Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Statehood for DC? That's a nonstarter

August 11, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

MOST STATE license plates bear mottos that are uplifting ("The Spirit of America," "Live Free or Die,"), descriptive ("10,000 Lakes," "America's Dairyland"), or welcoming ("Aloha State," "Great Faces, Great Places"). Only the District of Columbia's is bad-tempered. The epigram on its license plate is a complaint: "Taxation Without Representation.")

Washington, D.C., is the nation's 20th largest city by population and the 122nd largest by area, but it's the only one that complains because it's not a state. The license-plate logo is meant to be a protest that D.C. residents pay federal taxes but don't elect voting representatives to Congress.

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No, expanded background checks wouldn't prevent mass shootings

August 7, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

BARELY HAD the massacres in El Paso and Dayton ended than the clamor began for the government to "Do Something" about weapons used in mass shootings.

Once again there were impassioned calls for "common sense" gun control, above all for more sweeping background checks before guns are purchased. "Background checks," declared Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, are "the two most important words in this debate." Leading Democrats, including Senators Sherrod Brown, Chuck Schumer, and Bernie Sanders, demanded that Congress pass a law mandating a "universal" background check on all gun purchases. So did President Trump, tweeting that both parties must "come together and get strong background checks."

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Our world has serious problems. Having more babies can help solve them

August 4, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

IF HE'S LUCKY, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor may get a sibling. But he's definitely not getting more than one.

That's according to his father, Britain's Prince Harry, who avowed in an interview with the legendary primatologist Jane Goodall for the new issue of British Vogue that he and Meghan Markle plan to have no more than two children. That isn't because they've always craved a cozy family of four. It's because they think that having more in an era of climate change would be environmentally greedy and irresponsible.

"Two, maximum!" Harry replied when Goodall remarked that the couple should have "not too many" kids.

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When murders increase, so does support for the death penalty

July 31, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

WHEN ATTORNEY GENERAL William Barr announced last week that the federal government would resume executing Death Row inmates after a hiatus of more than 16 years, opponents were swift to object.

Within hours of Barr's announcement, Representative Ayanna Pressley introduced a bill to abolish capital punishment for federal crimes. The American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the new policy in court. And more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates condemned the Trump administration and the death penalty. Among them was former Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime supporter of executing murderers who had switched his position just two days earlier.

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A new study says? Don't believe it

July 29, 2019  •  Arguable

A RECENT REPORT from the Thomson Reuters Foundation made headlines with its conclusion that the United States is one of the 10 worst countries on earth in which to be female. According to the authors of "The World's Most Dangerous Countries for Women," life in America is more violent, cruel, or unfair for women than it is in such grim places as Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, or Iraq.

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