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Film Review: The Pact

Melancholy Danes: A Scandinavian Sunset Blvd Academy Award-winning Danish director Bille August’s screen adaptation of Thorkild Bjørnvig’s (played by Simon Bennebjerg) memoir The Pact, about his experiences with the celebrated Out of Africa novelist Karen Blixen (who was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 1985 Sydney Pollack-directed film of the same name, but is here played by the Copenhagen-born actress Birthe Neumann), is a movie meditation Continue Reading...

Check Yourself For Confirmation Bias

I think we should all be aware that confirmation bias is a real thing. The US has done terrible things. Bush’s invasion of Iraq was illegal aggressive warfare, with its “run up” of propaganda lies to justify what Bush did. Vietnam, wow … CIA overthrowing elected governments and installing horrific, murderous dictatorships. And what we did with Russia after the Soviet Union fell led to Putin and the oligarchs running things. So Continue Reading...

Incompetence or Accomplice?

The international community, coerced by America, never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to bring peace to the Middle East. A logical explanation is that they are accomplices to Israeli crimes against humanity. This edition of the Palestine-Israel Journal presents a fascinating exchange—dare I term it a debate—between two acclaimed analysts, Dr Noam Chomsky and Dr Tony Klug. Dr Klug and I co-authored opinion Continue Reading...

Americans Shocked to See Ukrainians treated Like Iraqis even though they are White (Not the Onion)

Some European and American commentators on Russia’s war against Ukraine have covered themselves in shame by implying that because Ukrainians are “European” or “civilized” it is harder to see them hit by artillery and made refugees than it had been with regard to Iraqis or Syrians. While in 2015 Syrians and Afghans who came to Europe were called “migrants” and were seen as a dire problem, Ukrainians fleeing their country for European states have Continue Reading...

Coming Out of the Pandemic, Some of Us Faster Than Others (and That’s Okay)

Lemme admit something here. I haven't been the most dedicated Covid warrior. I mean, sure, yeah, I got vaccinated and boosted as soon as I could because you're just a motherfucking delusional piece of shit if you don't. And, for a good while, I wore masks pretty devotedly, especially once I found one style that fit my big, bearded face decently. Hell, I started wearing a mask before wearing a mask was cool, before it was recommended. I had people Continue Reading...

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...

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.