Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, delivering Thursday’s commencement speech at Harvard University, criticized what he described as a disturbing trend of liberals silencing voices “deemed politically objectionable.”
“This spring, it has been disturbing to see a number of college commencement speakers withdraw — or have their invitations rescinded — after protests from students and — to me, shockingly — from senior faculty and administrators who should know better,” Bloomberg said.
Richard Martinez, father of slain Isla Vista massacre victim Christopher Michaels-Martinez, is speaking out against guns. He is teaming up with the murderer’s father to pressure politicians to better regulate guns. He has been contacted by the father of a Sandy Hook victims.
I can only imagine what Mr. Martinez is going through right now. To me, he’s a hero for stepping up so loudly about this. I don’t know if his emotional plea will be enough to outbid our politicians and their NRA money, but I’m hoping that someone will finally listen. He’s right. Most politicians did jack shit after Sandy Hook.
Interesting Huffington Post article about Patrick Soon-Shiong, the richest man in LA, who is using his medical background to push for improvements in healthcare. The article states that while Obama is working from the outside in, Soon-Shiong is working from the inside out, trying to create a big bank of medical information that can match your DNA to information in a database in order to get the best treatment.
I had written an article about this: Studying Chinese to Reach His Parents. The article is a couple weeks old (it was actually old when I first saw it), and the article I wrote was lost during the server crash. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I was touched with the story about how Daniel Chen’s parents gave up so much so that he could have an education. They had a relatively comfortable lifestyle in China, but they immigrated to become laborers in order to give their son what they felt were greater opportunities. Daniel grew up hardly ever seeing his parents, and it sounds like he basically raised himself. He mostly speaks English, so when he went to college, he decided to study Chinese so that he could converse with his parents.
So if you’re an Asian American, and you’re fluent in an Asian language, and you’re trying hard to serve your country and want to use your language skills to help your country, the State Department should probably hire you, especially since it costs tens of thousands of dollars to teach a person the language. They’d be saving money, and they wouldn’t have to teach the Asian American a new culture. Right? Well, apparently not: At the State Department, diversity can count against you. Apparently, being Asian American means that you’re suspicious and therefore are unfit for duty.
Photo credit: Luke Sharrett for The New York Times
Even though the Supreme Court didn’t kick out affirmative action entirely, I think this isn’t necessarily bad. The SCOTUS kicked the case back to the lower courts and ruled that race can be considered, but the lower courts have to apply strict criteria and can’t just arbitrarily choose to prefer one race or another. I feel bad that Abigail Fisher’s battle isn’t over, but hopefully her efforts will pave the way for greater racial equality in the future.
The title comes from a talk given by Will McAskill, which was referenced here.
In his latest column The Way To Produce a Person, David Brooks raises a great question again, one that I’m sure many Asian American people–and probably many people, for that matter, ask themselves. Is it better to take a job that makes lots of money, and then use that money to do something great? Or is it better just to do something great? In other words, is it better to work for the Red Cross, standing on the front lines and handing out food, or is it better to buy that food and to donate it with money that you earn on Wall Street? In the article, Brooks talks about a young Wall Street guy named Jason Trigg who donates lots of money to fight malaria and discusses his situation and life choices.
I picked up The Expanding Circle because of a NY Times article, in which the author Stephen Asma claimed that Singer believes we can knock down all divisions of tribe and embrace “universal love.” I’m at a loss as to what Asma was reading. Although Singer leaves the question open-ended on where ethics will evolve, I thought he leaned more towards saying that most likely we’ll always value family and friends over strangers. Singer even says that Karl Marx was a family man, and that all communes that sought to eradicate families have failed. It was as if the author was creating a strawman just to argue against Singer. (And what’s really sad is that if you look at the NY Times comments, many readers are taking Asma at face value, attacking Singer and Rifkin because of what Asma said that they said.)
This is not to politicize Chris Kyle’s death, but I think we need to say something now rather than later. We’ve got a gun murder epidemic in this country. It needs to stop.
I’ve probably mentioned several times that my favorite NY Times article of all time is this one by David Brooks: Lunch Period Poli-Sci. In the article, Brooks speculates that we’re the same people we were in high school–jocks on one side who keep things simple and straightforward, and nerds on the other, who like to pontificate. In the end, Brooks says, we need both. Stuff doesn’t get done without the jocks leading, and the nerds help set the jocks on a deeper path:
The video above of the Gracie Brothers is one of the better ones I’ve seen. They begin by talking about a rape that took place where two BJJ guys raped a woman from their BJJ class. One of the guys is world champion Matthew Maldonado. It was caught on security camera, according to some reports. Sickening and disgusting.