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The Greatest Political Idea of All Time

Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota — America is at peace, the world’s superpower and more prosperous than ever. Surely we are too complacent to give proper thanks for our blessings. It will be a rare civic official who makes a 4th of July speech anywhere across the land today, because almost no one wants to hear one, and the politicians are Read More ›

Budget and tax issues could land Kemp vice-presidential slot

The great economic debate of 1996 is already roiled by divergent interpretations of budget plans, but now Jack Kemp and the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Policy, which just reported, are attempting to direct top attention to the still more volatile subject of tax reform.The report arrives in a capital stalemated on economic policy. In 1992 the voters Read More ›

They’re All Guilty of Politics; So What?

There is only one way to avoid future brawls over ethics in Congress like the ones going on now, and it is not–as GOP Congresswoman Sue Myrick from North Carolina has proposed–to make it a crime to “lie” in campaign ads or on the floor of Congress. When such a law is passed, Congressmen will be arresting each other literally Read More ›

Intelligent Design vs. Materialism

In Melvindale, Michigan, a blue collar suburb of Detroit, the school board held a tumultuous public hearing this week that seems to have caught everyone by surprise. The Board chairman, John Rowe, a former science teacher who now directs nuclear medicine and radiology at an area hospital, started with what he thought was a reasonable idea: Let students know that Read More ›

One Politician Whose Character Counted

The apartment on Seattle’s First Hill was nice, though modest, like its occupant, but it also had an inspiring view out over the city Joel Pritchard treasured. He said last recently, “Almost every place with the most meaning in my life is within sight,” and that surely included Queen Anne Hill and Bainbridge Island, lands laden with childhood reveries. These Read More ›

The Resurgence of Evolutionary Ethics

The Temptations of Evolutionary EthicsPaul Lawrence FarberBerkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1994, 210 pp. The Secret Chain: Evolution and EthicsMichael BradieNew York, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994, 198 pp. The ethical implications of evolution are receiving a remarkable amount of attention today, despite the death sentence that was pronounced on it by “nurture” enthusiasts in the Read More ›

Literature Survey January 1997

T.H. Huxley’s Ambivalence Sherrie L. Lyons, “Thomas Huxley: Fossils, Persistence, and the Argument from Design,” Journal of the History of Biology 26 (1993): pp. 545-569. Sherrie L. Lyons, “The Origins of T.H. Huxley’s Saltationism: History in Darwin’s Shadow,” Journal of the History of Biology 28 (1995): pp. 463-494. Since completing her doctorate on T.H. Huxley with historian Robert Richards at Read More ›

Public Access TV is More than a Sexy Issue:(or, Norman, what is that on channel 29?)

Just when you thought you had seen it all, so to speak, there is Seattle public access star Troy J. Williamson engaged in what appears to be an oral sex act on TV. Suddenly, the screen goes fuzzy as the police raid the program and cart him off. An historic day for common sense in public access TV, some would Read More ›

A Cheaper, Surer Way to Fund and Build Public Projects

How are we going to pay for it all? Isn’t there any way to lower the costs? These are the plaintive cries of taxpayers around the country as their local and state elected officials try to cajole them into supporting a growing list of infrastructure projects. But even as the list grows, taxpayer tolerance for big ticket public works is Read More ›

The Results of Attacks on America’s Political Parties Were Predicted

It was way back in the fall of 1961, in Sever Hall, Harvard Yard, and I was taking notes in a class on urban politics taught by Professor Edward Banfield. Tall, distinguished looking, yet approachable, he resembled an academic Gregory Peck. Earlier, at the University of Chicago, the good professor had been an intimate observer of the first Mayor Richard Read More ›