Restating the Obvious

Moral testing time

Some of the decisions the US Supreme Court have laid the entire strength of te legal argument on sincere religious belief -- a meaningless phrase but let us assume such a unicorn does exist. Vice President Pence is the leading self-declared evangelical in politics, I was surprised to see that ...

The United States should pay for immigrants

I don't approve of the proposed policy of preferring highly educated people for immigration to the United States. That is not how we have done it traditionally. Our past practice of taking people who wanted to work resulted in huge advantages: if you don't know the story of Sol Bloom, look him ...

The spirit of Drancy

RtO has been inveighing against the spirit of gleichschaltung since very early in the Trump administration. Although at first some responses indicated that readers thought this was over-the-top, I don't suppose that now anyone will deny that the top of the American government is being ...

The mask drops

For a decade now rightwing Republicans have assured us that they need to defend our most sacred right to vote by imposing strange regulations justified by absolutely nothing. Yesterday the Supreme Court agreed with one of the stranger regulations. Rightwing Republicans fell all over ...

WWJD? Separate the families?

I think not. Please note, rightwing thugs, the part of the Bible that Jeff Sessions referred to is not what Jesus said. Even the people who believe the Christian cult is based on the sayings of Jesus don't purport to think that the Epistle to the Romans had anything to do with him. The Jesus ...

Don’t tell the truth, commissioner

From the Times report on the bigot cake maker: "One commissioner in particular, Justice Kennedy wrote, had crossed the line in saying that 'freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the ...

The art of 2 deals

Last week I was buying some used furniture for our new house. ME Your prices are $175, $125 and $100. I make that $400. Will you take $350? YOUNG MAN: I'll get my mother. She's the expert with the credit card. You said $300? ME: Sure. WBD and Kim Jung Un also were negotiating. WBD: I ...

Book Review 408: Rice and Slaves

RICE AND SLAVES: Ethnicity and the Slave Trade in Colonial South Carolina, by Daniel C. Littlefield. 199 pages, illustrated. Illinois paperback, $26 Daniel Littlefield’s “Rice and Slaves” is nearly half a century old now, an early entrant in the attempt to make history more scientific— ...

Can free will exist?

I have always considered that arguments that free will is a myth to be incorrect. But I was reasoning backward, whereas the anti-free willers were reasoning forward: "Many scientists say that the American physiologist Benjamin Libet demonstrated in the 1980s that we have no free will. It was ...

Gone but not forgotten

I have been retired from reporting at The Maui News for over 5 years now, but the blog that started in 2008 goes on. (For those reading at Blogger, this is a mirror site to the original at www.mauinews.com.) It is hard for me to know how many readers the blog has but this morning something ...

A post-lunacy evangelicalism?

Not really, but The Guardian has a piece about a "new generation" of evangelicals who were not thrilled at opening our embassy in Jerusalem. They are dubious that Jesus really is coming soon. (See https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/19/evangelicals-israel-usa-end-times) That does not ...

Book Review 406: Our Native Bees

OUR NATIVE BEES: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them, by Paige Embry. 224 pages, illustrated. Timber, $25.95 I like to watch the bumblebees lolling in the giant blossoms of the night-blooming cereus that decorates my mailbox. They wallow on the stamens and ...

Crap from China

Electric buses in this case. (See http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-electric-buses-20180520-story.html) "BYD has won passionate support from some of the region's most powerful politicians. "Thousands of pages of public records and interviews with those dealing directly with the ...

Political pre-nups

Dunno what WBD and Melania had, but in Malaysia the prime minister and his second wife did this: "Fazley Yaakob, the husband of Mr. Najib’s stepdaughter, offered another story, which he recounted on Instagram after Mr. Najib lost the election. Before the two were married, Mr. Fazley wrote, ...

Another good man with a gun

He was licensed. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/maryland-man-who-killed-3-in-neighbors-home-was-subject-of-2014-domestic-violence-case/2018/05/14/3e886aa8-57ad-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html?utm_term=.51963756330a)

An unbuilt wall

No, not the one Trump is not building on our southern border. There's another one. Note the ridiculously small number of stars At the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency there is a wall of stars dedicated to agents who were killed while doing their dirty work. No names are ...

Pot goes to pot

Oregon is growing too much ganja and the sellers are complaining. (See https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/09/how-oregon-grew-too-much-marijuana-to-sell) They have forgotten the adage of Freewheelin' Franklin: Dope will get you through times no money better than money will get you ...

Dangerous liaisons

What's really going on: Rudy Giuliani, who was turned down 4 times by Trump for plum jobs, took his revenge by becoming Trump's lawyer and throwing him under the bus. Choderlos de Laclos got nuttin' on us, baby.

How stupid can Netanyahu be?

Awful damn stupid. The NYTimes has a piece about his presentation to show (to an audience of one, WBD) how Iran really does too have a sekrit bomb factory for making the atom bombs. (See ...

Can you steal a free newspaper?

Free if you can find it Possibly not but it is well-established that if you take a lot of them you may be guilty of some crime or other -- perhaps malicious mischief. The thought arises from a report in the Los Angeles Times (which I have not seen anywhere else even though it happened weeks ...