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Strong wind
Strong fire
Night’s contention on a seacoast hill


I’ve been away for a few days, completely cut off from the outside world. I had a few pieces primed to go off in my absence, but obviously I miscalibrated the machinery somehow. At any rate, we’ll resume regular programming here as soon as I catch up a bit.

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Too Much of Nothing: Crime Without Punishment, War Without End

The President of the United States has openly, proudly admitted that he approved the use of interrogation methods that are by every measure — including the measure of United States law — criminal acts of torture. It is one of the most brazen and scandalous confessions of wrongdoing ever uttered by an American leader — and it has had no impact whatsoever. No scandal, no outcry, no protest, no prosecution.

This pattern has recurred over and over throughout the Bush Administration.

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Reprising the Genocidal Fury of Thomas Friedman

I’m away this week at the usual undisclosed, secure location. In the interim, here’s a look back at a piece on the very model of a modern major punditiot. Unfortunately, it is still all too relevant, as the mindset anatomized below still reigns — and roars — supreme over what is laughingly called our “public discourse.” (It is neither, of course; the “public” has zero input into it, and “discourse” is a painfully inappropriate word for the witless barbarisms of our knuckle-dragging mandarins.) This piece originally ran in November 2006.

You would think that
by now

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Immortal Communion: One Lowly Word and the Subversion of Power

Boris Pasternak’s novel, Doctor Zhivago, is best remembered for its star-crossed love story and its sweeping panorama of the Russian Revolution – themes amplified in David Lean’s 1965 film version, a beautiful travesty which has largely supplanted the book in the public mind. But within his conventional narrative of shattering passions and historic upheavals, Pasternak subtly diffuses a deeply subversive philosophy that overthrows power structures and modes of thought that have dominated human life for thousands of years. Yet remarkably, this far-reaching,

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Flash Forward: Re-Writing Imperial History

I will be away this week at the usual undisclosed secure location. But to keep the home fires burning at the blog, we’re offering some choice pieces from the past. Here’s one now, originally published in February 2006 in the Moscow Times — and nominated for an “Alternate History” award at the North American Science Fiction Conference last year.


May 12, 2153
– Within the ivy-covered walls of Farben University, a
great battle is now raging. But although the Reich’s ancient capital

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Past Imperfect: Victory in Vietnam

I’m away this week at the usual undisclosed secure location. But to keep the home fires burning at the blog, here’s another piece from the past (March 2006):

Late-Breaking News: USA Wins Vietnam War

evening and welcome to Conglomerate News Network. I’m your host, Teat
Hodgkins. Tonight we open with some startling news from Southeast Asia:
The United States has won the Vietnam War. Our roving reporter, Jimbo
Hooper, joins us from Ho Chi Minh City. Jimbo?

Teat. Yes, long after we all

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Capital Crimes: Another Smoking Gun on Terror War Torture

From ABC:
In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News….

Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.
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Carp of Truth

I understand from  a glance at the newspaper wrapping the fish I bought for dinner that a general appointed by George Bush to escalate the war in Iraq is in favor of continuing the escalation. This seems to be regarded as big news in some quarters.

I think there is more truth in this dead fish’s eyes than in anything that was said on Capitol Hill yesterday.

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Follow the Leader: In Defense of John Yoo

John Yoo has been getting a bit of guff in the liberal media recently for some legal memoranda he wrote a while back defending the president’s right — and duty — to protect the American people from terrorism. This criticism is as short-sighted as it is pernicious — and we are here today to defend this good and faithful public servant against the unwarranted calumnies that have besmirched his name.

Fortunately for the security of our Republic, the far left’s attempt to turn Yoo’s patriotic labors into yet another persnickety”moral outrage,” a la Abu Ghraib

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Barbarossa Revisited: Bush Goes Bear-Baiting in the East

Justin Raimondo has the goods on George Bush’s bear-baiting in Ukraine this week in his column, Nato Marches Eastward. Raimondo goes behind all the rhetorical “high politics” hokum of mainstream commentary and identifies the three main fronts of this diplomatic (so far) Barbarossa. They are — as anyone who follows American foreign policy with even one half-open eye would know — oil, weapons and hegemony.

The new Cold War that Raimondo (among others) delineates has absolutely nothing to

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