liberalism

The State of Surveillance

June 17, 2013

God knows your calling patterns. God knows your friends on Facebook, your pages liked, your rants and your dissenting comments. More – and better than the NSA or FBI – God knows what you think. Or, if there is no personal God,  if that term is just a word made of letters – G-O-D – [...]


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The Voting Rights Act and the Consequences of Our Actions

February 28, 2013

. A little over a year ago, to counter a vein of left criticism of President Obama during the election year, I wrote, of the 1968 presidential election, Significantly, while Nixon won 86% of the registered Republican vote, Humphrey won only 74% of registered Democrats. Democratic division before and after the ’68 convention [primarily over [...]


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Two Epistemic Closures: The GOP and Israel-Critics

January 28, 2013

. (This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on January 25, 2013.) What do Tuesday’s election results remind us of? They should recall the result of November’s U.S. elections. Against all evidence – and here I do mean all evidence – Mitt Romney and Republicans of every stripe, from Tea Party to establishment, genuinely believed that they [...]


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Why Obama Hearts Hagel

January 14, 2013

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 11.  The last time I wrote about President Obama’s then only rumored selection of Chuck Hagel I said two things I knew I would wish to revise. The first, rhetorically, was the question: “What was he thinking?” The second was a quotation from Gil Troy’s generally very good writing [...]


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Blasphemy Is not Bigotry

September 25, 2012

. The President has spoken (at the United Nations). People are praising what they think he got right and what he got not so right. (We ignore here today the people who think he gets most everything wrong. They get too much attention anyway.) On the issue of free speech stemming from the “Innocence of [...]


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Maureen Dowd and her Critics

September 24, 2012

. A couple of interesting comments from Noga and David on my post, “A Political Hall of Mirrors,” prompts these further considerations on the reaction to Maureen Dowd’s neocon puppet master column. I don’t think this is a subject in which people need necessarily hold hard positions unwaveringly and completely opposed to differing views. Of [...]


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Anti-Labor, Anti-Free Press, Anti-Gay, Anti-Israel

August 8, 2012

. Some people never get the point. Some people once got the point, or claimed to, claimed to see it – there it is, over there – and then they got their hands on the point and stretched the point, to make a point, turned it inside out, inverted and perverted the point, developed a [...]


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The Freedom to Restrict the Freedom of Others

July 31, 2012

. Conservative arguments in support of Chick-Fil-A – or more to the point, against those critical of Chick-Fil-A – demonstrate a characteristic contemporary conservative confusion of terms. What better example than Gary Bauer to represent how conservatives do it. The left’s response to Cathy’s rather innocuous comment has once again exposed the gay rights movement’s [...]


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The Real Dispute behind the Supreme Court’s Health Care Vote

July 11, 2012

. If you pay attention to the expert analysis and the more general opining, you might think from either that the argument over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding it, hast to do with the Commerce Clause and taxation. This thinking represents two kinds of pretense. The [...]


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Pride of a Partisan

June 26, 2012

. As much as some people might be apt to choke on the mere thought of it, ahead of the very thing itself, the central node of American political tendencies was to be found this past Friday, June 23, 2012 in a studio at Television City, in California, on Bill Maher’s Real Time. What? you [...]


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Is Chris Hayes Too Thoughtful for the Mediated Public Square?

May 30, 2012

. You don’t have to think of Chris Hayes as the anti-Limbaugh. (That’s most of us.) Consider him the anti Chris Matthews, his stable mate at MSNBC. Matthews drew a lot of attention the other day for his interview of Newt Gingrich, during which he did play, yes, a form of hardball, asking tough questions [...]


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“How the Left Turned Against the Jews”

March 30, 2012

. Nick Cohen at Standpoint writing, in “How the Left Turned Against the Jews,” about Colin Shindler’s new book, Israel and the European Left: But in a strange manner few discuss, the death of Communism has freed far-Left ideas from the cage of the Cold War. When the far Left was a global force, the [...]


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The Unsound Judgment of Peter Beinart

March 22, 2012

. Just over two years ago, I wrote a post titled “The Unsound Judgment of Andrew Sullivan.” Sullivan, for all his true virtues, is a man of strikingly unsound judgment. He swings, he swings frequently, he swings with emotion from one impassioned response to another, a kind of journalistic Thaïs transforming regularly from the life of [...]


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From the People Who Brought You Richard Nixon & George W. Bush

January 30, 2012

Who has a shorter memory than the perpetual loser? Over and over the perpetual loser performs the same self-defeating act. Again and again, the loser fails, and failing, finds cause for failure in the inadequacy of others. Charlie Brown runs, as he has run countless times before, for the football Lucy holds to the ground, [...]


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The Libertarian Delusion

January 5, 2012

. One of the signatures of the fallen human state is how precipitously and flat seemingly reasonable people can land on their cogitative rears. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on ourselves. You watch me, friend. I’ll be checking you. For now, we have Ron Paul. In addition to certain strains of [...]


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See Ted Kennedy Smile

September 22, 2011

Will the the GOP’s defeat of efforts to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turn out to have been a Pyrrhic victory? This video says yes. Related articles Video Of Elizabeth Warren’s Passionate Rebuttal Of ‘Class Warfare’ Goes Viral (mediaite.com) Chris Weigant: Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Takes Off (huffingtonpost.com) Elizabeth Warren, a Fighter for a [...]


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9/11/11: The Stylus Avenger

September 17, 2011

. (Twelfth in a series) It had been possible in the countryside of so many nations, on another continent, always in transit, to leave the palpable sense of 9/11, if not our emotions, behind. The last day, at Charles de Gaulle Airport amid intense security, and three weeks after the attack, Julia and I rejoined [...]


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9/11/11: a “Good Terror”

September 14, 2011

. (Ninth in a series) When it came to 9/11 sympathies too absent to squander, Slavo Zizek actually beat Baudrillard to the text. On September 14, 2001, only three days after 9/11, he first posted to the internet “Welcome to the Desert of the Real,” which he revised and extended several times. Later, like Baudrillard’s [...]


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9/11/11: Squandered Sympathies

September 12, 2011

(The seventh in a series) The squandered sympathies meme states that the United States, as a consequence of 9/11, was the recipient of widespread international sympathy and good will. The meme was born as soon after 9/11 as some people began to anticipate U.S. action in Afghanistan, which is to say as early as those [...]


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Two and a Half Centuries before 9/11

September 6, 2011

  (9/11/11: the first in a series) Long ago loosed from popular memory, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was not only a natural catastrophe but a crisis of the enlightenment mind as well. The quake is estimated to have lasted ten minutes, with three distinct jolts. Modern seismological estimates, based on recorded observations of the [...]


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The U.S. International Role: Conservative & Progressive

March 16, 2011

I offered my take on the current war of words and ideas over whether the U.S. should engage in more warlike action in Libya. Now, there are three essential considerations at The Atlantic. Substituting for James Fallows, Sam Roggeveen offers here and here, with more to come, two deeply considered  posts (beneath the common sturm [...]


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