Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People and Presidents Think

    I read Robert Kagan's essay "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire" with an eventual blog post in mind, likely one that would attempt to rebut Kagan's latest call for greater American military action in the world, including dangerous neighborhoods like Syria and Ukraine. But I think that those of you who know me know where I stand on that and for those of you who don't (Hi!) I have to admit that my anti-war arguments are not particularly novel.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Wall Street Should Be Terrified?

    Interesting post at Business Insider about how the loss of Eric Cantor is a blow to Wall Street.  The establishment Republicans love the Street while the Tea Party insurgents are enemies of finance and friends of the real economy.  I used to actually buy something like that when, during the financial crisis, I saw an opportunity for anti-bailouts liberals and libertarians to make common cause but... that was a mirage.

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    Kidnapping in Israel

    Three students hitchhiking home from their yeshivas in the West Bank have disappeared, believed kidnapped.  Links:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/181681#.U5vzj3Z0rFw

    http://www.jpost.com/National-News/IDF-continues-widespread-search-for-missing-teens-reportedly-arrest-2-Palestinian-youth-359301

    Hitchhiking, though officially frowned upon, is widely practiced in the West Bank because of the inadequacy of public transport.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Chekhov's Gun

    Anton Chekhov probably never actually said that "If a gun is on the mantel in act one it must go off by act three," but there is something in that little aphorism that tells us how to write drama and also warns us about how to live life.

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    Ramona's picture

    Hate And The "Patriots": Like Watching One Long Horror Movie, Wondering Who Dies Next.

     

    In an insightful article about the upsurge in anti-government hate groups and the murderous rampages they spawn, John Avlon calls them "Hatriots"--those people claiming that true constitutional patriotism requires them to disavow, disown, and destroy the United States government--and anyone who g

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Eating Eric Cantor

    If revolutions eat their children, then Eric Cantor is the plat du jour. Just a couple years ago, he was the supposed leader of the right-wing House insurgency. The press waited hungrily for him to revolt against John Boehner and claim the Speaker's crown for himself. But Cantor chose to wait it out, and now the same insurgent spirit that bolstered his ambition has tossed him out of the House entirely.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    You Don't Need a Gun: Mass Shooters

    The shootings in Isla Vista have left me too angry to blog. But now we have yet another shooter on a college campus, at Seattle Pacific. Fortunately, this murderer was stopped after killing one and wounding three. And he was stopped in the way the gun-rights community says he can never be stopped: he was stopped without a gun.

    If you'll forgive me repeating parts of a blog post from two years ago, written after another of our endless repeated mass murders:
     

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    When Society is Insane

    A question was proposed on another thread regarding Elliot Rodger‘s murder spree: “Or should we just acknowledge that this was a case of a severe mental illness and leave it at that?”  I would say to that: “No.”   The reason is that even those who are severely mentally ill do not exist in a vacuum.  In most cases, they lived a life without the mental illness.  And even while the illness or syndrome or disorder (or whatever term one wishes to use) is active still are in most cases part of some cultural setting.  

    Michael Maiello's picture

    BREAKING: NYT Reveals The Problem With Feminists

    "This means that the feminist prescription doesn’t supply what men
    slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not
    lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons,
    despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men."
    Just want to start your Sunday morning with some clear thinking.
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    Ramona's picture

    Thank You, Maya Angelou, for Your Magical Words. And for Being You.

     

    We got word that Maya Angelou died today.  When her picture flashed on the TV this morning I held my breath, hoping it wasn't bad news.  When they announced that she was gone, I shouldn't have been shocked, considering her age (86) and ill health, but it took me a few minutes because it never occurred to me that she might someday leave this earth.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Bitter Turn of the White Male Killer

    I was interested in Brittney Cooper's take on the Santa Barbara Killer because I think she's definitely on to something about the white male snapping.  It's an old story that goes back to the age of "Going Postal."  It's happened enough that it should be addressed.

    But Cooper's take is all privilege without nuance and so it leads her down this road:

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    Orion's picture

    The Killer Profile Part Three: Sexual Alienation And The Insane Young Man

    Here we go again. Another mass shooting. Society watches again as another mass shooting occurs as if an insane person, who many people warned was insane, being able to obtain deadly weapons and use them on bystanders was something we could no more stop from happening than a hurricane or tsunami.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Reparations Open Thread

    The Case For Reparations is as good an essay as everybody says.

    Discuss?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The New York Times Op-Ed Page Reacts To The Unveiling of the Death Star

    Thomas L. Friedman: The bathrooms are much cleaner than the bathrooms at La Guardia airport.  Another triumph for the fast growing Empire and proof that “small moon” is another word we can remove from the lexicon of our hyperspace-connected  age where average isn't good enough because your job might be pulverized into atoms at any time.

    Nicholas Kristof: There are no girls on the Death Star except for one kidnapped Princess.  Maybe if there were girls on board it would be a Peace Star.  That’s an idea we can all get behind.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Central Planning Envy

    I'd be way late to the game if I tried to mock the recent David Brooks column where he says we need less democracy at the top and more Simpson-Bowles commissions.  It's all been said and I didn't blog about it right when I read it because you've heard it all from me before. Anyway, here's a good way into the issue, if you're interested.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Unreasonable Men: First Book Review

    From Publishers Weekly:

    From 1904-1912, the American political system underwent enormous growing pains, and political writer Wolraich (Blowing Smoke) gives this decade an exhaustive, detailed examination, from the first “creeping sense” of a new political body into a “war with only two sides” that birthed America’s enduring bipartisan identities.

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    Ramona's picture

    A Flag Is What We Make It

     

    In the 21st century controversy over the legitimacy of the 19th century Confederate battle flag, one question remains unanswered:  What does it mean to those who want to fly it?

    The answer:  Anything they want it to mean.
     

    Richard Day's picture

    YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO ARGUE ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT CLASS!

    Parkingwarstitlecard.jpgYOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO ARGUE ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT CLASS!

    I guess I am guilty of this sin every damn day I have ever lived. I mean we cannot, individually be experts in everything.

    Which is why the Science Guy, who has studied scientific principles and theories his entire life is attacked as merely being an 'engineer'.

    Okay, so let us take a look at our elected representatives who are arguing out of their weight class:

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Donald Sterling, the NBA, and the Free Rider Problem

    Can the other 29 NBA owners force Donald Sterling to sell the LA Clippers? Let's put it another way: can the other 29 owners be forced to remain Donald Sterling's partner? Of course, private citizens shouldn't be forced to sell privately owned businesses. But how much of Sterling's business exists if you take away his association with those other 29 businesses? If you take away the other 29 teams, what does Sterling own?

    Ramona's picture

    Monica, Bill and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

     

    Monica Lewinsky is now 40 years old.  In the late 1990s, when she was barely into her twenties, she met Bill Clinton, flirted a bit and caught his attention.  Before long she was having an affair with the President of the United States.  Heady stuff for a bedazzled young girl and of course she had to tell somebody.

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