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Anne Applebaum, Professional Mourner

The crimes of history are optional. We mix, match and discard according to taste and convenience. It’s useful for Applebaum’s Tory backers to remember Stalin’s crimes because they can still use them to bash anyone who might want to beef up the National Health system with higher taxes. “Today an extra 1% VAT on my Jag convertible, tomorrow Kolyma!” is a very familiar war cry from these crusaders for human rights.

Dec 19, 2013 | Comments (12)

Ukraine: The Gogolean Bordello

But there is not any “final” thing in politics, least of all in Ukrainian politics, or Eastern European politics in general. The keys to understanding today’s political landscape in Ukraine can be found not in the European Enlightenment philosophy of the 18th century, or the Russian political discourse of “slavophiles” vs. “westernizers” of the 19th century. Instead, one should reach back to the genius of the Ukrainian soul revealed some 150 years ago by Nikolai Gogol.

Dec 14, 2013 | Comments (7)

Donetsk Paper Fascists: Protest & Track Suits In Yanukovych's Hometown

Donetsk is a fascist city. I’m not using this term in the cheap way that it gets bandied around at a dinner table discussion between Republicans and Democrats. Donetsk actually is fascist. There is one party, people get beaten for opposition views, information is controlled, nationalist sentiment is enflamed with insane rhetoric about America/NATO plots to enslave Ukraine, and fear is the main motivating factor.

Dec 2, 2013 | Comments (7)

Books That Was in Nam

Vietnam, a war characterized by thousands of small skirmishes, was richer in incident and gore than an inner-city basketball tournament. When next you hear that rough voice asking, “War — what is it good for?”, you tell it: “First-person memoirs, that’s what!”

Nov 30, 2013 | Comments (1)

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TSA and Pigs: How the left and right united to turn TSA agents into public enemy number one

  On Friday morning, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia walked into Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles LAX airport, pulled a Smith & Wesson AR-15 semi-automatic rifle from a duffel bag and started shooting his way through a security checkpoint. He specifically…

Nov 5, 2013 | Comments (3)

Book Review: Malcolm Gladwell Asks Us To Pity the Rich

Ever since Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” came out in early October, he’s been on a non-stop promotional tour. He’s appeared on the BBC and the Daily Show, he’s done Twitter group chats and Ted Talk Q&As, and has had…

Oct 26, 2013 | Comments (1)

Exterminate The Men: Honoring Andrea Dworkin, A Feminist Who Meant It and Paid

The recent death of Andrea Dworkin didn’t even make the small print news in Russia. Feminism, at least the feminism of the kind Westerners take for granted, never caught on. Patronizing Westerners often see that as a sign that Russians…

Sep 14, 2013 | Comments (36)