The Olympics have become a festival of disgrace

  There was a time when I, like most Americans and others around the world, greatly enjoyed watching the quadrennial Summer Olympics and, to a lesser degree, the Winter Games as well. But no more. It wouldn’t bother me if they cancelled the whole corrupt enterprise. Or at least they could scale it down to something far more modest and more truly dedicated to the principle, as the Olympic Charter puts it, that “the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to...

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Politics is an especially tricky business in this age of short attention spans

  If you’re middle-aged or older, you’re probably aware that the attention span of Americans in general — including you — has been declining in this age of multiplying media and countless intellectual stimuli. It’s small solace to me that my own loss of memory is probably attributable not just to advancing age but also to this explosion of media. The filing cabinet between my ears has long since become overloaded, mainly with trivia, rendering some of its contents less accessible than they used to be. Now,...

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Trump’s ugly rhetoric encourages bigots all over the world

  Let’s face it: Donald Trump has become a hero to people in far-flung places around the globe. But they’re the wrong kind of people, and Trump is the wrong kind of hero. The Donald has become America’s chief exporter of its ugliest product — bigotry.  Just as his followers here at home tend to be more racist than the Republican electorate on the whole, according to polls, his appeal abroad is strongest among the principal peddlers of hatred in foreign lands. This does not serve Trump’s vaunted objective of...

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The pessimism peddled by politicians and the media is mostly bogus

  More than a few politicians have one thing in common these days: They tend to exaggerate the extent to which the world in general and America in particular are on the brink of big trouble if not total collapse. No, I won’t plead guilty to this charge in connection with climate change. I’m convinced that the serious dangers posed by global warming are real, and I think we ignore them at our own peril. Aside from that matter, however, I think too many politicians and too many media outlets are unduly peddling fear to a...

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Americans who spew hatred of Muslims are aiding the cause of terrorism

  Whenever anyone like me argues against Islamophobia or points out that most Muslims in America and the rest of the world are not terrorists, Donald Trump and others of his ilk dismiss us as foolish advocates of political correctness. But the reality is not that simple. The fact of the matter is that hatred of Muslims, especially here in America, only aids the cause of terroristic Islamic extremists. Muslim crazies are telling their more moderate and peaceful brethren that Americans hate Islam and want to destroy it. The bigoted...

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Bernie’s failure to renounce the neo-brownshirts among his followers is shameful

  Sen. Bernie Sanders has been a welcome voice of reason and reform in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the same cannot be said of some of his supporters — especially of late. As Hillary Clinton has moved closer to clinching the nomination, some of Sander’s followers — Berniacs, as I call them — have been misbehaving. Some have vowed to do anything to prevent a Clinton victory in the November election, even if her Republican rival is the detestable Donald Trump. The term “sore...

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