20 YEARS AGO July 1997
"Proponents of adding a multiracial designation are…mistaken to think that much—if any—good can come from a more precise accounting by government of 'racial' demographics. Even without reference to Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa, our own twisted history on the matter makes clear that governments should be discouraged from recording such information at all. Indeed, because racial classifications seek to fix forever one's identity through blood and birth, they are particularly appalling in a country whose ideals include the ability to continually remake, redefine, and reinvent oneself."
"Republicans are increasingly pondering the post-Newt age. As one former leadership aide puts it, Gingrich is dead but he doesn't know it yet. Indeed, disgust with the speaker is so deep among House Republicans that many have nicknamed him 'Toast.'"
"Armey of the Right"
25 YEARS AGO July 1992 "More important for the long run, the attention generated by the rioters gave nonviolent people a chance to voice their rage. And if you listen to what those people are actually saying…you will hear this: The criminal justice system does not protect black Americans. It does not make their streets safe from violence. It does not rally to the side of black crime victims. It sees black people only as criminals, never as citizens. It does not give them respect."
VIRGINIA I. POSTREL
"Rage, Riots, & Respect"
"In the face of this chaos, I found it reassuring that some people had the courage and the wherewithal to defend their homes and businesses.…One memorable bit of video, shot during the day, showed looters on the rampage in a Koreatown mini-mall. Every store in the area had been hit except one—the one whose owners stood on the roof with rifles."
"Disorder of the Day"
"Then again, there is the thrill, irrational or not, of participating in the political process."
30 YEARS AGO July 1987 "Congress has threatened to pass tough trade legislation almost since President Reagan took office. 'Mr. Free Trade' has responded with an escalating barrage of his own protectionist measures. At each turn, Reagan winks at dismayed free market champions and whispers that he is only throwing a bone to keep a yelping Congress at bay."
"Fair Trade Frenzy"
"Ten years ago there were homeless in America. Twenty years ago there were homeless. How is it that in the 1980s there is a homeless crisis? A close look at what statistics there are reveals that nobody really knows how much—or even whether—the number of homeless is increasing."
MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER
"The Homeless Issue: An Adman's Dream"
"Thyden is sympathetic to those on both sides who decry the shoddiness and commercialism of children's TV, but her personal response is less sympathetic: 'Shut off the TV or get rid of it,' she says. 'We might, as individuals, want to do something [to improve children's programming]. But who the hell wants the state taking over?'"
"Toys will be Toys"
40 YEARS AGO July 1977 "At one stroke [Jimmy Carter] is proposing the most audacious expansion of taxation and Federal intervention in recent memory. The Federal government, rather than the marketplace, would now be responsible for determining: the price of gasoline, the price of large versus small cars, the price of within-state natural gas, the price of using oil, the growth rate of the solar heating and insulation industries, the way utilities set their rates, etc."
ROBERT POOLE JR.
"Carter's Energy War"
"The people, if they were allowed to 'know' their own views, might turn out to favor a noninterventionist foreign policy, in the sense that they would be unwilling to pay the costs and take the risks of the present interventionist foreign policy. Comparing the costs and benefits of intervention (and of maintaining the capability to execute it) with other objectives, including domestic, does not require experts. It is a political judgment."
EARL C. RAVENAL
"Non-Intervention: A Libertarian Approach to Defense"