Headline, Readings »

The Ghetto’s Complex and Troubled Legacy

By | May 11, 2017

In 2017, we often hear the word “ghetto” come up in music lyrics and casual conversation, out of the mouths of politicians and activists. We know what it means; it needs no explanation. Yet beyond its negative connotations lie 500 years of rich—and relevant—history. Princeton University sociologist Mitchell Duneier, winner of the seventh annual Zócalo Book Prize for Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the …

Headline, Nexus »

Democracy Strikes out at Dodger Stadium

By | May 10, 2017

When Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley opened Dodger Stadium on April 10, 1962, his ticket price structure was simple, straightforward, and inexpensive: $3.50 for box seats, $2.50 for reserved seats, and $1.50 for general admission and the outfield pavilions. That was for every home game, regardless of opponent—whether it was the hated San Francisco Giants, with whom the Dodgers were engaged in an epic …

Headline, Nexus »

How California and Governor Warren Created a Road Map for America’s Interstate System

By | May 9, 2017

In June, Californians should be marking the 70th anniversary of the Collier-Burns Act. But you probably have never heard of it, even though Collier-Burns likely has an everyday impact on your life.
The Collier-Burns Act of 1947 created the California freeway system by substantially raising the gasoline and other motor vehicle taxes and earmarking the resulting revenues for highway construction. If you drive on freeways, …

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

The Verdict Is in—California’s Dickensian Courts Are Failing Us

By | May 8, 2017

Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.
California’s housing shortage, its poverty, its poor business climate, and its failing infrastructure all are explained in no small part by the failure of our underfunded, delay-prone courts to provide anything resembling timely justice. But in public narratives of what’s wrong with the state, we …

Headline, Nexus »

After That Infamous Video, Airlines Should Start Auctioning Spaces On Overbooked Flights

By | May 8, 2017

Last month, consumers around the world were disturbed by video showing a passenger being dragged off United Flight 3411 by at least three security guards.
I don’t need to add my opinion to the millions that have been expressed about the incident. But as a professor of operations management, I am interested in the fundamental economic problem that led to the confrontation caught on video: …

Featured, Poetry »

If we begin again, we’ll begin like this #poem

By | May 5, 2017

It hasn’t been a hard day, but the clouds are taking their retreat.
I want to write for them a way to cultivate new shape.
Which means – I want to write for you more than an apology
for my Midwestern posture, how uselessly polite I can be
before rain falls and then, ankle-deep in a ditch of mud,
cigarette boxes, chocolate donut wrappers – …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

The Faux “Sioux” Sharpshooter Who Rivaled Annie Oakley as a Wild West Sensation

By | May 5, 2017

At about 10:30 a.m. on the morning of August 3, 1901, more than 100,000 people jostled to catch a glimpse of Frederick Cummins’ Indian Congress parade at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York. The crowds shrieked with excitement when they heard the Carlisle Indian Band strike up a tune, and drew a collective gasp when three celebrities appeared on their respective steeds. There was …

Headline, Nexus »

A Getty Online Exhibition Reflects Splendor and Conflict in Visions of Ancient Palmyra

By | May 4, 2017

All places contain history; traces of the past that can be read, contextualized, interpreted, and, with some effort, crafted into knowledge. Some places are so rich in material and textual information that they become archives, deep resources that beseech the senses and necessitate generations of scientific and intellectual exploration.
The ancient caravan city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmor in Arabic, is one such place. …

Featured, Nexus »

Tired of Working for Uncle Sam? Maybe You’ve Got “Ideological Whiplash”

By | May 3, 2017

“I want one day without a CNN alert that doesn’t scare the hell out of me,” quipped Cecily Strong in a recent SNL skit.
Don’t we all?
Many of us are struggling to manage our emotions since the inauguration, with collective exhaustion mounting. Sudden swings in policy, ranging from immigration to environmental regulation, have caused great emotional turmoil for many Americans watching from the sidelines, …

Headline, The Takeaway »

Pledging Allegiance to Our Different—and Shared—Ideals of Citizenship

By | May 3, 2017

Citizenship in the United States is distinguished by how many different and contradictory abilities and actions it requires of citizens, said panelists at a Smithsonian/Zócalo “What It Means to Be American” event.
The evening’s discussion, which took up the question, “Do We Still Know How to Be Good Citizens?” unfolded before a large audience at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
“We are at our best …

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