Charlottesville Police Inaction: Part of a Nationwide Development

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the major moral crisis growing out of Charlottesville, a lot of attention has been paid to Trump’s lack of leadership.But the whole nation has a stake in a related matter, the inaction of the local police.The Charlottesville Police Department was not caught unawares. It had anticipated a crowd of from 2,000 to 6,000 people, Read More

Recent Shake-up in Saudi Line of Succession Fails Sniff Test

Reading Time: 2 minutes Last month, multiple news outlets reported on what appears to be a “reshuffling” in the line of succession under Saudi Arabia’s 81-year-old King Salman, whose powerful nephew was suddenly forced out as crown prince by royal decree in favor of his much younger, yet impulsive son. Now, The New York Times and Reuters have gone Read More

What’s Missing from the Trump Jr. Emails — and What it Reveals

Reading Time: 3 minutes The recently released emails between Donald Trump Jr. and Trump family friend Rob Goldstone are intriguing to some of us  — because of what is not in them.   Last Monday’s New York Times headline announced “Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign.” The first paragraph of the story said: Read More

Bastille Day

If America Had a Bastille Day

Reading Time: 5 minutes Today is the French national holiday also known as Bastille Day.I first heard of Bastille Day as a teenager when I heard the song of the same name by the Canadian prog-rock band Rush. Here’s some sample lyrics:But they’re marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim her bloody prize Free the dungeons of the Read More

Scott Pruitt’s Climate Change Denial Is out of Touch

Reading Time: 3 minutes The New York Times made it a front-page story: “EPA Chief Doubts Consensus View of Climate Change.” President Donald Trump’s appointed head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, stated (again) that carbon dioxide was not “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” He added, “We need to continue the debate and Read More

J. Edgar Hoover

Comey Hints at J Edgar Hoover’s Blackmailing of Political Leaders

Reading Time: 2 minutes Comparing himself to murdered 12th Century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket notwithstanding, fired FBI chief James Comey has been mostly circumspect in responding to  Senate Committee inquiries about President Donald Trump and Russia. But he did make one assertion Thursday that jolted some historically-minded viewers to the edge of their seats. It was a comment Read More

If a Protest Happens in the Forest Will Anyone Know?

Reading Time: 6 minutes The election of Donald Trump has spawned a new protest movement in the United States. Modern technology now allows participants in marches and rallies to document their experience and share it with others.Many people do so on their own social media accounts. However, there are ways of making images available to a much wider audience, Read More

Cliffs

More on Climate Change Science from MIT Expert

Reading Time: 2 minutes Prof. John Reilly, the co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, was one of the scientists drawn in President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the US would pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. WhoWhatWhy interviewed Reilly prior to the events of last week. An Read More

North Carolina

Tar Heeled: SCOTUS Tosses Gerrymandered NC Districts

Reading Time: < 1 minute When the conservatives on the US Supreme Court keep concluding that race-based gerrymandering policies were at play in red and purple states, it’s probably time to admit that, yes, racism is an ongoing factor adversely affecting our democracy. In a clear victory for black voters in the Tar Heel State, the nation’s highest court last Read More

Donald Trump

Logic Check: Be Wary of New Trump Comey Tapes Threat Story

Reading Time: < 1 minute The big story as I write is that President Donald Trump has, via tweet, implicitly threatened former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, suggesting that he has tapes of Comey stating that Trump was not under investigation by the FBI. It strikes me that this is typical of Trump tactics designed to keep his Read More

Keystone XL Pipeline

Environmental Groups and States Go to War With Trump

Reading Time: 2 minutes On March 24, President Trump signed an executive order to forge ahead with the Keystone XL oil pipeline that had been scotched by Obama in 2015. This is the deal to send tons of dirty tar sands Koched-up oil from Canada across 1,200 miles of the US to Gulf Coast refineries. Already, Nebraska residents are Read More

Barrett Brown

The Government Is Not Done Messing with Barrett Brown

Reading Time: 4 minutes A recent lawsuit against the FBI is shedding light on the complex game the Bureau is playing to silence investigators of the cyber-industrial complex.The lawsuit concerns the subpoenaing of anonymous donor information to the legal defense fund for formerly incarcerated journalist Barrett Brown. Brown had investigated data from private intelligence corporations that was leaked by Read More

Aleppo, Syria

Much Ado About Syrian “De-escalation Zones”

Reading Time: 2 minutes Outlets sympathetic to the Syrian regime on Sunday hailed what they framed as the beginning of the “systematic destruction” of the Islamic State “across Syria.” But while international media also reported a tenuous reduction in fighting between the army and the rebels, experts are still debating the meaning of the four “de-escalation zones” in Syria Read More

Syria Kurds
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Does Turkey Think Trump’s Resolve in Syria is Weakening?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Social media went abuzz Friday with videos of US and Syrian Kurdish forces jointly patrolling the Syrian-Turkish border.Reports in the Wall Street Journal and other media subsequently confirmed the patrols. This is the second time this year that US troops have moved in to block an anticipated Turkish attack on Kurds, who are spearheading the Read More

Council of Europe, Turkey

Council of Europe Downgrades Turkey as Erdogan Bombs Kurds

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Council of Europe watchdog voted to put Turkey on a human rights monitoring list on Tuesday amid widespread claims of fraud in a controversial referendum that gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan authoritarian powers.The amendments to the Turkish constitution that passed by a narrow margin of just under 3 percent “do not comply with our Read More

Ruth Paine

Documentary: The Assassination & Mrs. Paine

Reading Time: < 1 minute A filmmaker is working on a documentary about one of the more intriguing and major figures in 20th century American history. Here is an overview of the film from the creators:The Assassination and Mrs. Paine is a provocative portrait of 84-year-old Ruth Paine and her inescapable connection to the JFK assassination. As a key witness Read More

Hear no evil

JFK Assassination: Low Quality of Disinformation

Reading Time: 3 minutes The quality of disinformation on the Kennedy assassination has never been very high. Much of it is pseudoscience, slick enough to fool the general public, but nothing that ever holds up under scrutiny.Earlier this week, I saw what I think is a specimen of it in an obituary in the Dallas Morning News of a Read More

Mark Twain
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Funny, Wise Quotations on Taxes

Reading Time: 7 minutes Are you in pain from the IRS? Well, you’re in good company. Check out what these characters have to say about paying taxes — Al Capone, Albert Einstein, Dave Barry, Mark Twain, Mae West, and many others.