Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Boston can learn from Houston's (nonexistent) zoning code

September 21, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

WHEN DEVELOPERS proposed to turn the old commercial property next to our Brookline house into a large condominium development, they came over to show the plans to me and my wife. As the nearest abutters, we would face considerable disruption and discomfort during the year and a half that construction would take. And once the project was finished, we would have lost a good deal of privacy: In place of the red brick wall enclosing our property on two sides, four-story residences would tower over our little backyard.

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A long way from the Chinese Exclusion Act

September 18, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

THE LARGEST mass lynching in the United States took place in Los Angeles on Oct. 24, 1871. It was a ghastly eruption of lethal racism, but the victims — 18 men and boys, dragged from their homes and summarily hanged or shot — weren't black. They were Chinese, and they were murdered by a mob, nearly 500 strong, that included some of the city's leading citizens.

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What if Hillary collapsed after winning the election?

September 13, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

"CONCEALING ONE'S true medical condition from the voting public," the historian Robert Dallek wrote in a 2002 essay, "is a time-honored tradition of the American presidency." During the presidential campaign of 1960, John F. Kennedy went to extreme lengths to hide from voters any hint of his severe medical problems, which ranged from Addison's disease to crippling spinal degeneration. By comparison, Hillary Clinton's recent dissembling over pneumonia and fainting spells is small potatoes.

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On Election Day, it's OK not to vote. Really.

September 10, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

YOU DON'T VOTE? You're not alone. Tens of millions of American adults don't take part in elections, and most of them have perfectly good reasons for abstaining. In 2014, according to the US Census Bureau, 28 percent of nonvoters said they were too busy with other things, and 10 percent were out of town. Another 16 percent weren't interested in the election, and 8 percent didn't vote because they didn't like the candidates or the issues.

For more than 60 percent of nonvoters, in other words, the election wasn't a priority.

And that's fine.

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Three prescriptions for a shorter campaign

September 7, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

IT USED TO BE said that Labor Day was when voters finally turned their focus to the presidential campaign.

That may have been true once upon a time, way back in the Mesozoic Era. But who hasn't had their fill of the 2016 race by now? If you've just returned from a long assignment to McMurdo Station in Antarctica, you may be tuning in for the first time to the race for the White House. The rest of us are desperately counting down the days until this endless campaign is over.

In a column last week, I suggested that, with sensible reforms, America's presidential campaigns could be shortened to something more human than the excruciating two-year marathon they've become. Here are three that might help:

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