Brown University News Bureau


Op-Eds distributed during the 2000-01 academic year

Melissa Bowman
Op-Ed: Liberians’ fear of being denied refuge is a real one
No one, not the Liberians or any other immigrant or refugee group, should have to worry about returning to a country where they would fear for their lives. 00-147 (distributed June 4, 2001)

Chengze Simon Fan and Herschel I. Grossman
Op-Ed: Corruption is losing its role in China
In China, corruption has provided incentives for local government officials in much the same way as methods of compensation in Western economies. There are increasingly good reasons, however, for the Chinese authorities to reconsider their policy of tolerating corruption. 00-138 (distributed May 21, 2001)

Barry M. Lester
Op-Ed: Is day care worse than cocaine?
It turns out that the rates of violent behavior for children in day care were the same as the national norms, and that other factors, such as family factors, were better predictors of violent behavior in kindergarten than whether or not the child was in day care. What the day care and cocaine reports have in common is the premature release of scientific information. 00-136 (distributed May 15, 2001)

Keith Brown
Op-Ed: Once again, a crossroads in the Balkans
By limiting U.S. troop deployments, the Bush administration sends encouragement to Albanian terrorists. To the people of the Balkans who so earnestly seek peace and stability it sends an insult that will only create disillusion and division. 00-096 (distributed March 13, 2001)

Brent Stuart Goodwin
Op-Ed: Powell may reverse hard times at the State Department
Since the 1950s the State Department has been a hard sell to Congress, and more than a few presidents have ignored the department’s counsel. It may take a figure with the gravitas – and popularity – of Colin Powell to make the case to Congress for more funds and personnel and to help the State Department win back its influence with the president. 00-085 (distributed February 20, 2001)

Ferdinand Jones
Op-Ed: Ken Burns’ Jazz succeeds as a documentary
In the unsteady state of American race relations today it would be all too easy to believe, as a small number of white jazz players and critics maintain, that the African American culture and African American musicians have not provided the major sources and shapes of the jazz art form. Ken Burns’ documentary firmly represents the truth of African American creativity that we all need to acknowledge – and not rationalize away or forget. 00-078 (distributed February 6, 2001)

Warren Simmons and Marla Ucelli
Op-Ed: School reform plans should include urban school districts
With heavy reliance on rewards and punishments, the Bush educational reform plan seems to imply that incentives alone will encourage schools to lift themselves out of failure. The plan pays scant attention to the one institution that can make sure there are good schools for all students: the urban school district. 00-077 (distributed February 6, 2001)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Iranian women’s situation has improved under Islamic Republic
The average marriage age for Iranian women before the 1979 Islamic revolution was 18; it is 21 today. Education for women is obligatory and universal. More than 75 percent of Iranians are under 25. For this population, literacy for men and women is well over 90 percent even in rural areas. University enrollment is nearly equal for men and women. 00-067 (distributed January 11, 2001)

Peter Richardson
Op-Ed: Can reliving history teach and change us?
The family who volunteered to live in “The 1940 House” have found themselves changed by the experience, differently from their prior expectations. This sounds like the mark of education: that it produces positive changes in oneself to carry forward in life. Can immersion in history, even if vicariously shared, teach us effectively? 00-063 (distributed December 15, 2000)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: The American social drama
Nothing could prove the existence of American culture more clearly than the recent presidential controversy and its resolution with the concession speech of Al Gore, and the reconciliation speech of George W. Bush. With these two events, the United States has gone through a textbook cultural process that anthropologists call a social drama. In this process, members of a culture deal with a crisis by reasserting social institutions and cultural values. 00-062 (distributed December 14, 2000)

Susan Smulyan
Op-Ed: Today’s entertainment descends from minstrel shows
The question of whether today’s audiences would enjoy Spike Lee’s fictional “New Millennium Minstrels” remains an open one. My research into a particularly shameful form of minstrelsy – shows presented by white amateurs – supports Lee’s view that the racist stereotypes of minstrel shows have been an integral part of American culture up to the present day. 00-059 (distributed November 3, 2000)

Charles T. Call
Op-Ed: In Yugoslavia, now for the hard part
The West should add incentives for Yugoslavia’s old guard to cede key posts without fueling nationalist fears. It should offer economic, security and judicial aid conditioned on pro-democracy leadership in key institutions, especially the police, the judiciary and the military. The West should temporarily delay action on Milosevic’s war crimes indictment, waiting until Kostunica’s allies have consolidated power. 00-044 (distributed October 31, 2000)

Ana Devic
Op-Ed: Helping Serbia enter the company of civil societies
If financial aid and political pressures are channeled to help the civic bases of protests against Slobodan Milosevic’s rule – those around the popular youth Resistance movement and other non-nationalistic initiatives scattered across the political spectrum – then what seems like Vojislav Kostunica’s nationalistic inflexibility or the general post-Milosevic inertia will be soon fading away. 00-043 (distributed Octrober 30, 2000)

Phil Brown
Op-Ed: The Catskills always survive
Novelists, journalists, local residents and many others have forecast the Catskills’ decline. But while the resort area is a fragment of its past glory, the Catskills are crawling with all sorts of developments, from casinos to old hotels converted into modest private homes. 00-041 (distributed October 27, 2000)

David Estlund
Op-Ed: Should we associate with the Scouts?
People who find the Boy Scouts’ practice of excluding gay people morally offensive should make their views clear through their own free expression and non-association. The Supreme Court’s decision settles a legal dispute in favor of the Boy Scouts. The court of public opinion remains open. 00-031 (distributed October 2, 2000)

Joan Teno, M.D.
Op-Ed: A tolerable death
A survey of bereaved family members in Rhode Island showed their loved ones died in pain in nursing homes. Family members should expect that pain can be controlled. The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration, which oversees all nursing homes in the country, should make pain a focus of state inspections of nursing homes. 00-022 (distributed September 11, 2000)

Elizabeth Hollander
Op-Ed: Disengaged youth – What’s a politician to do?
In the last national election, four out of five potential voters aged 18 to 24 did not cast a vote. Voting among young persons has declined since 1972, when Congress extended the franchise. We must find a way to address civic disengagement among college-age voters. 00-011 (distributed August 8, 2000)