Tag: Culture and Society
American Democracy as a Fundamentalist Religion

As America remains girded against religious fundamentalism in Iran and elsewhere around the world, consider that American democracy itself constitutes a fundamentalist religion.

Lessons of Jazz Great Jimmy Heath Go Beyond Music

Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Jimmy Heath has passed away at 93, one of the last jazz artists going back to the 1940s. Heath played with many of the greats, including Miles Davis, James Moody, and John Coltrane, according to Heath a man capable of focusing on his musical difficulties. That was also true of...
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Are More Vaping Bans Coming Soon? Let’s Hope Not!

Over the past year, the Food and Drug Administration has seemed determined to “wipe out the entire vaping industry.” As former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who spearheaded much of the current anti-vaping movement,” notes: “the FDA is so concerned about the dangerous effects of e-cigarettes on American youth that the products may have to...
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Robert Klein, Davy Crockett, and the Quest for Another $5.5 Billion for Stem Cells

As this column has often noted, the 2004 ballot measure Proposition 71, the $3 billion California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, promised life-saving cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases, plus a steady stream of royalties for state coffers. In 2020, a ballpark estimate for the promised cures and therapies is zero, and...
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Bombshell Bombs With Too Much Hollywood, Too Little Real Life

Bombshell, the narrative film chronicling sexual harassment at Fox News, appears to be a dud at the box office. After three weeks in theaters, it still hasn’t generated enough revenue to cover its production budget, a leading indicator of commercial failure. Yet, the movie has A-List actors, directors, producers, and a timely topic. What...
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Little Women Shows Timelessness of “Coming of Age”

Louisa May Alcott’s respect for the individual journeys of her characters is honored in Greta Gerwig’s movie version.

Faction: The Underlying Cause of Anger and Hatred in America

Efforts by America’s founders to control factions in perpetuity, via both direct and spontaneous means, appear to be failing.

One Central Banker Is Out, but His Legacy Could Push Europe to the Financial Brink

Mario Draghi is not a household name outside of a few European countries, and yet what he did or didn’t do had the potential to wreak havoc worldwide. The MIT-educated Italian economist, who headed the European Central Bank (ECB) for eight years until October 31, left his post after announcing measures that could damage...
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A Jewell from Clint Eastwood

Southern males of pale complexion are doubtless the most vilified group in American popular culture. That particularly applies when the southerner is a rather dim, overweight gun nut who aspires to be a police officer. Georgian Richard Jewell, 33, was all that and more, but he was not the person who planted the bomb...
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California Leads Nation in Occupational Licensing Lunacy

California deploys the nation’s highest income and sales taxes, but taxpayers may be unaware that the Golden State also leads the nation in occupational licensing. As Matthew D. Mitchell of the Mercatus Center notes, in a report submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, such licensing “represents a significant and growing barrier to work.” 

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