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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 celluloid Continue Reading...

“Art” in an Age of Denial

It was of no karmic significance that Art Basel Miami Beach, arguably the nation’s premier art fair, opened soon after the UN published its latest climate report. The two were entirely unrelated. Nevertheless, global warming might have been a central theme at the annual extravaganza, which claims to feature the “highest quality” contemporary art, given the threat it presents. The UN report underscored the point, warning that dramatic action is Continue Reading...

Film Review: Harriet

All-Aboard the Freedom Train: A Real Life African American Action Hero The stand-up-and-cheer biopic Harriet about legendary freedom fighter Harriet Tubman (British-born actress/singer Cynthia Erivo, who won the Best Leading Actress in a Musical Tony Award for The Color Purple in 2016) is arguably the most progressive feature film of the year. In a straight forward, conventional manner co-writer/director Kasi Lemmons (1997’s Eve’s Bayou) Continue Reading...

No, Republicans, You’re Fucking Lying About Biden and the Ukrainian Prosecutor

From the EU Observer, September 4, 2015: "The new prosecution chiefs - first Oleh Mahnitskyi, then Vitaly Yarema, now Viktor Shokin - have presided over a system which still looks more like a crime syndicate than a law enforcement agency...Shokin also caused scandals by trying to quash anti-corruption probes into his clan." From the Kyiv Post, February 15, 2016: "Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaly Kasko, who was given the job of cleaning up a Continue Reading...

Trump and Iran: Who Lost More?

The media as well as some scholars refer to “Iran-U.S. confrontation” giving the wrong impression that both sides are equally responsible for the genesis of the current crisis in their relations, a crisis that brought the world to the brink of disaster. President Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in 2018 and caused the present crisis. It is obvious that Trump has not so far given any good reason for his decision. The JCPOA (Joint Continue Reading...

What Martin Luther King Jr. Would have thought of Israeli anti-Palestinian Apartheid

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose activism we honor today, took stands far beyond Selma and Montgomery, and called on other capitals than Washington, D.C., to ensure a dignified life for human beings. Dr. King was an early and vigorous opponent of the white South African Apartheid (segregationist) government. He wrote former ambassador Chester Bowles in 1957 on behalf of a rally in New York on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, organized by the Continue Reading...

This Cowardly Nation Has Learned Nothing Since the Iraq War

Donald Trump is a coward. This much we must agree on before moving on. Everything he does, everything he has done, is based on his soul-draining fears. He fears that he will not be perceived as a success, a tough guy, a charmer, a winner of everything. He lashes out at anyone who foments those fears, those who tell him he's wrong, or those who want to hinder him. He is driven by his panic that everyone will find out that he is entirely a fake, Continue Reading...

The Catastrophic CAA-NRC Imbroglio

The CAA 2019 has weakened India’s Democracy & Diminished the Country in the eyes of the International Community What is most striking and heartening about the widespread demonstrations against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act 2019) and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) is that citizens from practically all walks of life, cutting across many a divide, are united in fighting to preserve the idea of India enshrined in the 1950 Continue Reading...

Film Review: Bombshell

Estranged Bedfellows: What the FOX is Going On? The star-studded anti-FOX News movie Bombshell is perfect for the #MeToo era, as it dramatizes the struggle of those “FOXy” ladies in front of and behind the camera against sexual harassment at the unfair and unbalanced cable “news” TV network. Classically beautiful atomic bomb Charlize Theron, who can currently be glimpsed in a sensuous perfume ad on the boob tube, won an Oscar for “disfiguring” Continue Reading...

Israel’s Netanyahu a War Criminal?

A prosecutor on the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has opened an investigation into Israeli and Hamas war crimes, drawing a furious response from caretaker Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Palestine filed the case in some large part because of the Trump administration’s brutal policies against the Palestinians, in which US AID and UNRWA funding was slashed, all of Jerusalem was given away to Israel, Netanyahu was Continue Reading...

A Few Questions for Enraged Republicans

In the wake of Democrats finally loading the cannon on actual articles of impeachment, Republicans are somewhere between frantic denial and explosive apoplexy as they insist that Donald Trump did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and Congress. So I have a few questions for 'em. 1. If Ukraine is so corrupt, why was no funding held up in 2017 and 2018? And why was corruption in Ukraine not a significant part of any hearings in the House Continue Reading...

The False Dawn Of Impeachment: Has Trump Broken America Beyond Repair?

These should be heady days for anyone who detests Donald Trump and what he has done to America.  He is caught in a vise of incontrovertible evidence of innumerable high crimes and misdemeanors.  House Democrats are moving expeditiously to file articles of impeachment after carefully building the case that he should be removed from office now because he is a present and continuing threat to our democracy.  So why do I have the feeling that I am 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.