Pope’s legacy is a few shades short of golden

April 18, 2005 • 0
It would be nice to see, if only once, credit for the overthrow of Eastern Europe’s Soviet political apparatus awarded to the captive peoples who, risking confiscation of property, imprisonment and execution, actually did the overthrowing. Our media seem to find it more compelling, however, to assign responsibility for the Velvet Revolution to various Western »

From TV to MLB, a field day for petty tyrants

March 29, 2005 • 0
In his famous speech to the 1964 Republican National Convention, Barry Goldwater denounced “those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen.” He was referring to the advocates of the Great Society, who wanted to empower the federal government toward abolishing poverty and institutional racism. Whatever else was wrong with the Johnson presidency, those were »

For Jews, vital line divides self-criticism and self-hate

March 3, 2005 • 0
Neoconservatives are as entitled as anyone else to a political creation myth. Unfortunately for them, if Yale computer science professor David Gelernter’s Feb. 7 article in The Weekly Standard (“The inventor of modern conservatism”) is correct, the neoconservatives’ founding legend is a real whopper even by the standards of consciously constructed fables. Gelernter argues that »

For U.S., language is complicit in ‘torture’

February 25, 2005 • 0
In November 2003, Manadel al Jamadi, one of the CIA’s so-called “ghost detainees,” died at Abu Ghraib prison. Military authorities classified his death as a “homicide.” The world learned of his existence last year, when photographs surfaced of prison guards giving the thumbs-up sign over his swollen corpse then preserved in ice. Fortunately, thanks to »

Privatization: Bush-style socialism at work

February 15, 2005 • 0
Since President Bush refuses to say exactly what his Social Security policy is, on the grounds that he won’t be tricked into arguing with himself, it’s difficult to know where to begin to praise or criticize his proposal. However, if it is anything like the system he outlined in his State of the Union, we »

In defense of Summers: why equal isn’t identical

February 2, 2005 • 0
By my count, Harvard president Lawrence Summers has now apologized about a half dozen times for his remarks at a conference in January on the expansion of the role of women in science and engineering. According to the accounts of witnesses (there is no available transcript), Summers suggested that innate genetic difference between men and »

Secular mandate: why to teach the Bible

January 24, 2005 • 0
Last October, by a margin of six to three, the school board of Dover, Penn., voted to add references to “intelligent design theory” into its schools’ biology classes. If the advocates of this change had any idea of the national scrutiny they were about to bring to their little town — it’s fair to say »

In war against jihad, tolerance is no weapon

January 13, 2005 • 1
Christopher Ashley did a commendable job last month (“In Holland, holy war from the secular side,” 12/2) describing the grisly slaying on Nov. 2 of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. This atrocity, committed in broad daylight on a busy thoroughfare in Amsterdam, hasn’t received nearly the attention it demands, particularly among the liberals whose »

How voting the right ticket became a ticket to salvation

November 30, 2004 • 0
In his Oct. 27 column, “The left should start having faith in Bush’s faith,” Mike Slater, parroting Sen. Joseph Lieberman, wrote that “[t]he First Amendment guarantees all Americans the freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.” As a matter both of jurisprudence and of intuitively reasonable interpretation of the Establishment Clause, this is utter nonsense. »

For Dems, best path is neither left nor right

November 11, 2004 • 1
There are dangers of reading both too much and too little into the outcome of this year’s presidential election. On the former count, the fact of the matter is that this election does not signify a major shift in the body politic. Since 1988, when George H. W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis by about 10 »

These days, campaign journalists should be on campaigns’ payrolls

November 1, 2004 • 0
The Oct. 15 edition of CNN’s “Crossfire” was a memorable one, and not just because it featured Tucker Carlson angrily accusing Jon Stewart of being John Kerry’s “butt boy.” Stewart had been invited onto the show on a lazy Friday in order to plug his book and tell some very mildly envelope-pushing bipartisan jokes. Instead, »

Bush misses mark on grown-up diplomacy

October 25, 2004 • 0
Recently the Financial Times broke the story that Germany might join the reconstruction effort in Iraq if John Kerry wins the presidential election. This is big news. It’s not quite every day that a foreign government overtly creates an incentive for American voters to choose one presidential candidate over the other. And this report simply »