The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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I shouted the text of my latest story about the invasion from a Palm Pilot into a balky Iridium satellite phone. It was at least my third attempt, and the battery was dying. A Village Voice employee assigned to take dictation on the other side of the world interrupted me. "I don't understand," she said,... Read More
The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare two fundamental flaws in the American health care system. No. 1: There's a reason that other rich countries treat health care as a taxpayer-financed social program. Employer-based health insurance was stupid pre-COVID-19 because our economy was already steadily transitioning from traditional full-time W-2 jobs to self-employment, freelance and gig... Read More
We can save the economy. We have to throw the landlords under the bus to do it. At this writing, 26.5 million Americans have lost their jobs to the national lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Added to those who were unemployed before the coronavirus crisis, we will soon face jobless numbers equivalent to or... Read More
The COVID-19 medical and economic crisis remains mostly unaddressed by both the Republican and Democratic parties. They have only passed one piece of legislation that significantly helps workers: supplementing existing state unemployment benefits by $600 per week. Those additional payments expire in four months. Until then, many people who are out of work will receive... Read More
There is no room for progressives in the Democratic Party. No matter how many votes he or she gets, no progressive will be permitted to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Progressives who try to work inside of, contribute to and support the Democratic Party have no real chance of moving its candidates... Read More
Bernie Sanders is out of the race, and with him goes the last chance for progressivism to take over the Democratic Party for a generation. Now his supporters will decide what to do. Intransigent #BernieOrBusters will cast about for a third-party vote, write in Bernie or sit out the election in November. Other left-leaning voters... Read More
Some of my commentary about politics is presented in the form of "advice" to the ruling classes. Please understand: I don't really expect those in the ruling class to take my advice. My advice is not really directed toward them. It is a theoretical exercise. I am really speaking to you, the people. My goal... Read More
After my mother died on Feb. 7, I gathered her valuables and photo albums and drove home to New York. But there wasn't enough room in the car for everything I wanted to keep. There were tchotchkes such as a silly white ceramic saltshaker and pepper shaker in the shape of Arab kings. They weren't... Read More
It's the end of the world as we know it, and the banks and airlines feel fine because even in the midst of economic collapse, CEOs can sleep soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that the American taxpayer will bail them out. Again. All they have to do is wait a respectable six to... Read More
You Democrats ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You spent the last four years criticizing President Donald Trump in no small part for his mental state, and rightly so. The Founding Fathers included an impeachment provision in the Constitution in large part as a contingency to remove a president exactly like him, whose temperament and... Read More
You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: President Donald Trump's second term would be a disaster, for the Democratic Party, for the United States, for democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States." But would it really? Exceptions are a... Read More
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Watching panicky corporate-owned Democrats twist on the devil's fork of Bernie Sanders' "political revolution" is almost as much fun as it must have been for my mom and her fellow villagers to watch Vichy collaborators and Nazi sympathizers being executed by the resistance at the end of World War II. (That, Chris Matthews, is how... Read More
Bernie Sanders is currently the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He and everyone else knows exactly how the Republicans will attack him if and when he becomes the nominee: old-fashioned redbaiting. China became communist in name only during the 1980s; the Soviet Union shut its doors in 1991; the Cold War is dead; and... Read More
My mom died last week. Her obituary is online. It is, as obits should be, about her. Too many women's lives are contextualized around their roles as wives and mothers. So I kept myself, and our relationship, in the background. Now for a personal remembrance. Like all mothers and sons, we argued. A recurring conflict... Read More
"Many Democrats fear that Trump may be laying an impeachment trap," Stephen Collins wrote for CNN last May. "It's possible that the wider political divides get, the more Trump benefits. The spectacle would help him charge up the political base he needs to turn out in droves in 2020 with claims their 2016 votes were... Read More
On Jan. 19, The New York Times oddly co-endorsed Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic presidential nomination. Two days later, a poll on the key New Hampshire primary showed Warren down 4 points. Bernie Sanders' surge continued. What happened? To the extent that they ever did, the editorial boards at corporate-owned media... Read More
Let's say you owned a house and needed extra cash to make ends meet, so you decided to rent two of your bedrooms. Would you agree to lease those rooms to two people under the condition that you could only run a credit check on and meet one of them? Would you allow an anonymous... Read More
Russia — OK, not the actual Russian government but a private troll farm company located in Russia — bought $100,000 worth of political ads on Facebook designed to change the outcome of the 2016 election. Except that only a small fraction of those ads were political. Also except that the small fraction was divvied up... Read More
War, many people believe, often results from cultural differences and misunderstandings. President Donald Trump's assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani has Americans considering the possibility that we may soon add Iran to our list of unwinnable wars in the Middle East. As that calculus unfolds, no one questions the assumption that there are irreconcilable differences between... Read More
People born in the 1960s may be the last human beings who will get to live out their full actuarial life expectancies. "Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat" to humanity, warns a recent policy paper by an Australian think tank. Civilization, scientists say, could collapse by 2050. Some people may survive.... Read More
Donald Trump deserved to be impeached. He deserves to be convicted in the Senate. Every president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors that could justify impeachment. But not on these charges. Not for threatening to withhold $400 million in aid that we shouldn't have been sending to Ukraine in the first place, not as long... Read More
How you respond to an attack defines you. Keep your cool, remain civil, and others will respect the way you handle yourself, even if they disagree with you. Lower yourself to your assailant's level and — at best — spectators will dismiss your dispute as a he-said-she-said between two jerks. So much has been written... Read More
"In ten years or so, we'll leak the truth," the Dead Kennedys sang. "But by then it's only so much paper." But it might just score you a Pulitzer Prize. Award bait and bragging rights are no doubt the principal goals of The Washington Post's self-congratulatory data dump, "The Afghanistan Papers." The papers — 2,000... Read More
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" President Donald Trump said at an Iowa campaign rally in January of 2016. That remark gets quoted a lot, mostly by liberals bemoaning the unquestioning loyalty of the president's stupid supporters. But there's another, more interesting,... Read More
There ought to be a law. I read about Eric Barrier, half of the classic rap duo Eric B. and Rakim, and how he recently wound up in jail. The story is interesting not because it's unusual but because it's typical. Without getting into the weeds of his original 2002 offense because that would distract... Read More
John Oliver recently dedicated his HBO show to why we need a federal anti-SLAPP law. Like most of his stuff, the episode was witty and engaging. It was also sloppy, thoughtless and poorly researched. From now on, I'll wonder whether I can trust anything he says. An anti-SLAPP motion is a powerful legal maneuver available... Read More
America has lots of leftists. Forty percent of voters say that they would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist one. Yet America has zero leftists running for president. Think about that the next time someone tells you we live in the greatest country on Earth — or, for that matter, that... Read More
Nothing, leading Democrats say, matters more than beating Donald Trump. 2020, they argue, is the most important election of our lifetimes (OK, they always say that). It's not true. If you're a progressive voter, taking back control of the Democratic Party from the Democratic Leadership Council-Clinton-Biden centrist cabal is more important than defeating the incumbent.... Read More
As a society degenerates, life cheapens. The rhetoric that follows death coarsens. Respect paid to fallen rivals is replaced by triumphalism. Historians observed this trend in ancient Rome. As republic turned to empire and domain expanded — and so also arrogance and hubris — vanquished chieftains who previously might have been allowed to keep their... Read More
In 1991, demographers Neil Howe and William Strauss published their awkwardly titled tome "13th Gen," about Generation X — the Americans born between 1961 and 1981. If Xers had paid attention, they would have committed suicide. "Child poverty, employment, wages, home ownership, arrest records — in every category, this generation, the 13th since the American... Read More
In the latest shooting of an innocent civilian by a trigger-happy police officer, a white Fort Worth cop blew away a 28-year-old African American woman through her bedroom window as she played a video game with her 8-year-old nephew. Atatiana Jefferson's neighbor had called a nonemergency police number to request that they check on her... Read More
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Some Republicans see the Ukraine/Biden impeachment inquiry as a deep-state coup attempt against President Donald Trump. Some progressives are beginning to scratch the surface of an alternative — but equally cynical — analysis that I think leftists ought to consider: Trump's impeachment is a DNC/centrist coup attempt against progressives inside the Democratic Party. Democrats could... Read More
Earlier this year, Portuguese cartoonist Antonio Moreira Antunes drew one of the most controversial political cartoons in history. His cartoon about U.S.-Israeli relations sparked so much controversy that The New York Times, whose international edition published it in April, decided to fire its two staff cartoonists, neither of whom had anything to do with it.... Read More
The political left, center and right do share something in common in today's polarized America: We're all in denial. The first step in 12-step programs is to admit that you have a problem; you can't tackle a challenge whose existence you refuse to acknowledge. "From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism,"... Read More
History, they say, doesn't so much repeat. It rhymes. The campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination appears to be an exception. Once again, the contest appears to be coming down to a choice between a "centrist" establishmentarian corporatist with institutional backing (Joe Biden) and a left-leaning populist progressive (Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders) preferred... Read More
The first draft of this column came not to bury but to praise Donald Trump. I planned to applaud the president's peace initiative with the Taliban, his strategy of ignoring the corrupt and discredited puppet regime Bush installed in Kabul and his desire to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. This was a move I have... Read More
Let's talk about fraud: "A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities," Lexico dictionary calls it. Let's also discuss breach of contract: "A breach of contract occurs when the promise of the contract is not kept, because one party has failed to fulfill their... Read More
The United States ranks 48th among nations for press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. Because few other countries have the equivalent of our First Amendment, learning that we rank below Botswana and Slovenia may come as a surprise. Mostly, the organization pins this dismal state of affairs on Trump's attacks on the news media.... Read More
There is no other way to say it: It was a political assassination. Osama bin Laden was unarmed. SEALs captured him alive. Following brazenly illegal orders from Washington, they executed him. "The (Obama) administration had made clear to the military's clandestine Joint Special Operations Command that it wanted bin Laden dead," The Atlantic reported on... Read More
Mass shootings prompt simple explanations of the gunman's motivation. At Columbine High School in Colorado, the killers supposedly snapped after being bullied. The guy who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was wild-eyed, carrot-topped nuts. After a massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, an anti-immigrant manifesto posted online pointed to right-wing... Read More
I'm from Dayton, so I'm thinking about this today: Why hasn't Congress done anything to address our national epidemic of mass shootings, namely reviving the assault weapons ban? People — Democrats and not a few Republicans — ask me that all the time. I bet all left-leaning pundits get that question. The answer is simple.... Read More
Two weeks ago, Bernie Sanders announced his "right to a secure retirement" plan. The media didn't notice, the voters didn't care, and no one's talking about it. But the problem is huge and about to get huger. And the government isn't doing jack. As I wrote a year ago in a column that no one... Read More
Strictly speaking, Nancy Pelosi is right. Led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the four Congressional freshmen known as the Squad are, by Beltway standards, relatively powerless — just four votes, as the speaker said. They chair no committees and head no broad coalitions that can be counted upon to cast yeas and nays at... Read More
How should the Democratic Party resolve its civil conflict between progressives and centrists? Society has a simple rule. When an argument gets out of control, it's up to the side with the most money, power and social standing to extend an olive branch. Even when kids are wrong, parents must make nice first. In the... Read More
Living as they do in a bipolar political world where politics consists of Democrats and Republicans and no other ideology is real, media corporations in the United States use "left," "liberal" and "Democrat" as synonyms. This is obviously wrong and clearly untrue — Democrats are a party, leftism and liberalism are ideologies, and Democratic politics... Read More
A century ago, newspapers employed more than 2,000 full-time editorial cartoonists. Today, there are fewer than 25. In the United States, political cartooning as we know it is dead. If you draw them for a living and you have any brains, you're working in a different field or looking for an exit. You can still... Read More
Eventually, tech theorist Clay Shirky has argued, so many people will have nude photos on the internet that there will be no shame in one of them being yours. Privacy will no longer be necessary. It will be a halcyon time for politicians: No matter how much dirt your enemies dig up, none of it... Read More
No. I refuse. I don't care what they say. No way, no how will I make excuses for America's lazy, morally bankrupt, ineffectual and cowardly politicians. Believe it or not, asking we the people to sympathize with our crappy legislators has lately become a Thing. Poor dears. They have so much on their plates! "Those... Read More
British goon cops acting at the request of the United States government entered Ecuador's embassy in London, dragged out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and prepared to ship him across the pond. After this event last month, most of the mainstream media reacted with spiteful glee about Assange's predicament and relief that the Department of Justice... Read More
Thirty-seven percent of American citizens are socialist or communist. That's far more people than voted for either Hillary Clinton (28% of eligible voters) or Donald Trump (27%) in 2016. The majority is voiceless. A privileged minority rules. The United States is a political apartheid state. If the left were allowed on the ballot in this... Read More
PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
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