Cutting ties with Wells

Restating the Obvious

For a while, Tricia and I had accounts with Wells Fargo. It was not a business either of us would have dealt with if we had had a choice, even before the news reports about pervasive criminality and dishonesty -- not the main characteristic you want in a bank. However, the administrator of an ...

The Israeli version of Foggy Bottom

Where is Israel’s foreign ministry?

Restating the Obvious

According to Wikipedia, it is in Givrat Ram, a district of Jerusalem. I was surprised to learn this, I would have guessed it was in Tel Aviv. Even more surprised not to have learned it through any of the many reports about WBD's decision to move our embassy. It seems like a relevant fact.

My prediction in the Alabama election

Restating the Obvious

The special Senate election is a week away. I have not been in Alabama for a long time, but my grandfather was from the area where Roy Moore operated and I grew up (across the state line not far away. People do not change rapidly, especially when their religious and deep cultural ideas are ...

A party of aspirations

Restating the Obvious

There used to be a trick question on the Virginia bar exam: Is there an absolute defense against a charge of attempted statutory rape? The answer is, yes, ignorance of the target's age is an absolute defense, although that is not, in Virginia, a defense against a charge of statutory ...


Yearning for dullness

Restating the Obvious

Unregulated markets fail. You've read that here before. Now there's a graph, which Paul Krugman published in his column, showing how dramatically true that is. That's for many countries, whereas RtO was just referring to the United States. There are many things you could say about that ...

What I’m thankful for

Restating the Obvious

Texas Republicans. See Mollie Ivins is dead but loony Texas Republicans are immortal. How is that fair? It's probably too late for you to have avoided the chemical the gummint is ...

Which direction do prayers go?

Restating the Obvious

When Christians — and here I am speaking particularly of rightwing Christians who typically care nothing for the this-worldly condition of other people — offer thoughts and prayers following a disaster, what does it mean? Are the freethinkers right, that it just means “I don’t really ...


A little book tells a story

Restating the Obvious

While listening to the Christian Broadcasting Network, I heard a commercial for a hate book about Muslims. The pitch started like this: “We Christians with our commitment to tolerance may have difficulty understanding a religion dedicated to intolerance . . .”: Although no cult has a ...


Book Review 402: The Army and Vietnam

Restating the Obvious

THE ARMY AND VIETNAM, by Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. 318 pages, illustrated. Johns Hopkins paperback In 1986, Andrew Krepinevich, then on the faculty at West Point, published his devastating critique of the ignominious American defeat in South Vietnam. It was then 14 years since the retreat, and ...

Real news

Restating the Obvious

I.F. Stone, the red journalist, used to say that the government publishes everything it knows, a reporter just has to work to find it. Stone came to that conclusion as a result of a personal crisis. When he began losing his hearing and could no longer conduct interviewsS he began reading ...


Book Review 403: Lord Strange’s Men and Their Plays

Restating the Obvious

LORD STRANGE’S MEN AND THEIR PLAYS, by Lawrence Manley and Sally-Beth MacLean.475 pages, illustrated. Yale It sounds like a summary of today’s news: “Dread of foreign enemies and a series of unsuccessful military adventures abroad, coupled with fear of dissension and conspiracy at ...


Book Review 401: The Maisky Diaries

Restating the Obvious

THE MAISKY DIARIES: Red Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, edited by Gabriel Gorodetsky. 584 pages, illustrated. Yale No insurance underwriter in the late ‘30s would have considered a policy on Ivan Maisky, a half-Jew Menshevik with bourgeois tastes who worked for Joe Stalin as ...

A request to the gun nuts

Restating the Obvious

I suppose it is too early after the child murders in California today to talk about gun control. I don't know how long we are supposed to wait. However long that is, could you gun nuts please call a moratorium on mass child murders for the appropriate length of time so we can get on with it?

Hoping for Armageddon

Restating the Obvious

The Guardian has an interview with the survivors of the famiy that had had members murdered thanks to the fact that the United States does not have any gun laws. It will sound unbelievable to sane people, but I grew up among these fanatics and I can assure that you out in the reality-based ...

Book Review 400: The Holocaust and the Book

Restating the Obvious

THE HOLOCAUST AND THE BOOK: Destruction and Preservation, edited by Jonathan Rose. 314 pages, illustrated. Massachusetts Just days after Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany, university students organized a series of book collections and carefully staged burnings across the nation. This ...

Thoughts and prayers

Restating the Obvious

So, another big shoot-'em-up in a gun-crazy state. Somehow or other, the presence of heavily armed citizens did not deter the shooter. Rightwingers -- specifically Attorney General Ken Paxton, than whom you can get no further right -- offered thoughts and prayers. They never say what they are ...

The mistake in the tax bill

Restating the Obvious

It probably isn't a mistake. More likely it's a con job from the rightwing. But for the purpose of elucidation, it doesn't matter, so let's be generous and assume that the Republicans pushing the tax changes are stupid. Hey, it could happen! The details in the bill don't matter, only the ...