Books

Donald Trump Tag

They say one person can't make a difference. Well, let me set the stage for a singular act. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation--former KGB espionage network officer, and for the past 22 years leader of his country, now an autocracy--is tightening the noose. Many Americans were surprised to think so much “Americana” was all over Russia, particularly the cities: from CNN to MacDonald's, from Ford and Adidas to Coca Cola and rappers. Never underestimate the power of American culture, energy, and capitalism! Of course they're all over Russia, and have been, in increasing presence for years, even if, as they withdraw under sanctions against that country, some Americans are only now learning they were there in the first place. But Americans were aware that there seemed to be an uneasy peace with the former Soviet Union—no cuddly warmth, mind you, but at least an end to the Cold...

Before we look at the gender dimensions behind the ghastly situation in Ukraine, there are some other news stories that demand notice, even if only in passing. Rising gas prices and the burden to the environment, for one. Florida's “Don't Say Gay” bill, for another, now passed into law. It bans teaching that same-sex lovers are human beings to children who are not “age appropriate”—not that such teaching is done in Florida schools anyway. COVID deaths worldwide reached 6 million. The Amazon rainforest hurtled toward irreversible change. And a happy after-the-fact International Women's Day to you. Am I not your cheerful blogger? But oh, how I do like to at least try to look on the bright side of things. And three news items come to the fore immediately, although the third has taken more than a century to crawl there. First item: a jury found Guy Reffitt guilty of obstruction...

The Christian share of America's population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who don’t identify with any organized religion whatsoever is growing, according to an extensive new report by the Pew Research Center.

Let's begin by acknowledging gladly that 77 percent of all Americans support the legal right to abortion — that's seven in 10 citizens of the United States who believe abortion should remain legal and accessible. And let's acknowledge that telemedicine, for use with medication abortion, has been a boon to women. But let's also understand that Ohio has just banned the use of telemedicine for precisely that purpose. And let's further understand that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, states will be the main abortion battleground in 2021, that abortion rights are in grave peril, and that 2021 has already set a record in terms of abortion restrictions. An ordinance recently passed in Texas is one example, as are more under-the-radar local ordinances in other towns and cities. The Texas Legislature has approved first of its kind legislation for the tactics it uses to prevent access to abortion. It paves the way...

The FBI has finally proclaimed white supremacist groups as our greatest domestic security threat, and the Department of Homeland Security has followed suit. They haven't got around to adding "male supremacy" yet--after all, this part took them more than 30 years. I write "more than 30 years" because 1989 was when I published the first and, regrettably, to date the only feminist analysis of terrorism, and one of the infinitesimally few analyses by women at all. This was a boys' game with the solutions brought to you by the same folks who brought you the problem. I'm glad that I wrote The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism when I did, because if I hadn't I would have to do so again right now. Besides, I've updated it three times since then: as it went into paperback, then in 2001 after the Twin Towers fell, and again when it became...

The greatest deliberative body in the world. That's how the United States Senate has been described, a group portrait that's an exercise in aspirational hyperbole, to my mind.

We're back and ready to roll! The Postal Service is the nation’s second largest civilian employer (after Walmart—another story), employing 633,108 personnel. It would rank 44th on the 2019 Fortune 500 list if it was considered a private company – which it decidedly is not: it is the only government agency mandated as a service — it's not the postal business, after all. As a government agency, it has a legal obligation to provide all the various aspects of universal service. It also has special privileges, including sovereign immunity, eminent domain powers, powers to negotiate postal treaties with foreign nations, and an exclusive legal right to deliver first class and third class mail. The Postal Inspection Service, USPIS, is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the nation. Founded by Benjamin Franklin during the Second Continental Congress in August 1775, its mission is to protect the Postal Service, its employees...

Unintended consequences of an action or event are inherently shocking. They do sometimes offer hints, warnings, clues so subtle as to make sense only after the fact. But mostly they can’t be predicted–unless they were so obvious they could have been predicted, so naturally were ignored.