It's the first week of school at the University of California, Berkeley, and Sproul Plaza, the campus's main thoroughfare, is bustling with the usual lunchtime crowd: protesters clanging garbage-can lids and plinking cowbells; upperclassmen blaring boomboxes; a jazz ensemble luring potential recruits with a Miles Davis standard.
It's Sunday morning at the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho, and Richard Butler is on his way to church. The 82-year-old leader of one of the nation's highest-profile white-supremacy groups stalks up the hill from his house, past the guard tower and the cook's shack with the giant swastika painted on the roof.
When Bill and Betty Kerns decided to build the Big One, they came to Los Altos Hills, one of the hottest addresses in Silicon Valley. After carving out a small fortune in the high-tech world, the Kernses snapped up a 21-acre swath of land and hammered out plans to plunk a 7,000-square-foot, 1920s-style Spanish Colonial atop the ridgeline, where the views stretched from the San Francisco skyline down to San Jose in the south.
In San Francisco--a city famous for its optimism about anything smaller, faster or smarter--wireless Internet technology is the talk of the town. So when industry heavyweights got together for the annual Unwired Universe conference here this week, you could cut the irrational exuberance with a knife. "The hype in this market is extraordinary, even by Silicon Valley standards," said one conference participant.Not that it's totally unreasonable.
South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges has walked into the crossfire over a 138-year-old battle flag. Last week the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the state chamber of commerce both said the Confederate banner that flew at Bull Run--for many a symbol of the South's slave-owning past and civil-rights defiance--should be removed from the statehouse dome.