See update for June 1, 2023, at end of post.
A couple days ago, I noted an apparent contradiction between Patrick Tucker “sens[ing] that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might well choose to intervene in Ukraine” and Julia Ioffe “still pointing at ‘Washington’s reddest of red lines: not getting into a hot conflict with Russia.’” I thought Ioffe was more likely right. Read more →
See update for March 29, 2023, at end of post.
A few days ago (on March 23rd, if you must know), I wrote:
Figures from [the Anti-Defamation League] showed sharp rises in antisemitic activity nationwide last year. Pennsylvania saw a 65% increase.
The report, released Thursday, details how Pennsylvania and New Jersey broke records when it came to vandalism and harassment targeting Jewish people. With 114 reported incidents in Pennsylvania alone, the amount of activity was the highest in the ADL’s four-plus decades of collecting data.
Increases in anti-Semitic activity are a nationwide trend, and I’m inclined to associate it with an increasing radicalization of white Christian nationalist supporters of Doug Mastriano, who ran for Pennsylvania governor last year, and of Donald Trump.
Both candidates have hewn to an extreme paleoconservative and social conservative agenda, even as it became increasingly apparent that this agenda would—and did—alienate voters in the general election. It’s not a tilt that makes obvious sense.
It’s reasonable to think these extreme views will not be a deal-breaker for white Christian nationalists. But given the 2022 results, I just don’t see how this wins the 2024 general election.
Read more →
Samuel Joeckel has been teaching a unit on racial justice in his writing class at Palm Beach Atlantic for twelve years. This year, a student complained about the unit to his parents, who complained to the university president. Joeckel is now out of a job. White Christian nationalist Florida Governor (and presumptive presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis visited the university the very evening he was terminated. Read more →
See update for March 30, 2023, at end of post.
By all accounts, Silicon Valley Bank was a mid-sized bank. Even as it failed, it was not considered “systemically important,” that is, until U.S. authorities decided it was. And yet, its failure ensnares a bank, Credit Suisse, which is “systemically important” half a world away. Read more →
As part of its thing, Academia.edu suggested a paper describing vigilante right-wing militia activities, for example, the “Minutemen,” along the U.S. southern border, meant to intercept unauthorized migrants. In it, Robert Castro links militarism, toxic masculinity (he doesn’t call it ‘toxic’), and what, in my dissertation, I would call paleoconservatism, a pro-segregationist tendency that, in its outer extremes includes neo-Nazis, skinheads, and the like.
I don’t usually follow up on these suggestions, but this was hitting a few too many buttons for me, and I gotta tell you, I’m gonna be thinking about this article for a bit. Read more →
See updates through March 16, 2023, at end of post.
It’s fair to say that Michael Hiltzik is not impressed by the Wall Street Journal’s reporting of a Department of Energy conclusion favoring the lab leak hypothesis of COVID-19’s origins. Read more →
When previously I’ve been to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh—and I remember the same thing from a visit on the order of forty years ago—the statue in figure 1 has been typical.
Fig. 1. A statue at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph by author, February 12, 2023. Read more →
See updates through March 3, 2023, at end of post.
It’s difficult for me to find much sympathy for high technology workers. They typically make six-figure incomes. They drove up already high rents in San Francisco to ludicrous levels and then complained about homeless people, when now, in San Francisco, you are either rich or you are homeless—there is very little in between—and for all their complaints, many continued to live there. Read more →
See updates through January 28, 2023, at end of post.
If, in the over 50 years I lived in and around northern California, you had told me I would ever miss the California Highway Patrol, I would have told you you were nuts, out of your mind, and I don’t even want whatever drugs you’re on. Read more →
See update for January 23, 2023, at end of post.
Ruth Marcus still wants an answer to Sonia Sotomayor’s question:
“How is your interest anything but a religious view?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked the lawyer for the state of Mississippi during oral arguments in the case [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] that would later eliminate the constitutional right to abortion. “So when you say this is the only right that takes away from the state the ability to protect a life, that’s a religious view, isn’t it?”
I don’t find Marcus’ op-ed especially well argued. She relies, rather, on cases making their way through the courts arguing that the state abortion bans that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization enabled infringe on other (than conservative Christian) groups’ religious rights, as if the mere existence of these cases, which have yet to be decided, is sufficient. Read more →