November 29, 2022

Tom Gutowski | Author

The Second Amendment and the Supposed Right to Revolt

Aug. 27, 2022

There’s an increasingly common notion that the basis of gun rights in America is that every citizen has the right to oppose government—should it become tyrannical—through force of arms, and that therefore no limitation whatsoever on the ownership or use of firearms is va... Read More >>

A City Upon a Hill

April 16, 2022

We all want history taught accurately. But what does that mean? History isn’t “just the facts;” it’s a combination of what some historians think are the relevant facts plus an interpretative framework, like dots on a page plus the lines that connect them to form a ... Read More >>

Democracy in Crisis

Dec. 4, 2021

In their 2018 book, “How Democracies Die,” Harvard University political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt say that nowadays democracies seldom die abruptly. Today’s aspiring authoritarians use mostly legal methods abetted by occasional violence, or threats of... Read More >>

10 Rules to Avoid the Discomfort of Critical Thinking

Oct. 30, 2021

Rule No. 1: If it feels true, it is. If you absolutely must “do the research,” look only at sources that you know you’ll agree with. Why suffer the agony of reading or listening to an opposing opinion? You could get heartburn.

Rule No. 2: If they agree with you, ... Read More >>

To Mask Or Not To Mask

Oct. 9, 2021

I hate wearing masks; they tug at your ears, muffle your voice, and fog up your glasses. But they’re worth the inconvenience.

Masks work, even though they don’t catch every virus particle. Viral load matters; it isn’t just one virus particle and -- BOOM, you&rsqu... Read More >>

Michigan Senate Bill 460

Aug. 14, 2021

The nationwide debate over what should be taught — or more to the point, not taught — in public schools about race and racism has generated lots of heat but not much light. As of this writing, 26 state legislatures have introduced bills seeking to limit what can be taught. Ele... Read More >>

Where Do We Go From Here

Jan. 2, 2021

Joe Biden is right to call for unity and healing. But how is that to be accomplished? Just returning to “normal” won’t do it. We’ll all be happier when we have a president who behaves like an adult, but that isn’t sufficient. After all, what used to pass for ... Read More >>

A Republic If You Can Keep It

Oct. 24, 2020

After the constitutional convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was reportedly asked by Elizabeth Willing Powel, wife of the mayor of Philadelphia, what sort of government had been created. Franklin famously responded: “A republic, if you can keep it.” It seems the time may soon be ... Read More >>

Where Is Mr. Kranz When You Need Him?

Sept. 12, 2020

Global warming is often discussed in terms of a few degree increase in average temperature, slowly rising sea levels, and more severe weather. None of this is good, but it doesn’t seem bad enough to warrant a sense of extreme urgency. Besides, we’ve got COVID-19 and an ailing ... Read More >>

It Ain’t Over Till it’s Over. And It’s Not Over.

July 11, 2020

There’s a huge disparity between the well-being of white and Black families in America. Median Black household wealth is about one-tenth of median white household wealth. Median Black household income is 61 percent of that of whites. Black life expectancy is three and a half years s... Read More >>

Lessons From the Pandemic

May 16, 2020

The federal response to the coronavirus has been less than stellar. The initial rollout of testing was botched, and our per capita rate of testing was for a long time very low, making it difficult to do contact tracing or targeted quarantining, or to get accurate numbers or reopen the eco... Read More >>

Fairness, Opportunity, and Compassion

Feb. 22, 2020

Thirty-eight million Americans live in poverty. Those of us not among that number should stop lecturing these people about their values and start re-examining our own. The majority of poor who are able to work do so, but even with public assistance don’t make enough money to live wh... Read More >>

Fear and Loathing in America

Nov. 23, 2019

Upraised middle fingers have replaced civil debate. Many people think those whose political opinions differ from their own are morons, and they aren’t shy about saying so. What’s going on?
There used to be liberal and conservative Democrats, and liberal and co... Read More >>

Undocumented Immigrants

Sept. 28, 2019

Here are a few basic facts about undocumented immigrants. If any of what follows looks incorrect, I invite you to look it up yourself, preferably using multiple, unbiased sources.
Apprehensions on the Southwest border peaked at 1.64 million in 2000, then declined to 396,5... Read More >>

Safe, Legal, and Timely

July 20, 2019

Despite current divisiveness on the abortion issue, most Americans are somewhere in the middle: They think abortion should be legal but would like there to be less of it, especially after the first trimester. That’s actually been the trend for a while now. Abortion rates are at thei... Read More >>

Two-Track Economy

May 25, 2019

There’s no denying that by traditional measures, the economy is doing fine. As of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is well over 25,000, unemployment remains very low, wages have begun rising, estimated GDP growth in the first quarter was 3.2% (though it’s expecte... Read More >>

What are the Real Issues in Medicare for All?

March 16, 2019

In a general sense, Medicare For All, or MFA, isn’t a radically new concept. Every highly developed country has universal health insurance, except us. Some of those insurance systems — not all — are single payer. What’s radical is that America, the richest country ... Read More >>