Double click to insert body text here ...


SQUAWK-OP is a news and opinion place.

It squawks in words and cartoons about male dominance, silly religions, right-wing politicians, good or excessive or criminal sex, dumb sports, serious books, arts, and other 21st century human flights and foibles. It leans left--except when it doesn't.


BOOK REVIEW MH April 5, 2017

Listen Liberal
Thomas Frank
Henry Holt, 2016

[I listened, Thomas. You were pretty persuasive. MH]

Frank's thesis is that liberals have lost their connection to the American wage earner, and they need a kick in the keister to send them back toward their real constituency. (He provides it.)

He posits that the great mass of the
American people are bamboozled and thwarted by a highly educated, rich elite who protect and nurture each other and, when governing, do not solve the basic structural problems that exacerbate inequality.

[Use arrows to cont.]

We have a a meritocracy of the best, the brightest, and the richest, suggests Frank. The rest of us have economic stasis and unemployment.

Though the author confesses to voting for Democrats, he is scathing about Bill Clinton's lurch to the right during the nineties, and he is not much kinder to what he calls Obama's "timidity." Perhaps that reflects the president's incorrect assumption that others are as smart and reasonable as he is.

(Does anyone note that Barack Obama succeeded in each phase of his career, not only because of his gifts, but also because he was assiduous in repressing any hint of "angry-black-man syndrome? His habit may have nothing to do with "timidity.")

Both Democratic presidents talked a good worker-story. But in actual governance, they surrounded themselves with Goldman Sachies and high-powered academics.

Creativity takes some Frank lumps. He mocks industrially deprived cities about their efforts to lure art, music, and drama to their poverty-wracked acres. He implies that the effort is merely their deep obeisance to an elite professional class. (I quarrel with that view. There are altogether too many poor artists, musicians, writers, and actors among those recruited; and artsy gentrification cannot be all bad. Merely inadequate.)

Frank witheringly addresses technology, education and innovation as answers to wage-earner woes. Innovation gets an especially effective blast of his contempt with several pages in which the word "innovation" gets iterated--and iterated and iterated and iterated.

"Every economic arrangement is a political decision," says Frank. "It's not done by God. It's not done by the invisible hand." (Interview with Kathy Kiely, 2016). He is convinced that the two Democratic presidents could have made equality-encouraging decisions rather than endorsing the conventional wisdom of wealthy, "well-graduated" professionals.

Something's missing from this useful assault on rule by elite professionals and rich cohorts. (Frank loves the word "cohort.") Where are the solutions, Thomas? The knock-down is effective and mind-switching. Now what?



Except for the rich, of course

MH March 27, 2017

Oh, but Ryan/Trump Deathscare just went down in flames in the Republican controlled House of Representatives..

Ironically, it would have passed with only Republican votes except for the alt-right among them who didn't think the legislation was quite deathly enough.


The Kahn Con

MH August 8, 2016

Khizr and Ghazala Kahn are individuals. They are not all Muslims, or even most Muslims--any more than all Muslims are terrorists or wife-beaters or parents of a heroic son.

The Democratic Convention's use of the Kahns not-so-subtly implies that they stand for all Muslims. ("See, see, see! This is what Muslims are really like!") The Dems have merely turned bigotry upside down, defying logic and indulging in propaganda. Just like the ban-them-all people do, they have indulged in a big, illogical generalization. An untruth.

Well, it has worked. When linked

[Use arrows to continue]

to the unimaginable pain of losing a son, which the Kahns have endured, the underlying message resonates, regardless of bad logic and the slick use of the couple by my political party.

The Kahns seem to be somewhat assimilated to American life, although Ghazala's scarf remains as dictated by another culture. (An anti-democratic culture. A woman-oppressing culture.)

Oh Khizr! I too love those little Constitutions that you carry around. (I have a copy in my kitchen drawer.) But the question was inevitable: Are you convinced that the U.S. Constitution trumps Sharia law? (I suspect he is, even if that loyalty represents a change of heart from his youth.)

I feel obligated to remind Kahn and all Democrats that the text of that Constitution does not recommend open borders or suggest that the United States of America should commit cultural suicide.

Short-sighted Democrats are flirting with those unintended consequences. Unfortunately, it's a part of the Kahn.

Not bigoted (cartoon)

MH March, 2016

From this day forth, any American who utters the word "awesome" will be arrested, fined $1,000, and tossed into the drunk tank.

"At-the-end-of-the-day" utterers (that means YOU, politicians and pundits) will be fined, fired, impeached, tarred and feathered.

Likewise for "going forward" utterers.

All fine-proceeds will be donated to the Society for the Prevention of English Language Nausea, a non-profit whose members get to carry out the tarring and feathering.

Illegal Immigration and the Liberal Left

MH June 4, 2016
Bernie Sanders and Zephyr Teachout make perfect sense aboout almost everything--except illegal immigration.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to interpret their policies except to conclude that they favor leaky borders and/or serial amnesties.

Anyone watching recent European woes will have grasped the consequences of open and/or leaky borders. Wish to emulate? Probably not.

In a well-intentioned attempt to be "liberal," truly tolerant, and kind to

[Use arrows to cont.]

children, Bernie, Hillary and Zephyr are not thinking ahead to

the survival of democracies and to the survival of Western Civilization. They don't seem to have noticed that a theocratic, anti-democratic culture is sweeping the world. (The demographics of theocratic Islam indicate that its populations are exploding, while the populations of all other religions and cultiures are diminishing. Go ahead, check Pew Research.)

Theocracy is irrational, though it can be strategic. How long will it be before democratic rights and princlples will be used to vote away democracies?

Furthermore, adherents of cultures that engage in--and institutionalize--the subjugation of women need to be firmly resisted, not welcomed, coddled, and invited to become U.S. citizens--no matter how "holier than thou" it makes us feel.

Generalizations about cultures always risk bigotry--or the appearance thereof; but two generalizations about Islam seem to be unquestionable.
1) Islamic males subjugate women.
2) Islam is theocratic. By definition, its populations oppose democracy.

(Here, I am not even addressing the radical wing of Islam with its savage atrocities.)

Don't we wish we had "generalized" about--and abjured WWII authoritarian cultures much sooner than we did? This time it is not "over there." It is a world-wide issue. It's here.

One might conclude that the immediate policy-solution is tight borders and carefully crafted and enforced immigration law--law that preserves true "liberal" values.

Yes, I know. How to do it fairly and constitutionally is extremely difficult, sorting immmigrants by behaviors rather than beliefs, even though the beliefs are guiding the behaviors. Tough, but not impossible. Long term, the alternative appears to be cultural suicide, the slow death of Western Civilization.

After doing the "extremely difficult," there may be time for President Bernie or President Hillary to send Barack out into the world to gently, rationally lure its populations leftward. A Supreme Court Zephyr wouldn't hurt either.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."


Where Is MY Political Party?

MH December 6, 2015.

My liberal/socialistic side favors New-Deal style government programs tailored for the 21st century: a job for anyone who wants one; zero homelessness and zero hunger; Medicare for all; etc. It demands a shrinking of the income gap with tough legislation including very high taxation on the rich and increased taxation on the middle class. (It includes legislation limiting highest income in some specific, reasonable proportion, to average income.) It likes tight regulation of banks and other corporations; it favors tough protections for the environment and real-life acceptance of women, homosexuals, and people of color; it favors furtherance of science and learning and rejection of religious nonsense. It opposes theocracy,
dictatorship, and oligarchy.


My conservative side believes

(Use arrows to continue)

passionately in the superiority of Western Civilization to all other existing cultures. No multi-culturist, I. (Even with its flaws, Western Civilization is the best hope for healthy, decent lives for my grandchildren and theirs.) That requires vigorous attention and resources to U.S. military and maintenance of U.S. technological superiority for defending it. It requires tough immigration standards that bar from the nation individuals steeped in seriously anti-democratic, misogynistic, and violent cultures. It requires national education standards including immersion in Enlightenment history and values--or is all that actually..."liberal"?

And so I've come full circle. Where is my political party?

To some editor or other:

The better to see God, we remove the eyes of all our children who reach the age of twelve. (It's required by our holy book.) It's our religion, and the first Amendment of the Constitution protects this practice. (Freedom of religion. Yes!)

Occasionally a child sues, and the case reaches the Supreme Court. That often results in a narrowly defined compromise decision. We get to remove only one eye.

Pastormam Joehamed, Church of the All Seeing God

PS: For Mayor of Los Angeles, vote for our COTAS candidate! (He's a one-eyed "moderate.")


Abercrombie and the Muslim Scarf

MH June 3, 2015

What? What? What! Is the Supreme Court really suggesting that businesses will be forced to hire walking advertisements for particular religions?

If Abercrombie and Fitch and other businesses are required to hire Muslim women who insist upon wearing "the scarf" to work, that will be the law.

On June 1, 2015 the NYTimes reported that the Muslim woman who sued Abercrombie & Fitch is likely to prevail.

Surely the U.S. Constitution does not demand that businesses proselytize for the individual religions of their employees.

Tolerance is a virtue. That is, until it becomes so bloated and perverted that we find ourselves "tolerating," even promoting obvious anti-democratic principles.



MH May 4, 2013

If you only listen to my fellow Dems, you will conclude that, among the famous 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, there are no drug dealers, murderers, sex traffickers, religiously protected wife-beaters, child-genital-mutilators, rapists, bomb-builders, thieves, or plain-old lazy bums. NO, NO! (And if there are, we don't mention them.) There are only "hard-working families looking for a better life."

[Use arrows to cont.]

Come on Dems. The amnesty push looks like a cynical ploy to accumulate a few more Democratic majorities.

Acquired thus, we don't need them. We are already on the side on justice and fairness. Let's not join the Republican orgy of dishonesty.

Fix the law; but purge the infamous "path to citizenship."

Immigrants? Yes, Yes! Legal only.


"PC" Hulks Incrediby into "Probably Coo-coo"

. MH August 2015
Over recent decades, the social pressure of political correctness has been somewhat effective in nudging American culture toward sanity. Especially for women, I think. Even a bit against racism. Yes, language matters. But let's not get ridiculous.

Although Donald Trump is my idea of not-president--and though all women ought to shun him into lifelong celibacy--in his current forum (Republican candidate for supreme leader) he is probably harmless--or not.

[Use arrows to cont.]

To cluck-cluck about how "offensive" he is may be getting silly. (It's those sober guys, reeking of right wing dignity and serious legislative misogyny that scare me. You know the ones. The Rubios and the Walkers who would joyfully murder a woman to save the zygote, a human-to-be that they would studiously ignore everafter its birth.)

Anyway, sometimes PC can send a person wretching to the first amendment.

In the September 2015 Atlantic, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt ("The Coddling of the American Mind") cite a number of absurd PC examples from the college collection.

PC sometimes hulks goofy, sometimes "incredibly."


June 20, 2014,

"...arguments that have been proved
wrong, should be dead, but keep
shambling along because they serve
a political purpose."

Paul Krugman

Oh my! It's the Republican platform!



MH 6/25/13
If a middle eastern (or other) male who is applying for U.S. citizenship 1) beats his wife weekly, or 2) cuts the clitoris out of each of his female children, 3) sells his eleven-year-old daughter into marriage with a 55-year-old-man, or 4) arrests a raped woman for having sex outside of marriage...

will the so-called "background check" discover these crimes and bar him from this country?

If not, why not?


MH June 13, 2014

If you are especially eager to "turn off" or enrage the American woman, do keep presenting, as commentators, females wearing the Muslim scarf.

It shrieks:

The scarf's message is so loud and intrusive that it obliterates whatever words these hair-shamed women may be trying to utter.

The symbol is first cousin to the yellow
marker forced upon Jews by a culture determined to demean, dominate or kill them.
Liberal media ought not be stroking a culture that demeans, male-dominates or kills women for being women.

I suggest, dear execs, that you un-shriek your commentators before putting them on camera.

Free women of the world will thank you.

Marion Hunter


And it's in the air again. Legislation is coming, so I dragged out and updated a 2011 essay.

MH April 2011
Revised 1/21/13

This writer is a such a Rachel-Maddow-lefty, liberal, redistribute-the-wealth, gay rights, don't-you-dare-tell-women-they-can't-have an abortion, racial equality, corporation-regulating, pale pinko-type person, how did I get on the other side of immigration?

Maybe I'm an immigration Scrooge; but it looks to me as if there are only three choices:

1) We carefully control which individuals enter and become citizens of this country, or
2) We stay border-loose and offer serial amnesties--every decade or so (Allowing to slip through...criminals, disease carriers, sex traffickers, gang rapists, religionists (who

[Use arrows to cont.]

enslave and/or stone their women to death, or throw acid in their faces), drug merchants, psychopaths, bomb placers, and, of course, those famous "hard working, decent folk looking for a better life.")
3) We open the borders to all (including criminals, disease carriers, sex traffickers, etc., etc.)
[Use arrows to cont.]

(If you are a person who likes to cavil about
the word "amnesty," just insert the word
"near" in front of it from here on.)

I can't fathom the logic of open borders or serial (near) amnesties. Legal imigrants, of course! Illegals, no. In spite of corporation creep (globalization), we are still a nation and probably will remain so for a while. Lots of health, safety, and economic advantages and freedoms that we hold as a nation are worth protecting.

Even my hero Rachel Maddow talks only about "immigrants." Rachel! There are no such real-life persons as "immigrants." There are only legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. (Honoring this distinction does not make anyone a racist.) The word "immigrant," sans adjective, abuses logic, and tolerates silly, dangerous and craven, vote-seeking policies.

Is there any sense in a policy of pretend-borders coupled with amnesties every twenty or so years? No.

We tried the amnesty thing in the '80s. (Didn't that just work beautifully?) Some people, including President Obama, want to do it again. Serial amnesties would seem to encourage those panting at the borders to give illegal entry a try. Sure! Come on in! You'll be "in the shadows" for a while, but all your kids will be legal, and sooner or later another amnesty will come along.

Commentators love to toss around the eleven million figure, suggesting that "we can't deport them all." Yet they seem to think we can locate them all, extract various fees and taxes from all of them, and knock on all their doors to see if they are doing their English homework! Ridiculous? Uh-huh.

Not easy, but simpler than the above: 1) Strengthen the borders. 2) Carefully screen all applicants. (include the barring of all religionists with gender violence or enslavement behaviors in their backgrounds!) 3) Prosecute all employers who hire illegals. 4) Locate and deport the few who remain. (Few will remain without jobs.) 5) Revise immigration laws (or enforce?) to attract the brains and brawn our economy needs. 6) Find a compassionate route for persons brought here illegally as children and brought up as Americans. (And all their relatives? Naw.)
[Use arrows to cont.]

Item 4 is what some clever Romney speech writer named "self-deportation." Wow. It's legal; folks make the decision themselves; it incurs less administration; it can work, as opposed to serial amnesties, which cannot work!

"Self-deport" the man said. Dems simply load the phrase with self-righteous contempt--and offer zero supporting arguments for themselves.

Come on. Aren't we the reasoning party?
(Amazing. Romney got one thing right.)

Issue of the Century

MH September 14, 2013

The Economist (9/14/13) reports that there is a glimmer of hope for the women of India in spite of...

1) "In India, as elsewhere in Asia, attacks on women are often ignored."
2) "Murders continue of women who marry across caste or religious lines."
3) "...girls are valued less than boys."
4) "...Millions of female fetuses [are] aborted..."
5) "...millions more girls than boys... die in childhood, as a consequence either of violence or neglect and malnutrition."
6) "...acid attacks."

This glimmer is the result of a savage gang-rape/murder in Delhi last December. The populace begins to care?


[Use arrows to cont.]

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player