Believing That War Has Consequences

A February NBC news poll reveals some dramatic diversity within the minds of Donald Trump’s America. The topics covered are varied, and include Americans’ current feelings about Russia, and their worries over a future major war (56 percent are very or somewhat worried). One other question caught my eye, however, and that was a choice … Continue reading “Believing That War Has Consequences”

The Wretched Beginning of Donald Trump’s Presidency

Maybe Donald Trump is a different kind of politician. Maybe he will keep his promises. Unfortunately, since January 20, Trump has pursued a nasty collection of priorities. Any hope that the political newbie would be dazed and timid in his first 100 days went out the window after his clunky, legally-dubious executive order stopping immigration … Continue reading “The Wretched Beginning of Donald Trump’s Presidency”

Banning Refugees From Countries America Destroyed Is Wrong

President Donald Trump has been busy during his first week. The speed of his executive orders, and the confidence with which he has signed plans to build a wall, and to replace ObamaCare with… something else has been shocking, considering how shellshocked he looked when he actually won. Trump also followed through on his campaign … Continue reading “Banning Refugees From Countries America Destroyed Is Wrong”

What the Clemency of Chelsea Manning Means About Obama

I was desperately hoping to be wrong last week. I was delighted and surprised that I was indeed mistaken about President Obama being unlikely to pardon army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. My cynicism in the previous column was a challenge to the president, almost an act of reverse psychology. Wonder of wonders, Manning will be free … Continue reading “What the Clemency of Chelsea Manning Means About Obama”

The Foolish Optimism of Hoping for Chelsea Manning’s Freedom

This column will soon be out of date. There are only a few days of Barack Obama’s presidential pardon powers left. He will either offer clemency to whistleblower Chelsea Manning, thereby ending her sentence three decades sooner than officially mandated, or he will not. And the chances of her gaining freedom under a Republican-dominated Washington … Continue reading “The Foolish Optimism of Hoping for Chelsea Manning’s Freedom”

There’s Little Reason To be Optimistic About Trump and Privacy

It’s still impossible to know what president-elect Donald Trump will do. His statements over the past 18 months, and before, have often contradicted each other on issues as varied as foreign policy and transgender people using the bathroom of their choice. On one important issue, however, Trump has been depressingly consistent. From all appearances, he … Continue reading “There’s Little Reason To be Optimistic About Trump and Privacy”

To-Do List for a Trump Presidency

At some point during Tuesday night, MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews, strangely enough, was a momentary voice of reason and calm when he sarcastically pointed out that Gitmo remains open in spite of President Obama’s campaign promise to shut it down. That it an easy way of pointing out that presidential candidates say a lot, and … Continue reading “To-Do List for a Trump Presidency”

Yes, Obama, the Next President Will Drone People

It seems like an easy thing to remember, but then, so does don’t kill people. In America, the two party system dominates. And on nearly every issue, the number two is a bit generous. Usually, one party pushes hard for an excess of privilege, and other side (and its supporters) either yields, or fights against … Continue reading “Yes, Obama, the Next President Will Drone People”

First Strikes Are Still Part of US Nuke Policy

On September 27, Democrats in the House and the Senate introduced a bill that would prevent the president of the United States from using nuclear weapons in a first strike without a declaration of war from Congress. For many of us — at least those of of us too young to remember much or any … Continue reading “First Strikes Are Still Part of US Nuke Policy”

The Religious Fervor of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem

Give The New York Times’ David Brooks credit for referring to the aesthetic trappings of American nationalism as "religion." Well, a civic religion, but a religion none the less. He’s right that is qualifies as one, even if he’s blissfully, happily accepting of its dangers, and is in fact mourning patriotism’s decline. Brooks has provoked … Continue reading “The Religious Fervor of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem”