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Fever Dream: Fast Foward to the End of Democracy

A version of this column appears in the Jan. 27th edition of The Moscow Times.

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2006 – Heralding a “bold new era of unity and reform” in Washington, President George W. Bush quelled a series of controversies over the limits of executive power today by signing a sweeping new measure, the Extending the Boundaries of Legality Act (EBOLA), in a gala ceremony at the White House.

The measure, passed overwhelmingly by Congress last week, acknowledges “the inherent authority of the Commander-in-Chief to take all necessary measures to preserve the security of the United States

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Weather Forecast: Tyranny Foretold

Below is a passage from a column I published in the Moscow Times on Nov. 9, 2001. (Weather Report: The Hard Chill Begins to Bite.)
I offer it here not as an example of my powers of prophecy – I have
none, of course – but simply as evidence that the darkness that has
descended on the Republic today could be seen coming years ago, by any
ordinary citizen, without power or position, no special access to insider
information, no expert knowledge or academic rank:

[Excerpt]: It won’t come with

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Weather Report: The Hard Chill Begins to Bite

Originally published in The Moscow Times on Nov. 9, 2001

It won’t come with jackboots and book burnings, with mass rallies and
fevered harangues. It won’t come with “black helicopters” or tanks on
the street. It won’t come like a storm – but like a break in the
weather, that sudden change of season you might feel when the wind
shifts on an October evening: everything is the same, but everything
has changed. Something has gone, departed from the world, and a new
reality has taken its place.

As in Rome, all the old forms will still

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“The Emblem of Suffering and Shame”

The New York Times has printed a good, if woefully
incomplete, story on the massive, death-dealing corruption of Bush’s
crony conquistadors in Iraq (Audit Describes Misuse of Funds in Iraq
). One of the anecdotes of avarice related in the just-released
audit of the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction could
well stand as an emblem of the entire murderous, misbegotten
enterprise: it’s grubby, it’s petty, it’s driven by raw, bestial greed,
and it resulted in the cruel, unnecessary death of innocent people.

Although the episode is

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Proxy Fight

Below is an interesting story from today’s news, followed by links to some other stories that might possibly have some relevance to the current events.

Six Killed in Southwest Iran Bombings (AP)
Excerpt: Bombs killed six people and wounded more than 30 others Tuesday in Ahvaz, a southwestern city with a history of violence involving members of Iran’s Arab minority, Iranian state media reported. The bombs exploded outside a bank and a state environmental agency building in Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, which borders Iraq, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said.

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Annals of Liberation

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” — Kris Kristofferson

From the Washington Post: Professionals Fleeing Iraq As Violence, Threats Persist

Excerpt: Iraq’s top professionals — doctors, lawyers, professors — and businessmen have been targeted by shadowy political groups for kidnapping and ransom, as well as murder, some of them say. So many have fled the country that Iraq is in danger of losing the core of skilled people it needs most just as it is trying to build a newly independent society.

“It’s creating a brain drain,” said Amer

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Jellyfish Out!

From Molly Ivins, this manifesto:

I Will Not Support Hillary Clinton for President.


Read it now, read it all, for every word rings true like tempered steel. Enough is enough already with this feckless, boneless, clueless crew of Democratic “leaders.” It’s time to turf them out, root and branch, and take up the words of the bard: “Strike another match, go start anew.”

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Pre-October Non-Surprise: The Goon Show of Bush and Bin Laden

Let’s see now: President dropping in the polls; impeachment talk over illegal wiretaps gaining traction; majority of  Americans now supporting withdrawal from Iraq; Abramoff scandal reaching into the White House; big push starting for war with Iran; the Bush gang reduced to defending their crime, deception and despotism with a last, threadbare card, the “terrorist threat”…..

Why, yes, I think it’s about time for a guest shot from Osama!

And so the deadly symbiosis between that dynamic, death-peddling duo, Bush and bin Laden, goes on. And as usual, the timing — even the wording — of

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Loot the Vote: The Bush Faction’s Future Victories are Already in the Bag

This is a slightly expanded version of my column in the Jan. 20 edition of The Moscow Times.
Things are looking a bit grim for the Bush Faction these days. Their chief bagman, Jack Abramoff, is in the clink, naming names. Their top congressional enforcer, Tom Delay, is in the dock, sinking fast. Their “war of choice” in Iraq has stalled in murderous quagmire. Their poll numbers are plummeting , as scandal after scandal — corruption, despotism, torture, incompetence, deceit — turn the American people against them. What then will be the fate of these brutal, bungling,

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