Bartleby the American

In my senior year of college, my Russian teacher pulled me aside. He told me that the CIA was recruiting on campus. I should consider applying for a job. It was 1986. Mikhail Gorbachev had taken the helm of the Soviet Union, but the Cold War was still very much in place. “The CIA?” I said. “Really?” “I know your politics,” my professor said. “But don’t you think it’s better for...
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It Can’t Happen Here (But It Just Did)

In the typical time travel story, an enterprising person from the future goes back to 1922 to assassinate young Hitler, or to 1963 to interrupt Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. This time, however, the smarter denizens of the future world didn’t save us from the horrors of the present. Instead, Donald Trump somehow got control of the time machine and used it for...
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Clinton and the Neocons

Much has been made of the swing in political allegiances of neoconservatives in favor of Hillary Clinton. As a group, Washington’s neocons are generally terrified of Trump’s unpredictability and his flirtation with the alt-right. They also support Clinton’s more assertive foreign policy (not to mention her closer relationship to Israel). Perhaps, too, after eight long years in the...
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It’s Rigged: Takes One to Know One

The system is rigged. Let’s be clear: the American political system favors the two major parties and our economic system favors the wealthy. The global system is similarly rigged in favor of powerful countries (such as the United States) and powerful economic actors (such as transnational corporations). This is not, however, a conspiracy. No secret group of Bilderburgers, Illuminati, Masons, or...
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Trump the Arsonist

The world according to Donald Trump is very dark indeed. The American economy has tanked. Mexico has sent a horde of criminals over the border to steal jobs and rape women. The Islamic State, cofounded by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is taking over the globe. “Our country’s going to hell,” he declared during the Republican primaries. It’s “like medieval times,” he suggested...
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The Damage Trump Does

When I was a kid, my extended family got together for the holidays. One of my uncles was a big, fat guy who looked like Santa Claus without the beard. He loved to laugh and tell jokes. When I was really young, I thought he was hilarious. As I got older, however, I began to realize that my uncle was also wildly inappropriate. His jokes were often sexist or racist. He made insulting comments about...
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