Another Perspective

Another Perspective

A Very Dangerous Game

By 11.20.13

New York City police authorities are investigating a series of unprovoked physical attacks in public places on people who are Jewish, in the form of what is called "the knockout game."

The way the game is played, one of a number of young blacks decides to show that he can knock down some stranger on the streets, preferably with one punch, as they pass by. Often some other member of the group records the event, so that a video of that "achievement" is put on the Internet, to be celebrated.

The New York authorities describe a recent series of such attacks and, because Jews have been singled out in these attacks, are considering prosecuting these assaults as "hate crimes."

Many aspects of these crimes are extremely painful to think about, including the fact that responsible authorities in New York seem to have been caught by surprise, even though this "knockout game" has been played for years by young black gangs in other cities and other states, against people besides Jews -- the victims being either whites in general or people of Asian ancestry.

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The War Against Achievement

By 11.19.13

A friend recently sent me a link to an inspiring video about an upbeat young black man who was born without arms. It showed him going to work — unlike the record number of people living on government payments for “disabilities” that are far less serious, if not fictitious.

How is this young man getting to work? He gets into his car and drives there — using controls set up so that he can operate the car with his feet.

What kind of work does he do, and how does he do it? He is involved in the design of racing cars. He sits at his computer, looking at the screen, with the keyboard on the floor, where he uses his toes as others use their fingers.

His story recalls the story of Helen Keller, who went to an elite college and on to a career, despite being born both deaf and blind. Her story was celebrated in books, in television documentaries, and in an inspiring movie, The Miracle Worker.

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Putting Plagiarism in the Past

By 11.18.13

Accusations of plagiarism have mushroomed from a minor scrape with the media to a wave of bad press for Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. The senator’s reaction to the allegations has been criticized as bombastic, adversarial, and tantrum-like at times. What can Paul do to salvage this situation and continue with his career?

Rachel Maddow enjoyed exposing Paul’s plagiarism. She put on her best Jon Stewart imitation, mirthfully sharing details about how Paul’s speech at a Ken Cuccinelli fundraiser nearly mirrored the Wikipedia plot description of “Gattaca." Grinning all the while and on the verge of frothing at the mouth, Maddow waxed about how this might impair Paul’s future political ambitions.

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Playing the Race Card—Again

By 11.18.13

Another stupid media controversy, this one touched off by a characteristically stupid column by the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, not known for the density of his gray matter, gave the capital press establishment their equivalent of “professional development” days in public schools, wherein the kids get the day off and the adults (if it is the word) eat donuts while talking about their “issues.” The Post man, sort of the epitome of what used to be called bleeding-heart liberals, suggested “conventional” Americans “gag” when they see an inter-racial couple. He was supposed to be writing about the new mayor of New York and his wife. In fact, he was writing about himself and his ilk.

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The Real ‘War on Women’

By 11.15.13

There is a war on women. It’s the one that Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn chronicle in great detail in 2009’s heartbreaking “Half the Sky.” The one where a Kurdish girl who is suspected of sleeping with a man before she is married is stoned to death in Iraq. The one where baby daughters are murdered for being girls in Pakistan. The one where girls are kidnapped and raped with impunity in Ethiopia. The one where young girls are sold into sexual slavery in India. The book has many more horror stories of women being brutalized throughout the world.

When Terry McAuliffe, the governor-elect of Virginia,  relentlessly battered his Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli for waging a “war on women,”  these innocent babies, teenagers and wives often attacked by their families and given no protection under the law throughout many countries in the world were not on his mind, however.

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Bones of St. Peter

By 11.14.13

For the conclusion of the Year of Faith, Pope Francis has done something unprecedented—he has decided to place the relics of St. Peter on exposition for public veneration. For the first time in the history of the Catholic Church, the faithful will have the opportunity to pray before the remains of the first pope.

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When J.D. Salinger Met Julia Child

By 11.13.13

The little known (but long rumored) affair between J.D. Salinger and Julia Child is alleged to have taken place in March of 1952, just after The Catcher in the Rye came out at the same time Julia Child was gathering material for her landmark 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

It was inevitable the two would meet, given Salinger’s fondness for coq au vin and Child’s cynical despair at the depths to which humanity had sunk in World War II. The historic meeting occurred in the apartment of Arnold Plotkin, a young ambitious literary agent who tried to put together a deal with Knopf guaranteed to produce a blockbuster best-seller featuring two of the hottest sure-fire names in publishing, which includes six rejected Child short stories with four of Salinger’s favorite vegetarian recipes.

Plotkin’s book is expected to capitalize on the glut of Salinger and Child memoirs. The explosive Salinger-Child rendezvous is revealed at last in the memoir, which tells of the sizzling two hours that Salinger and Child spent together in Plotkin’s Greenwich Village apartment in August 1959.

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