Opinion Outpost: Dec. 8


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.

Mark Zuckerberg

The decision by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to gradually give away 99% of their vast Facebook wealth has generated a number of wisecracks about them having to get by on the 1% they would retain, currently valued at $450 million.

But when people pledge to give away the vast majority of their wealth, it should be recognized and “liked.” Believe it or not, there are people for whom a $450 million nest egg would be a hardship.

— Editorial Board

USA Today

In my view what we have is a promise to give money away at some future time in amounts to be disclosed at some future time. That kind of promise does not rate a front page headline saying that he is giving $45 billion to charity. Time will tell if the promise is kept but the public may never know.

It looks like a vehicle for the Zuckerbergs to use as a plaything — to invest through and to promote their ideas — without having to sell their Facebook shares and pay tax.

— Jack A. Blum

The New York Times

This trend of the super rich giving away most of their fortunes reflects the nature of this level of wealth. Above a certain amount of money, it is not possible for more homes, cars or holidays to make any discernible difference. With growing economic disparity in the US and other wealthy countries making the rich richer, it shows some of the beneficiaries of this process can give something back.

— Editorial Board

The National

San Bernardino shootings

Here’s a thought for lawmakers who refuse to consider any meaningful legislation to reduce the daily carnage of gun violence across America: Thanks to your single-minded defense of unfettered gun rights at the expense of all reason and respect for life, there is an endless supply of children to be consoled.

—  Editorial Board

The New York Times

The right seems to think those who protest police abuse are implicated in violence against police. But those who deliberately spread lies about Planned Parenthood and then a shooter attacks and kills people presumably based on those false beliefs? Nah, no relation.

… Of course, the shooter was nuts. Normal people don’t commit such violence with their mental faculties fully intact. But he can be a mentally unstable lunatic as well as a product of deliberately inflammatory anti-abortion extremism.

— Sally Kohn


We need to carefully balance public safety needs with respect for civil liberties. But sensible gun control exists easily on that fulcrum. The law of the land, regrettably, is that the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual’s right to own a gun. But not a blanket right to own any kind of gun, and the San Bernardino killings showed yet again the kind of fast, massive carnage that comes with firing military-style weapons with magazines of cartridges at defenseless victims.

— Scott Martelle

The Los Angeles Times

The San Bernardino killers, it seems, were not aiming at children with disabilities nor the people who provide them with services. But they hurt those children, their parents and caregivers, and the staff who have dedicated their lives to serving disabled Americans, nonetheless.

… And yet, we’ve done nothing. The pace of mass shootings is accelerating. Thanks to the power of the gun lobby and their cronies in Congress, all we do is offer empty thoughts and prayers, while we slowly become more and more afraid.

— David M. Perry


… Even by the standards of an American culture where mass shootings threaten to become routine, events like the ones in the past several days still retain the power to shock and anger, and to command the nation’s attention. What they haven’t done is galvanize Americans to find a way to try to make them stop happening, or at least make them less frequent.

… The work of reducing the gun carnage that has come to define America in the rest of the world will not be done quickly, but it has to begin.

— Editorial Board

USA Today

There will be post-mortems and an official search for a “motive” for this latest gun atrocity, as if something explicable had happened. The ultimate question grows with each new scene of carnage: Are these atrocities truly beyond the power of government and its politicians to stop? That tragically has been the case as political leaders offer little more than platitudes after each shootout, while the nation is left to numbly anticipate the next killing spree.

— Editorial Board

The New York Times

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