Tagged: migrants


Texas Outlaws?

A friend and reader writes in to ask what is going in Texas, where Governor Abbott is trying to control the border with Mexico.  Isn’t this unconstitutional, he asks, since the Federal government is responsible for maintaining the border?


Branding Disaster

Earlier this year, after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, I reflected on the conversations that may or may not ensue from the changing of a facebook profile picture.  As my facebook news feed in the last few days has changed into a wash of the modern French flag (the tricolor) I’ve reflected further on our need, as a consumer-driven culture, to “brand” disaster. Clearly the French didn’t start the #prayforparis trend – as it’s an English phrase.  #jesuischarlie started up so quickly because the attack was directed at a specific target for a specific reason.  The French reacted, in their own...


More Second Thoughts, Round Three

At first glance, President Obama’s selection of this years’s winners of “The Presidential Medal of Freedom” seems bizarre.  Lee Hamilton, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Mikulski, music entrepreneur Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Indian activist Billy Frank, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, James Taylor,  and Jap rights activist Minoru Yasui.  Gee, what is warhawk Lee Hamilton doing with these freaks?  The only other straight white  male with a name ending in a consonant, James Taylor, is a drug-using  mental patient. On second thought, perhaps it is perfect.   This is the face of the new America–‘athaletes,’ entertainers,...


Paris: The Day After

The greatest generation was able to say, “This isn’t my first battle, sonny.”  Is it odd that at under-40 I can say, “This isn’t my first terrorist attack”? On September 11, 2001, I was heading to Kansas City after a short trip to Texas.  Sometime that morning two planes flew into buildings in NYC.  Our plane, like every other plane in the air, was forced to land at the closest possible airport.  I spent the next 3 days with strangers, and our first hours together were spent in front of a television, watching the towers come down over and over...



President Obama has informed African American voters that he will take it as a personal affront to his “legacy” if they do not rush out to support Hillary Clinton.  Rumor has it that he has also threatened to declare himself officially “White” and to  produce his authentic Kenyan birth certificate to prove that while he may be African, he is decidedly not American.  Stay tuned for this developing story.


The Art of Degradation, Part I

It is a good thing that rhetoric is a lost art, because anyone with the most elementary knowledge of rhetoric would be sticking blunt objects into his ears to keep from hearing not just the politicians’ speeches but, even more, the pundit’s comments and questions. I am not referring to the bad grammar and mispronunciation of NPR newsreaders who cannot pronounce words like “tour” but invariably say “tore” or even to the effeminate and uncontrolled sing-song chanting of the announcers.  Delivery is a part of oratory but only a part.  From the rhetor’s perspective of 2500 years or so, political...


Wednesday’s Child: To Say Nothing of the Dog

Some six months ago, at the end of March, I wrote here about the sensational case of the Ukrainian Joan of Arc, Nadezhda Savchenko – then in captivity in Moscow and undergoing a farce of a trial – who has since been exchanged for some Russian prisoners of the undeclared war and is now in Kiev.  Now, it may be that Savchenko is not the Ukrainian Joan of Arc, and that in reality she’s a war criminal, a madwoman, a villainess, a CIA agent, or even a Russian police provocateur; none of that matters in the least for making sense...