Amid all the heated, emotional advocacy of gun control, have you ever heard even one person present convincing hard evidence that tighter gun-control laws have in fact reduced murders?
Think about all the states and communities within states, as well as foreign countries, that either have tight gun-control laws or loose or nonexistent ones. With so many variations and so many sources of evidence available, surely there would be some compelling evidence somewhere if tighter gun-control laws actually reduced the murder rate. And if tighter gun-control laws don’t actually reduce the murder rate, then why are we being stampeded toward such laws after every shooting that gets media attention? Have the media outlets that you follow ever even mentioned that some studies have produced evidence that murder rates tend to be higher in places with tight gun-control laws?
To understand the magnitude of what Egyptian columnist Khalid Muntasir has done, it helps to get a taste of what most Egyptian and Arab media are like. In Egypt, expressions of vicious anti-Semitism are not just acceptable, they are commonplace. Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader and now president of Egypt, was famously captured on tape describing Jews as the “descendants of apes and pigs” as recently as 2010. This aroused not a flicker of controversy inside Egypt. In 2002, Egyptian state television, along with channels throughout the Arab world, ran a program giving credence to the infamous Czarist forgery “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” a “document” that supposedly traces the Jewish conspiracy to rule the world and a durable standard of anti-Semitic ravings for a century.
The most vile anti-Jewish (not just anti-Israel) calumnies are circulated widely in the Arab press. Mein Kampf is a bestseller in the Palestinian territories, and Islamist supremacism blends with ethnic hatred throughout the Arab world to concoct a brew of overpowering anti-Semitic (and often anti-Christian) virulence.
Before he triumphed over prejudice, Jackie Robinson triumphed over himself.
The signal achievements of the pioneering baseball star, whose story is recounted in the top-grossing biopic 42, were perseverance and self-control. In the face of hatred from fans and opposing players, he showed no anger. In response to isolation from his teammates, he betrayed no self-pity. He went out every day and swung the bat and ran the bases and fielded his position, and displayed the character that his detractors lacked. He was the gentleman; they were the haters, the rubes, the rotten teammates.
I</span>n the last two days gold has plunged so deep that it’s being called the worst drop — at least in percentage terms — in 30 years. That brings us back to the early Reagan period, when falling gold was regarded as a good thing.
Back then, lower gold showed inflation coming down after the horrible 1970s. It also showed confidence in the economy recovering and greater respect for the dollar. Over the next two decades, in the ’80s and ’90s, gold basically dropped in round numbers from $800 an ounce all the way to $250. Stocks soared. So did jobs and the economy. It was one hell of a good period.
‘They were </span>filled with expectation . . . the expectation that there was Something More than the atrocious evil that had befallen them . . . Something More than the darkness . . . Something More than despair.”
So said Father Peter John Cameron, a Dominican priest and editor of Magnificat, a daily devotional, to the families of Newtown, Conn., gathered at St. Rose of Lima Church the Sunday after the massacre there. It was the third Sunday of Advent, a time of expectation, a time children love — and here parents were, preparing to bury their children. And here were children in possession of some of the worst images, the kind that have crippled men at war.
If there were an award for Most Constructive Shaming of the News Media, the clear winner would be Kirsten Powers, the brave Fox News pundit and Daily Beast columnist. Last Thursday, she called out the mainstream media for failing to adequately report on the ongoing trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who is charged with murdering seven newborn infants and a patient seeking an abortion. Powers’s USA Today piece provoked an instant response from many sheepish journalists.
Megan McArdle of the Daily Beast acknowledged she “should have” written about the “horror Doc’s” clinic. The Washington Post made the stunning admission that “we should have sent a reporter sooner.” Dylan Beers, Politico’s media reporter, flatly stated that “Gosnell should be front-page, top-of-the-hour news by prime time tonight.” Jeffrey Goldberg, a Bloomberg View columnist, concluded, “It’s remarkable that it took this long.”
Representative Steve King, a 63-year-old Iowa Republican, is restless and irritated, and it shows. He’s here, stewing in a hearing room in the Rayburn building, because he and his friends in the House’s tea-party bloc feel disconnected from the debate on comprehensive immigration reform. “A number of us have sat back and watched with amazement as some of our colleagues have leapt to erroneous conclusions,” King says, sitting alongside five other staunch opponents of legalization efforts. “But we are where we are with the momentum in the Republican party.”
A few blocks away, Senator Marco Rubio and his colleagues on the bipartisan Gang of Eight, who have lately been on the front pages of the national newspapers, are poised to release legislation that will probably include a pathway to legalization for undocumented workers. Rubio’s work on the issue landed him on the cover of Time magazine in February and has stirred talk of a presidential run. Meanwhile, the tea-party Republicans gathered here have received scant coverage, and scorn from liberals on Twitter, for their opposition to the Senate’s plan.
April 15 is Tax Day in America. But it seems like every day is Tax Day on the right. Activists, policymakers, and wonks devote an incredible amount of thought and energy to fighting tax-hike efforts and to devising ways to reform the current tax code. During the GOP presidential primaries, not one Republican candidate accepted the idea of a budget with even a molecule of higher taxes in it. And all of them put a big tax-cut plan at the center of their economic agendas — even when, like Mitt Romney, they would have preferred not to. Of course, many Republican candidates at all levels dutifully sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge promising not to raise taxes. As reporter and columnist Robert Novak once put it: “God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. If they don’t do that, they have no useful function.”
Taxes are an understandable obsession. Ronald Reagan’s Republicans wielded tax cuts as a cudgel to smash Democrats’ five-decade lock on political power in Washington. The tax-cut message helped rebrand the GOP as a party of growth and opportunity and prosperity rather than of austerity and green-eyeshade accountants and tax collectors for the liberal welfare state. Even better, smart politics made for smart policy. Marginal income-tax rates were far too high when Reagan took office in 1981. And the tax code wasn’t indexed for inflation, causing bracket creep where nominal income gains pushed taxpayers into higher tax brackets.