Film Review: Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

Oh! Kolkata: Yogi Bare, Boo-Boos and Bikram Academy Award winning Australian filmmaker Eva Orner’s well-made documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator is an 86-minute creepfest perfect for the #MeToo Movement and moment. This no-punches-pulled nonfiction film purports to chronicle the career, life, lies, and sexual abuse of Bikram Choudhury, the main ballyhooer of Bikram or “Hot Yoga” in America and beyond. The ornery Orner goes after Choudhury Continue Reading...

What does Fraud and Bribery trial of Israeli PM Netanyahu tell us about Trump Impeachment?

    Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared on October 29, 2019, on The Magnes Zionist, a website featuring commentary by Jewish studies and philosophy professor, Jerry Haber (a nom de plume). It was reproduced here with the consent of Professor Haber.Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit on advice from the police, indicted caretaker Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu on fraud and bribery charges Thursday. On Continue Reading...

In the Trump Foundation Lawsuit, Donald Trump Admitted He Broke the Law

Oh, listen, dear children of America. There was a time, a generation ago now, when the financial conduct of president of the United States was enough to prompt an endless investigation by the Justice Department. You might have heard about how, way back in the 1990s, President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about getting blow jobs from a White House intern (Monica Lewinsky, who is ten kinds of awesome nowadays). Except, see, Continue Reading...

How About Demanding That GOP Senators Commit To Upholding Their Oaths?

Lanny Davis and Anthony Scaramucci have an ass-kickingly good idea: The Senate should proceed to an impeachment trial only if at least 20 Republican senators announce beforehand that they are open-minded about whether Donald Trump should be removed from office.  This is not a grandstanding trivial pursuit but a minimum standard of fairness, they write in a Washington Post op-ed column.  Asking for a juror to commit to be open-minded before the Continue Reading...

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...

Trump Gives away US Intel Sources, Methods with Photo of Iran Launch Failure

Trump couldn’t contain his inner five-year-old when an Iranian satellite launch at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport went bad last Thursday. He had to taunt Tehran on twitter, as Passant Rabie at Space.com reports. (Iranians don’t have twitter, although some high officials use it for public diplomacy overseas.) He appears to have taken, or had an aide take a smartphone picture of a classified briefing slide. The slide shows a US spy satellite photo of Continue Reading...

Focusing on the Amazon in a Time of Maximum Distraction

The Amazon rainforest is on fire. The Arctic, along with parts of Alaska, Siberia, and British Columbia, have burned this summer or are continuing to burn.  The conflagrations destroying the forests of the northernmost parts of the world are a result of the effects of climate change. While climate change has made fires more likely, the Amazon blazes are directly caused by the fuckery of humans, allowed by the savage, shitty president of Brazil, Continue Reading...