An all too familiar scene was enacted on the campus of Swarthmore College during a meeting on May 4th to discuss demands by student activists for the college to divest itself of its investments in companies that dealt in fossil fuels.
This time of year, as college students return home for the summer, many parents may notice how many politically correct ideas they have acquired on campus. Some of those parents may wonder how they can undo some of the brainwashing that has become so common in what are supposed to be institutions of higher learning.
A hundred years ago, anyone who might have predicted in 1913 the monumental, man-made catastrophes that would occur in the rest of the 20th century would have been considered warped, if not completely mentally deranged.
If you are driving along and suddenly see a big red rubber ball come bouncing out into the street, you might want to put your foot on the brake pedal, because a small child may well come running out into the street after it.
Someone called politics “the art of the possible.” But, in the era of the modern welfare state, politics is largely the art of the impossible.
During decades of watching both collegiate and professional football, I have seen hundreds of touchdowns scored by black players -- but not one extra point kicked by a black player.
Most laws are meant to stop people from doing something, and to penalize those who disregard those laws. More generally, laws are meant to protect the society from the law breakers.
Since when has it been considered smart to tell your enemies what your plans are?
The Obama administration treated the creation of “democracy” in the Middle East as a Good Thing. Ironically, those who created the United States of America viewed democracy with fear — and created a Constitutional republic instead.
Many ideas presented as “new” are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before — and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent “Growth and Opportunity Project” report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called “Me too” Republicanism.
The main thing wrong with the term limits movement is the “s” at the end of the word “limit.”
Among the many irrational ideas about racial and ethnic groups that have polarized societies over the centuries and around the world, few have been more irrational and counterproductive than the current dogmas of multiculturalism.
Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?
John Stuart Mill’s classic essay “On Liberty” gives reasons why some people should not be taking over other people’s decisions about their own lives. But Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard has given reasons to the contrary. He cites research showing “that people make a lot of mistakes, and that those mistakes can prove extremely damaging.”
A nation’s choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as “guns versus butter.” But understanding the choices of many nations’ political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.
I can’t get excited by the question of whether Senator Robert Menendez had sex with a prostitute in Central America. It is her word against his — and when it comes to a prostitute’s word against a politician’s word, that is too close to call.
People on both sides of tax issues often speak of such things as a “$300 billion tax increase” or a “$500 billion tax decrease.” That is fine if they are looking back at something that has already happened. But it can be sheer nonsense if they are talking about a proposed increase or decrease in the tax rate.
An old-time trial lawyer once said, “When your case is weak, shout louder!”
The gun control controversy is only the latest of many issues to be debated almost solely in terms of fixed preconceptions, with little or no examination of hard facts.
There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?
Many years ago, as a young man, I read a very interesting book about the rise of the Communists to power in China. In the last chapter, the author tried to explain why and how this had happened.
The beginning of a new year is often a time to look forward and look back. The way the future looks, I prefer to look back — and depend on my advanced age to spare me from having to deal with too much of the future.
With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.
Amid all the political and media hoopla about the “fiscal cliff” crisis, there are a few facts that are worth noting.
If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.
Few things can make you appreciate home like staying in a hotel. This includes not only low-budget, bare bones hotels but also sweepingly large and ornate luxury hotels. What many hotels seem to have in common are needless hassles.
Some media pundits see in the growing proportion of non-white groups in the population a growing opposition to the Republican Party that will sooner or later make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win presidential elections or even to control either house of Congress. But is demography destiny?
Confidence men know that their victim — “the mark” as he has been called — is eventually going to realize that he has been cheated. But it makes a big difference whether he realizes it immediately, and goes to the police, or realizes it after the confidence man is long gone.
It was a little much when President Barack Obama said that he was “offended” by the suggestion that his administration would try to deceive the public about what happened in Benghazi. What has this man not deceived the public about?
Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.
Much puzzling behavior by Barack Obama falls into place when we go behind the image that he projects (“Obama 1”) to the factual reality of the man’s whole life and thrust (“Obama 2”).
Insurance is all about risk. Yet neither insurance companies nor their policy-holders can do anything about one of the biggest risks -- namely, interference by politicians, to turn insurance into something other than a device to deal with risk.
There are some very serious issues at stake in this year's election -- so many that some people may not be able to see the forest for the trees. Individual issues are the trees, but the forest is the future of America as we have known it.
Governor Mitt Romney's choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate is one of those decisions that seem obvious -- if not inevitable -- in retrospect, even though it was by no means obvious to most of us beforehand.
It has long seemed to me that there is far more rationality in sports, and in commentaries on sports, than there is in politics and in commentaries on politics.
If Milton Friedman were alive today — and there was never a time when he was more needed — he would be one hundred years old. He was born on July 31, 1912.
Random thoughts on the passing scene: Even squirrels know enough to store nuts, so that they will have something to eat when food gets scarce.
Since so many in the media cannot resist turning every tragedy into a political talking point, it was perhaps inevitable that (1) someone would try to link the shooting rampage at the Batman movie in Colorado to the Tea Party, and that (2) some would try to make it a reason to impose more gun control laws.
Since this is an election year, we can expect to hear a lot of words -- and the meaning of those words is not always clear. So it may be helpful to have a glossary of political terms.
Random thoughts on the passing scene: Many people may have voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because of his charisma. But anyone familiar with the disastrous track record of charismatic political leaders around the world in the 20th century should have run for the hills when they encountered a politician with charisma.
It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.
Would anyone work to support themselves or their families -- and then turn over a chunk of that hard-earned money to somebody else, just because of the words used by that somebody else?
'Education" is a word that covers a lot of very different things, from vital, life-saving medical skills to frivolous courses to absolutely counterproductive courses that fill people with a sense of grievance and entitlement, without giving them either the skills to earn a living or a realistic understanding of the world required for a citizen in a free society.
Democrats have been having a field day with the cry of “tax cuts for the rich” — for which Republicans seem to have no reply.
When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks
The "Occupy" movement, which the Obama administration and much of the media have embraced, has implications that reach far beyond the passing sensation it has created.
Labor unions, like the United Nations, are all too often judged by what they are envisioned as being — not by what they actually are or what they actually do.
Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against George Zimmerman for his shooting of Trayvon Martin, what has happened already is enough to turn the stomach of anyone who believes in either truth or justice.
Apparently the soaring national debt and the threat of a nuclear Iran are not enough to occupy the government's time, because the Obama administration is pushing to force Westchester County, N.Y., to create more low-income housing, in order to mix and match classes and races to fit the government's preconceptions.
Random thoughts on the passing scene: How long do politicians have to keep on promising heaven and delivering hell before people catch on, and stop getting swept away by rhetoric?