Author: John Foster
John Foster is a librarian, writer, and musician based in Cleveland, Ohio. When not writing or attending shows, he can usually be found cursing at his television during Arsenal matches.

The House of Representatives, it was announced on Thursday evening, passed a resolution condemning “all forms of hatred.” On its face, there is much to recommend this. Who, after all, is not against hate? (More…)

The scheduling of a meeting of the Visegrád 4 (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia) in Jerusalem at the end of January was a seen as a moment worthy of remark even at the time. As Israeli media noted, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu had originally offered to host a meeting of the V4 in 2017, and this was the first time that the group would meet outside of Europe. (More…)

The signs that the wheels are coming off the empire are all around and, contrary to what you may have read, Marie Kondo’s lack of English has nothing to do with it. (More…)

Could there be a more fundamentally depressing thought than that the Democratic Party might somehow contrive to run Joe Biden for president in 2020? Yet, even in the season of change that has seen an unprecedented number of women (and women of colour) elected to Congress, it remains the case that the indefatigable Mr Biden is a leading contender. (More…)

A lifetime ago, I wrote a paper on the semantics of threatening for a course I took at the small liberal arts college where I was an undergrad. I don’t remember what my line of argument was. I do remember being complimented by the professor for my thoroughness. I am sure, however, that it was only later that I grasped a fundamental fact about my topic: the need to utter a threat is inversely related to its power. (More…)

A large number of chickens have been coming home to roost lately. Most prominent among them are those associated with Mr. Trump’s much vaunted negotiating skills. But across the political spectrum, the consequences of the decisions made by past selves are emerging to shape the present. (More…)

Mr Trump brought his own brand of Christmas magic to US troops serving in Afghanistan this week. As is so often the case, there were complications. Before we address the particulars, we might well take the opportunity of the end of Mr Trump’s second year in office to take stock of his position. (More…)

Sunday, August 25th, 1968, Lincoln Park, Chicago. The Yippies had set up an event called The Festival of Life as part of the protest activities directed at the Democratic National Convention. They’d sent out invitations to a lot of heavy hitters (Janis Joplin, etc.) but the only band that showed up was the MC5. (More…)

In The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani provides a passionate and compelling statement of the mainstream liberal critique of the misdeeds of the 45th president and the cultural and political effects that it has spawned. Digging deeper, Kakutani locates the source of the problem in the loss of standards of truth held in common. (More…)

The furore over Mr. Trump’s recent visit to Europe has mostly dissipated now. His return to the United States has been accompanied by yet another round of angry and unbalanced tweets excoriating his enemies and wondering aloud for the umpteenth time why it was that the FBI hadn’t seen fit to carry off the DNC’s servers. (More…)

Donald Trump does not exist. This is not to say that there isn’t a guy with the initials DT sitting around the White House in a Trump Tower bathrobe live tweeting Fox and Friends. But Donald Trump the individual human being is trivial, merely the avatar of the spectacular complex bearing the designation “Donald Trump, successful businessman.” (More…)

Fascism is a state that capitalism sometimes occupies, but it is also a system of ideas. It is important to remember this because this ideological dimension generates dynamics in a turbulent landscape that cannot be unproblematically reduced to (or mapped onto) the underlying economic formation. (More…)