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Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Trumpism—–The Benefits and Hazards of It

Donald Trump’s most recent foreign policy speech, in which he explained how he would deal with the Islamic State (ISIL) and the Middle East in general, contained multitudes – everything good and everything questionable about his brand of “America First” nationalism. Here is Trumpism on full display, the common-sensical and the nonsensical intertwined. While I realize a presidential election campaign is not the time for nuance, it behooves us to pull apart these disparate strands if we want to...

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How The Neocons Fight Dirty—–Now Comes Evan McMullin To Trash Trump

When one thinks of the neoconservatives what comes to mind is their warmongering, and they have indeed been the War Party’s brains since their incubation inside the Democratic party and their defection to the GOP during the Vietnam era. Yet there are other aspects of the neooconservative mind – or, rather, the neoconservative personality – that are significant, and one of these is their viciousness. These guys (and gals) fight dirty: the smear, the ad hominem argument, is their signature...

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Situational Enemies

Mill hypothesized that political participation might have certain benefits, including making us more open-minded and more concerned with one another’s welfare. The empirical evidence shows that he was mostly wrong. Voters tend to vote altruistically, it appears, but deliberation, joining or identifying as a member of a party, and other forms of participation tend to make us in mean and nasty assholes. The final chapter of Against Democracy is  a short note called “Civic Enemies”....

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Nightmare at the Mall: Brick-and-Mortar Retail Totally Loses it

Stunning acceleration of a trend. On the surface, it was the same lackadaisical data we’ve become inured to in this wondrous economy. But beneath the surface, there lurked a nightmare for the already struggling brick-and-mortar retailers. Total retail sales in July, at $457.7 billion, remained stubbornly flat from June, and ticked up a measly 2.3% from a year ago, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences, but not inflation, according to the Commerce...

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Here It Comes—–Ukraine’s ‘October Surprise’

When a Russian FSB agent and a Russian soldier were killed by a team of Ukrainian saboteurs, and one of the captured Ukrainians was shown on Russian media in handcuffs, US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt tweeted “US government has seen nothing so far that corroborates Russians allegations of a ‘Crimea incursion’ & Ukraine has strongly refuted them.” Apparently two dead Russians don’t count for much in Pyatt’s book: perhaps Putin personally killed them, and the whole thing is a set...

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We Live in Dangerous Times—-Three Flashpoints For War

We are sitting atop a volcano that could erupt at any moment. Indeed, the only question is not whether it will explode, but when – and where. For this impending seismic event has multiple pathways to the surface, spread across no less than three continents. Europe – The long peace that has prevailed in Europe is coming to an end. Ukraine is a battlefield between East and West, where a proxy war between a US-backed regime and an insurgent movement that seeks separation from Kiev is tearing the...

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The CFR Has An Anti-Isolationist Hissy Fit——But Who Got Us Into These Endless Wars?

Isolationists must not prevail in this new debate over foreign policy,” warns Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “The consequences of a lasting American retreat from the world would be dire.” To make his case against the “Isolationist Temptation,” Haass creates a caricature, a cartoon, of America First patriots, then thunders that we cannot become “a giant gated community.” Understandably, Haass is upset. For the CFR has lost the country. Why? It colluded in the...

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The Ultra-Nationalist Crazies Of Kiev And The Threat Of Another Sarajevo

While the world is focused on the conflict in the Middle East, and the threat to Europe posed by increasing terrorist attacks, the reality is that the “war on terrorism” is being displaced by the West’s renewed cold war with Russia. This is true for a couple of reasons: 1) For all the dramatic headlines they generate, ISIS and similar groups are minor players in the scheme of things. Yes, al-Qaeda brought down the World Trade Center and even got a shot at the Pentagon, but it and its mutant...

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Actually, The US LOST 1,030 Million Jobs in July (Teachers’ Summer Break)

To better understand the July Jobs report, one has to understand the seasonal adjustments that the Bureau of Labor Statistics employs. Nonfarm payroll jobs added in July on a seasonally adjusted basis were +255,000 in July. But the raw or NON seasonally adjusted numbers were -1,030,000 jobs. Or 1.03 million jobs lost. Notice in the above chart that you get big downward dips in the nonfarm payroll numbers in January and July. And it repeats every year. For January, this is the release of...

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Past Time To Rethink NATO

With Democrats howling that Vladimir Putin hacked into and leaked those 19,000 DNC emails to help Trump, the Donald had a brainstorm: Maybe the Russians can retrieve Hillary Clinton’s lost emails. Not funny, and close to “treasonous,” came the shocked cry. Trump then told The New York Times that a Russian incursion into Estonia need not trigger a U.S. military response. Even more shocking. By suggesting the U.S. might not honor its NATO commitment, under Article 5, to fight Russia for...

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