Recent Articles

Should I Revive This Moribund Blog?

Some of my readers may notice that I have not written much in the last two years. In fact, I haven't written anything. About a year and a half ago, I started writing a post with the above title. I didn't write anything after the title. Apparently, the answer was, "No." Who reads blogs anymore? I used to spend a couple of hours on each post, and then I thought, "Why not just post a status update on Facebook?" I did that until over a year ago, Continue Reading...

Ukrainian-Americans Must Speak Out

Less powerful nations must chart their own courses without foreign interference Her earliest memories were of endless wheat fields and the sweeping steppes. She also remembered being afraid of the police - and the bitter cold. My babushka advised me: “If your feet stay warm the rest of your body will, too.” Like Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof’s beloved dairyman who dreamed of being “a rich man,” my grandmother Dorothy Kwass was a Ukrainian Jew who Continue Reading...

Christ on a Crackpot: A Pair of Dangerous Speeches from the Attorney General and Secretary of State

Last Friday, both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr were giving speeches before different groups in the middle of the country. Pompeo was speaking in Nashville to the American Association of Christian Counselors. Barr was speaking in South Bend, Indiana, at the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame. Yet both approached their subjects from a similar perspective: Continue Reading...

All About Donald Trump’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Still need evidence that Donald Trump not only is out of his mind, but flying solo through that great right-wing echo chamber as the Ukraine scandal continues to grow new tentacles at a breathtaking rate?    If so, please note that amidst an impeachment crisis that has him cornered like a trapped animal, he set in motion a series of events over this Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week that have outraged some of the very congressional Continue Reading...

Trump, head of GOP, demands Chinese Communist Party Prosecute Businessman for Crime of Making Money

A particularly unperceptive and unfeeling wag came up with the bon mot defining a “socialist” as someone kept up at night by the fear that somewhere someone was making money. (Socialists are actually haunted by people working but not making money because the capitalist class is stiffing them). But by that definition, Trump is our planet’s premier socialist, with the proviso that the particular person he is afraid is making money is Hunter Continue Reading...

Film Review: Abominable

Crazy Yeti: Himalayan Hi-Jinks Highlight Awesome Animated Adventure plus Some Ruminations on Animation and Race The delightful computer-animated feature Abominable is one of those rare movies that will enchant adults and children alike. Set mostly or entirely in present day China, the 97 minute movie about an Abominable Snowman starts out in Shanghai then embarks on a road trip throughout the People’s Republic. Various destinations in the Continue Reading...

House Democrats Wrap Up Another Week Of Dithering While America Burns

If you recall the headlines atop my blog posts on impeachment over the last several months -- among them Whatever Happened To That Democratic Blue Wave?,Fuggedabout Trump: The Democratic Circular Firing Squad Goes After Obama, and most recently The Long, Tragicomic Slog Toward Impeachment -- you probably are onto my view that if Donald Trump goes down it will have less to do with House Democrats, whose extraordinary dithering continues apace, Continue Reading...

America Is Not Just for Americans

At my college, the semester just started. And in my classes, as usual, I have an array of students from other countries, including Syria and Lebanon. I have said on other occasions that my Middle Eastern students are almost always some of the best, hardest-working, least-complaining ones. It's just an anecdotal observation based on years of experience, but make of that what you will. In my classes, we read literature that has a political bent, 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.