Recent Articles

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Trump’s Bombast

As the sun sets slowly on Trump’s presidency and we bid a not-so-fond farewell to the ex-resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, presumably leaving for exile at Mar-a-Largo, it’s worth reflecting: After all he’s said and done, what have we really learned from The Donald? By this, I don’t mean some sort of high-minded platitude, such as “Democracy is a fragile thing.” Rather, I am referring to what of value, that one can put to practical use, has Continue Reading...

Film Review: Dear Comrades!

Back in the USSR: Dear Red People When I was a student revolutionary, I attended a debate between a communist and liberal in Manhattan circa 1972. When the latter complained that workers didn’t strike in the socialist states one of the reds in the audience shouted out that this was because “The workers own them!” In Dear Comrades! seasoned Soviet/Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky poses the question: What does happen when the workers go Continue Reading...

Random Observations on an Insurrection

1. This was inevitable. Anyone even casually observing the last five years knew that the Trump reign was going to end in violence. Unless you willfully put blinders on and truly believe the bullshit fairy tale of "This is not who we are." This is very much who we are. We have always been a nation filled with racist, incoherent yahoos who are on the verge of violence and whose white privilege protects them in ways that no Black or Muslim person Continue Reading...

Jews of the world, disunite…in Israel!

Stop loving Israel to death If you are Jewish and living outside of Israel, what are you waiting for? Israel awaits you. What’s taking you so long? Uncle Bibi wants YOU! As a Palestinian living in Palestine, I anxiously await your arrival. I have spoken directly to thousands of you over decades about Israel and its actions. Most recently, I had a conversation with over 100 of you on Zoom. The conversation and audience questions were all too Continue Reading...

Peril in the Middle East, Peril at Home: Our Top 10 Stories of 2020

2020 was a monster of a year, leaving three million Americans dead (a record), probably nearly half a million of them of Covid-19 once everyone is counted. The fecklessness of the outgoing Trump administration was responsible for a good deal of this national catastrophe, one that did not strike our allies South Korea or Germany to nearly the same extent (what with their having competent, rational leaders and a funded health care system, and all). Continue Reading...

Protectionism, Trade and Democracy

“Protectionism” literally means we, as a nation, protect our national interests. It is one more word that has been twisted to make people think it’s a bad thing, like “entitlement” (the things we are entitled to as citizens in a democracy) or “welfare” (people in a democracy making each others’ lives better.) “Trade” is about competitive advantages. It used to mean one region can grow bananas and another can grow corn, and by trading they each Continue Reading...

We Cannot Overlook All the Ways That Trump and His Idiot Hordes Attack Democracy

They never should have gotten away with "Lock her up." One of the things we are learning is that the media and officials shouldn't have been coddling soon-to-be shitcanned President Donald Trump and his idiot hordes and allowing them to indulge in their fits and fantasies over the 2020 election outcome. "Just let him throw this tantrum," supposedly smart Republicans told us. "He'll get tired and go to Mar-a-Lago and go to sleep." It really was Continue Reading...

Film Review: Donbass

The “People’s Republic of Donetsk” and More in the Wild, Wild East I’ve been a movie fan since childhood and by the time I got to Manhattan’s Hunter College, I’d already seen countless pictures. Majoring in cinema there I devoured copious amounts of cinematic offerings, and then as a professional critic and film historian I’ve gone on to watch an incalculable number of movies. I mention this because there are scenes in ​writer/ director Sergei Continue Reading...

Best of Web

Trump, McConnell, Putin, and the Triumph of the Will to Power

At a critical moment in the 2016 presidential campaign, President Obama met with Republican congressional leaders and, after presenting them with evidence of Russian tampering, asked that they uniformly condemn it.  GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others refused.  The evidence just wasn’t there.  But it was.  And many of the same lawmakers eagerly condemned Hillary Clinton’s perceived misdeed, as reported by the FBI.  So much for love of country.

Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy

Liberal democracy faces grave dangers, most significantly, perhaps, from rapacious capitalism that unremittingly concentrates wealth.  Putin is another threat.  After consolidating his own power in Russia, he has stepped up a campaign against liberalism abroad, first in Russia’s “near abroad” in Eastern Europe, and now the US.  Is Trump his latest trophy?

The Victory of ‘No’

For eight years, the GOP employed strategic obstructionism to stymie Obama’s mildly progressive agenda, even when his proposals, such as the Affordable Care Act or the stimulus, closely aligned with their own.  Putting country first?  Nope.  This was pure partisanship in the service of partisanship.  And it worked!

Dangerous idiots: how the liberal media elite failed working-class Americans

Is the so-called “liberal,” “elite” media really as cosseted and cloistered as its critics suggest?  Actually, yes.  Like the Democracy Party, the media – defined here as the mainstream variety – largely comprises well-educated, coastal types who have little in common (and often disdain) middle-America, working class whites.  Little wonder it has earned the latter’s ire.

Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt

What happens when the purported party of the working class abandons its proletarian roots, while the other major party pushes crazed conspiracy theories, paranoia, and racism as an obfuscatory tactic to conceal its plutocratic agenda?  A virulent populism that threatens the republic.  Whose to blame for Trump?  We all are.

In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

How did a clownish buffoon rise from obscurity to lead one of the world’s great civilizations that produced soaring art and culture?  Historians have been asking the question since the demise of the Third Reich.  Hitler confounds.  Here are some clues: cunning exploitation of nativist fears, exploitation of irresistible propaganda, and “bottomless mendacity.”  Found familiar.  It should.