A case of fruit beer

Restating the Obvious

About 50 years ago, I read about fruit beer, but it was decades before I ever saw any. If ever there was a monoculture, it was American beermaking between 1945 and about 1976. But eventually, I found myself in an Austrian restaurant on Long Island which had raspberry beer on the menu. They ...

Mutually assured destruction

Restating the Obvious

The votes in Britain to withdraw from the European Union and in the United States to elect Trump were at bottom the same thing: an assertion of racism slightly veiled in a tissue of crackpot economic notions. The racism is coming along nicely in both countries, thank you very much, but ...

The Price is wrong

Restating the Obvious

How real news gets reported. Also noted: It ain't cheap. A thousand hours of reporting time is tens of thousands of dollars. Fine work at Politico. (See


Book Review 396: The Civilian and the Military

Restating the Obvious

THE CIVILIAN AND THE MILITARY: A History of the American Antimilitarist Tradition, by Arthur A. Ekirch Jr., 340 pages. Independent Institute paperback More polemic than history, Arthur Ekirch’s rehearsal of the argument against American militarism was published in 1955 and has ben reissued ...

We used to welcome immigrants and refugees

Restating the Obvious

Once upon a time, when America believed in itself, before it was taken over by frightened, incompetent nativists, we used to welcome immigrants and refugees. Like the Forty-eighter Carl Schurz, who became a Civil War general and later an influential United States senator. He was a refugee. Or ...


Restating the Obvious

The New York Times notes a silence in the District. The deficit hawks in the Republican Party are not screeching at the new deficits in the president's tax proposal. (See ...

Coming out party

Restating the Obvious

This week the Republican Party, which has been genteelly racist since Nixon's time, came out as openly and proudly racist. I'll speculate as to timing in a moment, but the key event got little attention: "Nigel Farage will speak in Fairhope, Alabama on Monday night, in support of Alabama ...

Health-care fraud

Restating the Obvious

I have not seen it stated explicitly, although the fact is implicit in analyses of the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare Repeal Bill, but it's a short-change scam. (See ...

Screech of the chicken hawk

Restating the Obvious

Trump is the first antiAmerican president. (See Let's allow the waspish eunuch of Roanoke to explain: "The military parade which meets the eye in almost every direction excites ...


Echoing history

Restating the Obvious

There are several problems with using history to illuminate the present. First, there's too much of it. Second, no two of us learned the same history. Third, most of us never learned any of it. Fourth, the more we need to know history, the less time we have to do so. Nevertheless, I keep ...


Book Review 395: The Battle of the Casbah

Restating the Obvious

THE BATTLE OF THE CASBAH: Terrorism and Counter-terrorism in Algeria 1955-1957, by Paul Aussaresses. 185 pages, illustrated. Enigma paperback Paul Aussaresses claimed to have taught the U.S. Army his methods of countering terrorism by means of indiscriminate arrests, torture and murder. He ...


Book Review 394: The Last Full Measure

Restating the Obvious

THE LAST FULL MEASURE: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers, by Richard Moe. 345 pages, illustrated. Henry Holt Richard Moe wrote “The Last Full Measure” 25 years ago, but it has some surprising resonance in today's pro-nazi political environment. Moe has been admired for ...

Ecrasez l’infame!

Restating the Obvious

Patheos reports Texas churches are suing to become eligible for FEMA relief despite the fact that they do not pay taxes. Regretfully, they are being assisted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. I used to have aloha for Becket, which up to 25 years ago did good work supporting ...

Big number

Restating the Obvious

According to a Los Angeles Times story about a legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm "the workings of today’s smartphones involve an estimated 250,000 patents." (See


Restating the Obvious

Bloomberg reports that small companies have taken up a large portion of Florida's home insurance business after the giants, disliking their losses during 2005 when many storms hit Florida, pulled back. This is a subset of the 'Fireproof Hotel' problem that RtO has so often commented on. You ...


Book Review 393: The Fifties

Restating the Obvious

THE FIFTIES, by David Halberstam. 800 pages, illustrated. Villard W.H. Auden famously labeled the ’30s “a low, dishonest decade,” but the ‘50s were as low and a whole lot meaner. There were men as mean as Hoover, McCarthy, the Dulles brothers, LeMay and Nixon in the ‘30s but they ...

Jeff Sessions, racist

Restating the Obvious

RtO once said that Jeff Sessions is always about race. It's true. Everything that comes out of his mouth is dog-whistle. Now.,thanks to the anger generated by the assault on the Dreamers, various left voices are publicizing what may have been his most open racist statement. It was made in ...

Laws or men?

Restating the Obvious

When Barack Obama was in office, Jennifer Rubin was an insensate opponent. Therefore I quit reading her. She was an early and consistent opponent of WBD, just about the only Republican pundit who has been. I still don't read her much. Today, however, she has a column that bears thinking ...