Category: Feature

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Even the Financial Press Attacks Trump

You might think the financial press would be a little bit more modest than the regular press. They write about money, and if they just do straight reporting, that’s one thing. But if they have opinions, the old question arises: If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich? Yet financial writers after the February 5 market crash immediately trashed Trump. Here are two from the popular Yahoo News. The first: “The Dow has given up all its gains since the day the Trump tax cuts became law,” by Isabella Steger, that evening. The second: “The Trump tax cuts are looking...

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Wednesday’s Child: American Nightmare

A Russian painter friend of mine, who had followed our family into exile in the United States yet never went back on his contention that English articles are a petit bourgeois nuisance, used to joke that the American Dream is “finding Rembrandt in garbage can.”  Although the major actors in the nightmare I record here are about as American as Confucius, and the dream object in question a Da Vinci rather than a Rembrandt, in the past few days my friend’s quip ran through my mind more than once. Let me begin from afar.  It is a rule of life...

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Welcome to the World of Stephen King

Stephen King, on learning of a train crash in which Republican members of Congress were shaken up and the driver of a garbage truck was killed, tweeted: “A trainload of Republicans on their way to a pricey retreat hit a garbage truck,” King noted Thursday. “My friend Russ calls that karma.” King was immediately attacked and he later apologized for his indiscretion. If we wish to be kind, we might recall that King was a suicidal alcoholic who drank mouthwash, when he could not get real booze, and ink when he could not get mouthwash. If we probed deeper, we...

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Divided America

Once upon a time, Americans occasionally united. Here are some election percentages of presidential victors: FDR 1932, 57.4%; FDR 1936, 60.8%; IKE 1952, 55.2%; IKE 1956, 57.4%; LBJ 1964, 61.1%, the most of any candidate not named George Washington; Nixon 1972, 60.7%; Reagan 1984, 58.8%. Average: 58.8% Moreover, if you look at the issues in 1960, JFK and RN held substantially the same views, differing only in nuance, style and ability to rig state elections (detailed by Roger Stone in “Nixon’s Secrets” and Robert Caro, with all the facts on how LBJ ripped off Texas for himself and JFK, in...

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Wednesday’s Child: The Rotten Thread

For the better part of the last ten years, in the California town of Perris – which is probably how you pronounce “Paris” if you’re a child molester, though this conjecture is, I admit, of little relevance to the larger argument here – a couple enslaved and abused thirteen persons of various ages, allegedly their own biological offspring, keeping them in chains and starving them in ways that would make Mr. Bumble take pity on poor Oliver Twist. This is all happening in America, in 2018, yet the only reaction to the madness, apart from the grinding of the wheels...

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Wednesday’s Child: The Driving Fail

If one cares to understand something about the South of Italy, I suggest spending four minutes of one’s time viewing this masterpiece of daily life on YouTube.  It has all the truthfulness, spontaneity, and absurdity of an early Chekhov story, and it explains something central about individual liberty – something missing in Burke on the right as well as in Mill on the left.  In short, it’s a good illustration of why this is still the best place to live in Europe. Neither I nor my wife drives, so we’re well placed to observe disinterestedly, without the bitter rancor that...

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A PS on Trump’s Dirty Mouth

When I posted my comments about Trump on Facebook, some “friends” seemed to think that I was endorsing or defending his language.  I added this clarification: I am far from accepting, much less endorsing, such speech. As an observer of political reality, though, I refuse to indulge in idle speculation about a world that no longer exists. I find very little in public life to be even minimally acceptable, from the poor English, incomprehensible reasoning, and indeceny in broadcasting to the filth of popular music to the pornography of movies and television. I do not go out to movies, even...

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Legacy of the Doctored King

This morning my wife, who has a bad habit of following the news,  asked me about the “legacy” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I know he plagiarized his dissertation and just about every major speech or statement he made, advised soldiers to betray their country during the Vietnam War, maintained significant contacts with Communist agents, and betrayed his wife incessantly and with teenage girls.  But, to be fair, a lot of great men have had feet of clay.  What are his positive accomplishments that would be worth celebrating?” It’s not only a fair question but a valuable one.  Before...

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Real Haitian Story: The Clintons Destroyed It in 1994

It shows the immaturity of American politics that a vulgarity a U.S. president used in private becomes a mediastorm for weeks. But let’s look at the real reasons why one country at issue, Haiti, is such a mess: Co-presidents – as they fashioned themselves – Bill and Hillary Clinton destroyed Haiti’s economy in 1994 to put back in power a communist priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had been defrocked in 1990 by Pope John Paul II. That was just two more years after communism fell in the Soviet Union and the Communist Party was abolished on Christmas Day 1991, so the...

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Liberals Freak Out Over Fictional Anti-Trump Book

Although far from perfect – such as continuing the Obama-Bush Wars – one of the main benefits of electing President Trump is laughing at the liberal commentariat’s freak out, as we said in the ’60s. Pat Buchanan pointed out the attacks on Trump are worse even than those on Nixon. For an old conservative like me, what’s heartening is how Trump never takes it lying down. Attack him, and you can expect a response. That’s so different from almost every Republican in my lifetime, current examples being Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. An amusing specimen...