Robert Becker

Robert Becker
California, United States
January 01
Educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English) I left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92; from '92-02 I did marketing consulting & writing; from '02 until now, I scribble on politics and culture, looking for the wit in the shadows.

Robert Becker's Links

By Robert S. Becker


Rare are the moments when hard-bitten pundits kneel in prayer, paying homage to the imminent wonder upon us. What was unimaginable a month ago, without drastic foreign muggings against the homeland, has come to pass. We bask for a moment as these UniteRead full post »

By Robert S. Becker


Obombardier Away 

If dramatic reversal matters, Obama's legacy headline as our first minority president is fast fading. Not when this one-time peacenik, alleged war skeptic, and Nobel Prize Winner in his second term turns moralistic warmonger with a vengeance. By what drone-a… Read full post »

By Robert S. Becker

All of three years ago, five-million barrels of Gulf crude oil, made more poisonous by adding toxic dispersant, redefined the meaning of marine pollution. Now, its brand badly tarnished, BP’s latest CEO, Robert Dudley, dumps its latest sludge, a slick concoction of chutzpah

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By Robert S. Becker

Two sterling insights from Obama neighbor, noted writer, and good friend, Francis-Noël Thomas, capture the disaster that is the modern American presidency:


1) Whatever a president doesn't know on election, he won't learn in office. HoweverRead full post »


 Churchgoing and church construction is down.

By Robert S. Becker


The intrepid optimist is back, searching for shreds of good news against the baying gloom. Well, an optimist compared to the relentless Chris Hedges-Paul C. Roberts School of Apocalypse Now. What darkens my… Read full post »

Melting Pot


By Robert S. Becker

What enduring image bespeaks hallowed American exceptionalism – greatness fortified by immigrant labor – than Melting Pot? “Come, you poor, tired, huddled masses: acclimate, pitch in, and enjoy your share of Yankee treasure.” And scattered…

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By Robert S. Becker


Remember that hilarious Amadeus moment when Mozart’s jaw drops, all excitement dashed when the Emperor belittles his latest tour de force as “a touch elaborate.”  Meaning “too long,” since (absurdly) one can only hear &Read full post »

Diane, Media and Pals with a stick figure

Diane, Medea and CODEPINK, with stick figure 

No one outdoes Texan Diane Wilson for unflinching, off-the-wall, over-the-fence, ingeniously brilliant protests. That insight struck me after a phone chat about her dramatic, face-to-face White House fence insurgency against relentless Gu… Read full post »


Robert S. Becker 

Where are the momentous, consciousness-raising boycotts of yesteryear that rose up against injustice, bigotry, or plain stupidity, to advance legal,Read full post »


By Robert S. Becker 

How telling the master of smug moralism, Ronald Reagan, censured the Soviet Union 30 years ago not merely as the "evil empire" but the "focus of evil in the modern world." Stand aside, Satan, Hitler or Pol Pot, displaced by upstart Commies, like N… Read full post »


Robert S. Becker



Whatever his ultimate, well-scrubbed narrative, the Obama experiment in learning-on-the-job defies the popular theory that great, overpowering personalities dictate their will, dominate eras and make history. Long past his definitive re-election win, this pre… Read full post »


By Robert S. Becker

How telling our liveliest, most enduring public debate obscures endless war or economic misery, debt ceilings, size of government, even Obamacare. Forget about climate calamities, pandemics or food shortages. The raucous national discord, curious after his half…

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By Robert S. Becker

 used with permission  

To revive his disintegrating second term, Obama need not go Bulworth and shock everyone with the audacity of truth. Nor must he Wag the Dog, as in trump up a remote security menace, then pulverize some backwater to distract from scandal-mania. As tRead full post »



 By Robert S. Becker

Who knew, before delving beyond Wayne LaPierre’s shrill, defiant persona, that the NRA imbues guns with sanctified moral purpose? Not just sanctimonious but sanctified, and for the public good. WhyRead full post »


Four Gun Fantasies Top LaPierre’s Reign of Terror 

Unpacked, core NRA dogma promotes sedition, defying regulation, mediation by police, courts of law, community values, and whatever smacks of government. NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre covers his reign of terror, like all zealots, bRead full post »

Potent agents of our foreign policy 

Conquest, War, Famine and Death


By Robert S. Becker

Pick your apocalypse, for the futures market is booming. Rebel yells of doom and gloom outstrip the Rapture, that mixed bag of redemption for the elect -- and the End of Everything for everyone else. For skittish pessRead full post »



By Robert S. Becker

Government by Poison Pill: A Bold, New Model?

Only a brave contrarian defends a poison pill concoction conceived in cynicism and promoted with panic that staggers home with all the climax of a shotgun wedding. Once an orphan chick ostracized by all,
Read full post »

Gut Plastic, used with permission

For a Pittance, Join Up as Ocean Activist

Without knowing, as famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle brilliantly summarized in her TED talk, personal caring won’t materialize. And without caring – even about earth’s “life-support system” – then the hope thatRead full post »

By Robert S. Becker


reprinted with permission from K. Tucker 

reprinted with permission, K. Tucker 


In the long arc of history, the human race hopped off branches, crawled from caves, then inscribed holy books. Genesis crowned mankind with dominion “over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the airRead full post »


GOP Cracked 

Republicans aren't just having a bad season, a bad year or bad election cycle. When a shrinking minority, bereft of rebuilding moves, starts hurling thunderbolts at each other, we can project bad decades. Not so long ago, rightwingers began leaping off cliffs and denying… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 20, 2013 4:15PM

Backlash to NRA Rampage Reloads Gun Reform



LaPierre Should Stop Confusing Speaking with Lying


Here's the easy answer to three questions no one expected a year ago: "NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre."


1) Whose sleazy, million-dollar-a-year gun lobbyist perfectly reflects in tone and message our most predatorRead full post »



Robert S. Becker



And the envelope, please. Winner of the elbows down, muzzle up award for the Most Predatory, Most Immunized American Industry . . . yes, consumer firearms. After all, corporate raiders like Romney limit plundering to jobs, tax loopholes, pensions,… Read full post »



By Robert S. Becker 

Doubling Down on Outmoded Messaging Confirms Minority Status  

As Karl Rove’s career crashes – from discredited dirty-trickster to failed super-fundraiser/strategy wizard and lastly mortified TV pundit – one clear narrative… Read full post »


Robert S. Becker


Today’s easy riddle: what will cost more, last longer, and accomplish less than our troop-heavy, anachronistic, perpetual overseas occupations? Nothing, nada, rien – certainly not annual deficits, Bush tax cuts, or formal defense budgets. PutRead full post »


  [Note: Not a genuine Time Cover]

By Robert S. Becker

What if they gave a war – and only one army showed up?

Here’s my pro-government, Thanksgiving hurrah: federalism dodged another Florida 2000 election fiasco, a looming prospect were Gallup’s blunderbuss pollRead full post »