Restating the Obvious

casbah

Book Review 395: The Battle of the Casbah

THE BATTLE OF THE CASBAH: Terrorism and Counter-terrorism in Algeria 1955-1957, by Paul Aussaresses. 185 pages, illustrated. Enigma paperback Paul Aussaresses claimed to have taught the U.S. Army his methods of countering terrorism by means of indiscriminate arrests, torture and murder. He ...

Donate your eyesight to capitalism

The Fireproof Hotel phenomenon has been a frequent theme at RtO. Some readers deny it exists. Hah! Take this, skeptical readers. (See ...

regiment

Book Review 394: The Last Full Measure

THE LAST FULL MEASURE: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers, by Richard Moe. 345 pages, illustrated. Henry Holt Richard Moe wrote “The Last Full Measure” 25 years ago, but it has some surprising resonance in today's pro-nazi political environment. Moe has been admired for ...

Ecrasez l’infame!

Patheos reports Texas churches are suing to become eligible for FEMA relief despite the fact that they do not pay taxes. Regretfully, they are being assisted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. I used to have aloha for Becket, which up to 25 years ago did good work supporting ...

Big number

According to a Los Angeles Times story about a legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm "the workings of today’s smartphones involve an estimated 250,000 patents." (See http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-apple-qualcomm-20170902-story.html)

Gambling

Bloomberg reports that small companies have taken up a large portion of Florida's home insurance business after the giants, disliking their losses during 2005 when many storms hit Florida, pulled back. This is a subset of the 'Fireproof Hotel' problem that RtO has so often commented on. You ...

fifties

Book Review 393: The Fifties

THE FIFTIES, by David Halberstam. 800 pages, illustrated. Villard W.H. Auden famously labeled the ’30s “a low, dishonest decade,” but the ‘50s were as low and a whole lot meaner. There were men as mean as Hoover, McCarthy, the Dulles brothers, LeMay and Nixon in the ‘30s but they ...

Jeff Sessions, racist

RtO once said that Jeff Sessions is always about race. It's true. Everything that comes out of his mouth is dog-whistle. Now.,thanks to the anger generated by the assault on the Dreamers, various left voices are publicizing what may have been his most open racist statement. It was made in ...

Laws or men?

When Barack Obama was in office, Jennifer Rubin was an insensate opponent. Therefore I quit reading her. She was an early and consistent opponent of WBD, just about the only Republican pundit who has been. I still don't read her much. Today, however, she has a column that bears thinking ...

Who are they trying to fool?

I expect Christians to lie. I have never known them to not lie to non-Christians. But even I was startled by the reaction of evangelicals to the anti-evangelical article in La Civiltà Cattolica last month. I hardly expected the evangelicals to lie to other evangelicals about what ...

Realpolitik in Kurdistan

I seldom read editorials in The New York Times, but I made an exception for one about Kurdistan. RtO has always advocated a free and independent Great Kurdistan. There are 30,000,000 Kurds, the largest easily defined ethnic/cultural/historical/linguistic society in the world without a national ...

Sick children, corrupt party

CNN doesn't get a lot of credit from other news organizations, who often are quick to report on others' exposes, or even to follow with their own versions. I cannot say why that is. But CNN's lengthy story about how Florida Republicans schemed to cut medical care for the sickest children in ...

stalin

21st-century iconoclasm

As we contemplate storing Confederate statues (in New Orleans) or pulling them down (in Durham), it is worth asking, how did we react when Poles, Germans, Czechs etc. pulled down statues of Lenin and Marx, or when Iraqis pulled down (with some help from the US Army) statues of Saddam? With ...

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 ...