Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Are hate crimes up or down? The government has no idea

November 17, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

ON TUESDAY, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual report on hate crimes in the United States. The total number of such crimes tabulated by the bureau in 2018 was down from the year before — it dropped from 7,175 to 7,120 — so you might have thought the report would be covered as a good-news story. But hate crime statistics are invariably spun as evidence that things are getting worse, and the headlines fit the usual pattern:

New York Times: "Hate-crime violence hits 16-year high, FBI reports"

Los Angeles Times: "Latinos and transgender people see big increases in hate crimes, FBI reports"

CNN: "Hate crimes remain at heightened levels, FBI report finds"

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The counterproductive cruelties of occupational licensing

November 13, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

COSMETOLOGISTS AND emergency medical technicians don't have much in common.

Cosmetologists treat skin, style hair, and paint nails. EMTs respond to 911 calls, administer urgent medical care, and rush patients by ambulance to hospitals.

Cosmetologists are beauty-industry professionals who help people feel good about their appearance. EMTs are first responders who help people survive violent traumas and heart attacks.

Cosmetologists rarely face a life-threatening crisis on the job. EMTs make life-or-death decisions every day.

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America stood down as the Berlin Wall went up

November 12, 2019  •  Arguable

Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the last few days have seen a flood of commentary about the end of the Cold War and the changes it wrought in Europe and the world.

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A century ago, the science was settled: Immigrants had to be kept out

November 10, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

NEAR THE START of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan laments to Nick Carraway that white Americans, who should be "the dominant race," are being swamped by inferior foreigners. He urges Nick to read a book — "'The Rise of the Colored Empires' by this man Goddard" — that explains how imperiled people of their kind are becoming.

"The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be will be utterly submerged," Tom declares. "It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." What science has "proved," he says, is that "we're Nordics" and that "we've produced all the things that go to make civilization — oh, science and art and all that. Do you see?"

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Leave adoption out of the culture wars

November 6, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

NOVEMBER IS National Adoption Month, so it is fitting that the Trump administration has just taken a step that will make it a little easier to find permanent homes for children who need them.

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