Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.
So as to give some perspective, I'm going to ask readers for their guesses about human behavior before explaining my embarrassment by some of my fellow economists.
The Food and Drug Administration can make two types of errors. It can approve a drug that has dangerous unanticipated side effects, or it can reject or delay approval of a drug that is safe and effective. Let's look at these errors, because to err on the side of under- or over-caution is costly.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), sometimes called ISIS or IS, is a Sunni extremist group that follows al-Qaida's anti-West ideology and sees a holy war against the West as a religious duty. With regard to nonbelievers, the Quran commands, "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out." The Quran contains many other verses that call for Muslim violence against nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.
At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.
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As if more evidence were needed about the tragedy of black education, Rachel Jeantel, a witness for the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial, put a face on it for the nation to see.
Recent opinion polls demonstrate a deepening distrust of the federal government. That's not an altogether bad thing.
There's a move on to prohibit Washington's football team from calling itself "Redskins," even though a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision said that it has that right. Now the name change advocates are turning to the political arena and intimidation.
Grutter v. Bollinger was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the University of Michigan Law School's racial admissions policy.
Last week, a federal judge ordered Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, to be moved to the adult lung transplant list. She then got her potentially lifesaving transplant.
In order to understand the liberal and progressive agenda, one must know something about their world vision and values. Let's examine some of the evidence.
Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do. Let's look at it.
Dr. Henry Miller, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Gregory Conko, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in their Forbes article "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies" (Sept. 5, 2012), wrote that her 1962 book "Silent Spring" led to a world ban on DDT use.
Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of setting the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, attended the University of Massachusetts. Maybe they hated our nation before college, but if you want lessons on hating America, college attendance might be a good start. Let's look at it.
One definition given for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The liberal world vision and reality are often at variance, as, for example, with equal pay for equal work.
Over the past 10 years, I have written columns variously titled "Academic Cesspools," "Academic Dishonesty," "The Shame of Higher Education," "Academic Rot" and "Indoctrination of Our Youth."
Suppose you buy a gallon of gas for $3. How much did it cost you? You say, "Williams, that's a silly question. It cost $3." That's where you're mistaken, because there's a difference between price and cost.
A couple of weeks ago, Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson, speaking at The National Press Club, said the nation "would never tolerate white unemployment at 14 and 15 percent." Black unemployment has been double that of white Americans for more than 50 years. The black youth unemployment rate is more than 40 percent nationally. In some cities, unemployment for black working-age males is more than 50 percent. Let's look at this, but first let's look at some history.
Professor Craig Frisby is on the faculty of University of Missouri's Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology.