REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM
- Another discrete and insular minority finds protection:
To help ease the transition to a new life in Pasadena, Armenian community leaders lobbied hard to win passage of a law that recognizes Armenians as a protected class under Pasadena's affirmative action ordinance.
The law, which went into effect in March, is the first of its kind passed by any city and will mean that Armenians, like blacks and Latinos, are officially classified as a minority and must be recruited for city jobs and city-awarded contracts. . . .
Beyond its economic implications, the ordinance is seen as a positive force against the tendency by recent arrivals to band together and form ethnic enclaves apart from and ignorant of the larger Pasadena community. (Los Angeles Times, August 8, 1985)
- Jesse Jackson remembers Hiroshima, by declaring August 6, 1945
. . . the day the single greatest crime in world history was committed. . . . The bombs were not necessary for military surrender. . . we, in fact, used the dropping of those bombs to fulfill our own sickness about the "yellow peril." The same forces that put Japanese in concentration camps in California put them in crematoriums in Japan. It must never happen again. Our generation must learn. We must be intolerant of fascism and racism. (Pacific Citizen, August 16, 1985)
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall on the death penalty: "I continue to oppose that sentence in all circumstances." (New York Times, September 7, 1985) We are reminded of his dissent in the death penalty case of Gregg v. Georgia (1976): "[I]f the constitutionality of the death penalty turns, as I have urged, on the opinion of an informed citizenry, then even the enactment of new death statutes cannot be viewed as conclusive."
- Following protests by the British Safety Council, Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain, banned public showings of Rambo. The head of the Safety Council, James Tye, claimed that about 25 members of Parliament, including Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock, support a nationwide ban on the film. (Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1985)
- Like almost everyone else watching Rambo: First Blood II in a Berkeley theater one night recently, Felix Polk rose from his seat to cheer as Sylvester Stallone flexed his muscles and slaughtered hordes of Vietnamese and Soviet soldiers in a fury of vengeance.
Then the 53-year-old Berkeley psychologist realized with horror what he was doing. He walked out of the movie theater.
"It was stirring aggressive impulses in me, which I found repulsive," he explained. (San Francisco Examiner, July 21, 1985)
- Historian Henry Steele Commager: "As the great powers take their own terrorism for granted, they should not be surprised when desperate fanatics, unable to wage traditional or 'legitimate' warfare, emulate their betters." (New York Times, June 27, 1985)
- Dr. Tom Waddell, a homosexual who recently became head of [San Francisco's] public health first-aid clinic, said many homosexuals had been blood donors because "if we have a community trait, it is a sense of giving." He added, "We have large extended families because we moved away from our nuclear families, and this gay community tends to give a great deal of itself." (New York Times, May 28, 1985)
- There's some good in all of us, even Black Muslim Minister Louis Farrakhan. Criticizing California Governor George Deukmejian, Farrakhan, speaking in Los Angeles, said he should worry about a state "filled with homosexuals and degenerates" (Washington Post, Sept. 16, 1985).
- [T]he little-known but growing field of sexology . . . is threatened nationally by a rising tide of conservatism as it strives to study human sexuality in the most neutral way.
The case started when Prof. Roger Libby, 43, a well-known and widely published sexologist, was denied tenure by the University of Massachusetts. On February 11, he filed a $165,000 suit against the school.
"This is probably just the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. John Money. "There's a very powerful antisexual movement going on at the present time."
"A stigma is applied to those of us who teach or research sex," [sexologist and sociologist Lynn] Atwater said. "Either we're perverted, we're sexually repressed, or we're oversexed and this is just another outlet for us. Everybody who works in sex research has felt this stigma."
Because of taboos dealing with sex, much-needed sex research goes wanting, according to those interviewed. . . .
Meanwhile, topics as child abuse, generally deemed antisex, receive ample government funding. . . . (Washington Post, Sept. 17, 1985)
- Author i.d., op-ed page: "Eqbal Ahmad is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, an independent research organization in Washington." (Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1985)
- Fred Warner Neal, emeritus Professor of International Relations at Claremont Graduate School and intimate observer of Soviet politics:
The first time I ever entered the then-new Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs-in January 1965-I had a sense of deja vu; it was so much like Foggy Bottom. What goes on inside is also somewhat similar, only more so-an incredibly tight and competitive bureaucratic structure, with constant in-fighting and political interference from outside. (Claremont Courier, July 10, 1985)
- Of John D. Maguire, President of Claremont Graduate School, the Los Angeles Times said, "[F]or him, commitments in the '80s are part of a continuum with the high purpose of those heady days [of the '60s]" (June 20, 1985). Consider his letter to the Los Angeles Times View section:
I used to go straight to Doonesbury when I picked up my morning paper; the last three weeks I have been going first to View Page 1 to see what's been happening with the women of the world [at "The State of the World's Women 1985" in Nairobi]. I do thank you for sharing so clearly and winningly that whole experience with us. (August 11, 1985)