[Subscription Required] The discovery that cigarettes cause cancer greatly improved human health. But that discovery didn’t happen in a lab or spring from clinical trials. It came from careful analysis of mounds of data.
Donald Trump’s presidency has provoked an outpouring of anguished commentary about the norms — that is, customary behavior and moral standards — that underlie liberal democracy in America. The president has certainly disrupted settled patterns of campaigning, politics, and governance. The reasons for his success, the limitations of his style, and the consequences for the nation deserve careful examination.
Predictably, Donald Trump was attacked both by the establishment and the media as “crude,” “unpresidential,” and “gratuitous” for a recent series of blunt and graphic statements on a variety of current policies. Oddly, the implied charge this time around was not that Trump makes up stuff, but that he said things that were factual but should not be spoken.
The highly publicized progress by a “caravan” of approximately 5,000 migrants from Central America to the United States underlines a persistent trend. The reason for the trend is obvious. Economic conditions in Central America are grim, and the many young people there have poor prospects for advancement. The countries these migrants are fleeing are also plagued by violence.
On May 17, 1973, Senator Sam Ervin Jr. opened Senate hearings into the Watergate affair. “It is the constitutional duty of this committee,” he said, to expeditiously investigate allegations that American democracy “has been subverted and its foundations shaken.” Ervin, a Democrat, did not mince words in characterizing the gravity of the accusations leveled against Richard Nixon’s campaign and administration.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars. At the moment, there are thunderstorms across Europe, from Brexit to Ukraine and from Polish populism to Italian euro-defiance. Yet several of these crises contain their own hidden opportunities. Another Europe is possible.
In news from last week not related to White House intrigue or California wildfires: Richard Ojeda is running for president. In case you missed it, Ojeda is a West Virginia Democrat and 2018 congressional candidate best known for a military-issue buzz cut (he is a former U.S. Army paratrooper) and the media sobriquet “JFK with tattoos and a bench press.”
[Subscription Required] North Sentinel Island lies 500 miles to the east of India in the Bay of Bengal. It is inhabited by 50 to 150 people—no one knows how many for sure—descended from Stone Age migrants from Africa who settled there 50,000 years ago. Their way of life has changed little since those primordial times. No one in the world outside knows their language.
Thanksgiving Day used to be one of our most cherished civic holidays. On that day we celebrated our history, our faith, and our Republican government. In the stories told on that day, we acknowledged that though we are people whose touchstones are inalienable rights that no government bestows and no other human can take away, we are still a people of community and traditions, part of what G.K. Chesterton calls the “democracy of the dead.”
Anat Admati of Stanford's Graduate School of Business talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the financial crisis of 2008, the lessons she has learned, and how it has changed her view of economics, finance, and her career.
Clint Bolick, an Associate Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, talks with Paul E. Peterson about how the results of gubernatorial elections will affect the school choice climate in various states. They also discuss the proposed expansion of an education savings account program which was on the ballot in Arizona.
The quotes that follow are from “Conversations with Tyler: John Nye.” I’ve enjoyed a huge percent of these conversations between Tyler Cowen and various people. But this is by far my favorite for the insights of the guest. The whole thing is well worth reading.
My state senator, who is also majority leader of the California Senate, is Bill Monning. We’ve generally gotten along well, having been on a panel on the Iraq war at our daughters’ school in the spring of 2003 and having both spoken at an antiwar rally last decade. We were on the same side on both issues.
One of my favorite professors at the University of Western Ontario when I took a year of advanced undergrad and one grad economics classes there in 1971-72 was John Palmer. John posted a graphic today showing that a large percent of Americans got their exposure to classical music from cartoons. That’s true of me too.
Hoover Institution fellow Condoleezza Rice, historian David Kennedy, and a diverse group of Americans explore whether a unifying set of beliefs, an American creed, can prove more powerful than the issues that divide us.
Reviewing President Trump’s Twitter feed to check his latest pronouncements on the so-called caravan, I find that he recommends the November 18 installment of Mark Levin’s FOX News show with Victor Davis Hanson.
I awakened to the greatness of Samuel Johnson — eighteenth century England’s supreme man of letters — under the tutelage of Professor Jeffrey Hart, who required us to absorb Johnson’s magnificent essay on Soame Jenyns’s Free Enquiry Into the Nature and Origin of Evil. Memory of Jenyns’s otherwise forgettable book lives on thanks to the explosion it triggered in Johnson.
A taxpayer-funded gravy train promoted by Democrats Kamala Harris and Cory Booker that would provide “free money” to low-income and middle-class Americans would add trillions to the US debt and result in higher unemployment. That’s the assessment of several public-policy think tanks.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday full of good food, family, friends, and football (and it would be great if the earlier-every-year Christmas season quit butting in). Since it’s one of the few times a year many people see their extended family, including members with different political views and football allegiances, it’s hard to come up with conversation topics with broad appeal. But this year there’s one topic we can all get behind: the downsides of zoning.
Many people — including roboticists, psychologists and philosophers — are trying to understand how the world will work when it is hard to distinguish artificial intelligence from human beings. Ordinary people often are creeped out when they discover that the “person” they thought they were interacting with is actually an AI.
Opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a collective cheer Wednesday, after Kim Jong Yang of the Republic of Korea was elected the new president of the international police agency Interpol at a meeting in Dubai.
It is not like the chief justice of the nation’s highest court to rebuke a sitting president. But it happened Wednesday, when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts — a conservative not known for being publicly outspoken — pushed back on comments made by President Donald Trump.
The Detroit school board recently voted 6-to-1 to consider removing Dr. Ben Carson's name from one of its high schools. Carson, a former Detroit student and former head of pediatric neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, pioneered several groundbreaking neurosurgical procedures. He now serves as President Donald Trump's secretary of housing and urban development. But one school board member said Carson's name on the school is comparable to "having Trump's name on our school in blackface."
California’s last outstanding congressional race was finally called for Democrats over the weekend, ending a brutal election cycle for the state’s Republicans. With President Donald Trump on the ballot in 2020, political experts say the party’s prospects for regaining congressional seats are not likely to improve anytime soon.
A judge struck down a 1996 federal law banning female genital mutilation, saying that it was incompatible with the Constitution. The Michigan case at hand involved Dr. Jumana Nargawala who allegedly performed female genital mutilation on nine girls, who were reportedly in the age range of 7-12 years old.
In the video above from today’s CBS Sunday Morning program, A.J. Jacobs discovers his “inner Adam Smith” to express his gratitude for the thousands of invisible hands that are part of the “radical global interconnectedness ” that brings him his morning cup of coffee.
One built a multimillion-dollar wine business and once filled the gossip columns with details of his dating life, while the other took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience before spending three years in a Jesuit seminary. One won national fame by marrying same-sex couples, while the other is known for mastering the drudgery of state government and averting financial catastrophe. One sports a perfectly coiffed mane that seems to defy gravity, while the other has his wife trim the gray that’s left around his ears.