When I first visited China in the 1980’s, the tallest building in Shanghai was the fourteen story Peace Hotel; when I returned a few years later, there were over fifty skyscrapers over fifty stories. So China’s economic miracle is no surprise to me. But up till now, it has consisted mostly of supplying low price goods to Western consumers at very competitive prices. Now China is planning to provide over a trillion dollars of capital […]
I have always been puzzled by the venerable phrase “thinking like a lawyer.” What does it mean and should we take it as a compliment or a put-down? I think the idea is best captured by a metaphor trial lawyers sometimes use to describe the craft of a colleague they especially admire or an adversary they fear — he or she can “see out the front.” It means the ability to look over a complex […]
It’s easy enough to enjoy some righteous indignation when the Roy Moores of the world are accused of sexual harassment, but I have a different reaction when people I admire like Garrison Keillor, Louis C.K. and Al Franken are the accused. But in the final analysis, if they have done the deeds they are accused of, they too must suffer the consequences. John Huston was one of the most important directors in Hollywood in the […]
The New York Times has good news to report. It turns out that doing good works. Non-profits in inner city areas that have worked on mundane projects– e.g. planting trees, building playgrounds, mentoring students, and finding employment for young males– have played a significant role in reducing the murder rates in American cities. Here’s the whole story.
The title to Tim Wu’s op-ed in the NYT sounds the alarm– “How Twitter Killed the First Amendment.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/opinion/twitter-first-amendment.html?_r=0. . Professor Wu points out that there has been a dramatic change in how speech operates in American politics. Formerly, the First Amendment worked to protect speakers from government prosecution, thereby creating a workable national political discourse. But now censors in Russia and China have invented new techniques geared to the internet age that permit them […]
Michael Asimow of Stanford Law School shares with us his review of the new film Marshall: This enjoyable and inspiring movie is a worthy contribution to the courtroom movie genre. You’re going to love it. The movie memorializes the great Thurgood Marshall (who later won Brown v. Bd. of Education and sat on the Supreme Court). The film brings to life a forgotten rape case in Connecticut that Marshall tried early in his career when he was the […]
In a year of shocking images, those from Charlottesville still chill me the most. Certainly those of “alt-right” marchers chanting “Jews will not replace us”, but even more so those of armed thugs attacking peaceful #BlackLivesMatter demonstrators in full view of quiescent police officers, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/us/charlottesville-protest-police.html?ref=oembed Eerily similar images from Germany in the 1930’s quickly come to mind. While there is still a controversy over whether the police were ordered to “stand down” by their superiors, […]
How does social reform happen? History books tend to portray social reform as a tidal wave that sweeps away an unjust and obsolete status quo, but I think reform is better understood as the cumulative result of individual acts of opposition to concrete injustices people encounter in their own lives. Only with hindsight can we assess the importance of any one action. Even an idle question posed in a conversation between old friends might turn […]