Europe’s Muslims hate the West

Why do they hate us?  That was the question de jour after 9/11.  A host of answers proffered relate to the West's many misdeeds in the Middle East: colonial machinations, shameless support for brutal regimes, brutal interventionism,etc.  But perhaps responsibility runs, at least to some degree, both ways.  Maybe "they" are also culpable for the lousy state of affairs in the Middle East and, more generally, the problem of Islamic Continue Reading...

There was no Republican Establishment After All

Is the Republican "establishment" being trampled on by Trump?  Not really.  The GOP's elite has been selling Trump-lite - whispered bigotry - since at least 1964 when the party rejected that year's seminal civil rights legislation.  That Trump is hawking a plutocratic fiscal policy indicates that the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree regardless.  Who better to unpack this than the redoubtable Frank Rich? Continue Reading...

The Tragedy of a Hall of Fame Coach and His Star Recruit

The "student-athlete" canard is something of a zombie myth that just won't die.  We know that basketball and football players at D1 schools must devote upwards of 40 hours a week to training, thereby obviating any possibility of meaningful study.  And that's the tip of the iceberg.  The story of Keith Frazier, once a promising basketball player at SMU, bears this out, yet again. Continue Reading...

Mitt Romney and the Probably Doomed Revolt Against Donald Trump

The GOP "establishment" is going apoplectic over the prospect of a Trump winning the party's nomination.  Hell hash no fury like the right's monied elite scorned.  2012 standard bearer Mitt Romney is the latest to weigh in against the crude real estate magnate, even though he sought out his endorsement just four years ago.  The truth is, the GOP establishment would still prefer a crypto-fascist to center-left Hillary Clinton.  Amazing. Continue Reading...

Scalia’s Contradictory Originalism

Republican intransigence may inhibit President Obama from nominating a successor to recently-deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  This act of congressional defiance has sopped up much bandwidth that might otherwise be dedicated to the Scalia's malignant influence.  He was, to be blunt, a bigot.  A nice summation here of a man cloistered in his own ideological igloo.  Scary. Continue Reading...

Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It

Criminals in this place are beheaded publicly, homosexuality is a capital crime, and ecumenism is verboten. Behavior is strictly monitored.  Dissent isn't tolerated. ISIS-controlled Iraq and Syria?  Yes, but also Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi kingdom that, arguably, is the greatest contributor to global instability in the world. Continue Reading...

The Return of the 1920s

The 1920s was a tumultuous decade.  A series of economic shocks following WWI gave rise to "ethnic nationalism" that took the form of a white protestant backlash against Asians, Jews, and other minority elements thought to be undermining all that was good and great in America.  The apotheosis of this was restrictive Immigration Act that put an end to immigration from southern Europe and Asia. The Klan rose in prominence concurrently, as did Continue Reading...

What terrorist threat?

Is terrorism a threat to Americans?  Yes.  How much of a threat?  Not much.  About as many Americans die every year from slipping on soap in the bathtub than from terrorism.  Roughly 45 Americans have been killed in the US from jihadists since 2001, or slightly less than half the number that are killed every day from guns.  Then why are we so spun up about it?  Why are our politicians, media outlets, and citizenry so bent out of shape about it? Continue Reading...

My Life as a Muslim in the West’s ‘Gray Zone’

What is the "Grey Zone?"  It's the space inhabited by any Muslim who has not joined the ranks of jihadists, at least according to the same extremists.  What's it like to live in this place when you're not really accepted by your fellow citizens in the West as one of "us?"  It's to occupy a netherworld, or, to use the jihadist parlance, it's to be in a grey zone. Continue Reading...

Israel’s Richard Nixon

Israeli PM recently made news for claiming that Jerusalem's Grand Mufti was a key progenitor of the Holocaust.  Before that, Netanyahu made international headlines for his turgid opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, a campaign of his that included addressing the US Congress without full coordination with the White House.  That's the tip of the iceberg.  Netanyahu has been catastrophic, for Israel and for the world.  Read and weep. Continue Reading...

What Could Raising Taxes on the 1% Do? Surprising Amounts

For much of the twentieth century, marginal tax rates were very high, reaching, for example, 92 percent during WWII.  During the post-war boom, those rates remained high.  All income groups prospered. It was a golden age. Then things changed. For nearly 40 years, we've had a trickle down philosophy, which has privileged the wealthy (and corporations) in the tax code.  The predictable result has been growing wealth inequality and relative Continue Reading...