A Tale of Two Speeches

Two recent speeches on the partition of India in 1947, one by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the other by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)President Rabindra Narain Singh remind me of the opening words of Charles Dickens’ immortal work A Tale of Two Cities: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Continue Reading...

Film Review: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Lunana of the North Snows: Learning Life’s Meaning at the World’s Remotest School Writer/director Pawo Choyning Dorji’s heartfelt Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom will charm the pants off of you – or, rather, the robes off of you. Because this captivating feature was shot mostly in the hard-to-get-to Kingdom of Bhutan, a Buddhist nation of less than 1 million inhabitants straddling the Eastern Himalayas between India and the Tibet region of the Continue Reading...

In War Crime, Saudi, UAE Airstrikes on Yemen kill over 100 in Migrant Detention Center, in War that has left 377,000 Dead

The Saudis and the United Arab Emirates launched an air campaign of 45 air strikes on Yemen on Friday. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, one of the strikes hit a migrant detention facility in Sa’adeh in north Yemen, killing over 100 detainees there. In addition, there were large numbers of wounded, and the Red Cross mobilized ambulances to get them to two area hospitals. The Houthis are saying there were 233 Continue Reading...

The Rise of Jewish Populism

Two Jews may have three opinions but they’re likely to share political preferences. At least that goes for American Jews, who tend to lean left. “Jews earn like Episcopalians,” the sociologist Milton Himmelfarb once wryly observed, “and vote like Puerto Ricans.” Politically conservative Jews have long rued this supposed contradiction, viewing each election cycle as an opportunity for their coreligionists to come to their senses. Many had hoped Continue Reading...

Israel’s ‘Economic Peace’ is Hollowing out the Palestinian Economy

Bennett’s initiative to entice Palestinians to work in Israel’s high-tech sector will make it harder for the struggling Palestinian economy to stand on its own two feet. Startup accelerator Flow’s office space in Ramallah (Ozy) Israeli Prime Minster Naftali Bennett may have brought about Benjamin Netanyahu’s defeat and created Israel’s most diverse government, but governing is more than electoral gymnastics. It comes down to policies, and Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Whistlers

La Gomera’s Goombahs: Film Noir, Romanian Style Writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu’s slyly stylish The Whistlers is one of those productions film buffs relish largely because of their cinematic references. In one scene characters appear in a theater where John Ford’s 1956 classic The Searchers is being screened. But while the 97-minute-long Whistlers’ Romanian characters may very well be searching for something (and/ or someone), the Continue Reading...

Monster In Your Pocket

I'm a born contrarian. I look at conventional wisdom, the orthodox point of view, and try to detect the flaws in it. I'm generally suspicious of group-think, and I prescribe to what Charles Bukowski once said. If you have two lines of people, one with 100 people in it and one with two people, always get in the short line. I have worked directly in technology for 30 years, give or take, primarily in editorial or technical writing positions. I Continue Reading...

Be Thankful for the Health Care Workers Not Being Driven From Their Jobs By Anti-Vaxx Morons

Last year, the country was filthy with tributes to health care workers - doctors, nurses, hospital staff - who had to deal with the coronavirus-driven near apocalypse of our medical system. The number of patients was overwhelming, a tsunami of death and suffering that tested the limits of available equipment and the strength and nerve of those who had signed up for jobs where they tried to save lives and ease suffering. And, oh, how we Continue Reading...

The Hawley Nonsense “Porn” Interview – A Master Class In Propaganda

You probably think I’m going to mock this. Nope. Watch this interview. It is a master class in propaganda. What he says was obviously (to me) written in one of their well-funded think tanks. He has obviously rehearsed this. Those of us who mock it just don’t get what the real message is and how effective it is. As I keep saying, the current Republican fascist appeal all goes back to “NAFTA” – which is the brand name for the Continue Reading...

Fightin’ Joe Biden Wins big, on Jobs, Covid, the Dow and Infrastructure, but Corporate News downplays Successes

The for-profit press thinks it knows what the story in Washington, D.C., is. Joe Biden is a boring president who struggles to get anything done and the Democratic Party is a hot mess of infighting that paralyzes it. Corporate news is the Eeyore of the news world, spreading pessimism and gloom wherever it goes. The inside-the-beltway narrative of the rich for-profit journalists fails on every point, but they keep filling the airwaves Continue Reading...

The GOP Supports Death Threats Against Officials They Disagree With

At yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Merrick Garland, it became clear that for the Republican Party, threats of death and violence against elected officials at every level of government are not only acceptable, but that to speak out in even the mildest way deserves hysterical over-reaction calculated to cause officials to receive even more threats of death and violence. It's the cynical cycle of Continue Reading...

Not all Norwegians are blond, or “why we’re so diverse, but you’re all alike”

Out-group homogeneity effect There is a concept that social psychologists refer to as out-group homogeneity effect. We perceive members of our own group to be relatively heterogeneous, i.e. we see variation. Everyone else, so-called “out-group members”, however, seem relatively homogeneous In other words, we tend to think of our group as a mosaic and people from other groups as monotone. People really do see more variation in Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Big Scary “S” Word

Viewers of the World, Unite! As its popularity soars, socialism’s secret sauce is explored in this never pedantic, feel-good movie manifesto that will make you want to own the means of production. Director/producer Yael Bridge’s stand up and cheer The Big Scary “S” Word is one of 2020’s do-not-miss films and deserves a Best Documentary Academy Award nomination. As a producer, Bridge was Emmy co-nominated for the 2017 nonfiction film Saving Continue Reading...

Democrats Should Be Having a Five-Alarm Freak Out Over Voting Rights

Yeah, there's a whole lot of shit that needs to get done, but right now Democrats should be freaking the fuck out over voting rights. They should be losing their fucking minds and screaming nonstop on every outlet they can find. Get your gravest, most serious senators, like Leahy or Bennett or Shaheen, and have them shitting themselves at Jake Tapper's scowl or George Stephanopoulos's hair. Because if we don't have a freak out now, then any freak Continue Reading...

Film Review: Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster

Nonfiction Creature Feature: He’s Alive!   You don’t have to be a horror fan to enjoy Thomas Hamilton’s documentary Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster (I’m not and I did). The 90-minute nonfiction biopic has all of the conventional hallmarks of a well-made movie history doc. Of course, there are copious clips ranging from Karloff’s classics, including in the role the British actor was best known for, as Frankenstein’s monster in Continue Reading...