Restating the Obvious

Push of pike

Winning edge

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

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

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

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

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 ...

Actual fake news

As Eric Wemple recounts in the Washington Post, the liars on the right shat themselves a mighty shit. (See ...

Highland clearances, American style

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!

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

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 ...

Free Kurdistan

Apart from celebrating the delectability of greasy pork, RtO's consistent purpose has been to advocate a free and independent Great Kurdistan. This would require breaking up Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Two down, two to go. Breaking up Turkey looks like a better and better choice, all on ...

Even the 99% cheat

Forsooth! According to UBS -- which ought to know as it is one of the crookedest banks in the world -- people looking for auto loans are hyping their credit scores. (On UBS, see http://www.corp-research.org/UBS. On auto borrowing see ...

tool

Book Review 386: The Tools of Empire

THE TOOLS OF EMPIRE: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century, by Daniel R. Headrick. 221 pages. Oxford paperback Professor Daniel Headrick contends that historians of imperialism have ignored or even denied the impact of technology on the success of 19th century ...

Could RtO have been wrong?

I have had a lot to say about Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny," both directly and as a background to my numerous posts about the neonazi style of President Trump. I am not taking any of it back, but there has been some dissent in the comments, so here's an example of someone who does not think ...

The laboratories of democracy

The states are the laboratories of democracy, and the Trump administration wants to devolve government there. What could possibly go wrong?

How Hitler did it

The daily probes to see how little the American public cares about the Constitution have gotten occasional comment here. Not nearly all of them have been noted by RtO, but the Internet is a big place and you can find others if you care to. Less noted, except at RtO, are the moves by Trump ...

Cow College was never like this

I went to one frat rush party, over 50 years ago, and there was underage drinking going on. And I saw classmates pass out from booze and being dragged away at football games. But I never heard of "back-packing" until now. Possibly that was because Moo U didn't offer any 15-foot flights of ...

Where Godwin’s Law does not work

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1" The unstated premise is: this is a bad thing. The flaw in Godwin's Law is that there really are nazis. If you are not a nazi and tend to avoid places where nazis congregate, it can ...

ship

Book Review 385: S.S. Great Eastern

S.S. GREAT EASTERN: The Greatest Iron Ship, by George S. Emmerson. 182 pages, illustrated. David & Charles Great hardly begins to characterize the ship that was originally to have been named Leviathan. In burthen, she was as big as a World War II aircraft carrier, though not so long. She ...

Gangdom style

As long as there have been cities, there have been street gangs. In Shakespeare's day, London seethed and trembled at the prospect of rioting apprentices. On the 1840s, Manhattan was regaled and repulsed by the violent attacks of gangs with names like the Dead Rabbits. Just 50 years ago, ...

Bad vibes

A Huffington Post story gives some background to an argument made by the Trump administration in the hearing yesterday about the Muslim ban. The dissents, even at the time, were furious. “May a State in order to avoid integration of the races abolish all of its public schools?” Justice ...