L’affaire Sterling is nearing an end. Almost every sentient human being is aware of Don Sterling’s rancid racist comments. He has been banned from the NBA forever and he is being forced to sell his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. All of this is known. Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, has been heralded for his quick, and “appropriate” action. The legendary Michael Jordan summarized the view of players and owners by noting: “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. As a fellow player, I am completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”
The Republican strategy for the 2014 November election has been cast in stone: “Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare.” Leadership in the House, the Republican Study Group, the National Republican Committee and a variety of pollsters are persuaded that the Affordable Care Act, and the president’s name attached to it, represent a winning formula. Speaker Boehner is so convinced of this claim that he systematically refuses to consider other campaign issues. After all, other issues would dilute the message and confuse the voting public.
Amid the celebration of the Connecticut University victory in the NCAA basketball tournament the team’s star player, Shabazz Napier, used the moment to broadcast a message: “I want to get everybody’s attention right quick. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the hungry Huskies…. This is what happens when you banned us.” Napier was referring to the one-year postseason penalty the National Collegiate Athletic Association issued in 2012 for the team’s failure to meet minimum academic requirements, requirements as minimum as infrequent attendance in “Mickey Mouse” courses.
Torquemada has landed in America. This nation of free and open inquiry has been seized by totalitarians who refuse to entertain other points of view. The debate about global warming is over say adherents of this position. When, if ever, has the debate about any scientific issue been over?
What do college students read? According to one survey Shades of Gray, the sado-masochistic novel, was the most widely read book outside the classroom. Another survey indicated that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, dealing with her battle with cancer and racial grievance, was the most popular book.
From the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 to the 1980’s, comments about this Jewish nation were uniformly and reflexively positive. Jews and non-Jews alike took pride in the resourcefulness of a people who could make the desert bloom and who had the backbone and will to defend themselves against Arab invaders.
Critics have suggested that President Obama’s foreign policy is “feckless.” Some have argued the president is insouciant, a relative innocent, incapable of responding to the challenges that confront him. I see it somewhat differently.
Several decades ago the distinguished sociologist Daniel Bell wrote: “The real problem of [American] modernity is the problem of belief. To use an unfashionable term, it is a spiritual crisis, since the anchorages have proven illusory and old ones have become submerged. It is a situation which brings us back to nihilism, lacking a past or a future, there is only the void.”
It is customary for members of the Academy to display anti-American sentiment in the form of multi-culturalism. Rarely, however, does the critique involve the Constitution itself. There is the belief that Supreme Court Justices may have overstepped their authority or mistook various clauses. Now, Georgetown University professor, Louis Michael Seidman, goes further in raising the question of whether we should obey the Constitution at all.
The flame of anti-Zionism burns brightly at Northeastern University in Boston. On the first day of Israel Apartheid Week, Students for Justice in Palestine, a group currently on probation for violating campus policies for acts of anti-Semitism and vandalism, dispersed “evacuation” notices to students residing in the dormitories.