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Film Review: In The Fade

Lone Wolf Antifa in New Anti-Neo-Nazi German Film I never fail to be astonished at how the arts, as Shakespeare put it, hold a mirror up to nature, that is, to our society and current events. As the rightwing anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim tide rises, with its ripped-from-the-proverbial-headlines vibe, In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) is a case in point. This German neo-nazi drama written and directed by Turkish-German auteur Fatih Akin’s (Head On, Continue Reading...

Trump’s disastrous Year in the Middle East: Syria

Trump on the campaign trail said many self-contradictory things about the Syrian civil war. He wanted to carpet bomb ISIL, which had a strip of territory in the far east of the country. He wanted to send in 30,000 US troops, he said at one point. Then at other times he argued that “we” should just “let Russia handle it.” Continue Reading...

Film Review: Bombshell – The Hedy Lamarr Story

Will the Real Hedy (NOT Hedley!) Please Stand Up? Writer/director Alexandra Dean’s nonfiction Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a 90 minute slice of cinema history - and much more - about an enigmatic screen star who was also a behind-the-scenes inventor. Like 2015’s documentary Listen to Me Marlon, Dean uses tapes featuring the thespian’s own voice to tell the inside story of the iconic, exotic actress who dazzled and delighted audiences Continue Reading...

There Are No Real Republican “Deficit Hawks.” Here’s Why.

Democrats are making a terrible mistake fighting the Republican tax cuts by saying they add to the deficit, that they will “blow a hole in the budget,” etc. Why are Democrats saying this? They are using the “increase deficits” line because they think they can appeal to a few “deficit hawk” Republicans who spent the Obama years complaining about government sending and “deficits.” Continue Reading...

How Not To Argue Against Student Divestment Proposals

Students who support the human and civil rights of Palestinians are submitting proposals on college campuses that call for their universities to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation and administration of Palestinian territories. As a faculty member, I believe it is inappropriate for me to take a position publicly on a student issue. (Others might reasonably disagree.) But I would like to answer some of the questions that Continue Reading...

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (Part 902)

In the official transcripts of the White House, they're not even trying to hide what a gibbering twit President Donald Trump is. And, really, why bother? We all know that he's an inarticulate tamarin, a calico dimwit, and for most of us, that means he's just a cretinous ogre who should be in a field, devouring wayward goats, and not beshitting the Oval Office. For others, his moronic drivel is a feature, not a flaw; his third-grade vocabulary Continue Reading...

Donald Trump Didn’t Remember Sergeant La David T. Johnson’s Name, But We Will

It was axiomatic long before Donald Trump became president that anyone who falls into his orbit is cheapened by the experience.  And now it is General John Kelly’s turn.  By all accounts an exemplary career Marine, Kelly's final act of service to his country — trying to bring order to the dysfunctional West Wing of a White House run by a man as deeply unqualified to be commander in chief -- will now be best remembered by him succumbing to and 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.