Republican Buffoonery: They’re Gonna Break Something

There’s an old saying in legal circles: “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”

The Republicans, in the wake of the most devastating testimony yet in the impeachment inquiry, are pounding away at the table. They’re doing it with typical Republican buffoonery, but that doesn’t mean they won’t break something.

Continue reading “Republican Buffoonery: They’re Gonna Break Something”

The U.S. Constitution as Calvinball

We have been awash in analyses of the recent letter to Congress penned by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. In it, Cipollone outlines the Mis-Administration’s “reasoning” for why it will refuse to participate with Congress’ impeachment inquiry.

This flood of analysis comes mostly from Constitutional scholars and features detailed dives into the legal abyss, which can leave one’s head spinning. (Although some are quite amusing. My favorite came from a George Mason Law School professor, who said Cipollone “must have been sick the day they taught law at his law school.”)

But I have a simple approach to help everyone understand exactly what’s going on. Just think of the U.S. Constitution as Calvinball.

Continue reading “The U.S. Constitution as Calvinball”

For Gandhi’s 150th Birthday: Learning from Gandhi and MLK

The latest installment of Other Voices TV was taped just last night, making it just in time for the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth today (10/2/1869). The basic thrust of the program was to discuss the upcoming conference at Stanford University called The Gandhi-King Global Initiative, an effort to forge an international network of organizations and activists dedicated to nonviolent struggle for human rights. And we did talk about the conference, but we also reviewed the personal journeys of Gandhi and King as they developed their own ideas about nonviolent resistance. My guest was Clay Carson, the founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.

I thought one observation that Clay made was quite interesting: that Gandhi and King made their significant impacts on their respective societies in remarkably different time scales. Gandhi came to activism relatively late in life, met with limited success early on, but kept at it over a long period of time. King, alternatively, started young and had a very short period of activism (12 years) before he was assassinated. Moral of the story: there is no how-to guide for activism.

I interviewed Clay once before, back in 2014 for a program marking the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer (1964). It remains one of my favorite OV programs. You can see it here. The Freedom Summer episode was taped before the studio went all HD and it’s a bit jarring to see it today in comparison with our current video quality. But still well worth your time (as is the current episode, of course).

 

Hey, this is our war. How dare you shoot back!

“When Saudi Arabia launched its bloody war in 2014, did they and their US allies not consider the possibility that Yemen might actually shoot back? I would think that is something that might be expected in a war.”

The barbaric Saudi regime and their bosom buddy allies in the corrupt Trump administration are outraged — outraged, I tell you! — that forces aligned with the Yemen insurgency actually caused some significant damage with the recent attack on a Saudi oilfield.

Apparently the message behind the outrage is something like, “We’ll do all the bombing around here, thank you very much.”

Continue reading “Hey, this is our war. How dare you shoot back!”

How to Get Out of Afghanistan: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Mr. Art of the Deal called off so-called secret peace talks with the Taliban, then he fired his National Security Adviser over policy differences. Bolton obviously had a lot of policy differences with Mr. AotD, but the timing tells me that proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan marked a turning point and it was bye bye Bolton.

Most reporting on the aborted peace talks has remarked on the fact that three presidents have now struggled with finding a way out of Afghanistan. And the answer seems to be as elusive as ever.

I have a surefire way of getting U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

Continue reading “How to Get Out of Afghanistan: Planes, Trains & Automobiles”

Revisiting where my activism began, and finding a history lesson

Recently, during a brief visit to my hometown — Westmont, NJ — I checked out the site of the old local office of the McCarthy for President campaign. I volunteered for this campaign in 1968 at the age of 16. It was where I got started in activism.

Although the stop by the old campaign office was short, time enough only for a couple of photos, I’ve been thinking about the 1968 campaign itself. Not the small town New Jersey campaign, which was a great experience, but the bigger picture. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it may hold a lesson for us in this presidential campaign season.

Continue reading “Revisiting where my activism began, and finding a history lesson”