Politics rule courts, regulators

Should presidents and governors select judges and regulators based on their political views? Should they be able to direct their appointees in making decisions? The answer to the first question seems obvious. Because the elected chief executive is given the constitutional right to pick those who judge, a president or governor must be expected to […]

‘Just say no’ opposition blocks government

“Just say no.” That anti-drug campaign response coined by First Lady Nancy Reagan has become the motto of opponents of government policy. Critics can reject a policy without proposing an alternative. Their aim is to stop government action, not to solve problems. To avoid the label of being nothing more than naysayers, opponents may claim […]

Income gap grows as unions decline

To judge from the news, you might think that organized labor was alive and well. On the West Coast, the slowdown at the nation’s largest ports is coming to an end after lengthy negotiations between unions and employers. In northern New England, a settlement has been reached between Fairpoint, the telephone company, and its striking […]

Higher electric rates or “personal power”

Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Take electricity. The more you save, the more it may cost. You reduce your consumption of electricity by using more efficient equipment and appliances and changing all your light bulbs. Because you now use fewer units of electricity – kilowatt-hours or kWhs, you expect lower electric bills. Now […]

Measles shots: Can we trust government, science?

The argument over measles shots is really about bigger questions – if citizens are free to reject government authority and if science merits the public’s respect. By now, most people are aware of the political debate about the proper role of government. These days, it focuses on the size of government budgets, taxes and the […]

No need to fix federal, state constitutions

The American system of government, enshrined in the federal and state constitutions that are two centuries old, is challenged. Is change needed? Do Americans want a stronger legislature or more powerful executive? The federal system, with Congress and the president elected separately, is unlike the British parliamentary system where the prime minister is a member […]

America “exceptional,” but needs new focus

Recently, a French television program, featuring political humor, called on its viewers to inundate Fox News with emails about its obviously false reports, made since 2006, that there were “no-go zones” in Britain and France, where Muslims controlled. Thousand of emails flooded Fox, and the station apologized, admitting that such zones do not exist. Meanwhile, […]