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Politics

Concerned Parents Aren’t ‘Domestic Terrorists,’ Except When They Behave Like One

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I don’t recall much about the first local school board meeting that I ever covered, long, long ago, except the overflow crowd of local citizens who made it hard to get inside.

“What’s going on?” I asked the seasoned education-beat reporter who was mentoring me that evening.

“Nothing special,” he instructed. “But, anywhere you ...Read more

Colin Powell, We’ll Miss You in the ‘Sensible Center’

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When I heard that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had died, my mind raced back to the autumn of 2004, when I asked him whether he had given a thought to resigning.

At the time, the Iraq War was going as badly as he predicted it might, back when he reportedly was the most prominent opponent within George W. Bush’s administration of such...Read more

‘Squid Game’? ‘Parasite’? Here’s Why They Find a Global Audience

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Since pop culture tells us a lot about our national state of mind, I have been intrigued by the internet buzz that has surrounded “Squid Game,” a South Korean survivalist drama about a peculiar form of class warfare in a dystopian setting.

Its success with audiences, hitting No. 1 on Netflix in 90 countries including this one, is no less ...Read more

Dave Chappelle’s Pushback Against Cancel Culture Chills the Joke

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Dave Chappelle is in hot water again, testing the boundaries of public sensibilities so you don’t have to.

Netflix is defending his latest comedy special, “The Closer.” Critics, particularly in the LGBTQ community and their allies, want it taken down, charging his offbeat and often off-color monologue is transphobic.

I’m not surprised....Read more

Crime in the Tweets. Can Social Networks Make Gangs Even More Angry?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It was a terrible week for Facebook.

First, an investigative series by The Wall Street Journal reported that for years Facebook has been studying how Instagram, which it owns, has been harmful to young users. Among other bombshells, the Journal quoted a ...Read more

Still We Ask, What cCaused the Great Chicago Fire? Not a Cow

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Congratulations, Chicago. The city is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, although “celebrate” is not the best verb to use.

“Commemorate” is better. After all, the fire killed about 300 people, destroyed more than 3.3 square miles of the city and left more than 100,000 residents homeless.

The city rebuilt and ...Read more

For Joe Biden and Donald Trump, An Autumn of Discontents

From the Left / Clarence Page /

For all of his talk about the “fake,” “biased,” “dishonest,” “corrupt,” and “left-wing” media, I know Donald Trump loves us. He really does. He feeds off of our attention. His insults are just his way of showing his love.

Or maybe that’s just my jolly journalist’s view of his recent venture into what sounded eyelash-...Read more

The R. Kelly Verdict: Yes, Black Girls’ Lives Matter Too

From the Left / Clarence Page /

At last, Black girls’ lives matter too.

That was my response to the news that Chicago-born R&B star singer, songwriter and producer R. Kelly had been convicted Monday in New York.

The federal jury convicted Robert Sylvester Kelly, 54, of federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in connection with a decadeslong scheme to recruit women...Read more

No, Those Aren’t Whips the Border Patrol is Using While Dealing with Haitian Migrants

From the Left / Clarence Page /

A picture, as an old saying (almost) goes, is worth 10,000 mixed messages.

That’s what I saw in the startling weekend news video of what looked like U.S. Border Patrol agents using whips to round up and shoo Haitian immigrants who had waded across the river from Mexico back across the border.

Shocked commentators and the Twitterverse decried...Read more

Larry Nassar Scandal Shows How the ‘Twisties’ Can Take Different Forms

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As I watched Simone Biles and three other U.S. Olympic gymnasts tell a Senate committee of how badly their complaints of sexual abuse had been handled by the FBI, I was reminded of the day Biles abruptly withdrew from her event at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

The multiple gold medal winner cited “mental health” reasons but fortunately ...Read more

Did Black Lives Matter Trigger the Jan. 6 Capitol attack? That’s a Stretch

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I appreciate constructive criticism, even when I think the critic is full of prunes.

But that fortunately was not the case in an email I received from a reader in the past week as U.S. Capitol police in Washington braced themselves for a rally to protest prosecution of the fools who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Although he agreed with my ...Read more

What Have We Learned About Ourselves Since 9/11? Not Enough

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As I recall the horrors of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, I want to express my forgiveness of Karlheinz Stockhausen, a noted German composer who, at that tragic time two decades ago, should have stuck to music.

Stockhausen suddenly became infamous after a news conference a few days after the attacks in New York and Washington for describing ...Read more

After Afghanistan, Veterans Face Another Hidden Enemy. Suicide.

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As much as they try, soldiers returning home from combat don’t always manage to leave the war behind on the battlefield.

That’s why, as the Taliban militia rolled with surprising ease into Afghanistan’s capital on Aug. 15 and took over the government, a top Veterans Affairs official fired off an email to the department’s senior staff.

...Read more

Texas Abortion Law, and High Court Ruling On It, Remind Us That Elections Matter

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It didn’t take much longer than a nanosecond after the Supreme Court allowed a radical Texas anti-abortion law to take effect before the social media hashtag TexanTaliban went viral.

What? Comparisons to the brutal, misogynistic Taliban? That’s more than a little extreme in itself, right? But then, so is the new Texas anti-abortion law.

...Read more

With Afghanistan in the Rearview Mirror, Have We Learned the Lessons of Vietnam This Time?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Watching the last American military plane go wheels up and out of the Afghanistan War reminded me of an old saying: History often repeats itself, but a lot of us would rather not pay attention.

On July 8, when President Joe Biden was defending his decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. forces, he was asked the inevitable question of whether he...Read more

Was Ashli Babbitt a ‘Martyr’ or Just Misled?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Was Ashli Babbitt a “terrorist” or a “freedom fighter?”

I’m more accustomed to hearing that question asked about insurgents in countries less developed than this one.

But, the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump has brought a lot of formerly foreign headaches closer to home.

...Read more

Trump Can’t Cram His ‘Fake News’ Genie Back in His Bottle

From the Left / Clarence Page /

In case you missed it, dear reader, here’s a word from the wise: Don’t eat horse paste.

Unless, of course, you’re a horse.

That tidbit of animal husbandry comes from the federal Food and Drug Administration in a warning to humans who are considering the “horse paste” drug ivermectin, a medicine used to deworm livestock, instead of ...Read more

New Census Shows Fewer White Americans, But That’s Because of How We’re Counting

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Are you alarmed or reassured by headlines that show “America’s white population is shrinking”? Where you stand, as the old saying goes, depends on where you sit.

I think everyone who believes in our multiracial democracy — not including, say, those die-hard haters who paraded with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting, “You ...Read more

President Biden’s Afghan Pullout Looked Good — Until It Didn’t

From the Left / Clarence Page /

In the lead-up to Kabul’s fall, President Joe Biden’s most memorable quote appears to be his answer on July 8 to a reporter’s question about an assessment from the intelligence community that Afghanistan’s government teetered on the brink of collapse.

“That is not true,” the commander in chief insisted. “They did not reach that ...Read more

Clarence Page: 'Hillbilly Elegy' author throws hat in the ring — and it’s a MAGA hat

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Ever since I first wrote about bestselling author J.D. Vance as a “Trump translator,” people have wanted me to be a Vance explainer. That’s OK. I explain things for a living.

A little background: After Donald Trump’s election victory surprised me — and a lot of other voters — in 2016, Vance’s memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” became a ...Read more

 

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