My first newspaper job, on the Bee, was, in retrospect, a dream job for a young writer just starting out. The paper was scrupulously honest. You were held strictly accountable for every quote, every fact. There was an odd, old-fashioned, conservative strain to the paper, too. The saying around the city room was that the style guide was written by someone who had been dead for 50 years, old C.K. McClatchy, the founder and owner. There were some weird rules it was necessary to remember. You weren’t allowed to use contractions. The old man just hadn’t liked them. Make that had not liked them. This was a stunner, the idea of filling your story with “had not,” and “can not,” and “did not,” but that was the rule. Also, you could never write that it was hot in Sacramento, and that included all derivatives. It was “warm,” even though people were dropping from the heat, which could get up to 110 degrees. I remember covering a junior tennis match involving 10-year-old Rosie Casals on one of those blistering days, and I tried to make it a mood piece, the two little girls running around in that withering heat, etc. That’s before I knew about the rule. In the paper, it came out, “withering warmth.”
When you were on the road, you always had to dateline your story with the name of the county attached, after a comma. The standing joke was that a gunman jumps into a cab in downtown Sacramento, sticks his gun in the driver’s ribs and says, ‘Roseville, comma, Placer County.”
The Bee’s city desk fascinated me because of the collection of characters who manned the slots. My favorite was a real old-timer named Wayne “Slick” Selleck, who actually wore one of those green eyeshades that were known as the trademark of ancient newspaper men. Slick had some great stories about the old days, but the best thing he had was a scrapbook he had compiled of the bizarre and outlandish, much of which was of a smutty nature. My favorite item, out of a spectacular collection, involved a large photo that led the features page of the Bee, mid-1920s. It showed a movie actress who was passing through Sacramento by train. She was posing at the station, posing very prettily, with a stylish dress and hat and veil, in front of a background that was a bleak desert, which I guess was much of the area in those days. And in that barren background, two dogs were humping. I laughed every time I looked at that thing.
I was single and caught up in the excitement of actually doing newspaper work. I was making $85 a week, and it seemed that I always had money in my pocket. My little duplex in North Sac cost $61 a month, later lowered to $60 by my Polish landlady because I was quiet and paid on time. My big meal of the week was the $2.99 All You Can Eat Roast Beef and Shrimp Newburg special at Sam’s Rancho Villa in Carmichael. It would hold me for 24 hours.
I covered tennis and got to love the sport. I did a serious mood piece on Rosie Casals, aged 10, outlasting Leslie Abrahams, 13, in a three-hour marathon in the Central Cal juniors, the blistering heat, uh, warmth, sand flying, getting in their hair, their eyes, the two kids racing around the court, tears streaming. The best match I ever saw. I remember interviewing little Rosie afterward, a tough Mexican-American kid, going around to the tournaments with her white-haired father, the two of them shunned by the fancy clubs, which wouldn’t put them up overnight, having to sleep in their old jalopy of a car. “It was the gear shift that killed me,” she said.
Full marks to the MMQB, for making this Dr. Z Week. Those of us that grew up with and grew old reading Paul Zimmerman, the unparalleled football writer at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, knew what was lost when a series of strokes in late 2008 left the man silenced. Younger readers might appreciate the introduction. Direct, opinionated, a man of great passions. My kind of man.
This long form piece is one I think I must have missed in the magazine, covering one of my Raider heroes, Howie Long. It’s an incredible portrait, and one I’ve urged my son to read. I think a lot of our children have no idea how much of life is down to chance, in terms of the circumstance one is given, but how much more is down to effort – what one makes of the circumstance. I love this story. Well done, Z.
He sits in his grandmother’s kitchen in Charlestown, his great frame crowding the room, his face alight and open as he tells these stories. It’s the face of innocence, an Irish minstrel boy’s face transported to the body of a massive grown man. This magnificent body, combined with those clean, chiseled good looks, already has the Hollywood talent scouts buzzing. Now where is there a part for a 275-pound choirboy? He is 25 years old with two years of All-Pro behind him, a wife who has completed two years of law school and a healthy baby son named Christopher Howard Long. It’s all there ahead of him, a life of infinite promise, and yet almost every story he tells about himself, every anecdote, has an undercurrent of despair. It’s not me, he seems to be telling you, this isn’t really me that you see here in front of you.
“Are you scared of Brexit?” asked The Telegraph a few days before the vote. “If not, Remainers want you to be, as they’ve been spending the last few months making all sorts of predictions about the doom and gloom that a vote to Leave will cause.” Remain’s scare campaign so overtly attempted to frighten voters that its efforts gained the nickname “Project Fear.”
In fact, both sides can be accused of appealing to base emotions leading up to the vote on June 23. But both sides also offered perfectly rational, balanced arguments. Specifically, it was perfectly possible for voters in the U.K. to vote to leave the E.U. not because they wanted to slam the door on the world, but because they wanted to engage with it while managing their own affairs, without being pushed around by unelected, meddlesome bureaucrats who actually put hurdles in the way of international commerce.
In 2013, the European Union stirred a hornet’s nest with a proposal to require restaurants to serve olive oil only in commercially purchased bottles, not in refillable cruets or bowls. The ban, almost certainly intended to benefit large producers at the expense of local producers unable to package oil in single-use containers, was promptly pulled amidst a righteous outcry.
“What I find really interesting about this story is not the general derision with which the first proposal was greeted: rather, the nakedness of the ambition behind it,” wrote Tim Worstall, a fellow at London’s Adam Smith Institute. “Big business using ‘consumer protection’ legislation to kill off the small producer. Sadly, that’s an all too common part of the way that the E.U. is governed. Regulation which privileges large companies over the small ones that cannot afford to obey the legislation.”
Cronyism all the way down. It was ever thus.
The Post, trying as hard as they can, to avoid connecting the dots…
But many of the welfare programs started by Chavez have dried up, and the nearest store has little more than two-liter bottles of Pepsi and packs of Pall Mall cigarettes. Under Chavez, the government established a network of government-run supermarkets that sold basic foods at subsidized prices. But inflation has put even these bargains out of reach for many people. A single kilogram of yucca — about two pounds — now costs about one-third of the weekly minimum wage.
Sira’s neighbors hunt for deer and armadillos for subsistence and barter their meager catch. She lives off what she can grow — yams, tomatoes, corn — or what she can forage. Once a cacao-producing region, the area has been devastated by drought.
“I’m a Chavista and damn it, this situation is hard,” she said. “That is why the revolution is being killed. Because we are hungry.”
You might want to check again for the reasons behind your hunger…
If Brexit’s critics are right, the European Union should be glad to be rid of the United Kingdom.In the wake of the U.K.’s decision to withdraw from the EU, the anti-Brexit crowd has leaped to explain the vote in stark terms. “The force that has been driving [‘Leave’ voters] is xenophobia,” wrote Vox’s Zack Beauchamp, and at Esquire Charles Pierce explained: “Some of the Oldest and Whitest people on the planet leapt at a chance to vote against the monsters in their heads.” The Guardian’s Joseph Harker mused: “It feels like a ‘First they came for the Poles’ moment.” And blogger Anil Dash managed to squeeze all of these dismissive opinions into a single tweet: “We must learn from brexit: Elderly xenophobes will lie to pollsters to hide their racist views, then vote for destructive policies anyway.”
There was, to be sure, no absence of toxic rhetoric over the course of the U.K.’s referendum campaign. Especially in the weeks before Election Day, the cynicism of both sides was on full display. Still, the impulse to accuse 17 million people of racism seems an unhealthy one.
Alas, it’s not just the Brits. Less than 24 hours before polls closed in the U.K., President Obama responded to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the injunction against his 2014 executive amnesty by dismissing his critics as those who want “to wall [them]selves off from those who may not look like us right now, or pray like we do, or have a different last name.” He warned that America’s immigration policy does not “reflect its goodness,” and chided “spasms of politics around immigration and fear-mongering.”
The anti-Brexit crowd and the president do their critics an injustice. What is noteworthy is that they do it in the same way.
In the wake of Orlando, I noted: “The invocation of ‘hate’ has become a way of dismissing opponents by suggesting that their beliefs are beyond the reach of reason. You can’t debate someone who hates, because hatred precludes thought; it’s in the bones. If Republicans are motivated by ‘hate,’ then they are not legitimate political actors, because political life cannot be predicated on irrationality. Reason is our common ground.”
That same impulse is on display here, where “hate” has simply been replaced with some other emotion: “fear,” “xenophobia,” &c. The key is that the animating force is not thought; it’s raw, unconsidered passion.
Liberal cosmopolitanism, regnant since the end of the Cold War, has bought completely into its own rightness.
That is not true when it comes to Brexit, and it’s not true when it comes to immigration in the U.S. But the powers-that-be have lost sight of that. Both sides of the Atlantic are dominated by liberal cosmopolitans who are no longer able to acknowledge the validity of any other worldview than their own. The anti-Brexit crowd cannot acknowledge that those who voted to leave may have done so out of legitimate concerns about sovereignty or economic opportunity or security — that is, that they may have drawn rational conclusions and voted accordingly. And President Obama seems incapable of recognizing that there are reasonable, non-bigoted grounds on which to oppose his executive actions — for example, to preserve the principle of separation of powers that is a pillar of the American constitutional order.
At the same time, ISIS emerged — reminding a world that had already largely forgotten 9/11 what jihad looked like. To men who believed in divine favor for holy war, the new international order meant opportunity. European countries compete for the title of “moral superpower,” while ISIS merely calls them “targets.” It confronted a civilized world that had vowed “never again” with a new genocide, and that civilized world — possessing immense military power — largely chose ”compassion” over confrontation, opening its borders to floods of refugees whose ranks contain those who despise European culture, subvert European values, and rape and kill European citizens.
Is it any wonder that citizens of one of the greatest and strongest nations in human history would recoil from an international order that was proving mainly that it could enrich an elite without seeming to lift a finger to preserve the nation’s core values and traditions — the very things that had made it great and strong? Is it any wonder that citizens of other great countries are —wondering what loyalty they owe to that same elite?
In 1958, approximately two million filers (4.4% of all taxpayers) earned the $12,000 or more for married couples needed to face marginal rates as high as 30%. These Americans paid about 35% of all income taxes. And now? In 2010, 3.9 million taxpayers (2.75% of all taxpayers) were subjected to rates that were 33% or higher. These Americans—many of whom would hardly call themselves wealthy—reported an adjusted gross income of $209,000 or higher, and they paid 49.7% of all income taxes.
In contrast, the share of taxes paid by the bottom two-thirds of taxpayers has fallen dramatically over the same period. In 1958, these Americans accounted for 41.3% of adjusted gross income and paid 29% of all federal taxes. By 2010, their share of adjusted gross income had fallen to 22.5%. But their share of taxes paid fell far more dramatically—to 6.7%. The 77% decline represents the single biggest difference in the way the tax burden is shared in this country since the late 1950s.
The changes came about not so much by movements in rates but by the addition of tax credits for the poor and the elimination of exemptions for the wealthy. In 1958, even the lowest-tier filers, which included everyone making up to $5,000 annually, were subjected to an effective 20% rate. Today, almost half of all tax filers have no income-tax liability whatsoever, and many “taxpayers” actually get a net refund from the government. Those nostalgic for 1950s-era “tax fairness” should bear this in mind.
No one who found the Charlie Hebdo op-ed so offensive would ever suggest Morocco ought to welcome McDonalds or Wal-Mart with open arms. They would say the country is being ruined with Western culture. They want non-Western countries to remain exactly as they are—preserved and frozen in time-while the West must endlessly adapt to anyone who makes it their home.
The article highlights the important fact that Europe has failed to ask its Muslim immigrant population to assimilate. This fact was demonstrated recently when police discovered that the only surviving terrorist from the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was able to travel from Paris to Brussels and conceal himself there until a few days before the Brussels attacks. He was aided by a large community of French and Muslim Belgians whose loyalties clearly lie with their own community, not with Belgium, or Europe at large. What’s more, a 2013 study shows the shocking degree to which European Muslims hate the West.
Asking immigrants to assimilate doesn’t mean white-washing their culture and religion, asking them not to wear the hijab, or demanding that they eat pork. But it does mean asking them to accept, to some degree, the culture of the country to which they have willingly moved. These are things like women’s rights, tolerance, free speech, or criticism of religion. It also means not having to apologize for having a culture of one’s own. This is the point that Michel Houellebecq made in his recent novel, “Submission.”
Until we are prepared to resolutely defend our values and culture we will see these things slowly eaten away from within.
“The great middle of this country is libertarian. Most people are fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” he said, adding later, “Our military interventions are having the unintended consequences of making things worse, not better.” Johnson rushed to reject the notion that libertarians are isolationists, saying, “When we are attacked, we’ll attack back. I reject the notion that libertarians are isolationists.” But in a move that draws a distinction between Hillary Clinton, who seems uninterested in the question, and Donald Trump, who seems to have never read the Constitution, Johnson also insisted: “Let’s involve Congress in declarations of war.”
There was this notable exchange:
Todd: What is the role of government in your view?
Johnson: Less government. Smaller government. Government tries to do too many things.
When asked to define what is government should do, Johnson replied, “Protect us against individuals, corporations, brutes, foreign governments.” He added, “I think we should provide a safety net, I just think we’ve gone way over the line in defining need. If we don’t reform Medicaid and Medicare, we’re going to find ourselves unable to provide that.”
Outraged Border Patrol agents and supervisors on the front lines say illegal immigrants are being released in droves because there’s no room to keep them in detention. “They’re telling us to put them on a bus and let them go,” said one law enforcement official in Arizona. “Just move those bodies across the country.” Officially, DHS denies this is occurring and in fact earlier this year U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske blasted Border Patrol union officials for denouncing this dangerous catch-and-release policy. Kerlikowske’s scolding came in response to the congressional testimony of Bandon Judd, chief of the National Border Patrol Council, the labor union that represents line agents. Judd told lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee that illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions can be released immediately and disappear into the shadows. Kerlikowske shot back, telling a separate congressional committee: “I would not stand by if the Border Patrol was — releasing people without going through all of the formalities.”