The one thing I’ll add to all the Trump-parsing

Since the rise of The Donald, journalists and analysts have been racing to keep up with the tumult in his wake – from the already breathless hype of the 24-hour news cycle, which may perversely see him as something of a boon, to the somber head-scratching of some of the more thoughtful commentators.  Without wanting [Read More…]

1950 Hollywood on the Buyout of Democracy

I’ve been thinking this week about an old movie I saw recently: Born Yesterday, in which a boorish, unscrupulous business tycoon goes to Washington to wreak some havoc and perhaps make a few ill-gotten bucks.  If only that pesky press would stop bothering him with little annoyances like facts and ethics… Oh, and his trophy [Read More…]

Godwin’s Law Overturned on Appeal

Godwin’s Law is, in the words of Wikipedia, …an Internet adage which asserts that ‘As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1’—that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler. …there [Read More…]

Bring Boring Back

If anything is widely agreed on in current U.S. politics, it is that Washington is dysfunctional. But a lack of reflection on what’s been feeding the dysfunction may be giving us the kind of purported solutions that really only exacerbate the problem. As near as I can tell, as I tried to puzzle it out in [Read More…]

Resisting Empire

IS THE UNITED STATES AN IMPERIAL POWER? I would say that it is, and that the evidence for this view is overwhelming. We spend more on our military than all of our main rivals — combined. Our troops garrison the world, we have bases on every continent, our Navy rules the waves, and so on. [Read More…]

We Are All to Blame

The US government is (technically) functional again, and the national crisis has been (sort of) averted, for the time being.  But whatever our political persuasion, we all know that the recent government shutdown was only the latest episode in an ongoing pattern of melodramatic debt crises ending in hard-fought, down-to-the-wire agreements to kick the can a [Read More…]

Conflicting Rights: A Muslim/Canadian Perspective

A minor story out of Canada, reported by the Religious News Service, may provide a new perspective for reflecting on Church/State clashes, and in particular the HHS contraception mandate.  Here are the basic details: In June, Faith McGregor requested a man’s haircut at the Terminal Barber Shop in downtown Toronto. Co-owner Omar Mahrouk told her [Read More…]

Rick Perry, Waterboarding and Prudential Judgment

In the most recent Republican debate, Rick Perry made an impassioned defense of waterboarding.  According to the LA Times report: Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched the most forceful defense of waterboarding, saying that all means possible should be used to extract information from those who would aim to hurt U.S. service personnel. “For us not [Read More…]

For God and Country: The Legacy of Francisco Franco

Eighty-two years ago today, the Spanish Civil War ended.  On April 1, 1939, Generalissimo  Francisco Franco declared victory over the forces of the so-called “Republic” who were in fact the tools of godless communism.    Here is a short clip from a speech he gave that day: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX_-faiNTVU] With this victory, Franco saved Spain and [Read More…]

Questions I’d Like To Ask of the Democrats

When are you going to stand up and act to stop the rape of the working class? When are you going to yell and scream for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act? When are you going to start demanding that we raise taxes on the rich in order to feed and house and provide [Read More…]