An Aristocracy Anyone?

So the U.S. Supreme Court decides that individuals can give any amount they want to any candidate they want.  Critics decry corruption.  But a more benevolent take would have us moving consciously toward an Aristocracy — a rule by the few for the sake of all.

If the rich and powerful few fund and back campaigns only for their selfish interests, then we’d have an oligarchy.  But, hoping against hope, if they truly keep the common good in view, we’ll have <Read More>


American Hustle: Appearance & Reality

American Hustle opens, with a classic scene of Irving affixing a hairpiece to his bald scalp and then constructing an elaborate comb over.  We sense from the opening we are in the presence of someone who makes a great effort carefully to construct a false appearance.           We are not who we appear to be.  Alone with himself, before the bathroom mirror of the Plaza Hotel, Irving passes into a monitoring room where unseen others are <Read More>


American Hustle: Entrapment

Where to start? I guess at the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, where the snake, an agent of the Sovereign, convinces Eve to violate the Law and eat the apple in order to appreciate and enjoy a life that the Sovereign had prohibited. So Eve plucked the apple, passed it to Adam and they ate.

But the garden was wired.

An angry Sovereign confronted Adam, demanding “What have you done?” And Adam, in classic heroic male fashion, instantly cooperated and gave <Read More>


American Hustle

If you haven’t yet seen American Hustle but you intend to, either before or after the Academy Awards this coming Sunday, do not read this series of posts — yet. They may well ruin this movie for you. On the other hand, if you have seen it once, or think you’ve seen it, I hope to convince you in these next few blog posts that you never really saw this great film — you can’t have. Only when you already <Read More>


Iran: Staying in the Middle Game

Should we negotiate a partial deal with Iran now?

Apparently the Obama administration and Iran have come to a meeting of the minds whereby Iran will, for the moment halt further development of nuclear capacity and the U.S. with Europe will for the moment suspend some sanctions.  The Israelis and Saudis vigorously oppose this deal, viewing it as a dangerous miscalculation, prematurely easing pressure right before it pays real dividends.

We often hear it said that the U.S. and its European allies <Read More>


In a Word

That’s what the NY Times account quotes Secretary of State John Kerry as assuring the Egyptian leaders about the Obama administration’s decision to suspend the delivery of major weapons systems to this troubled country.   No, not a punishment for deposing, and arresting the Islamist president.  Not a punishment for putting him on trial for murder and suppressing dissent.  Of course, the administration has also declared that the coup was not a coup – or else they’d have to suspend aid <Read More>


Justice Delayed

Think of how terrible it must be to fear needles and know that you’re scheduled for a shot.  To make it worse, the doctor tricked Ronald Phillips by examining the poor fellow to locate a good vein during a checkup.  That’s what happened – at least if we believe Phillips – whose lawyers questioned him for an hour while Judge Gregory Frost looked on by video hookup.  No matter that Phillips raped and killed 3-year old Sheila Marie Evans twenty years <Read More>


PUNISHMENT or PENALTY?

Now that the 2013 World Series has ended, with all its twists and turns,  who can forget Game 3’s dramatic conclusion as the St. Louis Cardinals won on that infamous “obstruction call.”  Nobody was satisfied that the game should be decided by a runner obviously tagged out at home plate being awarded the winning run because he got tangled up in the third-baseman’s legs, while trying to break for home, when the catcher’s errant throw to third whizzed by the <Read More>



All’s Well That Ends Well?

So the U.S. and Russia has struck a deal, and the UN Security Council signed on.  Syria will fork over its chemical weapons – probably – for destruction, eventually.  The “international community” will destroy them.  Problem solved.

But is it?

Assume Assad, the mass-murdering international outlaw with friends in high places, means to comply with this agreement, and not secretly transfer his lethal contraband to confederates such as Hezbollah or Iran to commit further war crimes.   Assume this ruthless killer will be <Read More>