American celebrity is a wondrous thing

Restating the Obvious

Funny, too. Trump's buddy Alex Jones appeals for respect and privacy. If you can judge from bumper stickers, Jones has a sizable following in East Maui. And one devoted one who most days sets up placards in front of the Burger-King in Kahului. Jones played an audio clip shortly after the ...

Sessions the would-be fascist

Restating the Obvious

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a master of the racist dog whistle. His latest whistle, aimed at Hawaii, reminds us older Americans that Alabama and other southern states opposed admitting Hawaii a state because of all its brown people. Out here, we get it. Sessions has been razzed all ...


Makes me wonder

Restating the Obvious

If Facebook is, as some of my rightwing friends claim, a left-leaning business, why does it force Ann Coulter's racist taunts onto my news feed? Has-been, except on Facebook The other evening, I found myself at a soiree for an international conference of libertarian economists. One I ...


Book Review 384: The Donkeys

Restating the Obvious

THE DONKEYS, by Alan Clark. 216 pages, illustrated. Pimlico paperback Looking back from its publication date in 1961, and again from today, it is hard to see why Alan Clark’s “The Donkeys” caused and continues to cause such consternation. Its argument is briefly told: the British ...

Racists for Trump

Restating the Obvious

RtO concluded, even before Trump won, that he had a good chance of winning, on the grounds that racism is always an advantage in elections. This was based on reverse reasoning: overt racists flocked to Trump. They are the experts on who is a racist. After the votes were in, there were ...

Snyder “On Tyranny”

Restating the Obvious

ON TYRANNY: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder, 126 pages, Duggan paperback, $7.99 Timothy Snyder is a Yale historian who has immersed himself in the story of eastern Europe during the 20th century, in a series of powerful books (including “Bloodlands,” reviewed ...

Do tell

Restating the Obvious

From a story in the Washington Post: "Killings have been reported during exorcism rituals at some shrines in the past, but such a mass killing would be unusual." Let us hope so.


Book Review 383: Barbarossa

Restating the Obvious

BARBAROSSA: The Russian-German Conflict 1941-45, by Alan Clark. 522 pages, illustrated. William Morrow Almost all Americans share a belief that our fathers and grandfathers fought a “good war” that eliminated fascism. It is a false belief as regards European fascism but half-true for ...

Energy blues

Restating the Obvious

Whiny Baby Donald promised millions of jobs by ending the war on coal. It takes a special kind of idiot to believe that, but meanwhile, Whiny Baby Donald shows no concern for the dying nuclear power sector. Nor, to be clear, did any previous president. Combustion Engineering (where my ...

Hawaii punches above its weight

Restating the Obvious

Trump talks tough but Judge Walcott really is tough. Some attorneys believe the Justice Department is intentionally dragging its feet in the Hawaii case because the 9th Circuit rotates the three-judge panels assigned to motions every month, with the next swap-out due Saturday. The 9th Circuit ...

Meddling in elections

Restating the Obvious

Some Americans are concerned about the possibility that Russia interfered with the 2016 United States elections, although virtually all of these people are liberals or moderates. You can count the Republicans who have shown any concern on your thumbs. Count RtO among the concerned, but also ...

Why you cannot trust cops

Restating the Obvious

The Los Angeles Times follows up on the arrest of Wyclef John on suspicion of robbery. It was a case of operating on a vague description. OK. That is inevitable in police work. Witnesses don't usually provide exact information and, besides, there are tens of thousands of men around Los ...


Book Review 382: Been in the Storm So Long

Restating the Obvious

BEEN IN THE STORM SO LONG: The Aftermath of Slavery, by Leon F. Litwack. 651 pages. Vintage paperback Although slaves had been freed in Latin America, Haiti and the British Empire within living memory of the Civil War generation, Americans came to their great emancipation without any settled ...

Bringing a gun to a car fight

Restating the Obvious

Stories about guns are almost always tragic or stupid, often both, but sometimes funny, too. "The man had robbed four occupants of a parked car and was running to a waiting vehicle when one of his robbery victims hit him with the car, police said. “ 'We believe this impact caused the ...

Picking rightwing scabs

Restating the Obvious

1. Gun nuts say guns in the home are no more dangerous -- even less so -- than other common household amenities, like swimming pools. However, I have never heard of two friends getting in an argument and drowning each other in their swimming pools. I will go so far as to say this will never ...


Book Review 381: Hitler’s Heralds

Restating the Obvious

HITLER'S HERALDS: The Story of the Freikorps 1918-1923, by Nigel H. Jones. 284 pages, illustrated. Dorset Lots of people think Donald Trump is a neonazi, and they are correct; but there is a yuuge difference between Hitler or Mussolini and Trump: Trump does not have a private army of ...


Nazi echoes

Restating the Obvious

Well-dresssed nazi as the BBC envisions him (Richard Lintern as Charles Lucas) Suppose I told you a politician gave a speech and that the principle themes were 1. economic autarky 2. huge expansion of armaments 3. denunciation of unfair treaties 4. hypernationalism and ...

Tactical blunder

Restating the Obvious

I don't know who scheduled the time and place of the hoopla meeting for the development of the Maui High site at Hamakuapoko, but by making it at 4:30 at Paia Community Centee, he guaranteed that everyone coming from Kahului hit the Paia traffic jam. From 2:30 on, the slowdown starts at ...