Movie Review: “The Death of Stalin”

I suppose it is worth stating anew the observation and fact that few--if any--movies actually tell a historical tale in what can be called a faithful manner. Such is the case with The Death of Stalin, which, while unfaithful to historical facts, shows laudable fidelity to stating and underlining a higher truth: The so-called "leaders" …

Defining Deviancy Down

So, at the end of the 1986-1987 Supreme Court term, Associate Justice Lewis Powell decided to retire from the Court. Accordingly, Justice Powell submitted his resignation letter to President Reagan. The president nominated Judge Robert Bork to replace Powell. Bork got voted down 58-42 by the United States Senate, the first Senate rejection of a …

Lives (and Other Things) that Do and Do Not Matter: The Donald Trump Edition

I have been thinking a lot about Donald Trump and the lives and other things that may or may not matter to him. After much deliberation, I think I have divined a certain set of criteria with which we may determine which lives and things do and do not matter. First of all, according to …

(Deliberately) Don’t Know Much about History (China Edition)

I am something of a history buff (or at least, I try my best to be), so when someone gets history wrong, I tend to get . . . oh, how to phrase this? . . . annoyed. To be sure, honest mistakes are sometimes made when discussing history, and your humble servant makes those …

On the Confederate Flag

In the wake of the absolutely horrific shooting in South Carolina that left nine people dead, attention has swiftly turned to the display of the Confederate flag in the state, given that the murderer, Dylann Roof, was pictured wrapped in the flag, and given the (to put matters mildly) problematic history behind the flag. As …

Jeb Bush Doesn’t Have an Aura of Inevitability. And that’s Fine.

Nicholas Confessore--who in the past, has written for non-right wing rags like Salon, Washington Monthly, and The American Prospect, and who therefore may not be the most unbiased soul in the world when it comes to writing about Republicans--co-authored this pieceĀ along with Maggie Haberman in which we are breathlessly informed that not all Republicans are …

Alternative Quote of the Day

Behold. A lot of policy problems would cease to exist if people recalled that "poverty is the normal condition of man," and strove with urgency to combat poverty through innovation, creation and--yes--creative destruction whenever appropriate. But somehow, the lessons that people like Robert Heinlein try to impart keep getting forgotten.

What We’ve Learned about All of the People Who Laughed at Joni Ernst

1. There are a lot of people who talk a good game when it comes to combating poverty, but who do not understand the history of poverty in America, or its pernicious effects upon those whose lives have been touched by poverty. 2. There are a lot of people who can't even manage to talk …

Please Stop Saying that Americans Don’t Like Political Dynasties. It’s Just Not True.

It isn't 2016 yet, but I am already sick to death of all of the claims that Americans do not like political dynasties. We have heard a fair amount of that talk in light of Hillary Clinton's very likely candidacy for the presidency, and now that Jeb Bush appears to be getting ready to run …