Ted Rall from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 18 Jul 2018 17:46:54 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Ted Rall from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/ted-rall-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall 2d30b134826e2f71e8171f77cb2d4769 Meet The For-Profit Private Prison Industry for 07/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/07/18/meet-the-for-profit-private-prison-industry Fri, 06 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Washington Post recently published a revealing and heartbreaking story about forced separation of children from their illegal immigrant parents &#8212; not the Trump-ordered fiasco we've watched over recent weeks at the U.S.-Mexico border, but in the Midwest as the result of brutal ICE raids that have ripped families apart under Presidents Obama and Bush before him. It's beautifully written, worthy of a literature award if not a Pulitzer for journalism. </p> <p>One line leapt out at me: <span class="column--highlighted-text">"Who benefits from this?"</span><p>Updated: Fri Jul 06, 2018</p> ea3bcb34d12fddfc2af0495b16261c24 The Blame is Bipartisan for 06/29/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/06/18/the-blame-is-bipartisan Fri, 29 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Those who forget history are doomed to repeat its mistakes, blah blah blah, someone said &#8212; Americans don't even pay attention to the news, so how the heck are they supposed to remember it after it becomes history?</p> <p>So we keep making the same mistakes over and over. In foreign policy, the biggest mistake the United States keeps making is interfering in the sovereign domestic politics of foreign countries it doesn't know enough about. More often than not, the U.S. supports the wrong side: a privileged minority who oppresses the people, aka the majority. Eventually, because they are the majority, the people overthrow the jerks. Unsurprisingly to everyone except the State Department, the new government is pissed at the United States.</p> <p>The progressive historian Chalmers Johnson called this stupid cycle "blowback."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 29, 2018</p> 8207111f549e916cd6739698686cbea6 Suicide? No. Society is Murdering Us for 06/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/06/18/suicide-no-society-is-murdering-us Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>They say that 10 million Americans seriously consider committing suicide every year. In 1984, when I was 20, I was one of them.</p> <p>Most people who kill themselves feel hopeless. They are miserable and distraught and can't imagine how or if their lives will ever improve. That's how I felt. Within a few months I got expelled from college, dumped by a girlfriend I foolishly believed I would marry, fired from my job and evicted from my apartment. I was homeless, bereft, broke. I didn't have enough money for more than a day of cheap food. And I had no prospects.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 15, 2018</p> f14c98eb132f5c185bdf452c72ea3ee2 Why Blended Primaries are an Assault on Democracy for 06/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/06/18/why-blended-primaries-are-an-assault-on-democracy Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>California's "jungle primary" system, in which the two candidates who win the most votes advance to the general election in November regardless of their party affiliation, might have resulted in several bizarre outcomes. Look out: given the state's role as a political trendsetter, this weirdness could go national someday.</p> <p>Two Democrats could have wound up facing off against one another for governor, leaving the state's Republicans with no candidate to support. Democrats narrowly avoided getting shut out of four Congressional races in majority Democratic districts, which would have led to a twisted form of anti-majoritarianism. Most citizens of a district would not have had a chance to vote for a candidate representing their preferred party.</p> <p>Democracy dodged a bullet... this time.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 08, 2018</p> 579203349a055cc0b4b5e3b5ccd66f7a #MeToo: A Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure for 05/25/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/05/18/metoo-a-cultural-workaround-to-a-legal-failure Fri, 25 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Then there was Eric Schneiderman.</p> <p>After using his office as a bully pulpit to ride the #MeToo wave, the now-former New York state attorney general is yet another boldface male name to succumb to charges of extreme misogyny. Four of his exes say he subjected them to physical abuse, including choking and slapping their faces. Schneiderman claims the violence was BDSM-related fun for all concerned, just "role-playing and other consensual sexual activity."<p>Updated: Fri May 25, 2018</p> a38227099546e7fbd90d7218ffa0cee3 Iran is Now On a Higher Moral Plane Than the U.S. for 05/18/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/05/18/iran-is-now-on-a-higher-moral-plane-than-the-us Fri, 18 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the nuclear weapons deal that President Obama cut with Iran brings with it a number of negative ramifications.</p> <p>First and foremost, this unilateral act of reckless brinkmanship increases the chance of war. That's unconscionable. By the way, Iran isn't like Afghanistan or Iraq: it's a big, modern country &#8212; half the size of Europe, with a real military and an air force that can defend itself.</p> <p>Second, like many of Trump's actions, the pullout is a policy decision based on a lie: by every reliable metric, Iran was keeping up its end of the agreement.<p>Updated: Fri May 18, 2018</p> 937101891bd1c2b2a6755c7ed8d70752 Remember When? for 05/11/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/05/18/remember-when Fri, 11 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump claims that people are illegally pouring into our country from Mexico. That's not true now; notwithstanding the ballyhooed caravan of Central American migrants who recently arrived at a California crossing, illegal crossings are hitting historic lows. There's actually a net outflow. But it was true until the early 2000s.</p> <p>"Legal immigration should become safe, legal and commonplace," I wrote in 2005 in response to George W. Bush's call for a guest-worker program for immigrants here illegally. I opposed Bush's plan because it would have hurt American wages and job prospects. "At the same time, no nation worthy of the name can tolerate porous borders. We can and must seal our borders to prevent economic migrants, terrorists and others with unknown motives from entering the United States."<p>Updated: Fri May 11, 2018</p> 4ecc9e813a122516271e790b9afc2539 America Insults Intelligent and Educated People for 05/04/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/05/18/america-insults-intelligent-and-educated-people Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There was controversy about it, but the Inuit famously and really do have at least 50 words for snow. The Scots have 241!</p> <p>The Sami people of northern Scandinavia and Russia use more than 1,000 words for reindeer.<p>Updated: Fri May 04, 2018</p> bf1868aca4d3200708110723cffc0226 Ban Drones for 04/27/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/04/18/ban-drones Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We have succumbed, in recent years, to technological passivity, the assumption that there's nothing we can (or should) do about what an older generation used to call "progress." But that's not true.</p> <p>War goes on, yet most of the world's nations came together to ban land mines. Mines, humanity decided, were a horror we could no longer live with because their murderous potential remained long after the front lines moved elsewhere, even after hostilities ceased, and mostly hurt civilians. Similarly, chemical weapons were banned after mustard gas scarred the World War I generation.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018</p> ceffc8744eed208e1faee36547e3e0c8 Distractor-In-Chief Trump Is Gaslighting Us Into Forgetting America's Real Issues for 04/23/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/04/18/distractor-in-chief-trump-is-gaslighting-us-into-forgetting-americas-real-issues Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Eight days before Donald J. Trump took his presidential oath before a crowd whose size the president still insists on fibbing about, I wrote a column titled "Life Under Trump &#8212; What Happens Now?"</p> <p>"In a dictatorship, particularly where the despot is a megalomaniac in the vein of a Saddam Hussein or a Moammar Gadhafi, citizens obsess over the Great Leader's every move. These days, there's no better place to witness this phenomenon than the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan," I wrote on Jan. 12, 2017. I described how the founding dictator of that post-Soviet authoritarian state was manic, "constantly passing edicts and decrees about anything and everything that crossed his mind."<p>Updated: Mon Apr 23, 2018</p> 5859e167aec52f9dd6cf5b57b71719b7 The Media Never Gives Peace A Chance for 04/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/04/18/the-media-never-gives-peace-a-chance Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>At this writing, President Trump is considering "the possibility of retaliation in Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack on young children and families in the Syrian city of Douma," reported CBS News. "If it's the Russians, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out," Trump said. "Nothing's off the table," including a military attack by the United States.</p> <p>Whether that possibility involves a cruise missile strike, drone attacks or conventional bombing raids by fighter jets, this is deadly serious business. People, mostly innocent civilians and Syrian grunts who had nothing to do with the "suspected" chemical attack, will die. People will be injured. Survivors will be traumatized. An attack could escalate and expand the current conflict, leading to more death and destruction.</p> <p>The stakes are high, but U.S. policymakers are as glibly insouciant as if they were choosing between Hulu and Netflix. This is not new or Trumpian. It's always been like this. American leaders don't take these life-and-death decisions seriously.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 13, 2018</p> 5e61b46056f64d794458b125b3ed8f3a #Neveragain Movement: Settle On A Clear Demand for 04/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/04/18/neveragain-movement-settle-on-a-clear-demand Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Eight hundred thousand people participated in the March for Our Lives rally in Washington on March 24, say organizers with the #NeverAgain movement sparked by the Parkland, Florida school massacre. The turnout was impressive &#8212; but will it lead to new gun legislation?</p> <p>History suggests no. But victory is achievable &#8212; if rallies are sharpened in focus.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 06, 2018</p> 6800b2515a9d1e1e2b76b40b808d8e65 Hiring John Bolton is Donald Trump's Most Dangerous Decision for 03/23/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/03/18/hiring-john-bolton-is-donald-trumps-most-dangerous-decision Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Personnel is policy, they say in Washington. The appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor is by far President Trump's most dangerous decision.</p> <p>When the president considers foreign policy, no one is closer to his ear than his national security advisor. He will discuss questions of war and peace with military generals and members of his cabinet, but when there's a diversity of opinion, the views of a national security advisor can be determinative.</p> <p>"Brent Scowcroft defined the role of the National Security Advisor," wrote Stephen J. Hadley, former National Security Advisor under George W. Bush."The only person to hold the job twice [under Ford and George H.W. Bush], Brent established the 'Scowcroft Model' for all who followed him in the job: Be an 'Honest Broker,' running a fair, transparent, and inclusive process for bringing issues to the president."<p>Updated: Fri Mar 23, 2018</p> bf02bef6435106206b9749c9ddee98a8 Democrats Should Run On Impeachment for 03/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/03/18/democrats-should-run-on-impeachment Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Democrats are already counting their electoral chickens for the midterms - but their unwillingness to lay out a clear agenda may be about to hand the party their second devastating defeat in two years.</p> <p>Everyone is playing the Special Election Game.</p> <p>Tealeaf readers are obsessed. Does last November's Democratic win in the Virginia governor's race presage a Blue Wave, or was it simply a reflection of ongoing red-to-purple demographics? Should we be surprised that Alabama sent a Democrat (albeit a conservative one) to the Senate &#8212; or that he nearly lost to an alleged pedophile? What about the latest contest in Pennsylvania &#8212; would a Democratic upset in a GOP congressional district spell the beginning of the end for Donald Trump? Or nothing much at all?<p>Updated: Fri Mar 16, 2018</p> 8bc08ba7058ba41a18e4b2220fd0fe0b Divide and Conquer for 03/09/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/03/18/divide-and-conquer Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Give peace a chance, the song urges. </p> <p>But the United States won't have it.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 09, 2018</p> 018f474ae91a64694fe416bdda9a4285 Never Mind Millennial Apathy, Here's Generation Z for 02/23/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/02/18/never-mind-millennial-apathy-heres-generation-z Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Like many other Americans this week, I have been impressed with the poise, passion and guts of the Florida teenagers who survived the latest big school shooting, as well as that of their student allies in other cities who walked out of class, took to the streets and/or confronted government officials to demand that they take meaningful action to reduce gun violence. As we mark a series of big 50th anniversaries of the cluster of dramatic events that took place in 1968, one wonders: does this augur a return to the street-level militancy of that tumultuous year?</p> <p>The '60s were the Decade of Youth, an era that ended when Baby Boomers aged out of flowers and free love into jobs and suburbs. Adulthood makes everyone put away childish things &#8212; not that agitating against war and fighting for equal rights is kid stuff &#8212; and to be fair to the Boomers, they were driven off the protest lines by hails of government bullets at places like Kent State University. For my money, the '60s died in 1972, the first year 18-to-20 year-olds got the vote and either didn't show up or used their new franchise to reelect Richard Nixon.</p> <p>Compared to the heyday of the anti-Vietnam War movement, when every little town in America had protests pretty much every day (even just sad little clusters of hippies huddling under umbrellas in the traffic median) for years on end, the activist left has been on hiatus ever since. There were Solidarity Day in 1981 and the Battle of Seattle in 1999 and marches against the Iraq War in 2003 and Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and, recently, a pair of anti-Trump Women's Marches. But those events were intermittent, exceptional, spasmodic. Generation X &#8212; discriminated against, passed over for good jobs, marginalized by culture and media &#8212; was too busy working multiple crappy jobs to organize, protest and effect change.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 23, 2018</p> 559e24ee6fbadeb969288bb44ece2918 On The One Hand, Gun Violence; On The Other Hand, Gun Control for 02/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/02/18/on-the-one-hand-gun-violence-on-the-other-hand-gun-control Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On the one hand, because it's the 18th school shooting so far this year, the news that another psychologically damaged man shot 17 schoolchildren to death with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle is not news. Put it on page 27 below the fold, maybe?</p> <p>On the other hand,<span class="column--highlighted-text"> you have to be shocked because these are kids and who do we become if we stop being shocked?</span> Congress and the president should put their heads together and act now.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 16, 2018</p> 9d5f7c6c6c52e7bf3b30755d06570f60 Why Do The Democrats Take Trump's Trolling Lying Down for 02/09/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/02/18/why-do-the-democrats-take-trumps-trolling-lying-down Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>This is advice for the Democrats. Democrats never take my advice. So why do I keep giving it to them? </p> <p>These "what Democrats ought to do" columns aren't really for the Democratic Party leadership. They're for you, dear left-of-center reader. I'm explaining what the Dems should be doing and comparing it to what they're actually doing. That gap between what makes sense and what is going on, I hope you'll conclude, is so big that we should declare the Democratic Party dead and gone. Giving up on the Dems is important.</p> <p>The Left will never roll up its sleeves and start building a genuine alternative to the current system until it stops trying, somehow, to take over or sway the Distracticats.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 09, 2018</p> 0ba934f8f9f73ac5fa66da78982e0602 Democrats Could Lose Again This Fall for 02/02/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/02/18/democrats-could-lose-again-this-fall Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>You're reading this, so you probably follow political punditry. And if you follow political punditry, you've been hearing the usual corporate suspects predict that one of two things will happen in this fall's midterm elections: either the Democrats will win big (win back the Senate), or they'll win really big (the House, too). Outta the way, Congressional Republicans: here comes the Big Blue Wave!</p> <p>Of course, these are the same clowns who called it big for President Hillary. Yet on and on they yammer, and we have to listen to them since big-money political media won't hire anyone who has a clue.</p> <p>Interestingly, there are early warning signs &#8212; just as there were throughout the 2016 presidential race &#8212; that Democrats may be counting their electoral chickens before they're aborted.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 02, 2018</p> 9af9efdf061359b1fba45f4bbdd46bb8 Democrats Have Hijacked the Anti-Trump Resistance for 01/26/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/ted-rall/01/18/democrats-have-hijacked-the-anti-trump-resistance Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Leftists want to change the world. They want peace, equal income, equal wealth, equal rights for everybody.</p> <p>Democrats are not part of the Left. If Democrats have their way, the fundamental inequality of American capitalism &#8212; a system in which a small percentage of the people get the majority of the income &#8212; will never change. Democrats apply identity politics as a distraction, in lieu of systematic solutions to class-based discrimination. Democrats demand more women directors in Hollywood, more African-Americans admitted to Ivy League schools, transgendered soldiers in the military so they can join the slaughter of brown people in other countries.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 26, 2018</p>