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The Continuing Decline of Journalism

A number of authors have written probing criticisms of modern journalism, notably Bernard Goldberg, James Fallows, and Bob Kohn. Now award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson adds The Smear, an insightful account of the most recent, shameful, and dangerous episode in journalism’s decline.

What the public receives as news today, she explains, is in fact propaganda crafted to “control what you see, what you think, and how you vote.” Although conservative as well as liberal operatives employ it, the latter are more adept at doing so.… Read More


Missing the Point Has Gone Epidemic

G. K. Chesterton once remarked that many commentators in his day suffered from “the art of missing the point.” That affliction not only survives today—it is epidemic among social and political commentators. And it is often accompanied by bigotry, which Chesterton defined as “incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.”

A perfect example of both maladies is an exchange between an MSNBC interviewer and Asra Nomani, a political liberal and a Muslim.… Read More


The Liberals’ Struggle with Logic

Almost three months after the 2016 election, many liberals still cannot acknowledge Donald Trump’s victory. The most recent example of this incapacity is the growing list of members of Congress—68 at this point—who have refused to attend his inauguration.

One of the first refusers was John Lewis, who explained that he doesn’t “see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” When asked why, he said, “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.… Read More


American Leaders “Still Don’t Get It”

59486011 - governance word cloud on blue backgroundThe person closest to a task is in the best position to identify its imperfections. This idea, one of the most important ones of the past century, seems harmless enough today. Yet when Edwards Deming first proposed it, business leaders considered it heretical, for it challenged the reigning view of management, Scientific Management, that executives alone possess the intelligence to solve problems and make decisions.

Edwards Deming (1900-1993) was an engineer, statistician, management consultant, and the creator of Total Quality Management or TQM.… Read More


Thinking Catholic with Mike Pence

mike-penceThe Vice-Presidential debate provided a perfectly articulated argument for the traditional Catholic view of a politician’s obligation regarding abortion. Ironically, if unsurprisingly, it was not expressed by Catholic Tim Kaine, but instead by Evangelical Mike Pence. Here is what Pence said:

What I can’t understand is [how you can] support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view . . . that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me .… Read More


How Did Trump Treat His Ghostwriter?

Trump's Book CoverA friend of mine recently referred me to a New Yorker article entitled “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” and asked whether I thought the story would hurt Trump’s chances of winning the presidency. After reading the article, I concluded that it would not, at least not among careful thinkers.

Not everyone is a careful thinker, of course. Some people who read the New Yorker piece will no doubt leap to the conclusion that Trump is a fool for not being able to write for himself or a dishonest man for taking credit for someone else’s effort, or both.… Read More


Trump’s Deus Ex Machina

Masks, Comedy & TragedyGreek and Roman plays often ended with a divine being descending from above (by means of a crane) and resolving conflicts in the plot. This device was known as Deus Ex Machina, literally “god from the machine.” The term later came to mean a turn of events that solves an apparently insoluble problem.

Donald Trump has such a problem. It is not that Hillary’s positions on key issues are stronger than his.… Read More


The Voters’ Dilemma

Holding NoseIt is no exaggeration to say that the 2016 election will be one of the most important in many decades. The issues are numerous, ranging from budget deficits and the record national debt to jobs and taxation, immigration policy, military preparedness, the health care system, the threat of Islamic terrorism, and the state of the judiciary. The future of the country will depend on the choice we make at the polls.… Read More


The GOP Nightmare

Trump Photo 2To date, the race for the Republican presidential nomination may be summarized as follows:

Trump blustered and bullied, onstage and off. The debate moderators indulged him while the press gave his outbursts free publicity. As a result, Trump’s opponents had difficulty getting their messages heard.

With celebrity and emotion trumping experience and thoughtful discourse, primary voters have followed their understandable feelings of resentment toward the GOP in particular (and politicians in general) and provided Trump a commanding lead.… Read More