Ted Rall’s Latest Books:

“The Stringer”
graphic novel
by Ted Rall & Pablo G. Callejo
“Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party”
by Ted Rall
“Bernie (Revised 2020 Edition)”
by Ted Rall

Burning a Police Station Led to Justice hi hi

            As people of good will celebrate or merely breathe a sigh of relief in response to the conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the videotaped torture and murder of George Floyd, it is worth noting that this victory would likely not have occurred had it not been for a spectacular act of property destruction.             Yes, there was that damning video. True, the police chief testified for the prosecution. Those factors caused Chauvin’s rare conviction. But you can’t convict unless you indict first—and there was no move to indict Chauvin before city officials were scared into filing charges.             Floyd was killed May 25, 2020. Three days later, demonstrators burned down the Minneapolis Third Precinct police headquarters, which had been abandoned by fleeing cops. On May 29, the next day after the conflagration, prosecutors announced charges against Chauvin.             In October 2020 a right-wing “bugaloo boi” was charged with setting the building ablaze. But no one knew…
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Biden’s Left Feint

            If you don’t dig deep Joe Biden appears to be governing as the most liberal president since LBJ. But conservatives needn’t worry. Biden is no progressive in centrist’s clothing. True, the president’s legislative agenda­—after the coronavirus relief bill, which was undeniably progressive—would expand the social safety net, increase direct aid to citizens in trouble and pay for this expansion of the federal government with tax hikes the way we leftists like them, on corporations and rich individuals—if passed. Which it won’t. No one, Biden least of all, expects Congress to approve his big infrastructure or education packages. Recalcitrant Republicans and reluctant red-state Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia will probably water the proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill down to virtual under-$1-trillion insignificance. The $1.8 trillion education proposal, which would be funded by a capital-gains tax increase the GOP hates, is an even more desperate Hail Mary pass. These bills aren’t serious attempts to legislate. Bidenism is a…
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Afghanistan Under the Taliban: It Won’t Be Like Last Time

We’ve been in Afghanistan 20 years, Joe Biden’s generals told him. All we need is a little more time. The president overruled them, ordering a complete withdrawal of American troops by September 11th. Madiha Afzal and Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution articulate the opposition to Biden’s decision to call it quits. Remove the U.S. occupation forces that have maintained stability, they worry, and civil war will soon follow, culminating in the overthrow of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul and the return of the Taliban. They think it will be the late 1990s all over again: women back under burqas, stonings, 14th century Islam providing a safe haven for anti-Western terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. “The most likely outcome of any quick troop exit this year is very ugly, including ethnic cleansing, mass slaughter, and the ultimate dismemberment of the country,” Ms. Afzal and Mr. O’Hanlon write in USA Today. “No one can see the future, of course, but this type of outcome…
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Destroy the Police in Order to Rebuild It

            The killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop is the latest in a long line of high-profile shootings to have sparked widespread protests. As often occurs after these terrible incidents, politicians and editorial boards are floating ways to turn Robocop into Officer Friendly.             The trouble with mainstream proposals is that they would nip at the edges of a systemic problem, assuming that the cabal of powerful police unions were to allow their implementation. Nothing short of completely destroying existing police departments and their methods will fix policing that is authoritarian, predatory and violent to its core. We must radically reinvent the purpose, personnel and posture of police officers if Americans seriously want to free people of color (and everyone else) of the abject terror they feel each time flashing lights appear in their rearview mirror.             Many recent killings of Blacks by police followed stops or detentions over trivial matters. Brooklyn…
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Matt Bors Quits Political Cartooning

The news that Matt Bors is quitting political cartooning (though he will continue to work as a comics editor and cartoon in other formats) is a sad statement about the state of editorial journalism. In his mid-30s, a great draftsman who has received some of the profession’s top prizes, including a Pulitzer finalistship, Bors represented a possible future for American political cartooning. The fact that he decided drawing political cartoons was no longer worth his time — it’s not hard to guess that, like the rest of us, he watched his cartooning paycheck dwindle away to almost nothing — reflects poorly on the hundreds of editors at newspapers, magazines and websites who, day after day, choose not to run political cartoons at all, much less hire a staff political cartoonist to add to their stables of writers. Many of these editors are going to wake up someday, realize that editorial cartooning is dead and gone, and wonder what happened. They…
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