Numerous correspondents sent me the latest lengthy Atlantic essay by the brilliant and eloquent but bourgeois Black Identitarian Ta-Nehesi Coates and asked for my reflections. I reluctantly agreed to read and comment on Coates’ long treatise.
In the late summer of 2017, the United States was hit by two epic hurricanes, each of which took lives and caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. Record-setting wildfires raged on the nation’s West coast and a devastating drought plagued much of the nation’s northern Great Plains.
The Idiotic Lecture I Keep Getting
A recurrent problem with some who read Left essays on U.S. politics is that a writer of such essays can’t criticize a Republican policymaker or politician without some “radical” reader sending that writer a snotty lecture on the writer’s supposed failure to understand that Barack Obama, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, and rest of the top Democrats are terrible too.
Racism’s Surface and Deeper Levels
The United States, where median Black household wealth is less than 7 cents on the white household dollar and where the mild slogan “Black lives matter” is considered controversial, is still very much a racist nation. Grasping the nature of this national racism in 21stcentury means looking at the different levels on which race operates here. One level is at the nation’s discursive and symbolic surface. It is about language, imagery, signs, the color of elite personnel, representation, and, well, symbols.
A story that appeared in the leading inside-Washington political journal The Hill last week bore a headline that ought to send a chill down the spine of anyone who believes in democracy: “Half of Republicans Would Back Postponing 2020 Election if Trump Proposed It.” Read the report’s opening 90 words and let them sink in:
Updated: August 26, 2017
It takes a lot for anything anybody in the Insane Clown Trump administration says to get my attention these days. The longtime Exxon-Mobil CEO and current United State Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did the trick with these 48 words two days ago: “We are evaluating all of our policy options as to what can we do to create a change of conditions where either Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution.”
The United States has killed, maimed, displaced, and otherwise harmed an astonishing number of people in its 241-year record of murder and mayhem – including more than 20 million killed in 37 nations since 1945.
A recent Washington Post and ABC poll finds that just 37 percent of Americans think that the Democratic Party “stands for something.” Fifty two percent say it’s about nothing more than opposing Trump.
Summer’s here and the time is right for sacrilege in the streets. Here are eleven blasphemous thoughts for the current Russo-phobic season, likely to be a real carbon-cooked scorcher.
Wouldn’t That Have Been Russia’s Job?
A “Hollow” Man Who Was “Unwilling to Fight the Good Fight”
What on Earth motivated the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor David J. Garrow to write an incredibly detailed 1078-page (1460 pages with endnotes and index included) biography of Barack Obama from conception through election to the White House? Not any great personal affinity for Obama on Garrow’s part, that’s for sure. Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama is no hagiography. On the last page of this remarkable tome, Garrow describes Obama at the end of his distinctly non-transformative and “failed presidency” as a man who had long ago had become a “vessel [that] was hollow at its core.”
by Paul Street
August 23rd, 2008
Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism
By Sheldon Wolin
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008)
ISBN-13: 978-0691135663 Continue reading
by Paul Street
December 18th, 2007
Maybe it’s some sort of “progressive victory” that Daily Kos publisher Markos Moulitsas is a contributing columnist at the longstanding “mainstream” (corporate) media outlet Newsweek magazine. That’s what a liberal I know tells me.
by Paul Street
November 12th, 2007
“We Have Some Major Priorities”
Here are 49 words to inspire dismay and disgust:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her lieutenants maneuvered to avoid a floor fight that would have forced Democrats to choose between their liberal base, which might cheer a Cheney impeachment, and a broader electorate, which might view the resolution as a partisan game in a time of war.”