An Ode to the Op-ed Sweetener

Back in the 1980s, when the Wall Street Journal was still exclusively a print product, my little team in the op-ed department formalized the near-daily placement of a short, usually humorous or poignant, article at the bottom of the section. Because of the position on the layer cake, we called those pieces the “tertiary” andContinue reading “An Ode to the Op-ed Sweetener”

Green Living: Cows Are Coming Home

This correspondent at Unherd tries to separate the current Dutch farming protest over nitrogen restrictions from more sweeping global pushback against climate and other environmental strictures. Sure, there’s generally a more localized context to every “global” story. But it’s nonetheless true that what are being presented as planetary urgencies are beginning to impinge on largeContinue reading “Green Living: Cows Are Coming Home”

AC/DC as a Fetish

The pursuit of electricity as a climate relief strategy has become rather a fetish on the left, even in quarters where you’d expect more skepticism about any power source. Mainstream media are fully on board. There’s an all-out push in Washington and around the country for subsidizing battery-powered vehicles, even though 1) combustion engines areContinue reading “AC/DC as a Fetish”

Soon to be Overrun With the Old

When media spotlight “existential crises” they often are referring to some resource whose supply is in peril for future generations. Usually this has some environmental element, such as species depletion or food supply, or any other angle of climate change. But in First World societies there’s a demographic “timebomb” as the baby boomers and successiveContinue reading “Soon to be Overrun With the Old”

FTC Has Fetched a New Stick

The action in this latest Wall Street Journal story on the now-progressive Federal Trade Commission concerns veterinarians, but it is not a mere dog and pony show. It reflects a concerted push to rein in the nation’s private-equity firms, particularly those involved in mergers or “roll-ups” of businesses in the same type of enterprise. TheContinue reading “FTC Has Fetched a New Stick”

Sociology’s Un-economic Impulse

In the agitated state of modern societies, a rebellion against “neo-liberalism” heralds some preferred order, usually a form of ostensibly democratic socialism. Inherent in this movement is a rejection of economics, which is the study of allocating scarce resources. This is a startling proposition, coming off a generation or two in which economics has beenContinue reading “Sociology’s Un-economic Impulse”

Beijing’s Man in Jakarta

Hard as it may be for Westerners to think that today’s People’s Republic of China, with all of its glaring repressions and slavishness over Covid, could be still a draw for emerging nations…it is. As this latest op-ed in the New York Times from an Australian think tank argues, China is actually gaining ground inContinue reading “Beijing’s Man in Jakarta”

Show-Offs and Their Big Houses

What primarily intrigues me about people who willingly show themselves and their oversized properties off in places like the Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section is…why? I know we are in the age of oversharing, but these are obviously wealthy people, usually with children–just the sorts you’d expect to want privacy. Of course, if they seekContinue reading “Show-Offs and Their Big Houses”

Beijing and the Big Bomb

Polling suggests widespread gloom among younger Americans over climate change, while other surveys pick up foreboding in the older population at the renewed prospect of nuclear war. Vladimir Putin’s saber-rattling at the West as he rips up Ukraine has jogged memories from a Cold War era extending through the 1980s when the “Day After” wasContinue reading “Beijing and the Big Bomb”

Reminder of ‘Our’ Rogue on the Nile

Any roundup of the world’s noxious right-wing authoritarians usually includes stops in Brazil, Hungary, India and take your pick in Africa…Uganda, maybe? Arguably Vladimir Putin fits within the proto-fascist collection, notwithstanding his rhetoric about “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. But no gallery would be complete without General al-Sisi of Egypt, as this tale from the latest edition ofContinue reading “Reminder of ‘Our’ Rogue on the Nile”