Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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A grievous sinner, and a great American

June 9, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

IT WAS March 3, 1968, and America's most influential pastor, the preeminent leader of the civil rights movement, was in the pulpit of Atlanta's Ebenezer Bapist Church. His theme that Sunday was the neverending tension between good and evil — a tension that exists not merely in the abstract, not just "out somewhere" in the "forces of the universe," but in the heart of every human being.

Including his own.

"You don't need to go out this morning saying that Martin Luther King is a saint. Oh, no," he exhorted the congregation. "I want you to know this morning that I'm a sinner like all of God's children. But I want to be a good man."

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Non-diversity and the spelling bee

June 5, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

THE SCRIPPS National Spelling Bee makes news every year, but this year's competition was epic: For the first time ever, it ended with not one spelling champion or even two co-champions, but with eight winners. Winnowed down from 562 starting contestants, the final eight spellers had proved unconquerable through 20 rounds. "We're throwing the dictionary at you," said Jacques Bailly, the Spelling Bee's official pronouncer, "and so far, you are showing this dictionary who is boss."

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Remembering Ray Shamie

June 3, 2019  •  Arguable


IF POLITICIANS discovered cannibals among their constituents, H. L. Mencken once remarked, they would promise the voters missionaries for dinner. The more I see of politicians, and I've seen a lot of them, the more inclined I am to agree with Mencken. In my experience, most candidates for office are shallow and egotistical hucksters who should never be entrusted with the powers of government.

But there are exceptions. Every now and then someone gets into politics for all the right reasons — a candidate who dispels cynicism with optimism and honesty; who runs for office not to exert control but to express gratitude; whose decency is so unmistakable that even opponents can't help acknowledging it.

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With the market making parental leave routine, who needs Congress?

June 2, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

IT ISN'T the job of the federal government to provide, mandate, or encourage paid leave for new parents, and there was a time when Republican politicians would have said so. That was long ago, when the GOP was still the party of fiscal sobriety and limited government. Alas, Republicans today are as wedded as Democrats to the belief that anything desirable must come from Washington, even if it would be better left to state and local discretion, or kept in private hands altogether.

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A bigger NATO has been a better NATO

May 26, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

THIS SEASON marks the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest feats of statesmanship since the end of the Cold War: the opening of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It was in the spring of 1999 that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic became the first of the nations from behind the Iron Curtain to join the Atlantic alliance. Seven more nations joined in 2004, and another three since then.

NATO today comprises 29 countries in Europe and North America. Much has gone wrong in the world over the past two decades. The enlargement of NATO is one hugely important thing that went right.

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