Politics

Know-Nothing Democracy on Capitol Hill

by
“You can lead a man to Congress but you can’t make him think,” quipped Milton Berle in 1950. Last December’s congressional approval of the 1,603-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus bill (known as “Cromnibus,” because it was also a Continuing Resolution) also shows you cannot make congressmen read. Unfortunately, as usual, politicians refused to let their ignorance restrain their power over ... [click for more]

Discrimination in Indiana – Private or Political?

by
Discrimination has become a “dirty word.” It has come to carry the “politically incorrect” connotation of prejudice, hatefulness, racism, and cruel intolerance towards others in society. There is only one problem: which one of us does not discriminate? Indeed, everything we do reflects discriminating choices and decisions. The issue of discrimination has captured the headlines, once again, because of a ... [click for more]

The Ominous Republican Hold on Congress

by
As we face the new year, the biggest concern for peace lovers is Republican control of the U.S. Senate. While Republican votes don’t reach the key number 60, members of the GOP will still be in a strong position to push their belligerent global agenda. I don’t mean to overstate the danger. After all, the Democrats were hardly better. But ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Political Sterility of Jon Stewart

by
Political satire has a long and honorable history: Aristophanes, William Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift; W.S. Gilbert; Mark Twain; George Orwell; Lenny Bruce; Dick Gregory; Tom Lehrer,  David Frost, and That Was the Week That Was; George Carlin; Spitting Image, Yes, Minister; the Smothers Brothers; the early Saturday Night Live, Dave Barry, The Onion, South Park, Family Guy, and so many more. Unfortunately, while it ... [click for more]

Election 2014: The Good News and Bad

by
The 2014 midterm election delivered both good news and bad. The good news is that the losers lost. The bad news is that the winners won. Journalist Mike Barnicle says he’s never seen an election in which the people feel so distant from the government. I wish his diagnosis were right, but I suspect it is not. True, voter turnout likely ... [click for more]

How Laws Are Passed, Maintained, and Changed

by
Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers: The Economic Engine of Political Change by Wayne A. Leighton and Edward J. Lopez (Stanford Economics and Finance 2013), 209 pages. Have you ever wondered why democracies so often generate public policies that are wasteful and unjust? Have you asked why such policies persist over long periods, even when they are known to ... [click for more]

TGIF: What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

by
If I were compelled to summarize the libertarian philosophy’s distinguishing feature while standing on one foot, I’d say the following: Every person owes it to all other persons not to aggress them. This is known as the nonaggression principle, or NAP. What is the nature of this obligation? The first thing to notice is that it is unchosen. I never agreed ... [click for more]

TGIF: Don’t Get Out the Vote

by
A seminar student once became upset with me for suggesting that instead of running get-out-the-vote campaigns, the government should keep the dates of elections and the locations of polling places secret so that only people with enough initiative and interest to ferret out the information could vote. It was not a serious suggestion, but the college-aged young woman didn’t catch ... [click for more]

Exit over Voice

by
By what standard should we judge collective decision-making? In the liberal-democratic tradition, the overwhelming consensus affirms the supremacy of process. On this view, the justness and efficacy of collective decision-making depend on the inclusiveness of the process. That concern, what philosophers and social scientists call “voice,” has manifested itself in many familiar and important ways, chiefly through an expansion ... [click for more]

Politicians as Interchangeable Units

by
Why did it take a comedian to demand answers about a blatant double standard embedded in Obamacare? On October 7, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was grilled mercilessly by Jon Stewart, who focused on why businesses can delay enrollment for a year but individuals cannot. Stewart speculated on the reason, saying, “Geez, it looks like ... [click for more]
Page 1 of 2912345...1020...Last »