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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

June 2019

The Abortion Hypocrisy


No one should force a pregnant woman to have an abortion, a practice in China years ago to address population explosion (the one-child policy). But forcing a pregnant woman to bear an unwanted child is "involuntary servitude." The key concept here is force. If men and women in a modern society are legally equal citizens, how is it that the radical branch of the Republican Party has been relentlessly trying to eliminate the 1973 law that permits women to make decisions about their own bod more...

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The Late, Great Republican Party


If our first president, George Washington, had his way, we would not have had political parties. He disliked "factions," and preferred honorable men having honorable discussions until consensus would result.

This was not to be. From the first, there was such division among the 13 states that the emergence of parties was inevitable. Happily, only two parties arose, sparing us the nightmare of so many other examples in Europe of unstable multiple parties. The two parties wer more...

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The Rebirth of Fascism

Two political systems were born early in the 20th century: Fascism and Communism. They behaved as enemies throughout the century, although they shared a common goal: defeat of liberal democracies. In retrospect, however, they shared more qualities than differences.

To discuss these movements, definitions are needed. Liberal democracies (United States, Britain, France) had political systems that provided for regular changes of leadership through elections; equal power among head of more...

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The Function of Impeachments


One of our country?s most distinguished magazines, The Atlantic Monthly, founded in 1857, was non-partisan, dedicated to impartial liberty, and to wage war against despotism in every form. They so rarely weighed in on presidents that they counted only three times: Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, and Hillary Clinton.

Their endorsement of Clinton was not support of her as much as it was alarm over Donald Trump, whom they saw as "spectacularly unfit for office." "His affect more...

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November 2018

Attacks on the Press are now global.



Throughout history, the legitimacy of rulers had nothing to do with behavior, but with bloodline or conquest. Kings and emperors ruled, sometimes with the guidance of counselors, but more often with no overt opposition. There was opposition, of course, but clandestine, coming from rivals for the throne or (rarely) from public outrage.

We must consult folk tales to glimpse how ordinary people might have felt about their rulers. Many tales talk about evil rulers, wh more...

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What to Do About Saudi Arabia


Sometimes, one only misses something when it is gone. This is the case with America?s long-standing foreign policy, our policy of responsibility for global prosperity.

At the end of World War II, we were the only nation not devastated by that war. Shortly before our victory, the US convened a global conference of our allies and made an offer that couldn?t be refused. We wanted all of our allies to emancipate their colonies, just as we did with our one colony, the Philippi more...

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September 2017

Freedom Is a Tricky Concept.

"Freedom" is an interesting idea, one that is much used in ways that are often contradictory. Freedom is understood to mean: "Doing what one wants to do without restraint." Freedom is absolute if the person is a hermit, living entirely alone. However, the definition that is generally accepted in modern societies is that one can generally do what one wishes, unless it deprives another of the same freedom. A more common definition is: ?My freedom stops at your nose."

In theory, a p more...

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