Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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A free-speech rally, minus the free speech

August 22, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

IF ONE LINE captured the essence of Saturday's Boston Common rally and counter-protest, it was a quote halfway through Mark Arsenault's Page 1 story in the Boston Globe:

"'Excuse me,' one man in the counter-protest innocently asked a Globe reporter. 'Where are the white supremacists?'"

That was the day in a nutshell. Participants in the "Boston Free Speech Rally" had been demonized as a troupe of neo-Nazis prepared to reprise the horror that had erupted in Charlottesville. They turned out to be a couple dozen courteous people linked by little more than a commitment to — surprise! — free speech.

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Freedom of association is for businesses, too

August 20, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THE NEO-NAZI WEBSITE Daily Stormer lost its longtime digital home last week. On Sunday night, the giant web-hosting company GoDaddy ordered the Stormer to remove its domain within 24 hours. The site moved to Google Domains, but not for long: Google cancelled its registration the same day.

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Prevent Korean War II with a regime-change strategy for Pyongyang

August 16, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

SIX WEEKS AGO, on the Fourth of July, North Korea for the first time tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. The launch was a "gift" to the United States, declared Pyongyang's news agency — the missile would be able to hit the "heart of the United States" with "heavy nuclear warheads."

Ten days later, CIA Director Mike Pompeo hinted broadly that the Trump administration was seeking regime change in North Korea.

While "it would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula," Pompeo said, "the thing that is most dangerous about it is the character who holds the control over [the missiles]. So from the administration's perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two."

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At the Berkshire Museum, a display of backbone

July 30, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THE BERKSHIRE MUSEUM has been catching all kinds of hell ever since it announced this month that it will auction off 40 works of art from its collection, which focuses on art, natural history, and ancient civilization. The financially struggling museum hopes to raise $50 million from selling the artworks; it will use some of the proceeds to create a stable endowment and the rest to renovate its 114-year-old building in downtown Pittsfield. The decision, prudent and thoughtful, should put the Berkshire Museum, long a cultural institution in Western Massachusetts, on a stronger footing than it has been for years.

Naturally, this has sent the great and the good into paroxysms of outrage.

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Research isn't tainted just because industry picks up the tab

July 26, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

THIS FALL, the National Institutes of Health will launch a major study to determine whether regular consumption of alcohol helps prevent heart attacks. The clinical trial will comprise nearly 8,000 participants, recruited from 16 sites in North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The volunteers will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: Those in the first group will have one drink each day, while those in the other group abstain. This enormous study will come with an enormous price tag: more than $100 million.

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