Is stupidity making a comeback in American politics?

  Eight years ago, somebody whose name I don’t recall wrote an essay in some publication or another about how the election of Barack Obama as president seemed to signal a pronounced turn away from anti-intellectualism in American politics. The piece made fun of the stupid things said and done by the likes of Republicans George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other fools of their ilk. The author hopefully predicted that Obama’s presidency would open a new age of popular respect for brains among our national leaders. One...

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Whatever became of the Founding Fathers?

  Is it my imagination, or have today’s American politicians completely forgotten the nation’s Founding Fathers? I can’t remember the last time I heard a prominent Republican or Democrat invoke the thoughts — imaginary or otherwise — of the authors of the Constitution to justify some current political scheme. It used to be that barely a day would pass without somebody on the left or right expounding on what the Founding Fathers “intended” when they invented this republic. But we shouldn’t...

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Here’s the real minority crime problem

  The most frequent commenter among the regular readers of this blog made some predictable point or another the other day about black crime in America. But he, like so many other people of his ilk, seems oblivious of the real problem of minority crime in this society. It’s about time that the truth of the matter be laid bare: The problem of crime, violent or otherwise, is mostly the fault of our largest minority group —  men. Our failure to face this fact squarely, to deal with all of its implications and to seek gender-based...

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I have a love-hate relationship with air conditioning

  The month of June arrives next week, signaling the approach of summer and warmer weather,  about which I have mixed feelings. You see, I have a problem with air conditioning. Let me explain. I went to an afternoon party a few years ago at the lovely home of a solidly middle-class couple who seemed oblivious to the increasingly uncomfortable temperatures of the day. “Is their AC on the fritz?” I asked a friend. “It’s not like they can’t afford it.” They didn’t have  air conditioning, I was told....

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Objectivity in journalism often is a misunderstood concept

  In his campaign last year, Donald Trump repeatedly declared that crime and illegal immigration had increased greatly during the presidency of Barack Obama.   But that wasn’t true, as most fact-checkers eventually reported. Still, Trump’s claims rang true in the minds of most of his supporters. Americans generally are inclined to think that social pathologies are worse than they actually are. If I reported here that murders were significantly less common when Ronald Reagan was president than when Obama was in the White...

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