Joel Belz

Joel, WORLD's founder, writes a regular column for the magazine and contributes commentaries for The World and Everything in It. He is also the author of Consider These Things.

Krieg Barrie

Sizing up our hearts

Politics | A Golden Rule suggestion for America’s intense political divisions
by Joel Belz
Posted 11/12/18, 03:19 pm

For a few hours on the morning of Nov. 7, things seemed remarkably and almost unbelievably tranquil. 

“Today,” said Nancy Pelosi, “you have to like being a Democrat.” “Everyone,” said Republican Karl Rove, “gets a ribbon. Everyone leaves with something to brag about.” 

Or call it “politics as usual”—but defining “as usual” the way we did 30, 40, or maybe 50 years ago. Back then, we’d just forget the agonies and miseries of the midterm campaign and get on with the nation’s agenda.

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Krieg Barrie

Whom to believe?

Media | Trust is hard to come by, easy to lose
by Joel Belz
Posted 11/06/18, 11:15 am

“Trust,” said Ronald Reagan, “but verify.”

The three-word bit of wisdom has been widely—if casually—reported as coming from Reagan’s mind as well as his mouth. But it isn’t so. Some reporter somewhere was too quick to trust and too slow to verify. Others followed.

The proverb in fact finds its origins in Russia (Доверяй, но проверяй). The phrase became well-known in English only when Reagan jovially quoted it to Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, during nuclear disarmament talks in 1986. Dozens of TV cameras seemed to authenticate his authorship.

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Krieg Barrie

More with less

Education | Can’t we make education more efficient?
by Joel Belz
Posted 10/25/18, 03:17 pm

At least when it comes to the task of education, the historical record suggests that Johannes Gutenberg and Henry Ford probably had little in common. In fact, you might well have rejected either of them as a candidate for secretary of education.

But maybe we should look again. On one aspect of the educational enterprise, they operated from much the same philosophy. If there was something good and valuable for the population at large (books for Gutenberg, autos for Ford), there had to be a way to make it available to the masses at a decent cost.

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