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[21 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Ferguson, Missouri, the once obscure St.Louis suburb catapulted to international prominence last August when police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed a fleeing–many say surrendering–unarmed young black man named Mike Brown. Night after night of protest and militarized police response followed and continue today as a grand jury meets. In the meantime another unarmed young black man was killed by police nearby.
I don’t want to reiterate or relitigate the now universally known case, but rather call your attention to an impressive, scrupulously researched paper by Richard Rothstein of the Economic …

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[14 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

What’s your biggest worry? ISIS? Ebola? Iran? Putin? The economy? The elections?
Let me add to this menu of misery the wide-ranging prospect of cyberattacks–which some call cyberwarfare.
There was that major cyber-assault on J.P. Morgan Chase and 9 other banks, though we’re assured it’s done no harm–yet. Plus the hacking of Target, Wal Mart and other retail giants, which “compromised” millions of credit cards but no one hurt–yet. We’re also advised that China stole business secrets from major corporations.
Once information stolen, it’s difficult to find the hacker. But it’s also possible …

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[7 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

For endless years every time our government gets into a serious discussion with Mexico or a Central or South American country about shutting down the drug trade, the typical–and accurate–response goes something like this: “You Americans are the biggest part of the problem. You have such an overwhelming appetite for (fill in your favorite drug here) that you are the biggest and best customer of the cartel. They would not produce or export so much without your insatiable desire and the wealth you have to satiate it.” It’s undeniable. …

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[3 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

The concerns about American citizens–native or naturalized–fighting for the so-called Islamic State (aka, ISIS or ISIL) then returning to carry out an attack here at home, raises a couple of serious questions:
First, why are these people (as well as Brits, Europeans or Australians) going to war against their “home” countries?
Second, has it happened in our other conflicts?
To answer the first, it is unsurprising that IS attracted the hundred Americans reported to be over there. Almost all are Muslims by birth or conversion–including several African American converts. It’s likely they feel …

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[16 Sep 2014 | 4 Comments | ]

I would like to be able to support President Obama’s strategy to “degrade and destroy” the self-proclaimed Islamic State, whether you call it ISIS or ISIL–the latter suggesting the entire group of Eastern Mediterranean countries historically called the Levant, a territory well beyond Iraq and Syria that includes Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and southern Turkey.
Unfortunately there is a gaping hole in his strategy.

I fully agree ISIS is a murderous, genocidal army of terrorists bent on establishing a new caliphate. Unlike other jihadist entities we fought before, it is …

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[9 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

We’re poised on the brink of expanding our air attacks on ISIS into Syria–assuming President Obama can line up enough Sunni Islamic ground forces to do the combat. They will be armed by the US and the nine western nations (including Turkey) he lined up to help obliterate ISIS. So let’s refresh ourselves on the history that produced this remarkably successful terrorist army, because in many ways ISIS is a microcosm of the original Islamic conquerors.

The Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca, in what is …

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[3 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

Let us set aside worries about ISIS, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Gaza, the southwestern US border, ebola and, yes, even Ferguson, just for a moment, to reflect on the inter-related issues of income inequality and the decline in the American labor movement. Labor Day honors that movement, which has suffered under decades of assault–one that began with the Taft-Hartley Act shortly after World War II, when labor was a thriving, vital economic and political force. Today it is a shadow of its former self and I would not be surprised, should …

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[26 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

If it hasn’t happened by the time you read this, do you have any doubt we soon will be bombing ISIS (aka ISIL, aka IS) sites in Syria? The real question is who will be our “partners” on the ground. Will we make a pact with the devil and ally with the murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad or find and arm some “good guys” who are against both Assad and ISIS? How about Turkey or an Arab state threatened by ISIS? Or will we expand our 800-plus trainers and advisers and …

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[19 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sliding down that legendary slippery slope. A series of polls, including some sponsored by both daily newspapers, shows a steep decline in popularity since his overwhelming 2011 victory, placing his approval rating around 36 percent.
Numbers like that for an incumbent, even six months from the February 3 nonpartisan election, typically emit an aroma of defeat–especially an unrelieved decline with no hint of reversal. Earlier polls suggested that despite Emanuel’s $9 million warchest, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle could fling the former ballet dancer out …

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[13 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

As we all know, according to oft-quoted Republican officials and miscellaneous loudmouths, President Barack Obama can do nothing right–even when he’s doing exactly what the majority of Americans want him to do, such as avoid putting “boots on the ground” in the Middle East.  Had he listened to  the Bombsey Twins, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, we would now be at war around the globe. Not exactly what this war-weary nation wants.

Nothing brings this into sharper focus than the devastating putsch through parts of Syria and Iran by ISIS, …