The conundrum of Crimea

The Crimean War of 1853-56 cost over 700,000 lives.

By Jim Tortolano  E Pluribus Unum The latest crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea has brought about a lot of chattering and finger-pointing from the professional blaming class. It’s very high-decibel woofing, which is interesting because two weeks ago most Americans couldn’t find Crimea on a map of Crimea. Most of this manufactured anxiety seems […]

And now a word in favor of capitalism …

Is Scrooge (from "Disney's A Christmas Carol") a typical capitalist?

By Jim Tortolano, E Pluribus Unum ‘Tis a rough time of the year to be a capitalist.  First the Pope takes a broad swipe at the practice of free enterprise in the world today, and now, of course, the constant repetition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” which paints a successful businessman as the embodiment […]

Breathe easy, and don’t mind the raccoons

A smokestack in Detroit.

By Jim Tortolano, E Pluribus Unum A raccoon walked into our house. Brazenly strolled through the open casement doors one morning and looked around like he was a potential buyer. Then, he strolled back out. That might not seem like a big deal if you live in the back country, someplace rural and rustic, but […]

Drones: hit or myth?

A MQ-9 Reaper drone

By  Jim Tortolano/E Pluribus Unum Nikola Tesla thought up the idea.  A hobbyist named Reginald Denny built the first one, and Barack Obama’s military is making them a household name. Officially, they are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV); you and I know them as drones. Not only is Uncle Sam using these sleek, menacing-looking aircraft in […]

Obamacare’s “Mickey Mouse” rollout

Walt Disney shows plans for Disneyland to Orange County officials in 1954.

By Jim Tortolano/E Pluribus Unum A charismatic leader overreaches, or seems to.  His biggest accomplishment starts disastrously.  Poor planning, a fistful of first-day glitches and disappointed customers.  Media criticism, finger-pointing and near-panic. Sounds an awful lot like a description of the bumpy rollout of “Obamacare,” as one portion of the Affordable Care Act is popularly […]

Should you be a veteran?

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By Jim Tortolano/E Pluribus Unum Are you a veteran? Should you be? Monday is Veteran’s Day, an observance that began after World War I as Armistice Day.  It is an event featuring remembrance of Americans who served in the armed forces in our many wars, with speeches, flags and ceremonies. But the number and percentage […]

What if JFK had lived?

758px-Lyndon_B._Johnson_taking_the_oath_of_office,_November_1963

I was sitting in a fifth grade classroom when the principal’s voice came over the loudspeaker.  President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. He was dead. Like almost everyone else on Nov. 22, 1963, I was stunned and saddened. I was a particularly political kid; my family and I all worshipped JFK in a way […]

The selling of the unions

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By Jim Tortolano E Pluribus Unum If you were one of millions of Americans who watched football or the World Series this past week, you probably know about Papa John’s latest pizza offer, Volkswagen’s new “clean” diesel car and that Coors Light is literally – supposedly – hacked out of the frozen wastes of the […]

What’s really scary this Halloween week

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By Jim Tortolano E Pluribus Unum It’s a doubly scary week. Not only is it Halloween on Thursday, we are now steeped in a culture wherein monsters and terrors are all the rage. Books, movies and TV series celebrate the shivery appeal of vampires, werewolves, zombies and such.  Who you gonna call? After I passed […]

Get Your Gun

Get Your Gun

“Guns are for cowards,” said Batman in a comic book years ago. But that’s easy to say when you are a fictional character who is also a billionaire in possession of bullet-proof armor and his own tank.

A pink slip from red states?

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During the 2012 presidential campaign, GOP candidate Mitt Romney took flak for having suggested that he “liked to fire people” who provided services for him.