Jeff Jacoby

Posted October 05, 2015

Taking a picture is not the same thing as experiencing a moment. It is one thing to see a famous person or view a great work with your own eyes. It is something different something less meaningful, less rich to see that person through a smartphone lens, or to regard that masterpiece through the viewfinder of a video camera.

Posted October 01, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in his capacity as "President of State of Palestine," or so the official text posted on the UN website identifies him.

Posted September 29, 2015

EACH YEAR, the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning the US economic embargo on Cuba. Each year, the United States, joined by a dwindling number of friends, votes against the resolution. Passage is a foregone conclusion. The vote last year was 188-2.

Posted September 24, 2015

ON THE JEWISH calendar, Wednesday is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It marks the culmination of the Days of Awe, the solemn period of introspection that began 10 days ago on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Like many Jews, I have been thinking about the themes of this season repentance and forgiveness, wrongdoing and reconciliation.

Posted September 20, 2015

Is this a description of Donald Trump heading into last Wednesday night's CNN debate?

Posted September 09, 2015

LAST WEEK a middle-aged businessman rescued five students from a lynch mob. Now the lynch mob is after the businessman, threatening to kill him for his act of bravery.

Posted September 07, 2015

What made Harold Hodge Jr. believe he was entitled to peacefully stand with a protest sign on the outdoor plaza of the US Supreme Court?

Posted September 02, 2015

The Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain is more than a renowned horticultural jewel; it is also a splendid venue for cyclists, with miles of meandering paths and gorgeous views of Boston.

Posted August 30, 2015

The fourth circle of Hell, as envisioned by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy, is reserved for the avaricious and the profligate. It is where those whose lust for getting and spending knew no bounds in life are punished in the afterlife by being battered endlessly with heavy weights.

Posted August 26, 2015

SUPPORTERS OF Donald Trump relish the prospect of a president who knows how to "get things done," and won't bore them with details or principles.

Posted August 12, 2015

BOBBY JINDAL'S presidential quest may not take him all the way to the White House. But if his time on the campaign trail helps put assimilation back at the heart of the nation's immigration debate, he will have rendered his country a valuable service.

Posted August 02, 2015

JAPAN'S less-than-wholehearted remorse for its World War II-era atrocities has long been an unhealed wound in its relations with its neighbors. The bruise is throbbing anew with the approach of August 15, the 70th anniversary of the announcement of Japan's surrender.

Posted July 29, 2015

Five times, Massachusetts voters have been asked to jettison their state's flat-rate income tax and replace it with a system of graduated tax brackets. Each time they have unequivocally refused to do so.

Posted July 26, 2015

As a US senator and a candidate for president a decade ago, John Kerry couldn't bring himself to worry overmuch about Islamic terrorism. Today, as a secretary of state trying to sell a nuclear accord that would lift economic sanctions from the world's leading state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, he still can't.

Posted July 22, 2015

IT'S NOT often that a business-lunch conversation becomes a viral YouTube video. But then, it's not often that a top Planned Parenthood official is recorded discussing, over a leisurely lunch of salad and red wine, the business of selling fetal organs harvested from aborted babies.

Posted July 16, 2015

AN ARGUMENT regularly advanced by opponents of the death penalty is that incapacitation doesn't require execution. Life imprisonment without parole is sufficient, they say: Put the most dangerous murderers behind bars and keep them there forever.

Posted July 10, 2015

IN 1865, THE Confederate battle flag was defeated. Early Thursday morning, by an overwhelming vote in the South Carolina House, it was finally discredited. The Confederate flag was removed Friday morning from the Capitol grounds in Columbia, S.C. The bitter-enders and revisionists had a long run of it, far longer than anyone could have imagined when the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

Posted July 08, 2015

ON JULY 1, President Obama announced the formal resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba, asserting confidently that "American engagement ... is the best way to advance our interests and support for democracy and human rights."

Posted July 05, 2015

For nearly two centuries, it has hung in the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, an icon of the American founding by an artist who lived through the Revolution and personally met most of the men depicted in his painting. And yet John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 captures a scene that never occurred.

Posted July 02, 2015

The rule of law isn't indestructible. It is corroded by judges who act like superlegislators never more so than when torturing the plain words of the law, forcing them to say what they don't mean.