Tag: United States

While the death of Arizona Senator John McCain has inspired heartfelt tributes from mainstream Democrats and Republicans alike, his long-time detractors have shown little reluctance to call his legacy into question. Here in Arizona, where he was regularly criticized for his tendency to seek positive coverage in the national media instead of the legislative results his constituents were hoping for, many conservatives expressed relief that he was finally out of the way. (More…)

The insurgent New York State Senate campaign of Julia Salazar, a young democratic socialist looking to unseat an entrenched Democratic Party incumbent, is now the latest and most high-profile front in the American left’s electoral action. Like the successful campaigns of other socialists, her campaign has brought up questions who American cities and local governments serve: the rich or the 99 per cent? (More…)

The eminent jurist Learned Hand once wrote that “the spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is right”. This particular shade, always a rather anaemic presence in American public life is now well and truly dead. The question that one is tempted to ask in our current circumstances is how long will it be until the republic joins it in the grave. (More…)

Whatever you might say about Russia, you’re wrong. Whether you’re on the left or the right, the answer is the same. (More…)

Shortly after I moved to the Sonoran desert, I developed a standard response for friends and family who wondered how I was holding up. “Yes,” I’d say, “it’s hot as hell in summer. And, yes, the landscape is full of danger. But that’s what makes it exciting. I mean, in half a day I can make it from a trailhead minutes from my house into extreme wilderness.” (More…)

A job that pays enough to live on and help support a family is prized more than anything else in Gaza, and no wonder. The unemployment rate currently hovers at 49 per cent overall and reaches 65 per cent among youth and young adults (15-29)—and 85 per cent among women. The result is that more than half of the population of 2 million (53 per cent) live in poverty. (More…)

On July 23-24, 1968, African American radicals engaged in a wild shootout with police in the Glenville section of Cleveland. When it was over, six people were dead and the raw racial tension that had simmered below the surface in the city since the Hough Riots two years earlier again flashed into the open. (More…)

Like last summer’s widely lauded Get Out, Sorry To Bother You, the first film by hip-hop activist Boots Riley, is a rollicking bad time, every bit as fun as it is disturbing. And that’s surely the main reason that, like Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, it is doing well with audiences that don’t generally seek out left-wing multicultural art. Although less narratively “tight” than Get Out, (More…)

Baudrillard says somewhere that the (or one) reason that schizophrenics are persistently agitated is that they lack a capacity for differentiation, such that all the dangers of the universe seem proximate and threatening. Perhaps this does not comport with modern psychology’s understanding of schizophrenia, but as a back-of-the-envelope diagnosis of our current circumstance, one could really do a lot worse. The entire American political spectrum is saturated with suspicions, some more valid and some less, that the centre cannot hold and the blood-dimmed tide is fast approaching. (More…)

At first glance, the Germans clambering over the Berlin Wall were a welcome sight. Finally, the DDR had imploded, and the countdown to reunification had begun.  But, the Cold War wasn’t over just yet, and my distrust of the coverage made me wonder about the darkness that might yet follow the protestors West. (More…)

Umberto Eco, who spent his early years in fascist Italy, once wrote, “Mussolini did not have any philosophy: he had only rhetoric.” This is, perhaps, the most fundamentally apposite statement of the politics of Donald Trump. He has no philosophy beyond the grumpy natterings common to superannuated white men: raging against the dying of the light with the noontide of white privilege only barely receding. He has only bluster and threats and the lugubrious schmooze of the inveterate speculator. (More…)

Trump’s visit to the UK is an opportunity as much as it is a part of a crisis. The sky is full of military planes, and the police are preparing for the demonstrations. (More…)