Another Perspective

Another Perspective

Naked Consequences

By 3.25.16

It’s easy enough to understand how any husband might not be thrilled with having pictures of his wife, nearly nude and in provocative and silly poses, used in campaign ads. But then the pictures wouldn’t be out there if wifey (then girlfriend) hadn’t willingly posed for them and made them available for anyone with Google or the price of a copy of British GQ. Actions have consequences, including naked ones. Especially naked ones.

Any woman who does not want the world to see her exciting the male impulse in return for money should simply not do it. (And these photos would appear to appeal most effectively to the 15-year-old male impulse.) Nothing complicated about this. To pose, cash the check, and then whine when people see the results is tackier than the photos themselves (which is saying something).

Another Perspective

Why Is America So Nasty?

By 3.24.16

Why has America become so nasty? As seen from abroad, we resemble backbiting, seething children who take to the streets when it does not go our way. Hyperbole, personal attacks, and misrepresentation are the norm. The truth is massacred by politicians and mainstream media alike. Our political arena has taken its behavioral cue from the 1934 musical title by Cole Porter, “Anything Goes.” It is a long way from the halcyon days of Ozzie and Harriet, Dobie Gillis, and the Mickey Mouse Club. So why the mess and what is going on, we must ask ourselves.

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Victim of the Immigration Right-Wing

By 3.18.16

The rejection of Marco Rubio, especially and most damagingly by Trump supporters, is a colossal political miscalculation with dire political consequences that the Republican Party and conservative movement can scarcely begin to imagine. These forces did not merely reject but trashed, ridiculed, and nearly ruined a thorough and eloquent conservative who — most important — has a rare gift of communicating conservatism to the next generation and to entirely new demographics in a broadly appealing way unseen since Ronald Reagan. Worse still, Rubio was not only the one Republican who consistently beat Hillary Clinton in a general election, but the one who — especially contrary to Trump — does not thrust America’s fastest and most critical voting demographic of the 21st century to the Democratic Party; that is, Latinos.

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Throwing Rocks in Glass Bunkers

By 3.16.16

Donald Trump’s many, many opponents have come forward in the last week to deplore all of the “violence” his words are giving rise to.

Candidates and their proxies are charging that Trump “bears responsibility for the culture [of his rallies] that is set from the top” (Ted Cruz); that the “seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign season finally bore fruit” (John Kasich); that Trump routinely spouts “hateful, divisive rhetoric that pits Americans against each other,” quite literally (Clinton backer Rahm Emanuel); that he “actually incites violence” (Clinton herself, and Sanders has said similar); that it’s getting “harder every day to justify” ever supporting the billionaire, even if you’re a Republican (Marco Rubio).

Let me make the sort of confession here that political commentators like to avoid: I don’t get it.

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Buffalo Bill’s Defunct: Why Ted Cruz Will Never Be President

By 3.14.16

Buffalo Bill ’s
         who used to
         ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive
he was a handsome man
                                    and what i want to
know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death
                         — E.E. Cummings

For the conservative movement, Ted Cruz was going to be a savior. The anointed one. His father told us that Ted was “anointed…to bring the spoils of war to the Priests.” The congregation of the New Beginnings Church in Irving, Texas, laid hands on Ted and he was invited to speak in tongues. And the high priests of National Review solemnly said “amen.”

Another Perspective

The Quality of Mercy

By 3.14.16

Last Monday, my best friend went to prison. It never occurred to me that I would say or write that sentence. And yet, here we are.

I love all my friends — who doesn’t — but my friend did a few foolish things, and so the court revoked his probation. He will be in jail until June, when he will be sentenced. God only knows what will happen that day.

Aside from the letter that I wrote to him, this is the first thing I’ve written all week, which is uncommon if you are a freelance writer. I’ve spent my days working the phone. It took some time just to find out where he was. He is in a prison that is a three-hour drive from here. I have spoken often to various individuals in various departments of the prison to learn what are their procedures. Although the rules are very strict, the people I have spoken with have been helpful and kind. And these days kindness is rare.

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Tuesday’s Final Tally: Only Trump and Cruz Are Left

By 3.10.16

The results of Tuesday, March 8, Republican primaries in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaii are in, with big consequences for the race ahead. Trump won three of the four primaries (losing Idaho to Cruz), including the two biggest prizes, Michigan and Mississippi. He captured almost half of the available delegates (73 out of 150 or 48.7%), with Cruz capturing almost two-fifths (59 or 39.3%), Kasich slightly over one-tenth (17, all from Michigan, or 11.3%), and Rubio less than one-hundredth (1 delegate or .7%). In terms of the total vote (1,862,115, discounting Hawaii’s caucus vote), Trump garnered 39.5% (734,790), Cruz 30.9% (575,767), Kasich 20% (372,504, 86% of which was from Michigan), and Rubio 9.6% (179,054). What are the consequences of these results?

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One, Two, Three, Trump

By 3.10.16

As someone who has been heavily involved in the last three Presidential election cycles, I can say one thing for sure about the nominating process: it’s the craziest system for nominating a head of state in the Western world.

A big part of the reason is the asymmetrical nature of the conflict between candidates who enter the race for different reasons.

There are Goal One, Goal Two, and Goal Three candidates.

Goal-One Candidates
Goal-one candidates run for President to enhance their visibility for some purpose unrelated to actually winning the election. It may be to promote an issue, or to promote themselves, or to give a greater voice to some faction that they think is unrepresented, but it’s not, in the first instance anyway, to win.

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Republicans Can Be the Party of Choice

By 3.9.16

Regardless of who wins the Republican presidential nomination, the GOP is uniquely positioned to present a compelling message guaranteed to attract millions of American voters come November. That message is that each of us has the power to choose what’s best for ourselves and for our families. That message embodies the essence of freedom itself and what it means to be an adult living in America right now.

Republicans can and should describe their vision as one in which we all have choices and can make decisions in almost every area of our lives.

Republicans, for example, want parents to be able to choose where to educate their children. Whether it’s at a home school, charter school, private school, or public school, every American parent should have a say in where their kids learn. In this way, Republicans are standing up against teachers unions and many Democrats who oppose school choice.

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Why an Abortionist’s Appeal to Jesus Won’t Work

By 3.7.16 reports on a risible claim about Jesus made by Amy Hagstrom Miller. Miller runs a chain of abortion clinics in Texas and is a key antagonist in the challenge to a Texas law regulating abortion clinics now before the Supreme Court. In an interview at AlterNet Miller contends:

I was raised in a liberal Christian tradition, and I come to the work because of that background, not in spite of it. The Jesus that I was taught about would be holding the hands of women inside the clinic; he wouldn’t be screaming at them. Acting on Christian principles is holding the hands of people at difficult times in their lives, and being supportive and nonjudgmental and kind.