15 years ago
“Reality TV has many lessons to teach us, but there is one it reiterates with a frequency even parrots can’t match: If you want people to behave badly, stick a camera in their faces….Still, the symbolic utility of surveillance cameras is unimpeachable. Install hundreds of deliberately conspicuous cameras—many of Chicago’s are topped with flashing blue lights—and you have a highly visible, all-purpose metaphor that you can apply to the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and the never-ending struggle against public nose picking. Get ready to get close up. New York has installed surveillance cameras on more than 450 buses. Houston police chief says that apartment buildings should have cameras. Mayor [Richard]Daley also believes in Chicago’s bars.
“Smile. You’re on Telescreen!”
20 years ago
“[Charter schools’]The pitch is very simple. If we can run good schools, students will flock to us and we’ll make money. Take back your school and find another one. This is not how things work in public schools. Nothing succeeds quite like failure. Failing is often rewarded by more money, specialists and more failure. Failure is more lucrative than success. It destroys excuses. It sets expectations.”
“Threatened By Success”
25 years ago
“The extent that assimilation depends on native behavior is one of the most important dimensions of it. This goes beyond the influence of immigrants. Many conventional theories and analysis of this subject presume that assimilation means that it involves making affirmative choices or acts that are only made by immigrants. But the real secret of American assimilation is that the native-born Americans—not the immigrants—have made it work. The majority of Americans have been immigrants or descendants of immigrants since independence. They have instilled the assimilationist mindset in every generation of immigrants.
Americans granted legitimacy to immigrants and their children. The Americans have allowed them to arrive, made it easy for them to become citizens and treated them equally in many ways. Americans have allowed immigrants to succeed through their belief in individual accomplishment.
American Style, Assimilation
It was 40 years ago
The creation of the welfare system coincided with an extraordinary event: we had the longest sustained period of economic growth since the end of World War II. That allowed the welfare system to live up its political reputation. The people felt that they got more from the welfare state despite increasing taxation pressures.
This was also when cause and effect began to become confused. Many welfare politicians believed the welfare state was responsible for the country’s economic growth. While they believed that the welfare state caused economic prosperity, in reality, economic prosperity was the only condition to being able pay for welfare services. Robin Hood was telling the poor that they did not benefit only from the robberies of the wealthy, but the robberies also produced wealth which had a net positive effect on the entire population.
“Which Way Norway?”
50 years ago
The Food and Drug Administration is one of Washington’s most important sacred bovines. The agency’s ability to decide what substances are allowed or not on the market has been challenged only recently by health-food advocates as well as the NAS/NRC drug efficacy research studies. [The drug]DMSO was tested for pain relief and transfer agents. It is safe to use in Europe since years. However, due to political hyper-prudence, FDA has refused license. The situation is so vexing that Congress and the medical community have taken to heart it. [Joseph]Wyatt and Senator [Mark]Hatfield introduced legislation to eliminate drug testing from FDA and transfer it to an ‘nonpolitical scientific body’ to “protect the public from its protector,” according to Hatfield.
Are We Really Going to Need the FDA?