BRITISH POLITICS. Ian Dunt notes the strict way British parliamentarians handle mavericks. He relates that the rebels will experience “having the whip withdrawn,” tantamount to exile from the party. Interestingly, 21 Conservative MPs refused to buckle under to this tactic in a big fight over Brexit.
TEDDY ROOSEVELT ERRS. Leigh Giangreco reports that Pres. Theodore Roosevelt was hardly a friend to black Americans. He dishonorably discharged 167 black enlisted members of the 25th US infantry upon limited information alleging violence in Brownsville, Texas.
DRIVERS LICENSE. The Washington Post reports on a Justice Dept. survey of 1000 former prisoners –83% had serious problems regaining a driver’s license after incarceration.
BAD ZIP CODES. Courtland Malloy notes that a citizen’s zip code might be more important than a genetic code for health. Why? Racism and segregation as well as structural factors perpetuating inequity.
SPEECH, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND VIOLENCE. Can harsh words inspire violence on social media? Danielle Allen, Harvard political theorist, thinks so. She cites three tests; does the speaker advocate a crime; is the crime imminent; and is it probable the crime will be committed soon??
ATHEIST IN THE WHITE HOUSE? Max Boot points out that over 22% of Americans list “none” when asked about their religious preference, along with evangelical Protestants at 25.4% and Catholics at 20.8%. He argues that the “nones” prophesy a nonbeliever in the Oval Office someday.
DIAHANN CAROLL PASSES AT 84. This actress was the first black to star on a non-serving role on TV. In a famous early scene, she told a farsighted future boss over the phone that she was ‘colored.’ “What color are you?” he asked.
ANTHROPOLOGY REVISITED. Writer Charles King honors Franz Boas, an anthropologist who “reinvented” race, sex, and gender. Formerly, scientists presented Euro-American civilization as the apex of an evolutionary process, with prior stages being viewed as barbarian or savage. Boas died in 1942.
SEE JANE WIN. Caitlin Moscatello demonstrates how times are changing. In 2016, 900 women contacted Emily’s list, an organization created to support female candidates for elected office. In 2018, 40,000 did. Over 100 women ran for congressional seats and 500 ran for state legislative seats. Among those succeeding were women of color, gays, and those growing up in tough circumstances.
IMPEACHED SAMUEL CHASE. He’s the only Supreme Court justice to face impeachment– it was more than 200 years ago. He signed the Declaration of Independence, representing, Maryland; then, was nominated to the Court in 1796 by George Washington. Chase proved to be quite an eccentric, and many found him temperamentally unsuited to be a Justice. In 1805, the Senate heard more than 50 witnesses over 10 days. The majority found him guilty of three of eight allegations, but none met the required 2/3 threshold. Over more than 220 years, only eight federal judges have ever been removed from office via impeachment.
GUN DATA. Anna Greenburg reports an apparent decline in gun ownership in the US. However, guns are concentrated in fewer hands; a 2015 Harvard and Northeastern University study reported that 3% of the population owns half of those guns.