Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fifty years from now, what will we remember about 2013?

Today the news media culminates a week of looking backwards at the past 365 days, 52 weeks and 12 months. I write all three to suggest that time is an arbitrary measure. To be sure, the year, month and day

Supporting free speech is one thing, but “standing with Phil” signals homophobia, sexism & racism

It’s one thing to support Phil Robertson’s constitutional right to free speech. It’s quite another thing to proclaim you “Stand with Phil,” which about 200,000 people have done in signing an electronic petition available at the Faith Driven Consumer website.

NY Times runs another Op/Ed column arguing science should not try to extend human lifespan

The New York Times opinion page seems to be on a full-bore campaign against radical extension of human life. For the second time in less than a month, the Times has decided that the voices in favor of not pursuing

Small problem with Joseph Epstein’s complaint about meritocracy: where is it?

Every once in a while, a white male who has made his living as a “responsible conservative” or a conservative parading as a centrist produces an article bemoaning the fact that we are now ruled by a meritocracy. Through the

Thumbs up to A&E for suspending “Duck Dynasty” celebrity, thumbs down for ever creating the show

When Sean Hannity, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin and other right-wingers come out in favor of freedom of the speech, you know that someone has just said something false, stupid and insulting about a group routinely demonized by ultra-conservatives. In this

NY Times uses anecdotal thinking to create feeling food stamp fraud is rampant in article saying it’s minor

News features often use examples or anecdotes to highlight a trend that is the subject of the story. Sometimes all the writer has as proof of his or her thesis are the examples, so the article strings together a couple

Detroit’s bankruptcy latest attempt of wealthy to steal from poor

Kudos to Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute for rejecting the notion that overly generous pensions led to Detroit’s bankruptcy. Instead of pensions, Eisenbrey cites several reasons for Detroit’s financial problems: A depleted revenue stream as wealthy people moved

Why did the FDA make its new antibiotic restrictions voluntary instead of mandatory?

Were you as delighted as I was when I read the headline that the Food and Drug Administration has a new policy prohibiting the use of antibiotics to speed the growth of pigs and other animals cultivated for human consumption?

Serious economists must be laughing at Wall Street Journal attempt to use Laffer Curve to support tax cuts

Wall Street Journal editorials often twist facts, leave out key facts, make incorrect inferences from facts or just plain get the facts wrong.  But the editorial titled “Britain’s Laffer Curve” shows that sometimes the editorial writers simply have no idea

Increase in adults reading juvenile fiction another sign of infantilization of Americans

The title of Alexandra Alter’s Wall Street Journal article on adults reading fiction written for middle-schoolers describes the situation perfectly. “See Grown-ups Read. Read, Grown-ups, Read” suggests not middle school, but an elementary school reading level.  Alter’s story describes one