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Book Review: The Chequered Brilliance by Jairam Ramesh

I read Jairam Ramesh’s The Chequered Brilliance practically non-stop, despite its intimidating length, mainly because of its lucid style, impressive logic and sound chapterisation. As I finished reading, I was reminded of Thomas Carlyle’s (1795-1881) words: “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Of course, this view of history is not cent per cent right. One is reminded of Pierre Goubert’s Louis Continue Reading...

The Real Trick Behind Trump’s Executive Actions: Pass the Buck

If there is one thing that is consistent about President Donald Trump, who is really just a brain-damaged hog whose squeals can only be understood by other brain-damaged pigs, it's that he refuses to take blame whenever he's wrong. It's not that he never apologizes, like the world's shittiest tween, but he also works mightily to make sure someone else is to blame for his transgressions, his crimes, and his evil (yet dumb) schemes. And his most Continue Reading...

Will Trump’s Maximum Pressure on UNSC against Lifting Iran Arms Embargo Backfire Big Time?

Peter Hutchison at AFP reports that the Trump administration may be set to shoot itself in the foot at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) next week by pressing for an over-ambitious resolution against lifting the arms embargo on Iran. The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by the US and the other permanent members of the UNSC plus Germany involved a set of bargains. Iran had to give up 80 percent of its civilian nuclear Continue Reading...

After Beinart – What American Progressive Jews Can Do Now

Reaction to the essay and op-ed by Peter Beinart has been predictable. The usual suspects who support a so-called "two-state solution" -- in other words, any two-stater who doesn't believe in an equitable division of Israel/Palestine's geography and resources into two sovereign states, each with a strong military capacity-- are gnashing their gums (after spending decades gnashing their teeth). Those on the center-right and right have accused Continue Reading...

Playing It Safe: So Far, MSNBC’s The Reid Out is the Same Old, Same Old

So far, MSNBC’s “new” program presented by Joy Reid is arguably to the public discourse what the 1950’s The Donna Reed Show was to housewifery: nice, middle of the road, safe, conventional television. Of course, one was a TV sitcom and the other is a news-oriented program, but the main difference between the two eponymous performers is in form, not content. While Reed was lily white, Reid is Black, and as such at this time of urban uprisings she Continue Reading...

A Weary Nation Watches Trump and Asks, “What the Hell Was That?”

Today, President Donald Trump, who is really just three hogs stacked on top of each other while wearing a trash bag with a tie, called a White House Rose Garden "press conference," the ostensible purpose of which was to announce some half-cocked new way to punish China for trade shit. I'm not going to bother trying to figure out our trade relationship with China because it ain't something that I can comprehend, and that's what makes you a goddamn Continue Reading...

Black Moviegoers Matter: Must Gone with the Wind Be Gone?

In 1953 author Simone de Beauvoir asked Must We Burn De Sade? regarding the French Marquis and his sadomasochistic books. Today, as the twin plagues of Covid-19 and police brutality disproportionately ravage African Americans, we’re likewise asking: Must Gone with the Wind be gone? On June 10 - the birthday of Hattie McDaniel, who won one of the 1939 epic’s eight Oscars, including Best Picture - HBO Max blew GWTW off the streaming service’s Continue Reading...

All the Lies Trump told the West Point Graduates about American Militarism

It was bad enough that Trump endangered the health of the graduating class at West Point for the purposes of a photo op for his reelection campaign by insisting on bringing them back to campus. It was bad enough that he gave an alarming performance in which some observers saw an advancing dementia and during which he had difficulty lifting a glass of water. What was worse was all the lies and half-truths Trump told the West Point Continue Reading...

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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.