Blogs

Inoperative statements

Restating the Obvious

Younger readers may not know about it, but before rightwingers called their own lies alternative facts, they called them inoperative statements. That was back in Watergate days, and it resulted in the departure of a crooked, crazy president in disgrace. A cautionary tale, one might ...

siege

Book Review 391: Siege: Malta 1940-1943

Restating the Obvious

SIEGE: Malta 1940-1943, by Ernle Bradford. 304 pages, illustrated. Morrow, $19.95 A few years ago, I would have predicted that sieges were a thing of the past. Under 21st century conflict conditions, with light-armed guerrillas usually having the upper hand, there seemed hardly any ...

Femme fatale

Restating the Obvious

From time to time, RtO has to state things itself, since nobody else is saying it first. This is one of those times. What did Natalia Veselnitskaya want? All the reporting and commentary has focused on what Whiny Baby Donald's idiot son wanted -- dirt on Clinton. But why did Veselitskatya ...

Left behind

Restating the Obvious

In the New Yorker, an illuminating interview with the only doctor in one of the poorest counties in Georgia. (See http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-health-care-means-in-clay-county) Dr. Karen Kinsell sounds like a nominee for sainthood, although the interview is deficient in ...

Tillerson lies

Restating the Obvious

To Congress. It's like it's part of the job description for Trumpeters. "Mr. Tillerson’s testimony notwithstanding, the programs explicitly promise that fellows will be able to join the Foreign Service if they successfully complete the fellowship. Zaid Zaid, a former Pickering fellow, said ...

So’s your mamma

Restating the Obvious

If the highest duty of the government is to protect its citizens -- as Whiny Baby Donald says he thinks -- then the second-highest must be to do something effective about it. For example, in 1942, Americans really were under mortal threats, but rounding up Japanese citizens and immigrants in ...

L.A. housing back to 2007 prices

Restating the Obvious

Nominally, anyway, although the Los Angeles Times notes that, adjusted for inflation, they are still 11% short. In summer 2007, the Los Angeles County median home price hit an all-time high of $550,000. It soon plunged as the housing bubble burst and the national economy crashed. Now the ...

Another Trump ally exposed

Restating the Obvious

This time it's the tub-thumper for fake news about voting, Kris Kobach. A federal court fined him $1,000 for lying. (See http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article322569/Beware-Kobach%E2%80%99s-lie-about-KC-voter-fraud-case.html and ...

Nazis? What Nazis?

Restating the Obvious

Neonazis rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Why not? (See http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/dc/anti-hate-and-alt-right-free-speech-rallies-today-on-the-steps-on-lincoln-memorial/451986853) The son of Trump's favorite Flynn was scheduled to speak, but I have not been able to find a report that says ...

Push of pike

Winning edge

Restating the Obvious

In 1884, an Oxford undergraduate, Charles Oman, won the Marquess of Lothian’s Prize for an essay on “The Art of War in the Middle Ages.” Although he essay is still read and has even been updated to reflect 20th century scholarship, it hardly seems likely to be of more than antiquarian ...

A fraud against the courts

Restating the Obvious

If you read all 86 pages of the 9th Circuit’s devastating ruling against Whiny Baby Donald and his travel ban, the big message — never explicitly stated — comes through like thunder: the judges are not ready yet to allow the neonazis in the White House to permit wholesale fraud against ...

And a fraud against the Congress

Restating the Obvious

Secretary of State Tillerson has been smoking rabbit grass again. (See Los AngelesTimes story about his fake news given to Congress: http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-tillerson-palestinians-payments-20170614-story.html) Don't these guys ever check anything?

Grade inflation

Restating the Obvious

And another one bites the dust. (See http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-trump-comptroller-dartmouth-degree-20170610-story.html) Inflating a 4-week course in credit management into an Ivy League degree isn't as uncommon as it ought to be, because you can get away with it in the low-pressure ...

08f1c55b

Book Review 388: The Gene

Restating the Obvious

THE GENE: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. 592 pages. Scribner, $32 Evolution by means of natural selection is the profoundest concept in biology; it may be the profoundest concept that humans are capable of. It can be expressed in a couple of sentences, and this has seduced many ...

Highland clearances, American style

Restating the Obvious

Two hundred years ago, when Britain was pretending to oppose tyranny at Waterloo, at home the army was used to drive crofters off their land to be replaced with sheep. (See https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n10/david-craig/a-useless-body) as the Countess of Sutherland wrote in 1799, tenants who refused ...

Hey, Rube!

Restating the Obvious

Remember when George Romney visited a foreign country and his career was ruined when he said, "When I came back from Viet Nam, I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get." (Refresh your memory at ...

calm

The view from the north

Restating the Obvious

Land of the Morning Calm -- until the Americans came Korea began the unbroken string of American military defeats that shows no sign of ever ending. (If Flynn and McMaster are examples of our best military leadership, that says it all.) In the London Review of Books, Bruce Cumings ...