Restating the Obvious

Racists and cars

The news from Charlottesville that a racist had plowed his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters reminded me of how far we have not come. "Witnesses said a crowd of counterdemonstrators, jubilant because the white nationalists had left, was moving up Fourth Street, near the mall, when a ...

Christians I knew

I grew up among Southern Baptists. I didn't like them. Still don't. But I was interested to see recently that the church's national conference voted to condemn the "alt-right." (A name I deplore; we already have a name for them: neoNazis.) It was not unanimous. Southern Baptists have always ...

Funniest story of the month (so far)

So Kellyanne Conway says the White House is considering introducing lie detectors into the West Wing. I predict some liars would be discovered. (See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/4/kellyanne-conway-lie-detectors-a-possibility-to-st/)

Tough talk

Regular readers of RtO may recall an exchange about whether WBD encouraged violence at his campaign rallies. (He did.) He's done it again, but when he did it to cheering Republican crowds nobody in the party had the guts to call him on it. This time, a different group had a different ...

flames

Book Review 392: Out of the Flames

OUT OF THE FLAMES: The Remarkable Story of a Fearless Scholar, a Fatal Heresy and One of the Rarest Books in the World, by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. 353 pages, illustrated. Broadway, $24.95 You wouldn’t guess it, even with help from the lengthy subtitle, but “Out of the Flames” is ...

Why is this business operating?

Why has the state of South Dakota not canceled the charter of Wells Fargo bank? It is nothing but a continuing criminal enterprise, and if Jeff Sessions were sincere about cracking down on criminals, he'd be using the RICO statute to shut Wells Fargo down. Of course, Wells Fargo is not run ...

Immortal ideas

When I moved to Hawaii in 1987, there were several studies under way. One was from the state Department of Business and Economic Development, and it predicted that deepsea mining of minerals like manganese was "25 years away." The other was by the county, for a garage to expand parkng space ...

The funniest news story ever

Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon Funnier than the guy who drowned in a vat of melted chocolate and almost equally fatal. Funniest line: "Scaramucci said he had to get going." (See ...

Who WBD admires

"Get out of there, I’m telling the Lumads now. I’ll have those bombed, including your structures,” the president said. “I will use the armed forces, the Philippine air force. I’ll really have those bombed … because you are operating illegally and you are teaching the children to ...

Rude, crude and unglued

If you perhaps thought that Whiny Baby Donald's stupid behavior toward Madame Macron was his worst display of sexism this month, you're wrong. ...

Who will be Trump’s Bork?

It wasn’t until later that the weirdness of the scene imposed itself on me. Three of us, two Americans and a Briton, were sitting at a table overlooking the sea, sharing a basket of pappadums and drinking beer and lassi and asking: Will Trump fire Mueller? We were all old enough to ...

The conservative liberals

This post expands on the previous one about how the major parties switched their orientation. From the beginning, it has not been simple to determine whether Americans, or any particular American, was liberal or conservative. In this discussion it is useful to stick to left/right, even though ...

mccain

Under pressure

Hmmm. So repealing Obamacare depends upon the level of sophisticated health care available to an 80-year-old man. Golly, if I were a rightwing kook, I'd hope he has good insurance.

Jumping the rails

A reader says, “Republicans used to be liberal, Democrats conservative. “Conservatives are the new RINOs. “I understand that it was a Southern Democrat who killed President Lincoln. Democrats, conservative and Republicans, liberal. I was having an identity crisis and confused. I am ...

lincoln

Book Review 390: Lincoln at Gettysburg

LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG: The Words that Remade America, by Garry Wills. 315 pages. Simon & Schuster, $23 As usual, when Garry Wills takes a closer look, American myths get debunked. In “Lincolh at Gettysburg” we learn that our most eloquent president did not scratch out his Gettysburg ...

fools

Fools rush in

Tricia and I like to watch a Youtube channel called "18th Century Cooking with Jas Townsend & Son." The host, Jon Townsend, (and occasionally his young daughter Ivy) have an infectious enthusiasm for 18th century foodways; and, somewhat unusually for the re-enactor community, he does solid ...

Inoperative statements

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

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

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

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 ...