A 'Birthright Israel' For Ellis Island Trips?

October 9, 2018 at 11:05 am

Immigration reform is the topic of my column this week. Please check it out at Reason (here) and Newsmax (here).

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F. Washington Jarvis

October 8, 2018 at 4:56 pm

The Rev. F. Washington Jarvis, who for 30 years was the headmaster of Roxbury Latin School, an independent school in Boston that was founded in 1645, has died, the school announced over the weekend.

I did not know Jarvis, but I know quite a few people who went through that school when he ran it, and parents who chose it for their boys, and they are uniformly impressive. Jarvis is the author of a book of collected speeches, With Love And Prayers: A Headmaster Speaks To The Next Generation. In the book and in other works, he makes the point that intelligence is not the same as wisdom, and that education is about character, meaning, virtue, even God, as much as about analysis. Here is Jarvis from a 2009 speech he gave in New Zealand:

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More on Yale and Kavanaugh

October 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm

After my column last week about Yale Law School, the Griswold v. Connecticut case, and the Kavanaugh nomination, National Review published a piece by Michael Knox Beran (author of an interesting book about Robert Kennedy), noting some other Yale angles in the situation, including Senator Cory Booker (Yale Law '97) and New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow (Yale Law '09).

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How To Help

October 7, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Thank you to those of you who have already responded to Friday's advance notice by becoming paying subscribers to FutureOfCapitalism. Your paid subscriptions are what allow the site to continue to exist and to provide independent news and opinion. Email notices will go out soon to existing subscribers asking for a renewal. In the meantime, if you aren't already a subscriber and did not take care of it yet already over the weekend, please consider helping out to support this site and its independent voice. We'll have more extensive reasons and regular reminders in the coming week. The link is here. Thanks again.

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Bacow's Inauguration

October 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Harvard's new president, Lawrence Bacow, was formally installed on Friday afternoon. His speech (a full text of which is here), touched on several issues of significance beyond Harvard. Among them were the importance of reading news skeptically:

Now that technology has disintermediated the editorial function, allowing anybody to publish his or her own view of events, our fragmented media struggle to make the distinction between opinion and facts. The result, often, is a feverish diffusion of rumor, fantasy, and emotion unconstrained by reason or reality....Given the necessity today of thinking critically and differentiating the signal from the noise, a broad liberal arts education has never been more important. It is our responsibility to educate students to be discerning consumers of news and arguments, and to become sources of truth and wisdom themselves.

Free speech and intellectual diversity:

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How To Help

October 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Get ready: Next week will be one of our drives for paying subscribers. Without such subscribers, this site could not exist. If you are already a paying subscriber, thank you — you should get an email notice next week asking you to renew. If you aren't, please consider helping out to support this site and its independent voice. We'll have more reasons and reminders next week. If you want to get ahead of the curve, we are open for business at the link here. Thanks in advance.

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The Elizabeth Warren Money Plan

October 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm

The print edition of today's New York Times carries a special section on "life after college." The section leads off with an article offering personal finance advice based on the book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi. Yes, that is the same Elizabeth Warren who is now a senator from Massachusetts and, to believe some news articles, at least, the leading Democratic candidate for president in 2020.

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Kavanaugh's Experience

October 4, 2018 at 10:17 am

In an editorial supporting Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, the Wall Street Journal writes, "He has spent 26 years in public service instead of cashing in as a Beltway lawyer."

Regardless of where you stand on Kavanaugh's nomination, it's a sad day when even the Wall Street Journal is characterizing working for the government as "public service" in favorable juxtaposition with working for the private-sector economy. Who is performing a greater public service, really? Government lawyers? Or lawyers representing private individuals and companies who are creating jobs and wealth and often defending against excessive regulations or overreaching prosecutors?

It would be refreshing, actually, if some president were to nominate a corporate general counsel or a partner in a large law firm to the Supreme Court. It might add some useful perspective that is currently lacking.

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The Fifth Risk By Michael Lewis

October 4, 2018 at 6:16 am

Reviewing Michael Lewis's new book The Fifth Risk, New York Times critic Jennifer Szalai writes that Lewis renders "even the most abstruse details of government risk assessment in the clearest (and therefore most terrifying) terms. He asks a handful of former public servants, now living as private civilians, what they fear might happen if Trump continues his haphazard approach to staffing the federal government. Their answers include an accidental nuclear catastrophe and the privatization of public goods, like government loans and drinking water."

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Sloan Kettering CEO Craig Thompson's $6.7 Million Pay

October 3, 2018 at 11:20 am

The business section of today's New York Times carries an article written and reported in collaboration with ProPublica reporting that the CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Craig Thompson, is quitting the boards of two for-profit companies.

The Times reports:

Dr. Thompson has served on the board of Merck, the maker of the blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda, since 2008. He has been on the board of Charles River Laboratories, a publicly traded company that assists research in early drug development, since 2013.

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Kavanaugh Conflict Is Latest Twist In Yale Griswold Tale

October 2, 2018 at 9:45 pm

Yale Law School, Griwsold v. Connecticut, and President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are the subject of my column this week. Please check it out at the New Boston Post (here), Reason (here), and the New York Sun (here).

One of the Reason commenters asked if the Senators actually asked Kavanaugh about Griswold during the confirmation hearing. According to ScotusBlog, Kavanaugh was asked about it, and responded that he found Justice White's concurrence a persuasive opinion. White, by the way, went to Yale Law School too. White's opinion in Griswold relied on the 14th Amendment rather than on Justice Douglas's "penumbras, formed by emanations."

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Moynihan and Kavanaugh

September 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm

If recent events point to the prescience of the print New York Sun, they also reminded me, as if I needed reminding, of the brilliance of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Moynihan spoke in 1967 — in what became his book Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding — about "the ambiguous role of the FBI, to which, mindlessly, the elite in both situations turned over custody of its most serious political problems."

I'm not quarreling with the idea of delaying a vote on Kavanaugh to allow for further investigation. It's not entirely clear to me, though, that the FBI is the right agency to do it. What is clear is that Moynihan was on to something.

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Youth Binge Drinking

September 27, 2018 at 10:03 pm

After watching the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing about a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it occurred to me that there's yet another way — in addition to the ways I mentioned in my column earlier this week — that the decade-old print New York Sun turns out to be an excellent guide to the Trump era. The Sun published a four-part series on youth binge drinking, It reported, in part:

activities often include attending alcohol-laden parties at their classmates' homes....The direct health consequences of binge drinking include liver damage, elevated risk for heart disease, and reduced brain performance, but alcohol intoxication is also a leading cause of car accidents, homicides, suicides, violence, and sexual assault, Dr. Ross said.

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Ten Years On, a New York Sun Moment

September 26, 2018 at 11:25 am

The tenth anniversary of the New York Sun's cessation of print publication is the topic of my column this week. Please check it out at the New York Sun online (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here). I also participated in a podcast about this issue; the audio and a transcript are here.

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Democrat Wants To Tax College Endowments

September 20, 2018 at 9:49 am

When President Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress enacted a new tax on large private college endowments, it was widely interpreted in part as political payback by Republicans for higher education's leftist tilt. Now, though, the Democratic Party's nominee for governor of Massachusetts, Jay Gonzalez, who served in the administration of Democrat Deval Patrick, wants to levy a similar tax. WBUR reports:

His proposal would levy a 1.6 percent tax on private colleges with endowments in excess of $1 billion.

The tax would currently apply to nine schools in Massachusetts: Harvard University, MIT, Williams College, Boston College, Amherst College, Wellesley College, Boston University, Smith College and Tufts University.

Harvard and MIT would pay $563 million and $210 million, respectively, under the plan, according to the Gonzalez campaign.

In total, the campaign estimates the tax would generate $1 billion a year.

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