Rights vs. Wishes

We hear so much about “rights” — a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these […]

Explaining to the Grandkids

Those of us who are optimists believe that someday sanity will return to our society. Our media, our officials — perhaps even our schools and colleges — will begin to talk sense. Those of you who are young may live to see it. But there is a downside to sanity. Once there is a whole […]

Cognitive Child Abuse in Our Math Classrooms

The test results are in: America’s children are flunking math. In 1996 American high school seniors finished close to the bottom on an international mathematics test. At the end of last year, American eighth-graders ranked below those of Malaysia, Bulgaria, and Latvia. As educators scramble to explain America’s math meltdown–as the Bush administration urges more […]

The Lure of Baseball

As half the nation eagerly awaits the next game of the World Series, the other half looks on in puzzlement at what could be so enthralling about grown men hitting a little ball and running around in circles. Baseball fans who cannot articulate why they love the game may retreat to their television sets feeling […]

Boring Sportscasters: Fans Want to Watch Sports, Not Hollywood Gimmicks

There are people who find sports exciting and people who find sports boring. Unfortunately, the latter seem to be the ones in charge of baseball telecasts. And they seem to be trying to make those telecasts boring for the rest of us. Somehow the people who televise baseball games have become fixated on just one […]

Good Advertising is Salesmanship

Let us emphasize that point. The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its actual sales. It is not for general effect. It is not to keep your name before the people. It is not primarily to aid your other salesmen. Treat it as a salesman. Force […]

High Stakes Elections and Voter Turnout

During election years, people in the media seem to be forever lamenting the fact that millions of Americans who are eligible to vote do not in fact go to the polls. When speculating as to why those people don’t vote, the media often assume that there is something wrong with a society in which voter […]

More Gun Control, Please!

Gun-control proponents, predictably, in the wake of the Beltway sniper, urge still more gun-control laws. So, as news watchers sit through another round of softball interviews with gun-control advocates, we humbly offer Second Amendment-challenged hosts some suggestions for questions: Why does Switzerland, a country that requires a military-style rifle, plus ammunition, in every home, enjoy […]

Hate is not a Crime

Last month, the Canadian government detained several newsletters from the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) defending “Israel’s moral right to exist” out of concern that “they may constitute obscenity or hate propaganda.” Although the government later decided that the material did not constitute “hate propaganda,” so what if it did? What’s so wrong with hate? Government […]

Personal Health and Safety: Whose Business Is It?

My health and other aspects of my well-being are the business of whom? You say, “What’s it now, Williams?” I’m simply asking whose business is it if I don’t adequately plan for retirement or save money for my child’s education? If I don’t wear a seatbelt while driving or a helmet while biking, whose business […]

Islam’s New Strongholds

The recent bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, killing at least 183 and injuring hundreds, fits into a larger pattern. Militant Islam used to be mostly confined to Middle Easterners, but in recent years it has spread to Muslims in other parts of the world. This can be seen especially in the cases of […]

The Foreign Policy of George Bush: A Grand Illusion

Somewhere, there is a warlike American administration obsessed with smashing an Axis of Evil, an administration itching to blow away any regime tainted by terrorism and willing to lash out preemptively and unilaterally, invading and occupying any country that resists. That administration is not, alas, the one in the White House. It is an administration […]