WEALTH AND TAXES FROM ARISTOTLE TO MORE RECENT TIMES

American billionaires are unlikely to appreciate Aristotle’s observations about wealthy people (On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse Book 2, Chapter 16. Transl. by George A. Kennedy, Oxford Press, 1991).   “The wealthy are insolent and arrogant, being affected somehow by the possession of wealth; for their state of mind is that of those who […]

When NPR shut down its user comment line in 2016 it missed a major opportunity

Summary NPR’s comment line was obviously troubled when it was shut down in 2016. But there had been no  guidelines for contributions to it. Nor were significant corrections made when abuses began clogging the system. As the premier U.S. public radio news network I suggest that NPR should have taken on a generic problem facing […]

The real story under the controversy over offshore drilling

On January 4 2018 Interior Secretary Zinke announced a plan to open up 90% of the U.S.’s offshore Exclusive Economic Zone, equivalent to more than three quarters of the land area of the United States to commercial recovery of oil and gas. The report (https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/secretary-zinke-announces-plan-unleashing-americas-offshore-oil-and-gas-potential) stated that current moratoria put 94% of the this area […]

Confederate Monuments, Road Signs, And School Names: Don’t Put Them Out Of Sight And Mind

Why I’m writing about this subject. Current actions to remove Confederate statues and change the names of schools are in the news in Virginia. I have special reasons for offering suggestions on these sensitive issues. In 2005 I had a “born-again African American experience”. An emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri, Kansas […]

A premature goodbye to Gwen Ifill, stellar journalist

I was shocked beyond words to lose Gwen Ifill so early, so prematurely at 61. Quite aside from being a pioneering African American Gwen was a towering presence among journalists. It was impossible to determine what her political views were, because she was equally perceptive, candid, gracious but no nonesense with people of various political […]

Open letter to moderators for the 2016 presidential debates

  Here are three suggested questions that bear on U.S. political polarization. They are rarely posed but U.S. voters deserve responses to them from the candidates. To both candidates: The United States now has the most extreme partisan polarization and gridlock since the Civil War. When either party takes power it seems willing to in […]

Trump’s audacious campaign and Achilles heels

In spite of Donald Trump’s lead in the Republican primary campaign, until December 2015 there was wide scepticism that he would survive. His bombastic speechmaking, carelessness with facts, and outrageous claims earned him comments like “feckless blowhard” (editor of the Des Moines Register), “crass, bigoted bully with a narcissistic personality disorder” (Frank Rich New York […]

Candidate Candor that Might Electrify the Electorate

U.S. media reporting on the Iowa Caucus tell us that the 2016 primary candidates, Republican and Democratic,  face voter dissatisfaction with American politics. “Outsiders” like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina, who have no previous political experience, are tapping widespread anger among Republicans and especially conservatives. The performance of governors like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich […]

TRUMP CARDS

Why Donald Trump leads Republican candidates in spite of breaking all the rules   Trump confounds the political experts The conventional wisdom of political columnists up to recently has been that despite strength in the polls, real estate magnate Donald Trump had little likelihood of becoming the Republican nominee, let alone president; e.g. Sarah Fagen […]

Ernest Manheim’s Encounter With Jomo Kenyatta at the London School of Economics

On March 8, 2013 results of the presidential election in Kenya gave Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the famed first President of independent Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, a narrow win (1). Kenyatta was a Kikuyu like his father.  The runnerup in this history-evoking and bitterly contested election was Raila Amollo Odinga, a member of the Luo tribe, He was the […]