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George Will

Syndicated Columnist

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Will: Government reaches into childhood

By George Will May 17, 2015 6 a.m.

Controversies about "free-range parenting" illuminate today's scarred cultural landscape. Neighbors summon police in response to parenting choices the neighbors disapprove. Government extends its incompetence with an ever-broader mission of "child protection." And these phenomena are related to campus hysteria about protecting infantilized undergraduates from various menaces, including uncongenial ideas.

Will: No faith in 'Apostle Mike'

By George Will May 10, 2015 6 a.m.

In the 1950s, during one of his two campaigns as the Democrats' presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson was invited to address a gathering of Baptists in Houston, where in 1960 John Kennedy would address a group of Protestant ministers to refute charges that his Catholicism rendered him unfit to be president. This was an opinion vociferously promulgated by Norman Vincent Peale, a broadcast preacher and author of "The Power of Positive Thinking."

Will: Ship's sinking was an effect, not a cause

By George Will May 3, 2015 6 a.m.

Owning a fragment of history — a Gettysburg bullet, a Coolidge campaign button — is fun, so in 1968, Gregg Bemis became an owner of the Lusitania. This 787-foot-long passenger liner has been beneath 300 feet of water off Ireland's south coast since a single German torpedo sank it 100 years ago Thursday. It contains the 4 million U.S.-made rifle bullets and other munitions that the ship had been carrying from neutral America to wartime Britain.

Will: Seeing past e-cigarettes' smokescreen

By George Will April 26, 2015 6 a.m.

Smoking, said King James I in 1604, is "loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs." Three years later, he planted a colony in Jamestown. Its tobacco enhanced the royal treasury until Virginia produced a bumper crop of revolutionaries, including the tobacco farmer George Washington.

Will: Higher ed divests self of respectability

By George Will April 19, 2015 6 a.m.

Syracuse University alumni are new additions to the lengthening list of persons who can stop contributing to their alma maters. The university has succumbed — after, one suspects, not much agonizing — to the temptation to indulge in progressive gestures. It will divest all fossil fuel stocks from its endowment. It thereby trumps Stanford, whose halfhearted exercise in right-mindedness has been to divest only coal stocks. Evidently carbon from coal is more morally disquieting than carbon from petroleum.

Will: Plethora of laws putting Americans at risk

By George Will April 12, 2015 6 a.m.

What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent. Criticisms of the overcriminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally.

Will: Cruz faces harsh math

By George Will April 5, 2015 6 a.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was born in 1970, six years after events refuted a theory on which he is wagering his candidacy. The 1964 theory was that many millions of conservatives abstained from voting because the GOP did not nominate sufficiently deep-dyed conservatives. So if in 1964 the party would choose someone like Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, hitherto dormant conservatives would join the electorate in numbers sufficient for victory.

Will: Bright side of income inequality

By George Will March 29, 2015 6 a.m.

Every day the Chinese go to work, Americans get a raise: Chinese workers, many earning each day about what Americans spend on a Starbucks latte, produce apparel, appliances and other stuff cheaply, thereby enlarging Americans' disposable income. Americans similarly get a raise when they shop at the stores that made Sam Walton a billionaire.

Will: Good news for dogs, bad for society

By George Will March 22, 2015 6 a.m.

The rate of dog ownership is rising ominously. How can a profusion of puppies be worrisome? A report from the Raymond James financial services firm concerning trends in the housing market explains: Increasing numbers of women "are adopting dogs for security and/or companionship," partly because of "the great education divide."

Will: A bank with Congress in its pocket

By George Will March 15, 2015 6 a.m.

Conservatives' next disappointment will at least be a validation. The coming reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will confirm their warnings about the difficulty of prying the government's tentacles off what should be society's private sphere.

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