The Wednesday Curator – 12/1/2015

December 1, 2015

Debbie Elliott handled Montgomery, Ala., Celebrates 60th Anniversary Of Bus Boycott for All Things Considered on Tuesday afternoon. Hearing a reenactment chilled me, and left me feeling the plight of Black people in a way new to me. Ms. Parks was sitting in the first row of the Negro section, with a full-up White section, when more people boarded the bus. Bus driver to Ms. Parks: “Let that man have your seat. Don’t you see him standing there?” Yes, I read the Invisible Man, but it’s the language and the base contempt that hit me, hard. Listen to the story!

I read Challenge the Oligarchy, Paul Krugman’s excellent review of Robert Reich’s new book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few. (The piece appears in the 12/17/2015 issue of the New York Review of Books.) Mr. Krugman and Secretary Reich are scary smart men. For me, what resonated was the fact-based review of the last 30-40 years. So much of what passes for economics in our discourse is pablum. Here—both in the review and, per Mr. Krugman, in the book—evidence tests theories. That counts!

I’m very aware of the fact that my Supreme Court reporting has been poor since October 5. Life, with all its mysteries and, in my case, craziness, has made an appearance. Alas, checking in at, I ran across Must an Employee Still Be Employed to Sue for Discrimination?, a piece by Mark Joseph Stern about Green v. Brennan, No. 14-613. The case addresses the deadline for taking action in a federal constructive discharge employment case arising out of a violation of employment discrimination laws. Mr. Stern focuses on the Chief Justice’s comments, quoting him thusly:

Quitting your job is a very big deal. You have to plan out [when it will happen] and just because you can’t take it anymore doesn’t mean you could quit work right away.

Amy Howe offers a more detailed review of the oral argument for The issue is technically complex. On the facts before the Court, though, the employer—the U.S. Postal Service—will not likely fare well.

Revenge of the Nerds, written by Chris Ballard for Sports Illustrated, caught my eye not because of the title, but because of this tagline at How the Caltech basketball team, losers of 310 straight conference games, figured out a formula for winning. From the article it looks like the California Institute of Technology plays 12 conference games each season, which means it didn’t win a conference game for, oh, about 25 years. Wow! By the way, the story is terrific! Really, a must read!!!

We’re done with Thanksgiving, right? Yes but, as the curtain closed, I read Betsy Andrews’ essay, The Millionaire’s Turkey: A Father-Daughter Story. It’s a lovely reminder that many most of us do not live in Norman Rockwell paintings. (Erik Erikson, who treated Mr. Rockwell for a while, may have told him he painted his happiness, but did not live it.)

I’ve been eating less for almost a year. Healthier food too, mostly. Alas, in lieu of consuming calories, I put my eyeballs and my imagination to work, hard. So here’s The L.A. Sandwich Bucket List by Zach Brooks for Thrillist. Mighty fine looking sandwiches.

And, consistent with focusing on what rarely eat, here’s the 10 Best Burgers in Metro Phoenix. Closer and cheaper than Los Angeles. Best looking burger? The Bacon Burger from Bink’s.


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