‘US’ Category

  1. It’s getting too hot for clear thinking

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    January 20, 2018 by AK

    President Trump has given a Fake News award to Professor Paul Krugman, which I find both unfair and inordinately amusing. It’s unfair because Krugman is not a news reporter but a columnist and sometime economist. Since winning the Nobel prize in economics in 2008, he seems to have focused his efforts on blogging and columning …
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  2. False equivalence as fake news

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    January 6, 2018 by AK

    On a meager data plan in this Alpine cottage, I’ve limited myself to reading news stories – no images, no streaming video, no podcasts. That’s my preferred way of getting news anyway. Unsurprisingly, I’ve been aware of the Iranian protests, or uprising perhaps, since their early days. I read about President Trump’s support for the …
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  3. “Oddly overlooked aesthetic connections”

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    December 25, 2017 by AK

    As I’ve said, James Panero’s recent piece on the painter Andrew Wyeth does not seem particularly well-reasoned to me. Nevertheless, it does a service to the reading public as it points out that painters can be influenced by filmmakers, not only the other way round. There are plenty of examples of directors and cameramen drawing …
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  4. “The idioms of one medium through the materials of another”?

    4

    December 20, 2017 by AK

    James Panero of The New Criterion has produced a puzzling review of “the traveling exhibition, ‘Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect’.” Wyeth manipulated his compositions much like a silent film director… In his lack of authenticity and his chilly sentiment, Wyeth was decidedly unmodern. His artifice might be considered postmodern, even contemporary, as he processed the idioms …
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  5. The tax state and entrepreneurial profit

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    December 12, 2017 by AK

    Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind, wrote on Crooked Timber: Schumpeter famously said that taxes are the “thunder of world history.” In The Guardian, he put it this way: Taxes are the “thunder of world history,” wrote Joseph Schumpeter. “The spirit of a people … is written in its fiscal history.” Schumpeter’s 1918 …
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  6. The sleeper-waker

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    December 9, 2017 by AK

    “If one uncouples the last car from a train, the train will have no last car.” This pseudo-paradox is supposed to illustrate a certain property of natural languages. “Russia’s next president will be Vladimir Putin” is based on a similar, if inverted, logic, but few Russians experience it as a paradox. A case of bad …
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  7. Which emperor, though?

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    December 7, 2017 by AK

    Yelena Suponina writes in Forbes Russia about Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel: Trump has approached it [the problem of Jerusalem] with the sangfroid and superciliousness of a Roman emperor, who is not supposed to seek insight into his vassals’ petty squabbles for some overseas territories. He is not ready to untangle this ball …
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  8. Jayda Fransen’s “hate crime(s)” as 1st Amendment-protected speech

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    December 1, 2017 by AK

    President Trump has retweeted three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, an English anti-Muslim activist. It has been reported that Fransen has been convicted of a “hate crime” and charged with two others in the UK. Closer inspection reveals that the laws she has purportedly broken are mildly Orwellian – with apologies to Ben Judah. The …
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  9. Erase and rewind

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    November 9, 2017 by AK

    The BBC reports: US actor Kevin Spacey is to be erased from a completed Hollywood film following the allegations of predatory sexual behaviour against him. “Erased.” The Guardian settles on “cut out.” Incidentally, retroactive film editing in the Soviet block peaked after Stalin’s death, when the Communist leaders decided that the best way to deal …
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  10. Labors too modest for a knock on the head

    3

    November 5, 2017 by AK

    I didn’t expect to ever agree with Masha Gessen again on anything but her conclusions in this piece make sense to me. She asks, among other questions: Is there any reason, at this point, to think that a tiny drop in the sea of Facebook ads changed any American votes? Her answer is “No.” To be …
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