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The Problem of No Problem

A scientist has a problem: no problem. Sounds like a Zen riddle, but it’s really about the riddle of victimhood-worship. Emily Yoffe writes an advice column called Dear Prudence. A female reader reported a problem pertaining to workplace bias against women. Although she works in a “very masculine scientific field .

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Net Neutrality Lunacy

“The very same government that couldn’t even build a functional website and leaked massive amounts of personal data while doing it just took over the entire Internet. And people everywhere are telling me that places like Amazon (a company that can deliver almost anything to my door within 24 hours

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Robert Reich, Mythed Up

onsumer sovereignty is the idea that in markets consumers call the shots. In capitalism, most mass production is indeed for the masses, and the masses have a big say in what gets done. All profits and wages of successful businesses come from consumers. But don’t take this too far. Consumers

Blizzards of Blather

If you’re living in New England and you’ve recently been buried under snow, you probably don’t want to hear how it’s somewhat the fault of (man-exacerbated) global warming. Nor that we can, maybe, tweak the weather to perfection if only we drastically curtail the carbon-emission needed to make boots, gloves

Pot, Kettle; Obama, Putin

President Calvin Coolidge looks more like a sage every day. Confucius would’ve been proud of Silent Cal. Today’s top politicians might take a cue from the man: When you don’t have much to say, say nothing. President Barack Obama, whose popularity in America up until recently rested, in part, on his

Nothing to Sneeze At

I don’t believe everything I read. If I did, I’d believe seven incompatible things before breakfast, and by lunch I’d suffer a nervous breakdown. From a cognitive dissonance overload. There’s a story just out: A Tennessee teen was allegedly suspended from school for saying “Bless you.” Un-sneezin’-believable. I don’t want

Wrong Lesson Learned

Last week’s interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman brought a rare admission from President Barack Obama. Friedman asked, “What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned doing foreign policy?” “I’ll give you an example of a lesson I had to learn that still has, you know, ramifications to this day,”

Grading on the Progressive Curve

It used to be a joke. Tom Lehrer made it about his military experience. “One of the many fine things (one has to admit) is the way that the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion … not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds

Legal, Shmegal

Lots of unanswered questions about the prisoner swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Will negotiating this swap cause more Americans to be taken prisoner? Did Sgt. Bergdahl desert his unit five years ago? Was he responsible for the deaths of

Cold Contempt for Common Sense

It began when a science experiment at a Minnesota high school set off a fire alarm. One of the students, Kayona Tietz, was swimming at the time. Her clothes were in her locker. Because the alarm was unplanned, a teacher ushered Kayona outside without letting her retrieve her clothes. All

Turnabout Is Fairer Play

Microsoft recently announced that it was finally ditching a much-maligned “stack ranking” system. Last summer, Vanity Fair did much to publicize how demoralizing the system was. The magazine learned that managers had for years been obliged to rank team members on a curve — such that some employees in each

Owls to Spare?

Since 1990, the federal government has placed a stranglehold on the forest industry in Oregon and Washington and California in order to save a species of bird, Strix occidentalis caurina, better known as the Northern spotted owl. The program has not been successful, experts tell us, with spotted owls declining

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