‘As Complete & Round A Ball Of Sleazy & Corrupt Energy As Can Be Imagined’

With an intact gag reflex and so much else on our deeply troubled planet to write about, I have been fighting the urge to wade back into the beyond sordid saga of former Donald Trump fuck buddy and pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, whose escape acts from justice would seem to rival the Great Houdini's until you consider that the legendary illusionist's feats of a century ago were not aided and abetted by a cast of powerful, Continue Reading...

Film Review: Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

The Rock Gets Back to His Roots as Samoa Gets the Black Panther Treatment: South Seas Cinema Stars in Action Series Spin-Off Hobbs & Shaw is an action-packed spin-off from the Fast & Furious film franchise, with Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) and Jason Stratham reprising their roles from that highly kinetic cinematic series as the titular Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. There are plenty of explosions, car chases, combat, death defying Continue Reading...

Film Review: At War (En Guerre)

Class Struggle Cinema Coming Soon to a Theater Near You Stéphane Brizé’s award-winning At War (En Guerre) is a French feature about unions, strikes and class struggle being released in America shortly after Bastille Day, which commemorates that “other” French Revolution. In this movie a German-owned company reneges on promises to keep a factory open in an economically depressed region of France, despite the workers’ sacrifices, agreeing to Continue Reading...

No One Is Going to Save Us… (Part 1)

After Donald Trump was inaugurated, I heard dozens of predictions about how soon he would fall and be forced out of the presidency. I talked to people In The Know or people who would mention a friend who's an intelligence agent, and they all knew, with near certainty, that we were mere months from the wheels of justice and the righteous government of the United States rejecting Trump like he was a dog's arm grafted onto our precious human bodies. Continue Reading...

Don’t Look To D.C, The Women’s World Cup Team Is Real Patriotism On Display

We are not exactly sports fanatics, my love and I.  While I nominally follow the Philadelphia Phillies, at least when they're winning, we don't even have cable TV, so we bypass the 24/7 torrent of the sports industrial complex in a sort of insular bliss at the mountain retreat if you don't count the nightmare than Donald Trump has visited upon us.  But we are joyfully following the U.S. national women's team in the World Cup because it allows us Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Edge of Democracy

South American Documentary Sheds Light on Brazil - and a USA Teetering on the Brink As America ponders the impeachment of Trump and investigating him for crimes a young South American female director has made a documentary about another large democratic nation that recently underwent the ordeals of impeaching one president plus the trial and imprisonment of an ex-president. Petra Costa’s The Edge of Democracy is a sprawling nonfiction epic Continue Reading...

Trump Cites “Proportionality” in Iran Pullback, Though he has often Violated It

Trump in an interview Friday with Meet the Press attributed his decision not to go ahead with a strike on Iran to concerns about proportionality. He said he asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff just before the strike was to have been set in motion about the likely Iranian casualties. They estimated 150. He said that since the Iranian had shot down an unmanned drone, that death toll seemed to him not Continue Reading...

Bricks and Babies: You Can’t Win a Fight Against the Delusional

If you ever happen to find yourself in Waskom, Texas, a tiny burg across the Louisiana state line off I-20, a place best described as "twister bait," you might wanna head on over to the Great American Mural that covers the front of the We Buy Houses 123 building in the middle of town. It's a mighty huge thing, what with its portrayal of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in a dull, gray New York City; an extraordinarily masculine Statue of Continue Reading...

Book Review: Fire on the Mountain

John Brown's Story Lies A-Mouldering on the Page John Brown is one of American history’s most fascinating characters. The American Spartacus, Brown led an anti-slavery revolt in 1859 and has often been depicted as overzealous and even stark raving mad. After all, to racists, any white man who’d place himself in harm’s way by taking up arms in order to free Black slaves by definition had to be a lunatic. After his failed raid at Harpers Ferry a Continue Reading...

Mueller Has Made It Much Harder For Democrats To Go Slow On Impeachment

The damage inflicted by Trump’s naïveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. - John McCain  Although it is equal parts presumptuous and wishful thinking, I'm going to suggest that the hidden message of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's farewell soliloquy was that he believes Congress should impeach Donald Trump because the damage cited by the president's late nemesis -- yeah, the guy whose naval Continue Reading...

Mission Accomplished? Could US-Iran Conflict Tear Iraq Apart Again?

The rising tensions between the Trump administration and Iran have the potential to roil the entire Middle East, and no country feels the heat more than Iraq, which has warm relations both with the US and Iran, as Egyptian journalist Islam Muhammad argues in a wideranging report. Iraqi nationalist and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr made headlines earlier this week when he tweeted out that a US-Iran War would “finish off Iraq.” Al-Sadr, who Continue Reading...

Book Review: Understanding Marxism

Understanding “Wolff-ism”: Prof. Richard Wolff’s Take on Karl Marx in New Text The 2008 crisis of capitalism sparked and regenerated interest in alternatives to the capitalist system, which was on the verge of collapsing. This included revived interest in socialism, with one of the results being the propelling of an obscure leftwing academic into history’s headlights. With appearances on TV shows including Bill Moyers’ and Charlie Rose’s Continue Reading...

Practical Impeachment Politics: Your Objections Are Bullshit

Too many Democrats are tying themselves in knots in order to avoid committing to impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, a man who, in his best days, betrays the public trust ten times before finishing his first Sausage McMuffin of the morning. But the arguments Democrats make are utter bullshit, and they're belied by history, circumstance, and the Democrats' own actions. For example: "Why bother impeaching Trump when we know the Continue Reading...

Pistol-Packin’ Butina: Feds Parlay A Weak Case Into An 18-Month Sentence

The case against Mariia Butina for being a Russian spy was never strong.   She never worked directly for the Kremlin, knew of no secret codes or safe houses, and didn't engaged in covert activity.  And so the feds ended up charging her with the rather tame offense of failing to register as a foreign agent.  The Siberian-born gun-rights activist, an oxymoron if there ever was one since gun owners in Russia have no rights, made her debut as a bit Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Terry Gilliam’s Quixotic Quest: Mancha Ado About…? Monty Python collaborator Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote falls into an interesting motion picture category. Cinematic lore includes a sort of subgenre of “difficult” films often made by powerful directors seeking to impose their exacting, iconic, auteurish visions on studios, audiences, critics, etc. During the silent screen era the original uncut versions of D.W. Griffith’s Continue Reading...