Category: Politics

The Human Rights Litmus Test

Straight from the Department of Cruel Irony – actually, the State Department of the United States – our government’s annual report on worldwide human rights is now available to the public. The 2013 edition graphically outlines all the terrible stuff that’s going on around the globe, a catalogue of affronts to human kindness and decency....

Privacy Shmrivacy

The comedian Pete Holmes used to do a bit about how Facebook was actually a giant government conspiracy to get us to give up our privacy rights. Three years ago, it seemed funny. That a shockingly large percentage of Americans believe Edward Snowden ought to be tried for high crimes – treason is the offense...

A Los Angeles Worthy of Candide

Everything’s working perfectly. The Los Angeles City Council has allowed several major real estate developments, including residential towers, to begin construction in Hollywood on or near major earthquake fault lines. Geologic surveys were never ordered, but the developers, major political donors all, assured everyone that there was no problem, so it was therefore decided that...

No Better Than Us

Russia, Brazil, Ecuador – what’s wrong with these people? Have they lost their collective minds? This week alone, the trio of wiseacres each behaved in ways that seem downright rude toward us, in ways that don’t reflect our best interests. Our being “America’s best interest.” We’ve been the world’s sole Superpower for some time now,...

The War on Leakers

Luckily for Barack Obama, news of improper shenanigans at the IRS stole attention from the week’s biggest story: that the President’s Justice Department had secretly seized call information from at least 20 phone lines belonging to Associated Press reporters, including personal cell phones and the main switchboard of the AP’s Washington bureau. While Obama thundered...

Why Terrorists Hate America

The commonly understood reason why terrorists wish to kill and maim Americans is because they hate our freedoms. That’s what’s behind all the civilian violence: they hate our freedoms. You can go ahead and enumerate all the freedoms the terrorists hate, but it doesn’t really matter which ones –freedom to assemble publicly with unmarried members...

In Defense of Defense

Howard “Buck” McKeon represents California’s Twenty-fifth Congressional District, which is home to an Army fort, an Air Force base, a Navy weapons station, and a Marines mountain warfare training area. So if anyone is perfectly qualified to head the House Armed Services Committee it’s old Buck. Thank God that conflict of interest concerns don’t disqualify...

Getting Good and Bad Mixed Up

Funny, isn’t it? The way things can get turned around completely backwards so that everything means the opposite? We don’t mean Orwellian doublespeak. We’re talking about common words that don’t seem to have a static definition. Like, say, the word “villain.” Pfc. Bradley Manning was called a villain, among many other pernicious names, in the...

Those Ridiculous Clerics!

The nerve of these people! We are outraged. We are livid. This kind of barbarity cannot be permitted in civilized society. Mahmoud Shaaban is an “ultraconservative” Islamic cleric in Egypt. “Hard-line,” “orthodox” – whatever. In the name of his great religion, he and his fellow cleric Wagdi Ghoneim have issued fatwas (edicts) calling for the...

A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem. They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds. And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring...