Pop culture

The Greatest Female Television Star

Among the accolades being heaped on Mary Tyler Moore following her death, she is being called the “greatest female television star ever”. That is untrue, illustrating only how ignorant of history Americans are. In three consecutive decades, in 1951 through 1956, 1962 through 1969, and 1970 through 1972, among the [Read More]

Social Issues

What I Miss About America

I miss America and I don’t think we’ll ever get that America back. The America that I grew up in was at peace. We had just won a great war against vicious enemies. We were apprehensive but at peace. We didn’t invade other countries. The America that I grew up [Read More]


History, Half-Told

At RealClearWorld Peter Adamson explains the service to the world performed by Arab scholars of the 9th century CE: In the eastern part of the Roman Empire, the Greek-speaking Byzantines could continue to read Plato and Aristotle in the original. And philosophers in the Islamic world enjoyed an extraordinary degree [Read More]

Just Plain Funny

The Sum of All Fears

Russians hacked the election. #PizzaGate. Trump is a Clinton plant. The conspiracy theories that have emerged about the 2016 presidential election have been dizzying. What do you get if you combine all of the conspiracy theories surrounding the 2016 presidential election? You get this: Stay around for the final two [Read More]


The Sugar Quandary

The United States has subsidized sugar for 82 years. Like most federal subsidies our programs subsidize producers rather than consumers—the specific objective of the programs have been to raise sugar prices and it’s been effective. Americans pay $300 million per year to support the program. For more information on U. [Read More]


What’s Wrong

If the economy is so good and getting better, why do people feel so bad about it? Are they being misled by demagogues? Don’t know what they’re talking about? Nostalgic for an imaginary past? The U. S. Council on Competitiveness, armed with data from the Gallup organization, presents an alternative [Read More]


Fidel Castro, 1926-2016

Without doubt the news of the day is that long-time Cuban leader Fidel Castro has died. From the New York Times: Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century [Read More]

Donald Trump

The Insurgency

While I think that the characterization of the Trump campaign as a start-up is interesting, I don’t think it really explains what we’ve witnessed. Trump’s campaign is an insurgency. That was pointed out as early as February of this year by John Robb: Trump is trouncing the competition. He’s doing [Read More]


The Fifth Branch of Government?

The editors of the Washington Post concur with President-Elect Trump’s tentative decision not to continue the Justice Department investigations of Hillary Clinton: The nation ought to be relieved that President-elect Donald Trump has decided not to press his campaign pledge to criminally investigate rival Hillary Clinton for her handling of [Read More]


What Could Possibly Explain It?

The Economist wonders what could possibly explain the surge of nationalist feeling, not just in the United States but in much of the developed world? It is troubling, then, how many countries are shifting from the universal, civic nationalism towards the blood-and-soil, ethnic sort. As positive patriotism warps into negative [Read More]

Donald Trump

Required Reading

I strongly recommend you take a little time and read this post by medical professional (and Trump opponent) Scott Alexander. Here’s the context: I work in mental health. So far I have had two patients express Trump-related suicidal ideation. One of them ended up in the emergency room, although luckily [Read More]


Lessons Learned, 2016

I strongly suspect that we’re going to be treated to a lot of musing on the lessons learned in the 2016 presidential campaign, much of it phrased as recriminations or even accusations. The polls were wrong. Hillary Clinton did not have a three point advantage in the popular vote. She [Read More]



Most of what Americans know about history, government, politics, and current events they learn from watching television. And most of that is not from watching news or public affairs program but from watching television dramas or even comedies. That television dramas have enormous power in influencing opinion very nearly goes [Read More]


The 70s Aren’t Coming Back

One of my commenters took substantial umbrage at my claim that the idea that saying that U. S. manufacturing jobs could be “brought back” from China, Japan, South Korea, etc. was poorly informed enough as to constitute a lie so I thought I’d explain my reasoning. What I’m presenting in [Read More]


Those Were the Days

Take a look at this post at The Citizens Audit on the complicated flow of money, donations, and commissions among non-profits, PACs, 527s, etc. operated by David Brock. It used to be that newspapers did this sort of investigation and analysis. Those were the days! Re-posted from The Glittering Eye


Heightened Alert, DHS-Style

It seems to me that this Associated Press story speaks for itself: WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud who had pending deportation orders, according to an internal [Read More]


Democracy In Action

Although I agree with what I see as the spirit of Dani Rodrik’s New York Times op-ed: We need to rescue globalization not just from populists, but also from its cheerleaders. Globalization evangelists have done great damage to their cause not just by underplaying the real fears and concerns on [Read More]



As a resident of Chicago for more than a half century and of the city itself for the last 30 some-odd, I’m drawn to stories about Chicago, regardless of where they appear. Dennis Byrnes’s piece in Weekly Standard on Chicago’s murder rate was no exception: What have 85 years of [Read More]