March 2012

“How the Left Turned Against the Jews”

March 30, 2012

. Nick Cohen at Standpoint writing, in “How the Left Turned Against the Jews,” about Colin Shindler’s new book, Israel and the European Left: But in a strange manner few discuss, the death of Communism has freed far-Left ideas from the cage of the Cold War. When the far Left was a global force, the [...]

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The Whole at the Center of the Trayvon Martin Case

March 29, 2012

. The two central elements of the Trayvon Martin controversy have been race and “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws. I have focused on the legal element, as a non-lawyer considering the reasoning and politics behind SYG. Florida law, it is said, adds the additional factor of a presumption in favor of a person claiming to [...]

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The Duty to Retreat from Standing Your Ground

March 27, 2012

. When awful incidents like that of the Trayvon Williams killing occur, good outcomes are the attention they draw to existent social conditions, such as the continuing role of race in our relations and the advent of “stand your ground” laws in so many states. A characteristic bad outcome is how the discussion of these [...]

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Zou Bisou Bisou

March 26, 2012

. My God, how soft they are! But tell me, do you know What that means, between us, What does “zou bisou” mean? It means, I confess to you, But yes, I love only you! Kiss kiss kiss etc. My God, how soft it is! But no need for bushes in the month of August [...]

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March 25, 2012

. There is no shortage of contenders for the worst in human nature, but the union of faith and cynicism, righteousness and arrogance makes its own historical claim. Join a politician who casts his candidacy as the preservation of religious traditions with the corruption of public discourse that is political media and we arrive at [...]

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Jazz Is: 35 – Take Five Walla

March 24, 2012

Recorded at Sachal Studios, Lahore, Pakistan – the premiere of Take Five’s Official Video. (Hat tip: friend Janet) Related articles CineFile – The City ( Eating Poetry (XXX) – “Every telling has a tailing” (

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The Unsound Judgment of Peter Beinart

March 22, 2012

. Just over two years ago, I wrote a post titled “The Unsound Judgment of Andrew Sullivan.” Sullivan, for all his true virtues, is a man of strikingly unsound judgment. He swings, he swings frequently, he swings with emotion from one impassioned response to another, a kind of journalistic Thaïs transforming regularly from the life of [...]

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“The One”

March 21, 2012

. Before there was The Moonwalk, there was “The One,” James Brown, subject of a new biography by that name by RJ Smith. Writes Janet Maslin in her New York Times book review, So the reader who knows little of Mr. Brown’s story may not instantly grasp why that story is so mesmerizing. For that [...]

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Thinking Through the Iranian Dilemma

March 19, 2012

Attempting to think through a dilemma like the threat of a nuclear Iran is like trying to make one’s way through a windstorm. For most people, who have none of the inside information of those in various official roles, or the view from the doorway of the analysts with access, all of the details that [...]

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Your Hit Parade – March 14, 1952

March 14, 2012

. The number one song that day. Kay Starr: “Wheel of Fortune.”

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Time for a Different Kind of “Game Change”

March 12, 2012

. Sometimes, often, watching the Sunday Morning news programs  (like any other of their kind) can cause near combustion in one’s cranium. The sheer hackneyed handicapping of “the game,” the crony punditry and homogenized thinking are mental toxins. Here is George Stephanopoulos leading and permitting this palaverous exchange about HBO’s film version of Game Change. [...]

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Eating Poetry (XXXII) – The Ecstasy of Unreasoning Happiness

March 11, 2012

. Patricia Hampl’s fine essay in the spring The American Scholar,  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Essays From the Edge, surveys the background to Fitzgerald‘s “The Crack Up” essays, published  in Esquire in 1936. She finds in the controversial product of Fitzgerald’s attempt to write himself back from personal and authorial oblivion a meeting point in consciousness between poetry and [...]

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Obama, Holder & the Altered Paradigm of War

March 9, 2012

. There is no better way to keep an argument going – that is, to halt any progress in the exploration of its critical ideas – than to simply ignore the claims of one’s opponent. At the very least, to acknowledge and contend with particular and supporting claims is to focus the field of dispute [...]

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States Rights and Transnational Law

March 8, 2012

. Jonathan Fisher for the UK based The Henry Jackson Society has produced a paper that considers the United Kingdom’s involvement in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its judicial body, the European Court of Human Rights. It suggests a fascinating parallel. This paper addresses the key human rights question in Britain today – Should the United Kingdom [...]

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The Higgs-Boson Particle: That Which We Call a Rose

March 8, 2012

. So physicists it seems, both at Tevatron and CERN‘s Large Hadron Collider, may be closing in on the Higgs-Boson, or “God,” particle. Except, it seems, that many scientists are unhappy about that nickname. “I hate that “God particle’ term,” one member of the CERN team in Europe said last December. “The Higgs is not [...]

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Divided America, or Boys & Girls Not Together

March 6, 2012

. What is there really to work out in the current American divides – which is to ask, what really can be worked out? If you are a politician, an office seeker, hopefulness and the rhetoric that summons a people movingly to common purpose is the lingua franca of your own success. It takes a [...]

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Eating Poetry (XXXI) – “Poem #1”

March 4, 2012

. Tirui Getekian is a student at West Los Angeles College. From the spring 2012 issue of West. Poem #1 Sex is Eating cheese While jump-roping Love is Quickly square-dancing While breathing ammonia You are The butterfly that accidentally flew under my step one summer afternoon when I was young I am A wind-up doll [...]

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The Internationalist Cover for Anti-Semitism

March 2, 2012

. One of the consequences of the fall of Communism has been a kind of analytical disjunction in recognizing ideological continuities on the far left. Communism as a significant modern organizing ideology of nation states came to an end, so the focus it provided for a host of Western political parties and tendencies was lost. [...]

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No Cant or Sanctimony on Andrew Breitbart

March 1, 2012

. Consider that Andrew Breitbart was a contemporary new media turn on Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Imagine either of those two dying not in the faded aftermath of their celebrity and achievements, as they were, but at the height of their notoriety. That said, I will be very surprised to read a fairer, wiser consideration [...]

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