Restating the Obvious

hog

Dirty secrets

There are 20 million pigs in Iowa, but you can drive through the state for hours without ever seeing one. Most live in big sheds called confinement units, bland, windowless metal warehouses that sometimes hold 2,000 or 3,000 hogs Each shed is built over a pit with a slatted floor so that the ...

By all means. let’s end interference in other people’s elections

While I share every decent Americans disgust with Russian meddling in our elections, let's stop pretending that we are opposed to meddling in elections, generally. The United States meddles in other peoples' selections routinely, and has done so since 1892. Democrats do it, Republicans do it, ...

2 things that I cannot understand

1. Interim security clearance. The whole concept of security clearances is a dog’s breakfast. To be any good at all, this system has to be close to 100% effective. That security clearances are nowhere near that effective is proven by the names Bradley Manning, Aldrich Ames, Klaus Fuchs ...

Not nearly good enough

The serious press -- Times, Post, LA Times, Bloomberg -- is calling the "sanctions" against Wells Fargo a stunning example of serious repercussions for criminality at Wells Fargo. Stunning is right, as I didn't expect anything, but serious, no. (As I write this, Todd Zwillich on "The Takeaway" ...

Want extra stupid with that?

It is not a simple thing to select the stupidest statement of the day from the rightwing. The competition is fierce. But on some days, the fog clears. Such a day was last Friday. The defense ministers of the United States and South Korea met in Hawaii. The American, Mattis, said something ...

Drunk and disorderly

The Financial Times, of all people, reports on bad behavior at a London charity fundraiser for men only. (See https://www.ft.com/content/075d679e-0033-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5) I have a number of things to say about it, but all inside baseball, if my readers will indulge me. First, this ...

Unguarded comments

Just when the Trumpeters were, somewhat languidly, pushing back against their fuehrer's latest racist imbroglio, out tumbles the audio record of one of WBD's appointees, in this case a spokesman for the agency that runs AmeriCorps. (See ...

Maybe the Russians have it

Another NSA screw-up, unless it was deliberate. (See https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/nsa-deletes-surveillance-data-351730) "The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the ...

Live free or die

The New York Times has a piece on a drug addict in New Hampshire. The live free or die state. So this is ironic: "In Patrick’s home state of New Hampshire, which leads the country in deaths per capita from fentanyl, almost 500 people died of overdoses in 2016. The government estimates that ...

A missing tweet

Several polls purport to find that even WBD's supporters wish he would tweet less. Yet there was one tweet we were more or less promised that has not been sent. That would be the one that calls out Gregory Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, for sending jobs offshore. We were told that Trump ...

Our brilliant chief magistrate

The Washington Post reports : "Trump was not particularly upset by the coverage of the meeting and his vulgarity after it was first reported by The Washington Post, calling friends and asking how they expected it to play with his political supporters, aides said. “ 'Everyone was saying it ...

whiskey

Book Review 405: The Whiskey Rebellion

THE WHISKEY REBELLION: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution, by Thomas G. Slaughter. 291 pages, Oxford In 1794, just six years after it began, just about everyone expected the strange American political experiment to fail. President Washington, the British and the Spanish governments, ...

Self-defense, NRA style

If you set out to write a script that exposed every last NRA argument for guns for the pluperfect nonsense that they are, you could not top this real-life example. (See http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article194070489.html) Now, I don't know that the dead gun-owner kept a ...

Going two directions at once

I find it interesting, but not at all surprising, to watch Trumpeters, especially the overtly religious kind, simultaneously embrace incompatible positions. Interesting because it destroys all their credibility but unsurprising because I grew up among holy rollers, and this is their constant ...

Do not be Florida Woman either

COCOA BEACH -- A Florida woman is recovering from serious injuries after a cat jumped into her car and attacked her, causing her to be run over by her own vehicle. . . . Authorities said she jumped out of the car to escape the feline, forgetting it was in reverse and was run over by her own ...

Bringing the world’s respect back to America

I urge you to read the entire Washington Post story about Ambassador Hoekstra and the Dutch reporters. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt/?utm_term=.ac1d01c665a3) It ...

High finance

I have for many years said that the real divide in America is not north/south, or urban/rural, or right/left or white/colored or any of the usual categories by which the political demographers split us up. The real divide is between those who have too much to do and those who have nothing to ...

30 reviews

During 2017, RtO reviewed 30 books. Only one, Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny" was newly published. The rest were old books about subjects I either knew nothing about or wanted to know more about. Two were about censorship, "Out of the Flames" about the burning of Servetus; and "The Holocaust ...

kellner

Book Review 405: My Opposition; The Diary of Friedrich Kellner

MY OPPOSITION: The Diary of Friedrich Kellner, edited by Robert Scott Kellner. 493 pages, illustrated. Cambridge, $34.99 It seems improbable that a World War II diary published as late as 2011 could have caused a sensation, but it did in Germany. Now that Cambridge University Press is ...