Columns

Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label

            Bernie Sanders is currently the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He and everyone else knows exactly how the Republicans will attack him if and when he becomes the nominee: old-fashioned redbaiting.             China became communist in name only during the 1980s, the Soviet Union shut its doors in 1991, the Cold War is […]

About Me and My Mom

            My mom died last week. Her obituary is online. It is, as obits should be, about her. Too many women’s lives are contextualized around their roles as wives and mothers. So I kept myself, and our relationship, in the background.             Now for a personal remembrance.             Like all mothers and sons, we argued. […]

Yvonne Rall, Educator and Passionate Advocate of French, Dead at 84

            Yvonne Rall, a brilliant and demanding educator who left her mark on thousands of high school French students, died February 7th in Kettering, Ohio. The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease.             She was 84.             She was my mother.             A native of France who arrived in the United States at age 25 […]

Democrats’ Wimpy Impeachment Has Made Trump Stronger Than Ever

            “Many Democrats fear that Trump may be laying an impeachment trap,” Stephen Collins wrote for CNN last May. “It’s possible that the wider political divides get, the more Trump benefits. The spectacle would help him charge up the political base he needs to turn out in droves in 2020 with claims their 2016 votes […]

Corporate Crap That Doesn’t Kill Bernie Just Makes Him Stronger

            On January 19th the New York Times oddly co-endorsed Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic presidential nomination. Two days later, the key New Hampshire primary showed Warren down four points. Bernie Sanders’ surge continued. What happened?             To the extent that they ever did, the editorial boards at corporate-owned media outlets […]

If This is a Democracy, Why Don’t We Vote for the Vice President Too?

            Let’s say you owned a house and needed extra cash to make ends meet, so you decided to rent two of your bedrooms. Would you agree to lease those rooms to two people, but under the condition that you could only meet and run a credit check on one of them? Would you allow […]

America’s Long History of Meddling in Russia

            Russia — OK, not the actual Russian government but a private click-farm company located in Russia — bought $100,000 worth of political ads on Facebook designed to change the outcome of the 2016 election. Except that only a small fraction of those ads were political. Also except that that small fraction was divvied up […]

Iran Is Not What You Think

            War, many people believe, often results from cultural differences and misunderstandings. President Trump’s assassination of General Qassem Suleimeni has Americans considering the possibility that we may soon add Iran to our list of unwinnable wars in the Middle East. As that calculus unfolds, no one questions the assumption that there are irreconcilable differences between […]

A Grim New Definition of Generation X

            People born in the 1960s may be the last human beings who will get to live out their full actuarial life expectancies.             “Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat” to humanity, warns a recent policy paper by an Australian think tank. Civilization, scientists say, could collapse by 2050. Some people […]