Archives

Hispanics just want what everyone wants

April 03, 2001

“Hispanics just want what everyone wants” USA Today (April 3, 2001), p 13A.
I know a bit more than many people about the great number of Hispanic Americans who are now popping up on radar screens form Texas to Coloarado and from New York to Milwaukee with the release of new Census figures.

Enron Type Scandals Will End When Penalties Fit Crimes

March 26, 2001

“Enron Type Scandals Will End When Penalties Fit Crimes” USA Today (March 26, 2001) p 16A.
On Monday, a Senate committee sent out more subpoenas to former Enron board members seeking to question them about their contacts with the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Toward a good society

March 19, 2001

“Toward a good society” The Christian Science Monitor (March 19, 2001), p 9.
A young dotcommer, a friend of my son's, sold his company for $35 million. He was very unhappy, because a friend of his had sold his start-up for $55 million. (This was a year ago, before much of all the funny money turned into dust.) When I asked him if he was content, having made such a killing, he moaned.

For a Soft Moral Culture

March 13, 2001

Americans aspire to a society that is not merely civil but also good. A good society is one in which people treat one another as ends in themselves and not merely as instruments, a society in which each person is shown full respect and dignity rather than being used and manipulated.

On Ending Nationalism

March 13, 2001

Nationalism must be ended. It is a creed that has come to burden the expansion of globalism (as evident for instance in the demonstrations agains WTO); hobbles the growth of the European Community (as seen in the votes against the Euro in Denmark); stands in the way of resolving violent conflicts (for instance, over the fate of Jerusalem); complicated the resolution of differences within existing nation-states (for example, in Corsica); and turn refugees and immigrants into a threat to the receiving countries.

The politics of accusation

March 05, 2001

“The politics of accusation” National Law Journal (March 5, 2001), p A18.
Increasingly, our elected officials charge one another with criminal conduct and initiate criminal proceedings against one another.

Decriminalizing Politics

March 01, 2001

“Decriminalizing Politics” Society (March/April 2001), pp 43-49.
In several earlier eras and in recent years, American politics has broken out of bonds of civility, causing gridlock in Washington and worse: the criminalization of politics. The resulting climate of personal attacks, followed by vendettas, can be captured by the following anecdote told by Republican Congressman Tom Campbell (Calif.). He was walking down the Hill with several Democrats and Republicans after the GOP removed former Speaker of the House James Wright (D.-Tex.) from office following relatively minor ethics violations in the selling of his book. Campbell expressed some regret about this action and suggested, "We must stop doing this to each other." The Democrats responded: "By all means--immediately after we get your guy!"

New Medical Privacy Rules Need Editing

February 22, 2001

“New Medical Privacy Rules Need Editing” USA Today (February 22, 2001), p 13A.
Pity President Bush. He wants to stay on the message of the week, but the world just won't hold still.
Like it or not, Bush soon must tip his hand on an issue that is of major concern to most Americans, but that is not at the top of his agenda: privacy.
The decision Bush is being pressed to make is whether to allow major new medical privacy regulations to go into effect, or whether to postpone, change or kill them.

The Monochrome Society: Policy Review. No. 105

February 20, 2001

281. "The Monochrome Society." Policy Review. No. 105 (February & March 2001), 53-70.

Various demographers and other social scientists have been predicting for years that the end of the white majority in the United States is near, and that there will be a majority of minorities. CNN broadcast a special program on the forthcoming majority of people of color in America.(1) President Clinton called attention to this shift in an address at the U.C. San Diego campus on a renewed national dialogue about race relations.(2)

America Needs Secular Redemption

February 19, 2001

Imagine that you are offered your dream job. To get it, though, you have to tell all--any time you did not pay the IRS all you owed; any time you told a dirty joke to your secretary or--hired an illegal immigrant. You know that if you mention any of this, you may as well kiss the job goodbye. You are likely to be tempted (at least I fear I would be) to try to get away with it, by lying to those responsible for checking you out. Now you have multiplied the original "sin" a hundred times. There must be a better way.

Are white students hurt by others who look ‘just like them’?

February 06, 2001

Today, a federal court will begin hearing a case that may ultimately determine whether qualified white students can be denied college admission so other whites will enjoy a "diverse educational environment."

Breaking Loose

January 22, 2001

“Breaking Loose” Legal Times (January 22, 2001), pp 82-83.
If both major parties are willing to curb the tendency to charge each other's leaders with criminal conduct, and to correct for the damages past mutual accusations have caused, what specific legal and constitutional measure might be suggested?

Investing in People

January 10, 2001

Promoted as "an agenda-setting book for the next administration," Amitai Etzioni's Next: The Road to the Good Society will arrive in bookstores this month, offering an outline for connection the nation's social, cultural, and spiritual values to the task of public-policy formulation. In the excerpt below, Mr. Etzioni, director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University in Washington, advances the provocative notion that reforming education in this country may mean reversing the system's long-standing bias toward higher education.

Communitarianism, Encyclopedia of Sociology

January 01, 2001

“Communitarianism.” Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Ed. (2000), Vol 1, 355-362.

The Next Grand Dialogue: A New Counterculture, Religious Revival?

January 01, 2001

The great success of the economy in the 1990s made Americans pay more attention to the fact that there are numerous moral and social questions of concern to the good society that capitalism has never aspired to answer and that the state should not promote. These include moral questions such as what we owe our children, our parents, our friends, and our neighbors, as well as people from other communities, including those in far away places. Most important, we must address the question: what is the ultimate purpose of our personal and collective endeavors? Is ever greater material affluence our ultimate goal and source of meaning? When is enough enough? What are we considering the good life? And specifically, can the good society be built on ever increasing levels of affluence? Or, should we strive to center it around other values, those of mutuality and spirituality?