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Archive: Sep 2009

Election Fraud and Pinching Derrieres: The U.N. mission in Afghanistan

From Laura Rozen: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has announced that he is ending the appointment of American diplomat Peter Galbraith as his deputy special representative to the UN mission…

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Congress Cracks Down on Defense Fraud: But it was just by accident

From the Project on Government Oversight: Last week, the House inadvertently took a large step forward in protecting taxpayers from misbehaving contractors. The House passed the “Student Aid” bill that…

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The Village Idiots

In dealing with foreign journalists who cover American politics, I’ve noticed a consistent view about the White House press corps. I strain to recall a positive word ever being uttered…

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Did Bryan Whitman Run the “Military Analysts Program”?

Following President Obama’s assumption of office, a single member of the core Rumsfeld team at Defense has managed to hold on to his position: the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Bryan Whitman.…

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Links

In recent years, a new genre of fiction known as the Officialdom novel has become increasingly popular in China. Fans claim that the novels offer rich entertainment while providing valuable…

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Straussophobia: Six Questions for Peter Minowitz

Many critics–some writing in Harper’s—have seen Leo Strauss as the thinker behind the modern neoconservative movement and have blamed him for the neocons’ sins. Now Peter Minowitz, a self-described Straussian…

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Of Big Trees and Little ACORNs

Are major media making a mistake by failing to join in the current frenzy over the ACORN video? Ken Silverstein thinks so. The public editors of the Washington Post and…

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Entangled Giant

As yesterday’s Links points out, Garry Wills has a fine essay in the New York Review of Books that puts the fundamental dilemma of the Obama presidency in historical context:…

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The Incredible, Vanishing Torture Documents

Remember when a federal judge in Virginia was pressing for information about tapes made of CIA interrogations, and—after the Inspector General and Agency lawyers had determined that the tapes had…

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Weekly Review

An American cattleman. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy revealed that Iran had a secret uranium-enrichment facility. The announcement, based on previously classified…

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Links

Even in areas outside national security, the Obama administration quickly came to resemble Bush’s. Gay military personnel, including those with valuable Arabic-language skills, were being dismissed at the same rate…

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Hughes – I, too, sing America

Listen to Denzel Washington recite Langston Hughes’s poem I, too, sing America (from the movie The Great Debaters (2007)):…

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Alfarabi – The Quest for Happiness

Since what is intended by man’s existence is that he attain supreme happiness, he—in order to achieve it—needs to know what happiness is, make it his end, and hold it…

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Links

Until now, passenger convenience has largely been ignored. After 9/11, a litany of sharp objects was banned from carry-ons. After Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives hidden in his sneaker…

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Take Me to Your Leader

From Eric Spiegelman, via Politico: Ladies and gentlemen, your President is a robot. Or a wax sculpture. Maybe a cardboard cutout. All I know is no human being has a…

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The Great Pipeline Opera

Nabucco is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi that contains the famous chorus “Va, pensiero.” Nabucco is also the name of a massive new pipeline project that promises to bring gas…

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The Acorn Fraud and the Media

Must read piece at Reason on the media’s response to the ACORN scandal. Highlight: One of the more convincing non-coverage defenses came from Austin American-Statesman Editor Fred Zipp (“First, it’s…

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Show Me the Money!

From the Washington Post: Democratic political committees have seen a decline in their fundraising fortunes this year, a result of complacency among their rank-and-file donors and a de facto boycott…

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The Splendors of War

From the Guardian: The number of former servicemen in prison or on probation or parole is now more than double the total British deployment in Afghanistan, according to a new…

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Links

I remember some night when I am eating a Mexican dinner in the company of a Famous Eastern European Poet. As we celebrate his reading, a member of our party…

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The Long Journey West

The German historian Heinrich August Winkler, best known for his historical survey The Long Journey West (Der lange Weg nach Westen), has just published the first volume of a planned…

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Links

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, should be solved by the creation of a single state, which Mr. Qaddafi called Isratine, but Mr. Qaddafi stressed it was wrong to infer that…

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Like Condi, Hillary Offering Photo Ops for Dictators

Remember those awful pictures of George W. Bush’s secretary of state Condoleezza Rice embracing an assortment of corrupt, brutal energy-rich dictators? Now Hillary Clinton is offering precisely the same service.…

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The Business of Occupation

One of the basic assumptions of liberal democratic thought in the postwar era has been that free trade and economic development would tend to retard war and create a world…

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Torture Doesn’t Work, Neurobiologist Says

Advocates often portray torture, like waterboarding, as black magic that quickly enables the interrogator to break through his subject’s defenses and force him to divulge the location of the bomb…

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Links

From Harper’s: Rachel Aviv on Child Evangelism From “Like I Was Jesus: How to bring a nine-year-old to Christ” in the August 2009 Harper’s. Rachel Aviv is a writer living…

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Obama’s Likely Legacy: Failure in Afghanistan and Iraq

“Obama’s decision is complicated by a deepening domestic political divide and no guarantee of success whichever option he chooses,” the Washington Post wrote today in a story about Afghanistan. “One…

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