Online Opinion Outpost: June 30

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Fair housing

The New York Times

A Supreme Court ruling last week forcefully reminded state and local governments that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 forbids them from spending federal housing money in ways that perpetuate segregation. Communities across the country have been doing exactly that for decades.

Instead of building subsidized housing in racially integrated areas that offer minority citizens access to jobs and good schools, local governments have often deepened racial isolation by placing such housing in existing ghettos.

Television vs. Internet 

Michael Wolff, The New York Times 

Looking for irony? Television, once maniacally driven by Nielsen ratings, has gone upscale as online media becomes an absurd traffic game. TV figured out how to monetize stature and influence. Nobody knows how many people saw “House of Cards,” and nobody cares. Mass-market TV upgraded to class, while digital media — listicles, saccharine viral videos — chased lowbrow mass.

‘Never again’

The Washington Post

Certainly, there is evidence that the United States and United Kingdom knew of the Nazi camps, based on reports from Poles and other sources. Our point here is not to render a judgment on this complex history and failure to act but to draw from it an important and urgent lesson for today: Knowing about such tyrannical behavior brings a responsibility to do something about it.

Often it is declared that “never again” is the prime lesson of the Holocaust and other genocidal events of the modern era. The pope’s comment reminds us not only to look back but also to confront today’s abuses.

Same-sex marriage

Charles Lane, The Washington Post

Forced to pick between the dignity of states and the dignity of individuals, however, Kennedy chose the latter. Alas for the dissenters, their objections sounded procedural and formalistic in the context of increasingly pro-gay marriage opinion polls and, indeed, the facts on the ground (i.e., thousands of existing gay marriages). Many, if not most, of the gay marriage bans currently on the books would not pass if put to a vote today.

Ana Navarro, CNN

There are people on both sides of this issue who I respect and love. It is time for everyone to remember that tolerance is a two-way street. We must be respectful of people’s rights — that includes the right to marry who you choose, and also the right to practice the religion that you choose. These two rights can co-exist.

Before we embark on countless legal challenges and the elderly evangelical baker making cakes out of her garage in Arkansas gets dragged into court, isn’t it worth trying to find a little sliver of common ground? I know I sound naive.

Pastor Rob Jeffress, Fox News

One does not have to be a homophobe or bigot to believe that the Supreme Court made a tragic error today in creating out of thin air an imaginary right for gay marriage.  Friday’s landmark mistake will have legal, sociological, and spiritual consequences for years to come.

Iran

Douglas Burton and Marios Efthymiopoulos, The Washington Times 

The Islamic State in neighboring Iraq has demonstrated to the world in just two years that having tens of thousands of fanatic, brutal, brainwashed young men in a war theater can almost neutralize 21st century airpower. And Iran has a big youth sector: More than 60 percent of the population is under 30.

The West is worried about Tehran having nukes when the more potent threat may be hundreds of thousands of radicalized youth in the classroom. Even if a small percentage of these commit themselves to violent jihad, there could be devastating consequences.

Michael Goodwin, New York Post 

Meanwhile, the White House strategy to win support at home has been transparent, as in obvious. After claiming the only alternative to an Iran deal was war, it has consistently lowballed the odds of a final agreement. The aim is to make a deal desirable to the American public, then use that desire as a cover for making endless concessions. Obama sealed the approach by saying there was no military option, so a deal was the only option.

The almost-certain result is a bad deal that, instead of delivering his initial promise to prevent an Iranian nuke, will likely pave the way for an arsenal.

Affordable Care Act

Timothy Jost, CNN

In the wake of the Court’s decision, it is up to the political branches to decide what happens next. If Republicans in Congress have constructive ideas for improving the ACA, now is the time to discuss those. The debate over Republican proposals can now focus on the merits — and consequences — of those proposals, and will not take place under the gun-to-the-head threat a Supreme Court ruling for the plaintiffs would have imposed.

David B. Rivkin Jr., Elizabeth Price Foley, LA Times

When judges take it upon themselves to “fix” a law — or to bless an executive “fix” — they diminish political accountability by encouraging Congress to be sloppy. And they bypass the political process established by the Constitution’s separation of powers, arrogating to itself — and the executive — the power to amend legislation.

This leads to bad laws, bad policy outcomes and fosters the cynical belief that “law is politics.”

Confederate Flag

New York Daily News

A century and a half too late, and not a moment too soon, Confederate flags are being pulled down state by state and taken out of stock by business after business across these United States.

Now, it’s time to look to the present, and future. In America today, blacks are no longer separate under the law but remain separate and unequal far too often and in far too many ways.

Jerry Patterson, Dallas Morning News 

I also understand that over the past many decades racist groups have co-opted the battle flag and, as a result, the flag means something different to black citizens than it does to me, a descendant of several Confederate veterans.

However, the feeding frenzy of the offended masses has now resulted in calling for the removal of Confederate statues across the South, as well.

Maybe we should replace the statues with more politically acceptable historical figures? Certainly, no one would object to a statue of Abraham Lincoln on the UT campus, would they?

Well, they should object. When measured by today’s standards, the Great Emancipator was a white supremacist

 Selfies

Karol Marcowiz, New York Post

We live in a time of rampant exhibitionism where people enjoy sharing every aspect of their lives with the public at large.

Maybe we’re all sick of seeing each other all the time. But that’s a different complaint than of selfies themselves.

No one’s forcing you to live digitally. Get off Facebook and Instagram if they annoy you. Pester strangers to take your picture, if that’s what you’re into.

Or take that selfie and share it proudly with the world. The choice is — or should be — yours.

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