Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Cancelling 'anti-Semitism'

May 9, 2021  •  The Boston Globe

IT ISN'T OFTEN that a hyphen, or the absence of one, draws attention. But when the Associated Press announced recently that it was changing the spelling of "anti-Semite" and "anti-Semitism" in its highly influential style guide to "antisemite" and "antisemitism," it made news — and drew cheers from historians and civil rights activists.

There is a good deal of history behind that detail of punctuation, and it begins with the fact that the father of "anti-Semitism" was an antisemite.

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Is America racist? Kamala Harris and Tim Scott say no.

May 5, 2021  •  The Boston Globe

LAST WEEK, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, two of America's most prominent Black elected officials affirmed that the United States is not a racist nation.

The first was Senator Tim Scott, the conservative South Carolina Republican who delivered the GOP response to President Biden's address to Congress on Wednesday.

"Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country," Scott said. He acknowledged that racial bigotry has not been eradicated — indeed, he said, he has himself "experienced the pain of discrimination." But he insisted that race not be deployed as "a political weapon" and that "it's wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present."

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A jewel in the crown of California's democracy

May 2, 2021  •  The Boston Globe

CALIFORNIA'S SECRETARY of state made it official on Monday: The drive to recall Governor Gavin Newsom from office has qualified for the ballot. For only the second time in history, voters in the nation's largest state will decide in a special election whether to give their governor the boot before his term is up and replace him with someone else.

To trigger a recall vote, Newsom's opponents had to gather at least 1,495,709 valid voter signatures — the equivalent of 12 percent of all ballots cast in the last gubernatorial election. They surpassed that threshold easily, submitting well over 1.6 million, with additional signatures still waiting to be verified and tallied.

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Welcome to the promised land

April 28, 2021  •  The Boston Globe

FOR IMMIGRANTS who come to America from a dictatorship or a theocracy, writes Roya Hakakian, "the hardest task of all" is figuring out "how to go about the business of living." A question that never even occurs to native-born Americans — "How do free people live?" — is one that immigrants from all but the most privileged backgrounds must grapple with.

Having entered the United States as a refugee from Iran in 1985, Hakakian knows firsthand how disorienting freedom can be to those who grew up without it.

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Thirty seconds over Mars

April 25, 2021  •  The Boston Globe

IT TOOK seven months and an expedition of 293 million miles for NASA's Ingenuity helicopter to get to Mars. The tiny drone hitched a ride aboard the six-wheeled Perseverance rover, which weighs more than a ton and is crammed with some of the most advanced electronics and engineering America's rocket scientists have ever developed. Then NASA had to revise and re-install Ingenuity's flight control software — no small achievement considering that the corrected code had to be uploaded from 175 million miles away.

But that was nothing compared with what came next.

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