By James A. Kidney Endless wars over dry desert lands. Ancient Muslim myths promulgated to the young by old men demanding a return to the nomadic life of 700 years ago or longer, an unachievable goal pursued at the cost of those young lives, but not of the old. If your dreams are not of the nomadic Muslim life as described in the Quran, demand instead that we relive the equally ancient lives recounted in the Old Testament and the Torah, with all the violence, hatred and – again – mythology those texts provide. In the Middle East, it is easy to find those far more loyal to an ancient, tribal story of division as a substitute for logical and scientific thinking, modern achievement, and a welcoming community. But why not look to restore the past in the Middle East? The present and a thousand years of history have … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney Texas hosted the first primary election of 2018 on March 6, kicking off the race for the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. The contested Senate seats are mostly owned now by Democrats in pink or red states. Another big state, Illinois, holds its primary March 20. There is some electoral relief until May 8, when four states, including barometer states North Carolina and Ohio, hold their primaries. Thirteen states hold primaries in May with 17 more in June. Hello, Bob Mueller? Most prognosticators of the Mueller investigation believe there is still a long way to go before final indictments and a confidential report to the acting attorney general complete the actions of the special counsel. The predictions are based on known grand jury subpoenas and named cooperating witnesses. The Mueller team itself seems pretty much inoculated against the D.C. disease known as … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney The Supreme Court appeared split 4-4 Tuesday during oral arguments over whether the family of an unarmed Mexican teenager can sue the U.S. Border Patrol agent who shot and killed him. The agent was on U.S. soil firing into Mexico to kill the boy. You can find the details here and here. The matter was being argued before the Court. A decision is expected by summer. But the description of the argument raises troubling issues. Foremost among them, but not directly raised in the dignified court arguments 20,000 feet above reality: Is it OK for the Border Patrol and civilians to kill Mexicans across the border without liability to the families of those murdered, or even to the country whose land was invaded by U.S. bullets? Briefly, an unarmed teen-aged Mexican was playing with friends at a culvert dividing the two countries. The game was to … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney It took one week for Defense Secretary James Mattis to prove wrong those who believed he might be a stabilizing island of sanity in the Trump Administration. See the picture above. It is a picture of President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Secretary Mattis last Friday at the Pentagon, where Trump executed his signature on the executive order “temporarily” barring immigration from seven Muslim countries. Note the display medal in the background. The visible one among several backing the stage is is of the Congressional Medal of Honor — the country’s highest military honor. The word “valor” is carefully staged to appear in photos above Trump’s head. Mattis is shown happily examining the pen with which Trump signed the order. I apologize for believing Defense Secretary James Mattis would bring sanity to the madness of the Trump administration. The disease that is Trump has already … Read more of this post . . .