You are browsing the archive for 2019 May 07.

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In 1968, This Kentucky Derby Winner Lost its Crown for a Drug Most Horses Take Now

May 7, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

The .

“At the time, Kentucky had what’s called a zero-tolerance policy for prohibited medications,” Toby says. “Which meant that even the smallest trace of this drug and the other prohibited medications in a horse’s system was grounds for disqualification. It didn’t matter how much it was, there just had to be at least a trace.”

One of the drugs on the prohibited medications list was phenylbutazone, often referred to as “Bute,” which acts as an antihistamine and pain-reliever in horses, similarly to how aspirin works in humans. It isn’t a steroid or stimulant that affects a horse’s performance as drastically as heroin or cocaine, and many horses used it during training for the 1968 Kentucky Derby. Still, they weren’t supposed to have any of it in their systems by the time they raced in Louisville, and the chemist found that Dancer’s Image did.

Peter Fuller with racehorse Dancer’s Image in 1968.

It later came out that a veterinarian had given Dancer’s Image some phenylbutazone about a week before the race. Most horses would have gotten the drug out of their system by then, but it seems Dancer’s Image’s body didn’t process it as quickly. Because of the zero-tolerance policy, racetrack chemists only tested for the presence of certain drugs, not the amount that was in a horse’s body. So it didn’t matter whether Dancer’s Image had a lot of phenylbutazone in his system or just trace amounts from a previous dose—he was going to be disqualified.

Officials at Churchill Downs didn’t discover the drug test results until Monday when they received the chemist’s report. They spent the day tracking down the horse’s trainer, Lou Cavalaris, to tell him that Dancer’s Image had tested positive for phenylbutazone. This meant the horse would lose its first place title and be moved to last place. The next day, Churchill Downs made the news public. The new winner was Forward Pass, who’d come in second behind Dancer’s Image.

Fuller sued over this decision, and the court cases dragged on for nearly five years while the first-place prize money sat in an escrow account. “He had a lot of money, and he was the first person to actually make a serious claim that the tests were inappropriate and that the racing chemist was incompetent,” Toby says.

A state judge actually ruled in Fuller’s favor, but the victory was short-lived because the Kentucky State Racing Commission appealed and won. …read more


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Chinese Americans Were Once Forbidden to Testify in Court. A Murder Changed That

May 7, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

Yee Shun was new to Las Vegas, in New Mexico Territory, and he didn’t intend to stay long. Though he’d secured a job at a local hotel, he’d decided to move on to Albuquerque, a frontier city even more promising and bustling than 1882 Las Vegas. But first, he planned to look up a friend at a local Chinese-owned laundry.

That decision proved fatal—in more ways than one. It set the stage for one man’s murder, and another’s suicide. It also resulted in something unexpected: a legal case that overturned a longstanding practice of refusing to allow Chinese people to testify in U.S. court.

At the time Yee immigrated to the United States from China, Chinese people had few civil rights. Men from China had been immigrating since the 1840s, drawn by the country’s ample opportunities for laborers. As railroad companies competed to grow as quickly as possible, they needed a pool of cheap labor willing to take on dangerous and often backbreaking work, and Chinese immigrants fit the bill. Up to 15,000 Chinese men became railroad workers, then branched out into mining, farming, sewing, laundry, and other fields.

But though Chinese immigrants were essential to westward expansion, they were not welcomed by many white Americans, who felt threatened by enclaves of unfamiliar workers who spoke a different language, practiced a different religion and made significant contributions to both labor and business in the burgeoning West. By the 1880s, anti-Chinese sentiment reached its peak with the Chinese Exclusion Acts, a series of laws that restricted immigration from China and limited Chinese-born people’s civil rights within the U.S.

The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act suspended immigration for ten years, required Chinese people to carry documentation at all times, and refused Chinese people the ability to become naturalized citizens. “The coming of Chinese laborers to this country endangers the good order of certain localities within the territory thereof,” the Act read.

Chinese miners working alongside three white men in Aubine Ravine, California circa 1852.

Chinese people lacked another civil right: the right to testify in court in many states and territories. Laws and court cases denying them that right went back almost as far as Chinese immigration in the United States, and in states where there were no such laws, Chinese people who wanted to testify were often dismissed as liars before they even took the stand.

In 1854, …read more


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Why Trump's Tariffs on China Hurt Everyday Americans

May 7, 2019 in Economics

By Daniel J. Ikenson

Daniel J. Ikenson

With negotiations to remove sweeping U.S. tariffs and end the
year-long trade war seemingly in the homestretch, President Donald
Trump abruptly reversed course on Sunday and announced his
intention to increase those tariffs and extend their application to
all imports from China by the end of the week.

The president believes that depriving Chinese exporters access
to the U.S. market will compel Beijing to accept Washington
demands. Although raising tariffs certainly will tighten the vice,
the squeeze will be felt most acutely by Americans because tariffs
are nothing more than taxes on U.S. consumers, producers and

Contrary to Trump’s simplistic portrayal of trade, the United
States doesn’t purchase goods from China. Trade is not conducted
between countries. Rather, trade is the culmination of billions of
daily transactions between individuals around the world seeking to
obtain the most value from that exchange — the biggest bang
for their buck. By raising costs, tariffs ensure that consumers get
less bang for their bucks.

Rather than get on an airplane to China to purchase goods from a
local vendor, we avoid those transaction costs by letting our
retailers do the heavy lifting. U.S. companies such as Walmart,
Home Depot and Amazon purchase goods from Chinese

Those purchases are made not because the retailers have any
interest in consuming those goods but because U.S. individuals
— and U.S. companies requiring intermediate goods and
machines to produce their own output — demand these goods. By
virtue of the volume of their transactions, wholesalers and
retailers have the market power and the logistics infrastructure in
place to negotiate prices and purchase these products on our

When tariffs (or duties) are imposed at the U.S. border, those
costs get factored into the prices paid for each transaction in the
supply chain and, ultimately, by box store customers like you and
me. China is not paying those tariffs. And trade wars are neither
good nor easy to win.

In 2017, before the onset of the trade war, U.S. importers
purchased $504 billion of goods from China and paid tariffs (or
duties) of $13.5 billion to U.S. Customs and Border Protection
— about 2.7%.

Last July, tariffs of 25% were imposed on approximately
$50 billion of imports from China, and in September,
tariffs of 10% were imposed on an additional
$200 billion of Chinese goods.

Year-end figures show that in 2018, U.S. importers purchased
$543 billion of goods from China and paid duties of $23 billion
— 4.2%. That nearly $10 billion increase in tariffs paid came
out of the wallets of American consumers.

If the president follows through with his plan to hit all
imports from China …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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6-Year-old Etan Patz—boy on milk carton—goes missing

May 7, 2019 in History

By Editors

On the morning of May 25, 1979, six-year-old Etan Patz walked the two blocks from his home to his bus stop in Manhattan. It was his first time walking there alone before school, and the last day his parents would ever see him. That’s because someone abducted Etan during that walk. In his parents’ effort to find him, Etan became among the first missing children to be featured on milk cartons.

Julie and Stanley Patz didn’t realize her son was missing until later that day, when he didn’t come home from the Independence Plaza School. They soon learned he hadn’t been in his first grade class that day or even made the bus that morning, and called the police. Etan’s disappearance led to nationwide search that wasn’t resolved until 2017, when Pedro Hernandez was convicted of abducting and killing him.

Etan was among the first non-celebrity missing children to gain national attention, the way JonBenét Ramsey would in 1996. In the early 1980s, Etan’s face appeared on milk cartons all over the country encouraging people to contact the authorities if they’d seen him. Etan’s case also led President Ronald Reagan to declare May 25 National Missing Children’s Day in 1983, and played a role in the founding of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In the decades after Etan went missing, there were fake confessions, false leads and even young men who showed up at the Patz’s doorstep claiming to be Etan. For a long time, investigators suspected Jose Ramos of abducting him. Ramos was a friend of Etan’s former babysitter who was convicted of child molestation in the 1980s. But investigators were never able to confirm that Ramos was guilty. In 2000, authorities declared Etan legally dead, and the case went cold.

Investigators reopened the case in 2010, and two years later they excavated the foundation of a home near Etan’s to look for clues. The excavation didn’t turn anything up, but the media coverage of it did lead people to report some new tips, one of which lead investigators to the person they were looking for. That person was Pedro Hernandez, who had been 18 and worked at the bodega near Etan’s bus stop the day he disappeared.

Investigators discovered that in 1982, Hernandez had admitted in an open church confessional that he had killed a young boy. His family knew about this …read more


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When Grapes Became America's Most Controversial Fruit

May 7, 2019 in History

By Adam Janos

The story of the epic Delano grape strike has long focused on Cesar Chavez and Mexican-American farm workers. Less well known: the crucial contributions of Filipino migrants.

In the late 1960s, grapes grabbed national attention—and not in a good way.

Newly organized farm workers, fronted by Mexican-American civil-rights activist Cesar Chavez, asked Americans to boycott the popular California fruit because of the paltry pay and poor work conditions agricultural laborers were forced to endure. Using nonviolent tactics like marches and hunger strikes, grape pickers made their plight a part of the national civil-rights conversation. It took time, but their efforts paid off: In 1970, after five years of the so-called Delano grape strike, farm workers won a contract promising better pay and benefits. A few years later, their efforts led to the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, which established collective-bargaining power for farmworkers statewide.

Cesar Chavez (TV-PG; 3:59)

But while Chavez has been honored with a national monument, a postage stamp and three state holidays, he wasn’t the only catalyst for change. Or even the leading one. Rather, it was Larry Itliong, a Filipino-American organizer, who led a group of Filipino-American grape workers to first strike in September 1965.

“The Filipinos were far more radical” than the Mexican-American farm workers, says Matt Garcia, a professor of history at Dartmouth College and the author of From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement. “They were focused like a laser, and decided that they were going to force the issue.”

Who really started the Delano grape strike?

The farm workers of Central California’s San Joaquin Valley largely hailed from two groups: Mexican-Americans and Filipino-Americans. But while they performed the same jobs in the same fields, they had arrived into California’s agricultural industry via very different routes.

The first big wave of Filipino migration to the U.S. came between the two world wars. According to the book Little Manila is in the Heart by Dawn Mabalon, more than 31,000 Filipinos came to California between 1920 and 1929, many in search of agricultural work. Most came from rural areas of the Philippines, having sold off farm animals, crops and small parcels of land in order fund the 7,000-plus-mile journey across the Pacific.

As a group, they were more than 90% male. And because anti-miscegenation laws forbade interracial marriage in California, …read more