Back in the 1920s, the intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic were loudly protesting the execution of political radicals Sacco and Vanzetti, after what they claimed was an unfair trial.
Twenty years ago, hysteria swept through the media over "hunger in America."
Ideological clashes over particular laws, policies and programs often go far deeper.
Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong.
In Don Marquis' classic satirical book, "Archy and Mehitabel," Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, "What have I done to deserve all these kittens?"
The big news, as far as the media are concerned, is the political game of debt-ceiling chicken that is being played by Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things.
When Donald Rumsfeld was secretary of Defense, he coined some phrases about knowledge that apply far beyond military matters.
Two unrelated news stories on the same day show the contrast between government decisions and private decisions.
One of the painfully revealing episodes in Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" describes his early experience listening to a sermon by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.