Author Archives: Jon N. Hall


Ambiguity, the Chevron Doctrine, Kavanaugh, and ‘Birthright Citizenship’

by Jon N. Hall11/18/18
Though it may be the envy of the free world, America’s legal system is not perfect. One of the reasons for its imperfection is that our laws are written with imperfect language. And what are laws if not language? More » • (95 views)

Posted in Politics | 15 Comments

Post-Confirmation Musings

by Jon N. Hall10/23/18
The Midterm Elections in the Wake of Kavanaugh’s Confirmation  •  Senate hearings are rarely “must-see TV” for this kid. Such hearings are often tedious and can serve as just an excuse for senators to showboat in their bids for the presidency. More » • (78 views)

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

McCain, Bipartisanship, and the ‘Congress Problem’

by Jon N. Hall9/17/18
John McCain’s funeral at the National Cathedral brings to mind an admonition some will have heard in the cinematic recreation of a memorial at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for T.E. Lawrence: “Well, nil nisi bonum” – “Of the dead, [say] nothing but good.” More » • (87 views)

Posted in Politics | 13 Comments

The West since the Cold War

by Jon N. Hall7/12/18
Since the liberation of Europe’s Soviet Bloc in 1989 and the demise in 1991 of the Soviet Union itself, the West has become so pathetic that one might be forgiven for having a little wistful nostalgia for the Cold War era. More » • (192 views)

Posted in Essays | 30 Comments

Helping Lawyers with Their Prose

by Jon N. Hall6/2/18
President Trump wants to end the nearly 70-year conflict with North Korea and get Kim to sign a peace treaty. But what is a treaty if not language? Let’s hope the lawyers drafting any agreement with NOKO know enough to avoid “and/or.” More » • (104 views)

Posted in Essays | 6 Comments

Never Trumpers and Fox News

by Jon N. Hall4/20/18
Although the truly florid lunacy over the Trump presidency is confined to the political left, there is another breed of anti-Trumpism on the political right: the Never Trump movement. These folks are the conservatives, the libertarians, and (especially) the establishment Republicans who were staunchly against Trump More » • (769 views)

Posted in Politics | 31 Comments

The Dollar: Lionel Shriver on Ruin

by Jon N. Hall3/7/18
Could the U.S. dollar ever be ruined? Other currencies, like the German mark in the 1920s, have been ruined, why not the dollar? Recently, I wrote a book review of The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047, a novel by Lionel Shriver that deals with the demise of the dollar due to a default on the national debt. More » • (112 views)

Posted in Economics | 10 Comments

Book Review: The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047

by Jon N. Hall2/13/18
Whenever Congress has their predictable little spats over raising the debt ceiling so they can avoid triggering yet another government shutdown, some members raise the disquieting prospect of “default.” More » • (83 views)

Posted in Book Reviews | 6 Comments

Movie Review: Live by Night

by Jon N. Hall12/29/17
From book to film  •  Unaware that it had been made into a movie, I recently read a fairly recent novel and then discovered that its film adaptation was playing on Cinemax. The novel was Live by Night by Dennis Lehane and Lehane’s fellow Bostonian Ben Affleck produced More » • (85 views)

Posted in Movie Reviews | 1 Comment

Melancholia: Rethinking a Movie

by Jon N. Hall9/30/17
Thinking that I would soon have to trade in my DVR and thus lose all my recorded movies I decided to watch one that I had recorded more than three years ago but hadn’t seen: Melancholia (2011) by the Danish writer-director Lars von Trier. As I survey von Trier’s oeuvre, More » • (202 views)

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Oliver Stone and Confederate Monuments

by Jon N. Hall8/27/17
Some conservatives may have issues with Hollywood director Oliver Stone. But in the wake of the recent horror in Charlottesville and the uproar over Confederate statues, I’m reminded of the segment in his 2017 The Putin Interviews when Stone ventures out into Red Square to visit the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. More » • (650 views)

Posted in Politics | 42 Comments

The Bottom Line on Obamacare Repeal

by Jon N. Hall7/7/17
In 2014, Obamacare took effect. It was the year that Line 61 in the “Other Taxes” section of our beloved 1040 tax form began to read: “61 Health care: individual responsibility (see instructions) Full-year coverage,” More » • (313 views)

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments