ANTITHESIS [an-TITH-uh-sis]: the direct opposite

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To begin with, a thesis is an idea or concept which is promoted as being the outcome of research.   To have a thesis about something means that you have come to a conclusion which you believe to be a fact.   In today’s world, for instance, the concept that global warming is occuring primarily because of […]

MERITOCRACY: a society which is governed by people who are selected for their intelligence, accomplishments and abilities

At first blush, the idea of a government in which leadership is given over to people who are intelligent and accomplished sounds like a great improvement over most other systems.   In countries where leadership is granted dependent upon one’s birthright or inherited status, for instance, there is absolutely no guarantee that those who ascend to […]

PROGRESSIVE: favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform

In the “name your political inclination” column the word progressive keeps croppping up.  Different people tend to identify the term with varying meanings, so it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to look at it more closely and see what it actually means. In U.S. politics one has to begin with Theodore Roosevelt who formed […]

MERITOCRACY: a system in which leadership is based upon skill, accomplishment and ability

Some say it’s a fantasy.  Others say it’s a utopian dream.   Some say it is impossible to accomplish.   Many say there are not tests to validate it.   Some scorn it as being “elitist.” Meritocracy, however, is an alternative way of achieving leadership by eliminating appointment of leaders based upon social status, race, gender, family,  economic […]

MORAL CALCULUS: to measure the ethical quality of an issue

Charles Krauthammer is a skilled writer, although I seldom come down on the same side of an issue with him.   Today is one of those days when his column in the Washington Post really agitates me.   I had to read it a couple of times before I was sure about what I was feeling about […]

REVOLUTION: an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

There have been all kinds of euphemisms employed over the past two weeks to describe the activity in the central square of Cairo and in the other cities of Egypt.  But the reality has pushed through those euphemisms:   what is happening is a revolution. The people of Egypt have lived under the organized dictatorship of […]