Can I be fair to Roy Moore?

  The question in the headline above is one I’ve asked myself on several occasions in recent days in the wake of allegations that Roy Moore, who is now a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, had a sexual dalliance with a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old criminal prosecutor in Alabama. My answer to that question is affirmative. I don’t like Roy Moore, and I wouldn’t vote for him for any public office. But I don’t know for sure if he ever did what the former 14-year-old girl said he did. Actually, I...

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A few odds and ends

  In no particular order of importance: The recent rash of sex scandals in show business and politics (Harvey Weinstein, Judge Roy Moore, Louis C.K, to cite a few examples) lends itself to widespread misinterpretation, it seems to me. I don’t think these stories are proof that sexual misconduct is a lot more rampant these days. There was plenty of that kind of stuff 50 years ago, when I was in my 20s. But women in those days weren’t as likely to make a fuss about it, especially in cases where the aggressor was a prominent...

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Here’s one reason why TV newscasts are so depressing

  It pains me to admit this, but I’m beginning to sympathize with people who say they don’t watch the news on TV, mainly because it’s too depressing. But it’s the commercials, not the news, that are most disturbing to me. As a senior citizen, I’m more likely than younger people to watch the nightly early-evening newscasts on ABC, CBS or NBC. That’s the way it is in the TV news business. We older folks comprise a pretty big share of the viewing audience for the regularly-scheduled suppertime news shows...

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A good example of widespread cluelessness

  A question: What percentage of the federal government’s budget goes to foreign aid? Thirty percent? Twenty-five percent? Twenty percent? In a poll conducted just a few years ago, respondents, on average, estimated that 26 percent of federal spending is a gift to foreigners. The truth of the matter is that less than 1 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. But that little tidbit seems to have escaped the attention of, among many others, some guy I heard on TV the other day prattling about how the politicians in...

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One sure result of tragedy in Texas church

  It remains to be seen if there will be any significant changes in the laws of Texas or the United States in response to the mass shooting this past Sunday that killed 26 worshippers in a little church in a little town not far from San Antonio. But one result is ultimately predictable: Gun sales will soar. There are no official statistics available yet in the wake of the Texas situation, but it’s a good bet that I’ll be right about this. Mind you,  I’m not saying that we’ll see a big jump in gun sales all across...

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Trump responds to Texas tragedy with double-talk

  Boldly and insensitively, President Trump said today that the shooting spree on Sunday morning that killed at least 26 people at a small-town church in Texas was not “a guns situation.” Rather, it was a “mental health problem,” he said. Trump made the remarks at a news conference in Tokyo, the first major stop on his current tour of Asia. It was all double-talk. The Donald was a gun-control advocate himself until he sought the National Rifle Association’s endorsement in his campaign for president last...

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