Who’s That You Called Dangerous, President Trump?

On July 6, CNN reports,  “President Donald Trump chided North Korea for its recent missile tests, saying it is ‘behaving in a very very dangerous manner.'”  Particularly motivating Trump’s expression of angst was this week’s test of the Hwasong-14,  which the North claims (and the US seems to believe) is “capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons.” But since Trump wants to talk about dangerous behavior, let’s. Kim Jong Un’s regime has, in recent months, test-fired a handful of missiles harmlessly into the ocean. Only two months ago, Donald Trump ordered the firing...

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Who's That You Called Dangerous, President Trump?

On July 6, CNN reports,  “President Donald Trump chided North Korea for its recent missile tests, saying it is ‘behaving in a very very dangerous manner.'”  Particularly motivating Trump’s expression of angst was this week’s test of the Hwasong-14,  which the North claims (and the US seems to believe) is “capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons.” But since Trump wants to talk about dangerous behavior, let’s. Kim Jong Un’s regime has, in recent months, test-fired a handful of missiles harmlessly into the ocean. Only two months ago, Donald Trump ordered the firing...

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Federal Education Budget: Teapot, Meet Tempest

The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires the president of the United States to submit a budget proposal to Congress for each fiscal year. Congress isn’t required to honor that proposal. In fact its budget resolutions and actual appropriations seldom reflect presidents’ requests very closely. But there are always fireworks over the request anyway. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for FY2018 calls for a 13% ($9 billion) cut to the US Department of Education versus 2017’s discretionary funding. That may sound like a big big hit to your kids’ schools, and the usual suspects would...

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Everyone Should be Listening to Nobody Speak

When Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy, infringement of personality rights, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, the suit’s chief effect was to amplify the “news” that Bollea had been caught on video having sex with another man’s wife. Par for the course as salacious popular culture goes, and most of us treated it that way: As something of a joke. The laughter came to an abrupt halt when a jury found in Bollea’s favor, bankrupting Gawker with judgments totaling $140 million. In his new film, Nobody Speak, director Brian Knappenberger delves...

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Mourn on the Fourth of July, 2017

I visited Washington, DC for the first time in 1980. I was 13. Jimmy Carter was the president. My family only had one day to see the sights. As I remember it, we went through what seemed a somewhat sketchy neighborhood (I was a country boy, so it may have just been nerves about The Big City), turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue, and drove past the White House and Capitol before taking in selected bits of the Smithsonian and visiting Arlington National Cemetery. Then we proceeded to Andrews Air Force Base, where my brother was stationed, and just for fun drove past Air Force One. I saw a lot of...

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Mere Anarchy: The Center Cannot Hold

A spectre is haunting Earth — the spectre of freedom. All the powers of the existing order have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Drug Czar, Tillerson and May, European progressives and Chinese financial police. Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as anarchistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of anarchism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries? Yes, I’ve swiped those first two paragraphs from Karl Marx’s Communist...

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What The Deep State Is

Buzzwords come and buzzwords go. Lately, a trending buzzword — or, I guess, buzz phrase — among the politically inclined is “Deep State.” Google News returns 127,000 recent media uses of the phrase. Every time US president Donald Trump finds himself under attack or just stymied in one of his policy initiatives, his supporters blame the Deep State. The Deep State is behind the “Russiagate” probes. The Deep State doesn’t like his Muslim travel ban or his ObamaCare replacement bill. The Deep State keeps forcing him to break his campaign promises of a less misadventurous US foreign policy. I’m...

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The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences

On June 16, a jury acquitted St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez of all charges in the 2016 killing of motorist Philando Castile. That acquittal was, in a sense, also a death sentence — not for Yanez, but for future motorists unfortunate enough to encounter cops like him. No, this is not a “bad cop” story. It’s a sad tale and I actually feel sorry for Yanez. But the facts are what they are. Yanez killed Castile. The killing was caught on video and neither Yanez nor his attorneys denied it. His defense (that he feared for his life) was based on ridiculous grounds relating to...

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