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From the monthly archives: "May 2014"
Woodrow Wilson High School - Go Tigers!

Woodrow Wilson High School – Go Tigers!

My public high school – Woodrow Wilson High in Washington, DC – has graduated such luminaries as business titan Warren Buffett, novelist Anne Beattie and my friend, columnist and commentator Frank Rich, among others of high accomplishment. But now, after nearly three quarters of a century, it has achieved the ultimate validation of moral worth.

It is to be picketed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

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Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan during the Scopes Trial

Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan during the Scopes Trial

Am I the only one who thinks this is funny?

Bryan College is an evangelical Christian school in Dayton, Tennessee, the location of the celebrated 1925 Scopes trial that pitted atheist attorney Clarence Darrow against fundamentalist politician William Jennings Bryan over the legality of teaching Darwinian evolution in the public schools. The college is named for Bryan, the titular winner of the case, who died in his sleep five days later, some say from the strain of the ordeal.

A similar conflict is being played out right now.

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Elliot Rodger

Elliot Rodger

“God made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal.”

–Old West saying

Seldom has the motive in a mass killing been more accessible than in Isla Vista this past Friday, but that doesn’t make it any less daunting. As Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Martinez, one of Elliot Rodger’s victims, plaintively asked in a public statement, “When will this insanity stop?”

The answer, I’m afraid, is no time soon. Because, if we are being truly honest, we must sadly admit we have neither the means to do so, nor the will to try.

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Keith Luke

Keith Luke

Keith Luke, a 28 year-old neo-Nazi serving two consecutive life terms for murder and rape, was pronounced dead last week at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester after being found unresponsive in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.

Few tears were shed over the apparent suicide. But a cursory review of Luke’s short and miserable life confirms just about everything most of us already knew instinctively about this despicable excuse for a man and all of the others of his ilk.

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Meriam Ibrahim and her husband

Meriam Ibrahim and her husband

Why is it that coverage of the Amanda Knox-Raffaele Sollecito trials for the murder of Meredith Kercher has been a worldwide news staple for more than half a decade now, yet the case of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, recently sentenced to death in Sudan for renouncing Islam, got only a single day in the world media headlines? In today’s New York Times┬áit was reduced to one paragraph in a news roundup at the bottom of Page A14.

Is it because Amanda and Meredith were pretty, white girls of the West and Meriam is a pretty, dark-skinned African Middle Easterner? We don’t think so. While race and ethnicity do figure in many legal injustices, they are irrelevant in this case.

So why has the Kercher-Knox case received so much attention and this one will practically slip past under the radar?

In a word: Expectation.

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