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LA Times_Watts Riots

Black Crime and White Flight

The recent events in Ferguson, MO, in which a “gentle giant” was shot and killed after assaulting a policeman, leading to demonstrations and riots, brought back to me memories of the August 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles, which likewise developed in the aftermath of assaults on a policeman after a young black man was [...]

What’s in a Name?

The Montagues and Capulets placed great store in their brand names, even to the point of stabbing one another, but the Capulet girl was a wistful voice: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." Move from Verona across a few centuries to the [...]

Gay Pride: A Politically Incorrect Dialogue

CRANSTON:            I detect a certain weirdness about the annual “gay pride” parades in our city. TURNER:                    These celebrations seem appropriate to me, at this turning point, after centuries of branding homosexuality as abnormal. CRANSTON:               If we extend the concept of “normality” too far, the meaning becomes hopelessly diluted.  The result is that hardly anything is [...]

“Talibans of Austerity”

A sentence in the French newspaper Le Monde recently caught my eye: Il y aura toujours des talibans de l’austérité, there will always be the Talibans of austerity. It was uttered by the economist Jean Pisani-Ferry in an interview in the newspaper about the crisis in the Euro zone, and it made me think at [...]

The Queens English No More

On the last day of June a sad event in the long and noble history of the English language is scheduled to take place: the Queen’s English Society will formally be wound up. Forty years of trying to raise the awareness of fellow Englishmen about the misuse of apostrophes and semicolons, the overuse of the [...]

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