immigration and their implications for the 2020 election.
Here is the column:Continue reading “Democrats and Trump Go “All In” on Immigration”
Below is my column on the move to remove the star of Donald Trump from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The controversy of the Trump star is trivial in comparison to the more important, and growing, question of whether art appreciation should be based to some degree on appreciating the artist.
Here is the column:MORE
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The issue of abortion is at the very least highly contentious. Decades of heated arguments are not likely to end this discussion soon even in light of various statutory and common law mandates laying out a legal framework for which it is permitted or denied. The matter is a perennial source of political maneuvering, and litmus tests that can in some areas make or break the careers of politicians. This article will not discuss the ethical or legal aspects of abortion but rather the perspective and moral position of those who support pro-life, and why they cannot abandon their cause. It is an exercise in empathy that is applicable to other subjects in ethical studies.Continue reading “Ethical Certainties: Why Pro-Life Supporters Cannot Morally Abandon Their Cause (Revisited)”
We have previously discussed the removal university names, mascots, and symbols in recent years in response to student protests, including an effort to replace the GW “Colonial” mascot. I have previously expressed my concerns over the removal of long-held mascots and names in colleges from “the Cowboys” to “Shooter the Fox” to the Aztecs to the “Fighting Sioux” to “Chief Illini” to the “Prospectors” to the “Pioneers.” Now, students have succeeded in convincing the University of California Santa Cruz to remove the traditional California “mission bell” from campus. The bells are part of the the path of the historic El Camino Real, the 700-mile trail that connected the 21 California Spanish missions with hundreds of such bells. Critics insisted the “Deeply painful symbols that celebrate the destruction, domination and erasure of our people.’Continue reading “For Whom The Bell Tolls: UC-Santa Cruz To Remove “Mission Bells” As “A Symbol Of Racism And Dehumanization””
Princeton Professor of African American Studies Eddie Glaude took to MSNBC this week to comment on the announcement of President Donald Trump that his Administration will commence with widespread deportations in the coming week. Rather than address the merits of such a plan or the alternatives, Glaude showed how reasoned discourse has become little more than raw (and in this case unhinged) hyperbole. Glaude declared that the Trump announcement should be viewed as a “terroristic act.” I recently published an article on the trend from academics to advocacy on our campuses. Glaude declared just a week earlier that, with Trump, “we’ve moved beyond autocratic to almost monarchical.” It appears now that he has moved by the monarchical to the terroristic.Continue reading “Princeton Professor Declares Trump’s Deportation Plan “Terrorism””
In a tweet that reportedly took law enforcement by surprise, President Donald Trump disclosed that “next week” a national round up of undocumented persons would be launched. Obviously, ICE prefers not to inform potential arrestees that they are coming. Recently, it was reported that intelligence officials withheld details of their operations against Russia in fear that Trump might disclose the operation or compromise its purpose.More
Below is my column on the record defamation verdict against Oberlin College and its implications for higher education. Obviously, I am quite critical of the actions of the college. What is the most striking aspect of this story is how completely unapologetic the college remains. There is little evidence of objective reevaluation of its actions such as the alleged demand that this bakery give first-time shoplifters from Oberlin a pass. There are three thousand students at Oberlin. There would be little left on the shelves if the word got out of a one-time pass where students could use their free shoplifting trip at Gibson’s.
In the meantime, alumni will be asked to support a college that may have burned tens of millions of dollars in just one incident. How many scholarships could have been granted for $33-$44 million? The annual tuition is $55,000. That is over 750 students who could have received free scholarships. Instead, over a stolen bottle of wine, the college has dug itself into a massive hole . . . and it is still digging.
Here is the column:Continue reading “Oberlin’s $44 Million Judgment Shows The Cost Of The Trend From Academics To Activism In Higher Education”
We have previously discussed the removal university names, mascots, and symbols in recent years in response to student protests, including an effort to replace the GW “Colonial” mascot. I have previously expressed my concerns over the removal of long-held mascots and names in colleges from “the Cowboys” to “Shooter the Fox” to the Aztecs to the “Fighting Sioux” to “Chief Illini” to the “Prospectors.” Now, NPR Oregon reports, the University of Oregon is considering the removal of its iconic statue, “The Pioneer,” as its 100-year anniversary approaches. Students and faculty have denounced The Pioneers as, in the words on one students, “a monument to violence and white supremacy.”Continue reading “Students Demand Removal Of Oregon’s 100-Year-Old Pioneer Statue”
Calling in sick is a fairly common practice for many people. However, most people are not famous actors who are contracted to do a recital in in Pordenone, in the northern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. More importantly, most people are not then all over the news seating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and having the time of their lives. One can certainly understand a contractual case against Ornella Muti, but Italy often tries contracts and torts as criminal matters. Muti was found guilty of criminal fraud and given a suspended prison sentence pending payment of damages.Continue reading “Et Tu Muti? Actress Convicted Of Fraud For Claiming Sickness To Go To Dinner With Putin”
One of the great unknowns in the 2020 election is the surprising shift of many young voters and Democrats toward a socialist agenda. It is still not clear if the majority of the country is ready for such a shift though polls show growing support for socialist policies. Not to be outdone, Candi CdeBaca won a runoff race last week against former Denver city council president Albus Brooks by pledging that she would implement not socialist, but virtually communist policies “by any means necessary.”Continue reading “Denver Elects Candidate Calling For “Community Ownership” Of Land, Labor, and Resources”
Political cartoons are some of the oldest forms of commentary and dissent of humanity. They have had transformative effect on politics and policies, often highlighting important issues through satiric or absurd images. Indeed, a cartoon can often say in a single image what some of us struggle to explain in hundreds of words. Legendary figures from Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Nast advocated such forms of commentary. They are visual narratives that continue to be valued by readers but have been curtailed by small groups of well-organized critics. It is for that reason that the recent announcement by the New York Times is so distressing. After a controversy over a cartoon denounced as anti-Semitic, the paper will cease running political cartoons. It is the perfect embodiment of our humorous, hyper-sensitive environment of the age of rage.more
Two years ago, I wrote a column about a controversy involving Oberlin College and allegations of racism leveled against the family-owned Gibson’s Bakery. The bakery appears unfairly attacked for an incident involving African-American students — an incident that the college proceeded to address without any semblance of objectively or fairness toward the long-standing local bakery. I said that the time that the bakery had ample reason to sue. Well, now an Ohio jury has hit Oberlin College with crushing damages of an $11.2 million. What is most disturbing is the failure of any action taken against the college president and other officials who not only allowed these abuses to occur but then took a remarkably bad case to court at a loss in millions in damages and fees. The cost of poor judgment shown by college officials in this controversy is magnified by bad case law that it creates potentially for free speech. And the jury has not even convened yet to consider punitive damages.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Most individuals at some point in their lives will for themselves or a close family member require the services of a social worker. While we usually think of social workers as state or hospital employees, there are significant benefits in hiring a private social worker to better protect and advocate for the loved one.
This article will introduce the reader to a few of these benefits.Continue reading “The Benefits of Hiring a Private Social Worker”
If you were in New York yesterday, you would have seen more than 40 ice-cream trucks being towed away. It was a crackdown on New York Ice Cream which allegedly has been running a scheme to avoid millions in tickets. The culprit was ice cream mogul Dimitrios Tsirkos, founder of New York Ice Cream. Long Island officials say that Tsirkos has been racking of millions in tickets and then creating new companies to avoid payment.Continue reading “Rocky Road: New York Officials Seize 40 Ice Cream Trucks In Ticket-Avoidance Scheme”