In these commentaries, I’ve tried to stay impersonal. The facts speak both for themselves and for me. However, I want to say something about how I feel about the things I am thinking about. I will do this by proxy, because I want also to say something about my perspective, the lens through which I […]

I recently re-watched John Frankenheimer’s 1964 film, Seven Days in May, about an attempted coup d’etat in the United States, a fictional close-call that was engineered by a General (Burt Lancaster) who fashioned himself as the savior of the country. The political contexts were somewhat different, but the underlying message, about the vulnerability of constitutional […]

Reflections about the news from France, the repulse, on May 8, of the Front National will have to wait. The connections between President Trump and the Russians and the firing of FBI Director James Comey is of greater significance. I am aware that both issues have been widely covered by American TV, print, and late […]

“An impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” Donald Trump’s campaign promise about a border wall is coming up to an important test, one that gives resistance an opportunity to take direct action. This Friday, 28 April, the budget resolution will be debated and possibly voted on in the House. In this, will be […]

Practical Action

April 15, 2017

This is a short commentary with a specific goal: to suggest concrete action and to introduce an organization which many of you probably know about, but in case you don’t… On April 12 Trump gave a rambling, almost incoherent, interview to Fox Business News. It was full of the usual self-inflating intensifiers, about how very, […]

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The Personality of the President

March 17, 2017

In the first of these commentaries, I quoted New York Times’ columnist David Brooks’s assessment of Trump’s qualifications to be president. He wrote that Mr. Trump was: …professionally unprepared, intellectually ill-informed, morally compromised, and temperamentally unfit. Now forty days into the Trump presidency, I want to revisit the subject of the personality of the president, with […]

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The Ides of Trump

March 4, 2017

A brief observation about the address to Congress. But then, something each can do. Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress this week was a great relief to his supporters in the Republican Party because he sounded “presidential,” meaning that he had pretty much stayed on the script. And he had demonstrated his skill […]

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Don’t Laugh

February 27, 2017
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Both Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Stockholm have had the experience of living through a terrifying event in the “alternative facts” universe of Donald Trump. Both were victims of attacks perpetrated by Muslim immigrants. Bowling Green’s was a “massacre,” and Stockholm’s was less specific, but happened “last night,” said Trump in a campaign-style speech on February […]

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Fear is the Thing

February 13, 2017
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I regret that this article is so long, but it seems important. Like so many others, my response to Trump’s executive order closing the borders to persons from certain Muslim countries, whether refugees, vetted and holding visas, or those who were already legal residents, was to the human aspects of it, the contempt for fairness, […]

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Who Are These People?

February 9, 2017
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The news cycle in the Trump era passes over us in disorienting gusts. Items that stirred outrage or bewilderment even a week ago are left behind, swept away, like pages of a discarded newspaper; last week’s news becomes just so much litter. Look at what’s next! In the Trump world of attention-getting absurdities, of puerile […]

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