Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

One China, one Taiwan

December 7, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

AS A CANDIDATE and a president-elect, Donald Trump has compiled a long list of follies, gaffes, and outrages. His phone conversation with Taiwan's president isn't among them.

Trump's few minutes on the telephone Friday with Tsai Ing-wen, who phoned by prearrangement to congratulate the incoming US chief executive, sent the foreign-policy establishment into meltdown mode. For the first time in nearly 40 years, an American president or president-in-waiting had spoken directly with his Taiwanese counterpart, and the reaction in many quarters was hysteria. "These are major pivots in foreign policy w/out any plan," tweeted an alarmed US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. "That's how wars start."

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In China, prisoners of conscience are literally being butchered

December 4, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

THIS WEEK, two extraordinary Canadian films — one a chilling documentary, the other a riveting drama based on its findings — were released for sale on iTunes. Directed by Leon Lee, the films illuminate what may be the most depraved of all systematic human-rights atrocities in the world today: China's industrial-scale harvesting of vital organs from prisoners of conscience, to be transplanted into patients paying exorbitant fees for a heart, kidney, or liver made available on demand.

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Memo to the next ex-president: Be a Bush, not a Carter

November 30, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

IN THE MONTHS and years ahead, tens of millions of Americans will have strong feelings about Donald Trump's presidency, and most won't hesitate to express their views. One American who should is Barack Obama.

As he reverts to a private citizen come Jan. 20, Obama will have the same right as any American to speak his mind in public. Yet it's a right he should refrain from exercising when it comes to his successor. In the modern era, most former presidents have taken pains not to openly criticize or second-guess those who succeed them in office. That reticence is commendable.

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Less Frank Costanza, more Mike Pence

November 27, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

OF THE PRAYERS that observant Jews recite each day, the one I appreciate most is offered before going to bed. Here is how it begins:

"Master of the universe, I hereby forgive anyone who angered or antagonized me or sinned against me — whether physically or financially or through disrespect, or in any other matter affecting me; whether involuntarily or willfully, carelessly or deliberately; whether by word or by deed. I forgive every person: let no one incur punishment because of me."

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Is Thanksgiving constitutional?

November 23, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

AS AMERICANS GATHER around the holiday table this week, no one is likely to be concerned about the legitimacy of our most cherished national holiday, or about the president's yearly Thanksgiving Day proclamation.

Yet in the early years under the Constitution, Thanksgiving fueled a lively debate that touched on two core elements of American liberty: the division of power between the federal and state governments, and the separation of church and state.

Melanie Kirkpatrick, a veteran journalist now based at the Hudson Institute, recounts the controversy in her wonderfully engaging new book, Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience.

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