Being Taiwanese, Living with a Belligerent China

My family and I emigrated from Taiwan to Canada because of the threat of war with China. The message from my grandparents, my parents told me later, was “leave while you still can.”   

Who Made Alex Jones?

Hello, friends. Here’s the fifth installment of my new Substack newsletter. I hope you like it. You can . As a subscriber, you’ll enjoy early access to my work before it’s posted at WhoWhatWhy.  You’ll also enjoy exclusive Substack-only content. ***

The Protean Self

In a time of deep partisan division, it’s easy to forget what the dispute is really about. The American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton offers an intriguing answer to that question in , a book that hit the New York Times best-seller list back in 1993 and is even more relevant to the situation we face today than it was then.   

Rule of Blah: Predictable GOP Rhetoric After Trump Raid Is Dangerous

– OPINION –   We are sure that Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray are avid readers of our column, so it should come as no surprise that the FBI (finally) raided former president (and coup initiator) Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound the day after we wrote about his and other criminal behavior.

Republicans Have a Plan to Change the Constitution and It Just May Work

If you think the Supreme Court overturning abortion rights in this country was radical and shocking, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There was a convention you should know about this past weekend in Denver, funded by some of the wealthiest men and foundations in America, that has received altogether too little publicity.

Quo Vadimus — Where Do We Go?

Any comparison of Payton Gendron’s mass murder in Buffalo to the mass assault on the Capitol on January 6 might seem like something of a stretch.  After all, the deadly January 6 riot resulted from the inability of Trump Republicans to accept an election defeat. The slaughter of 10 people in Buffalo looks more like a one-off act by a deranged racist, obsessed with internet memes propagating the “great white replacement theory.”

Scrotum v. SCOTUS

– OPINION –   It has been said frequently of late that there are no laws governing the male body, and its effects.    Perhaps we should change that. Here are the bare bones for a totally new concept in legal affairs: male accountability. At long last, laws that call to account the fathers of unwanted children, be they family members guilty of incest, date rapists, or simply males who previously took no responsibility for their part in a pregnancy following a one-night stand.   

Georgia GOP: Sacrifices Gun Carry Law on the Altar of the 2nd Amendment Cult


  What we need, apparently, are more guns. More guns, bigger guns, in more hands, cars, homes, purses, pockets, and plenty of other places.   More more more. Always more; certainly never less.

Putin Must Go: Here’s How

Vladimir Putin arguably may have logical goals, but the pointless death and destruction he has unleashed clearly meet the criteria for “madman.” And it is surely clear to all that we are simply not doing enough about that.    Niceties are not going to make a difference. Finding ways to help him save face, avoiding isolating and antagonizing him further by failing to take him on — head-on — seem pointless.    Military confrontation between two nuclear armed adversaries does not seem an option. But we can do something.   

Making Mother Proud — Mike Pence Discovers His Spine

While Trumpism is essentially a cult, it is also a lot like an abusive relationship for the people in former President Donald Trump’s orbit: Stepping out of line invites further abuse, you have to cover for the abuser, and it involves a lot of lying to yourself that things aren’t so bad.

Is Assassinating the Latest ISIS Leader Just Cutting Off Hydra’s Head?

Just a few days after ISIS terrorist leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi blew himself to bits in order to avoid capture by US special operations forces, the growing Russian threat to Ukraine had already edged the self-styled caliph out of the headlines. Assassinations of terrorists are becoming too routine to get much notice these days. 

Made in China: The Olympics Hit Rock Bottom

  In ancient Greece, a truce was declared before and during the Olympic Games to ensure that athletes and spectators could travel safely to and from the competition, and that the host city would not be attacked during the event.   It’s one of the earliest recorded examples of sports being a force for good and for bringing people together.  

The View From COVID Country: Is the Pandemic Creating Further Racial Tensions?

As the coronavirus continues to surprise us with new variants, many folks are flummoxed by mandates and protocols that are vague, confusing, and changing daily. In this series, our correspondents around the country report on their region’s messaging and management of the latest stage of the pandemic.    – PERSPECTIVE –  

Putin Is the Nemesis the Military-Industrial Complex Needs

– OPINION –   Vladimir Putin is a bad guy. He is an enemy of democracy not just in Russia but also abroad. He despises a free press and has journalists killed. He has used his position of power to enrich himself and, under his authoritarian rule, Russia has been a destabilizing force in the world. Finally, he seems to be pursuing a vision of reassembling the pieces of the former Soviet Union and restoring it to its place among global superpowers.

The View From COVID Country: Masks, Mandates, and Protests in CA

– OPINION –   In late December, our kids’ school in Newport Beach, CA, sent out an email encouraging families to self-test for COVID-19 before classes resumed. According to emails we received from the school, more than a dozen kids stayed home that first week of January, and the numbers continued to rise in the second and third week. With Zoom lessons mostly eliminated, a COVID-19 infection now means double the work for a child to catch up with their classmates.

Will Anti-Vaxxers Merge With More Violent Groups to Destabilize the US?

   — OPINION —   Last week to an upcoming rally in Washington protesting the mandate requiring vaccinations for participating in activities with the vaccinated, in schools, bars and restaurants, public transit, and so forth. 

The View From COVID Country: Rationing Tests and Waiting for Answers

As the coronavirus continues to surprise us with new variants, many folks are flummoxed by mandates and protocols that are vague, confusing, and changing daily. In this series, our correspondents around the country report on their region’s messaging and management of the latest stage of the pandemic.  – OPINION –  

MLK Jr. — From ‘Give Us the Ballot’ to ‘Why America May Go to Hell’

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we asked our staff to reflect on their favorite quotes from King and how they resonate today.   This dearth of positive leadership from the federal government is not confined to one particular political party. Both political parties have betrayed the cause of justice. …  These men so often have a high blood pressure of words and an anemia of deeds. 

It’s Time to Wage a War on Right-Wing Terror

Usually, when Americans remember a date (other than holidays like Christmas or Halloween), it’s because it will live in infamy. That is why even the least historically literate of us know about December 7, September 11, and now January 6. In each case, the United States was attacked.  It’s fair to say that the threat from Japan was effectively dealt with after a few years, tens of thousands of US casualties, an outlay of a few trillion dollars (adjusted for inflation), and two nuclear bombs dropped.

Newsom Lies in Rejecting Sirhan Parole in RFK Assassination

&;OPINION&; California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) flat-out lied Thursday as he sought to justify his rejection of parole for Sirhan Sirhan, who was framed for killing 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.  

The War of Moron Aggression

With the political rifts of the past having grown into chasms, and one party more or less openly supporting a coup, there that a second US civil war may break out. That’s complete nonsense, of course… because Civil War II is already underway. 

WhoWhatWhy’s Best Ted Rall Cartoons of 2021

  Ted Rall pulls no punches. He’s a patented political pugilist, landing haymaker after haymaker, week after week. Rall’s cartoons may not float like a butterfly, but they certainly sting like a bee. Here are some of our favorites from 2021.    

The Impeachment Trial

When Reproductive Rights Are Stripped Away, Women Do It for Themselves

It’s easier to get an abortion in Ireland than it is in many states in the US. Let that sink in. In an overhwhelmingly Catholic country, the citizens made their opinion known, and the government legalized abortion in 2018. And yet Texas has installed a vigilante justice system to rat out anyone who helps a woman get an abortion, and the Supreme Court thinks that’s just fine. How did we get to this?

The JFK Assassination and the Conspiracy Theory Experts at the Washington Post

 — Opinion     If you haven’t kept up with the latest developments in QAnon world, then you may have been wondering why hundreds of its adherents poured into Dallas last week, packing Dealey Plaza, the infamous site of President John F. Kennedy’s murder. They were there harboring the fervent belief they were actually about to see the triumphant return of John F. Kennedy Jr., who was supposed to announce a 2024 vice presidential run with Donald Trump. Some even hoped to see the slain president himself.   

Is Canada Becoming More Like Its Neighbor to the South?

The Canadian elections may not have changed the government, but a closer look at the results suggests the electorate is becoming more like that in the United States — deeply divided on regional and political grounds.   In Monday’s elections, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won 158 seats out of the 338 that make up Parliament, only one more than two years ago and 12 seats shy of a majority.  

The GOP’s Greene New Deal

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-Crazy), traditionally a must-visit stop for any politician with White House aspirations. A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been news. After all, the fair attracts all kinds of kooks and strange acts.

The War for Your Attention Isn’t New

Brother From Another Corporate Mother

  Did you catch WandaVision? With all the streaming services out there, you’d be forgiven for missing it when it dropped in January, since it’s only available on Disney+. Maybe you’re already paying for too much content, or you don’t have a friend who’s promiscuous with their Disney+ login. That’s fine.   

Pity the Poor Billionaire

It’s been a mixed week for billionaires. On the one hand, that many of them don’t pay their “fair share” in taxes (unless you think the fair share for somebody with a net worth of $100,000,000,000 is to pay nothing or very little).

Democracy Is Dead! Long Live Democracy!

Reading Time: 5 minutesIn the wake of the bloody insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, one question lingered along with the stench of tear gas and bear spray — was that abomination a one-off, or was it in fact the start of something new, something far more ominous?

Does the Chauvin Conviction Signal a New Era?

Reading Time: 5 minutesOPINION The guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd should have been obvious from the beginning. Few killings have been so thoroughly documented or videotaped, or had so many witnesses present — many of whom pleaded with the perpetrator to stop. 

Biden Must Clean Up the Trump Pardons

Reading Time: 7 minutesWith the battle building over the filibuster, there’s another area that cries out for Senate reform: the impeachment process that led to the recent acquittal of Donald Trump. No senator should be allowed to serve as a “juror” if they’ve benefited from a pardon issued by an impeached president.