Were Time magazine founding publisher Henry Luce still alive, the man who’d coined the 20th century “the American Century” would today declare any extension of it dead.
Our epoch of true world influence stretched from the Jazz Age until Bolshevism collapsed under capitalist superiority. Although our Levant fiasco significantly diminished the nation’s prestige while emboldening adversaries, much of the global community still accepted the United States as the planet’s cock of the walk.
After wrong-footing throughout 2017, the only standing America retains is being musclebound and brainless. Continue reading Magnificent Arrogance
Remarkable, isn’t it, how many Anglos are fearful of a Muslim threat against America that doesn’t exist? At least not in this hemisphere. For this Americans of all hues and creeds can thank the civil rights movement.
All that marching, picketing, and boycotting we may now download and view in digitalized black & white equalized a lot of boats. The movement also brought into the mainstream a good number of immigrants whose origins sat outside what too many of our native born citizens saw as acceptable lands of heritage.
Southern and Eastern Europeans performed their obligations towards integration while assimilating, but having reassuring complexions and religious beliefs somewhere near the country’s predominant Christianity also eased their entry into society. The civil rights movement is the reason why the United States shouldn’t suffer Europe’s same level of random violence nor the polarization between Muslims and non-believers.
American society has yet to impose the same weight of frustration on the Muslim community. But Donald Trump and his gang are doing their damnedest to recoup lost time. Continue reading Fear Eats Itself
Congratulations to all those who’ve graduated from American service academies commissioned as second lieutenants or ensigns. Americans are thankful you’ve chosen to be professional military leaders who’ll command forces defending these shores.
While the above is the preferred job description, their profession encompasses the less savory demands of our modern capitalist republic. These United States no longer face adversaries which threaten its being. Therefore, any taking up defense of this super state is a misstatement.
Not since the Roaring Twenties have our armed forces been so intricately bound with corporate interests. Even during Vietnam there had been some pretense of halting the nefarious spread of nationalism mistaken as communism. It was just right place, right time luck that DuPont and Bell Helicopter reaped fantastic profits. What had once been a straight-forward picket of sovereignty is now far more protection and expansion of the super state’s great overseas mercantile concerns. Continue reading Heirs to Death
Nice to have the steel-toed shoe on the other foot. All the better with which to kick.
The Schadenfreude to be enjoyed drops directly from the 2016 election results.
Given a clear choice between vast experience and absolute unpreparedness, between a first-rate temperament for governing or petulance and impatience intolerable in well-run enterprises, between a superior intellect brimming with curiosity and a small mind formed and locked early, less than half of American voters chose disaster. Unfortunately, our no longer great nation remains beholden to the last vestige of slavery.
The Electoral College.
Undeserving though awarded our presidency nonetheless, Donald Trump personifies the least of the United States. In his bloated, billowy, and bloviating presence he is the antithesis of “American exceptionalism.”
He is quite common and surpasses crass. Continue reading Fair Play
Could Harvest of Shame be filmed today? And if so, what would our reaction be? Horror? Guilt? Scorn?
In 1960, CBS News produced a documentary titled Harvest of Shame. Migrant farmworkers, the conditions under which they lived and worked, were the subjects. To further emphasize the misery, CBS premiered this episode on Thanksgiving night. Perhaps it hoped the subject matter would pierce viewers deeper on our national okay to gorge day.
I first saw the show about 16-17 years after its initial broadcast. Recently I re-watched Edward R. Murrow and a cast of fellow citizens then likely considered disposable, if better-off Americans bothered considering them at all, discuss who made our nation’s groaning larders possible.
Watching it again after intervening decades, the black & white program has become starker, my understanding of disparities in America clearer, as the chasm between empathy and indifference in Americans has widened. Continue reading All the News That’s Fit to Reap
Larry Flynt made a Las Vegas appearance recently. The Hustler publisher visited Southern Nevada for the grand opening of another of his adult novelties emporia.
Although I seldom bother glancing at Hustler – the magazine’s content is too artless for my taste – I nonetheless trekked over to Flynt’s new smut hut. Not because I’ve become more prurient, but in our encroaching Donald Trump times it just seemed proper to pay homage to Flynt, a man who rose to the forefront of defending and strengthening our First Amendment.
While he doesn’t suit any image Americans prefer of their heroes, the Hustler publisher has done much to preserve and expand our ability to opine without censure or censoring. Had Flynt lost his fight, the public’s room to dissent, to ridicule, to deflate, would’ve been circumscribed today.
Too many Americans misunderstand the First Amendment. A great many of us mistakenly believe it only pertains to them, what they believe is “good” and “decent.” The amendment doesn’t only provide protections for views we favor. It also secures much of what we may find objectionable. That is the measure’s greatest strength. Continue reading It Can Be Said
Don’t two fables form the weak backbone of Donald Trump’s presidential jihad?
Der Trump’s war against America borrows heavily from The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Scorpion and the Frog.
Unlike the first’s titled character, it is the Der Trump’s social media minions and the florid barking attendees at his rallies who are exposed. If the narcissus’ crusade actually holds any rational calculations, these only seem hell-bent on discovering the depths to which the candidate can drive his slanders. Dim enlightenment among his followers won’t occur until even the most convinced clod supporting him finally comprehends this fraud’s derangement has now also become their delusion. Continue reading Fractured Fairytales 2016
Although with the 2016 general election the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, really, who doesn’t hope Donald Trump is a Russian injection into our political system? It would explain a lot. Continue reading The Siberian Candidate
“Silly season” is an Anglophile conceit. Across the Atlantic, it’s Brit shorthand for that carefree time of year when news seldom rises above trivial and the frivolous assumes gravity.
Were that the American version of the silly season consisted of the same confections.
Instead the menace and insipient violence always lurking beneath the surface of ordinary life here frequently shatters summers’ otherwise lightness. Hawks devour our larks. Vultures then pick over what scraps remain on the bones.
Our silly season has the likelihood of going overboard this this year. Continue reading Under the Stateside Sun
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has gotten pilloried for past statements spoken during the appropriate era. In accordance to these semantically correct times, she’s walked them back. Okay. She’s apologized for uttering them. There was absolutely zero need for her to have done so.
Dredged up from the 1990s, and haunting her in 2016, Clinton referred to a subset of criminals as “superpredators.” What was then so accurate now offends the ignorant and sensitive.
Actually by having called them “superpredators,” Clinton raised the lowest of low-slouching beasts on the evolutionary ladder. Continue reading Untimely Torquemada