Restating the Obvious

More fake news

Sometimes it's hard to keep up. F'rinstance: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/opinion/republican-tax-bill-trump-corker.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

Eschew foreign entanglements

If you read this story carefully, you will learn that foreigners are not allowed to buy beer at baseball games in New Jersey. USA! USA! USA! See ...

The shallow state

Private citizens are not supposed to conduct foreign policy in the name of the United States, although this has never been prosecuted. Perhaps because in nearly every instance except one, the private citizen was attempting, however ineptly, to support the policy of the government. That was the ...

Merry Christmas

Figgy pudding and a buche de Noel (in progress) Last year I didn't have opportunities to bake for Christmas, so I bought a rather expensive Christmas pudding. Mistake. It was no good. Figgy pudding is one of those foods that just won't submit to industrialization. This year I did a little ...

Waiting for howls of outrage

There is no question a lot of national legislation is too complex. One of my first business stories, over 40 years ago, was about ERISA -- the Employees Retirement Income Security Act. Even its admirers said it was so complex that no one understood all of it. It was designed to protect ...

I identify famous ‘flying’ ‘object’

Except it wasn't an object and it wasn't flying. It was a foo fighter, a reflection off the plane of the navy aviator who saw it. His description is unmistakable: The object created no rotor wash — the visible air turbulence left by the blades of a helicopter — he said, and began to ...

Mad bombers

It should come as no surprise that Iraqi conscripts who declined to fight for a corrupt Saddam government also decline to fight for a corrupt Abadi government. That was the lesson of the very slow capture of Mosul and Raqqa. It will not do to belittle the difficulty of reducing a stubbornly ...

What are Bitcoins worth?

Nothing, in my opinion, but if you believe in markets then they are worth -- dollars. That's what the Bitcoin futures market settles in. Shouldn't the settlements be fractions of Bitcoins? Unless it's all shibai.

That old-time religion

I grew up surrounded by evangelical Christians. They were an unsavory bunch. If I had a dollar for every time some evangelical who knew nothing about me -- other than that I attended Catholic mass, as I used to do -- told me I was doomed to everlasting torment in hell for not accepting Jesus as ...

Political clarity

The Tea Party/Trump wing of politics wanted honesty -- no more prevaricating, shillyshallying talk. Funny how they cannot tell even a simple truth. However, it's clear enough what they are saying. During World War II, a German linguist living in Dresden, Victor Klemperer, devised a "National ...

Genuine voter fraud discovered

As always, the fraudster is a rightwinger. A chairman of the Colorado Republican Party no less. (See http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/07/steve-curtis-voter-fraud-conviction/) Did he man up and admit his dirty deed? Of course not. He's a Republican. Hat tip to Juanita Jean, your internet ...

Book Review 404: The End of the Imperial Japanese Navy

THE END OF THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY, by Masanori Ito. 192 pages. Macfadden-Bartell paperback As we wonder what moves China or North Korea might be willing to make on the international stage, it is worth remembering how badly Americans understood what Japan would be willing to do 75 years ...

Ain’t that the truth?

E.J. Dionne in the Post, demonstrating more knowledge of American history than the entire Republican Party put together: "When Republicans are FBI haters who are sidetracking probes into Russian subversion, the world truly is turned upside down." (See ...

Cutting ties with Wells

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 ...

Where is Israel’s foreign ministry?

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

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

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 ...

The spy in the palm of your hand

The New York Times has an impressive report on the likelihood that Trump's claim that a Patriot missile shot down a Houthi Scud at Riyadh was mistaken. (See ...

Yearning for dullness

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

Texas Republicans. See https://rantt.com/gop-leaders-in-one-of-texas-largest-counties-think-charlottesville-was-a-hoax-3b8868c9da14 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 ...