Blog Posts

Alastair Cooke explains LBJ to the UK, Nov. 25, 1963,

in "The 36th President," published in The Guardian.

Alastair Cooke was The Guardian's "America correspondent" at the time of the assassination. It's amazing to me how much he knew and understood about LBJ's politics at the time, and how he could express it in such a short piece.

Don't miss the graph where he says:

"A Jewish Writer in America" by Saul Bellow

The following, the second part of a two-part series, is excerpted from a talk originally given by Saul Bellow in 1988 and now published here for the first time. A footnote has been added by the editors.

located @

New York Review of Books for the November 10, 2011 issue.

Genghis: site warnings appearing (Update 11:24am: fixed)

Update 11:24am: readers nevermind: he fixed it; see his comment below.

Just in case you don't see it, too, here are copies of some stuff that is appearing appeared on the site, of the type which also appeared a day or two before the last trouble with signing in. The following appeared at the top of the page in a pink box when I edited my last comment:

Protect them from evil: major government fail

The horrors of the story out of Philadelphia, of the gang who imprisoned and tortured developmentally disabled people in dungeons in order to collect their SSI checks, just keep coming and coming. It could encompass as many as 50 victims over 5 states, and past deaths.

Les Francais n'oublieront jamais

A few pictures to remind myself and others that might tend Amerocentric that 9/11 is not just an American memory. One of the specific targets was the World Trade Center. Not to mention that civilian aviation worldwide would never be the same.

The Blurring of the CIA and the military: recent analysis

The blurring of CIA and military
By David Ignatius, Washington Post, June 1, 2011
One consequence of the early “war on terror” years was that the lines between CIA and military activities got blurred. ...The Obama administration is finishing an effort to redraw those lines more carefully....

Pakistan under the interrogation lights

Probing Link to Bin Laden, U.S. Tells Pakistan to Name Agents
By Helene Cooper and Ismail Khan, New York Times, May 6, 2011

WASHINGTON — Pakistani officials say the Obama administration has demanded the identities of some of their top intelligence operatives as the United States tries to determine whether any of them had contact with Osama bin Laden or his agents in the years before the raid that led to his death early Monday morning in Pakistan.

The officials provided new details of a tense discussion between Pakistani officials and an American envoy who traveled to Pakistan on Monday....

Note: Ismail Khan, now writing for the Times, is a Pakistani journalist with lengthy up close and personal experience covering Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, starting several years before 9/11.

Libya news

First up: Lest we forget, Gaddafi would like to remind us all that he's living in another universe:

Qaddafi Writes to Obama, Urging End to Airstrikes
By David D. Kirkpatrick and Fareem Fahim, New York Times, April 6/7, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya sent another strikingly personal letter to President Obama on Wednesday.....

“You will always remain our son whatever happened,” Colonel Qaddafi wrote. “We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne. You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action,” he added, in idiosyncratic spelling and capitalization.


....Qaddafi’s letter, addressed to “Mr. Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu Oumama,” the Libyan leader reiterated his characterization of the rebels as "Al Qaeda gangs.” He recalled Mr. Obama’s repeated statements “that America is not responsible for the security of other peoples.”,“That America helps only. This is the right logic,” Colonel Qaddafi wrote, adding, “As you know too well democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft, or by backing armed members of Al Qaeda in Benghazi.”.....

Côte d’Ivoire

Hundreds of Thousands Flee Ivory Coast Crisis, U.N. Says
By Adam Nossiter, New York Times, March 25, 2011:

DAKAR, Senegal — At least 700,000 people have fled their homes in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, to escape the increasing violence and collapsing economy stemming from the nation’s political crisis, the United Nations said Friday.

Daily gunfire spurred by Laurent Gbagbo’s efforts to stay in power after losing a presidential election in November has pushed thousands of residents out of neighborhoods surrounding the city’s central districts, while the closing of banks and businesses have led to widespread unemployment.

“The massive displacement in Abidjan and elsewhere is being fueled by fears of all-out war,” a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told reporters Friday in Geneva, estimating that 700,000 to one million people had already left their homes.[....]



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