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D. R. Tucker
D. R. Tucker is the operator of the Massachusetts-based blog The Urban Right ( He is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in the Boston Herald,,,, and In addition, he hosted The Notes on Blog Talk Radio ( from August 2009 to June 2010.

Entries by D. R. Tucker

Art Official Intelligence

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2016 | 4:06 PM

Eighteen years ago this June, I watched Peter Weir's The Truman Show at the old Loews Nickelodeon theater in Boston, and was transfixed by both Jim Carrey's performance and the film's forecast of a society in which the line between fiction and reality would be obliterated between the lines...

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The Art of Healing

(3) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 3:47 PM

Philip Sossou, you're doing our school proud.

The senior at the prestigious Boston Latin School has garnered tremendous praise for his gift to the Class of 2016: hand-drawn portraits of each of his 411 classmates, all displayed throughout the corridors of the cherished and controversy-plagued school.

This gesture was more than just a display of Sossou's tremendous artistic talent: as the Boston Globe notes, it was an attempt to diminish the divisions at Boston Latin, which is currently under federal investigation after reports of rampant racism at the iconic institution:

"Our class has been kind of divided," said Sossou, an 18-year-old. "Having these pictures helps us to embrace our diversity."

Latin School has been mired in negative news after allegations of racism surfaced, with students of color complaining that administrators were slow to respond to the use of racial epithets at the school.

The drawings -- taped above the school's purple lockers, near doorways, and along the hallway -- aim to change a negative narrative around Sossou's beloved school, he said.

The portraits -- gleaned from Facebook posts and shots from Sossou's smartphone -- show seniors in their element, and came as a bolt out of the blue to most of them. One student is cuddling a cat, another flashed a peace sign, nearly everyone had a smile.

"I was trying to show everyone in a positive light," Sossou said...

Sossou -- bound for Bunker Hill Community College this fall and later, he hopes, the University of Massachusetts Amherst to study computer science -- said that when he began the project, he just wanted to get better with charcoal.

"But after that, the whole thing became altruistic," he said.

Soon, he had drawn 50 portraits and then 100, then 200. He worked when he could, taking extended breaks only twice since early February before finishing up last week.

"There were times that I wanted to stop," he said. "I thought they probably are not going to appreciate this because we are so divided."

Thank goodness he didn't stop. While art cannot end racism--heck, the election of an African-American president couldn't accomplish that lofty goal, contrary to the
dishonest arguments of syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker--it can certainly help to soften the hard lines that divide us. It takes courage to try to heal the racial wounds that cover the body of Boston Latin--and this young man is as courageous as he is talented.

As a 1995 graduate of Boston Latin, I've been horrified by the reports of a deteriorating racial climate at the school. Those who opposed the the mid-1990s legal effort to eliminate policies intended to foster diversity at Boston Latin warned that if those policies were struck down by the federal courts, black and Hispanic students who made it into Boston Latin after the elimination of those policies would find themselves under siege. This has now happened, and I can only imagine the amount of racial hostility Sossou faced during his years at the school. Clearly, he has overcome it--but it was an obstacle that never should have been placed in his way to begin with.

I can't help noting that the individual who spearheaded the legal effort to eliminate diversity policies at Boston Latin noted years ago that the actual plaintiff in the first of the two cases that led to Boston Latin's current racial strife--the individual's own daughter--felt very strongly that merit, not race, should be the deciding factor in admissions to the school, and that "If I won the race, I should get the medal."

Two decades later, it's clear that Philip Sossou has won his race, having faced obstacles the plaintiff in that case couldn't even imagine. He deserves a medal too. A medal of...

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Security Clearance

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 2:31 PM

Will the issue of Social Security dominate the 2016 presidential election? Well, why shouldn't it?

Steven Hill of the New America Foundation has written a new book, Expand Social Security Now! How To Ensure Americans Get the Retirement They Deserve (Beacon Press), which should ensure that the need to...

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The Climate Primary: Their Vision, Your Decision

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2016 | 7:01 AM

The stakes are too high for you to stay home.

Lyndon Johnson's ad campaign, 1964

This time, vote like your whole world depended on it.

Richard Nixon's ad campaign, 1968

No issue trumps the climate crisis in terms of importance. With 2015 eclipsing...

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Election Misdirection

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 12:37 PM

"So many of our Christians," the late right-wing activist Paul Weyrich intoned in 1980, "have what I call the goo-goo syndrome: good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from...

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Is Anyone Listening to Irwin Stelzer's Sound Advice?

(2) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 5:09 PM

Irwin Stelzer has to be the loneliest man in America.

For the last few months, the veteran conservative economist has been urging the right to embrace the wisdom of a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Back in May 2014, Stelzer took to the pages of the Weekly Standard to make...

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The Lowlight Reel

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 6:25 AM

The November 30, 2014 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources will be remembered for years to come as one of the sleaziest cable-news broadcasts of all-time. Thanks to one deranged booking decision, an episode that could have been dignified ended up being a disaster.

Discussing the aftermath of the...

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Higher Learning

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 9:01 PM

The spirit of the People's Climate March continues to be felt across the United States, as concerned citizens continue to fight for a cleaner atmosphere and cleaner energy. Part of that fight involves pushing back against the arrogance and power of billionaire climate-change deniers Charles and David Koch....

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Here Are the Jobs!

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 12:19 PM

On June 2, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the EPA's Clean Power Plan, a proposed rule to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants by 30 percent over the next eighteen years. Ms. McCarthy and the EPA deserve tremendous credit for taking this bold step to...

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The Goldberg Variations

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 1:42 PM

Well, I'll give National Review writer Jonah Goldberg this: at least he didn't try to compare climate scientists to sex offenders.

Goldberg, whose magazine has been filled with advertisements from the fossil-fuel industry for years, unsurprisingly chided the Obama administration for delaying a final decision on the Keystone XL...

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A Power Outage in the White House?

(4) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 9:15 AM

Say it isn't so, President Obama!

It was just one year ago that Obama boldly declared that he would respond to the threat of climate change in his inaugural address. While he reaffirmed his call for climate action in his 2013 State of the Union address...

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Amazing Grace: A Survivor's Story

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 7:55 PM

Michael Mann's The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines now out in paperback, is one of the best thrillers you will ever read.

There 's no blood or violence, but this outstanding work is an engaging "true crime" tale -- the crime in question...

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Public Miseducation: WGBH and David Koch

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 1:46 PM

(The following is the text of my remarks at the Rally for a Koch-Free WGBH in Boston on October 9, 2013. The event, organized by Forecast the Facts, was held to encourage WGBH, the powerful PBS affiliate in Boston, to remove billionaire climate-change denier David Koch from its Board...

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Brooks Brother

(1) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 5:33 PM

Hang in there, David Brooks!

The New York Times columnist is being bombarded with bombast from the likes of Rush Limbaugh for his entirely accurate remarks on a recent edition of the PBS program Newshour about radical-right Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The assault on Brooks is reminiscent of...

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Maddow's Mission

(31) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 5:04 PM

September 8, 2008, was a good day for America -- even if I didn't know it at the time.

That day marked the debut of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, and the first real injection of intelligence into modern-day cable news. That was not my opinion of the...

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Krauthammer's Climate Crack-up

(111) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 1:50 PM

"The point of gasoline taxes is to reduce consumption/demand -- with all of the attendant beneficial side effects -- not to fund other projects, however lovely they sound. Once you break the discipline of having every penny of the tax go back to the taxpayer immediately through the payroll tax...
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You Can't Get What You Want ('Til You Know What You Want)

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 5:30 PM

You know, maybe if Gabriel Gomez had hired Josh Barro as a campaign advisor, he would have been more competitive in his U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts against Edward Markey.

The Business Insider columnist and voice of "reform conservatism" probably would have done a better job of helping...

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A Plan of Action

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 5:36 PM

Next week, I'll mark the fifteenth anniversary of a poisoned memory -- for it is a day that represents the nadir of my obsession with fidelity to conservative orthodoxy.

On May 28, 1998, U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro of Boston issued a ruling in a controversial case...

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The Jewel of Denial (or, Why Can't the GOP Be Wonky?)

(8) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 2:10 PM

I can certainly understand the phenomenon of Republican "poll denial."

Six years ago, I was a staunch supporter of Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey, the Republican opponent of Democrat Deval Patrick. Under no circumstances did I want Patrick, the former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the...

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None Dare Call It Reason

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 5:00 PM

I'm not dreaming of a white Christmas, because the upcoming snow will bring yet another year of alleged geniuses declaring that climate change isn't happening because there's a blizzard outside. The phenomenon of pro-Big Oil, anti-Al Gore conservatives claiming climate change is a hoax because there's snow on the...

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