How the FBI Spied On Edward Said (Jan. 11, 2006)

“The FBI has a long, ignoble tradition of monitoring and harassing America’s top intellectuals. While people ranging from Albert Einstein, William Carlos Williams to Martin Luther King have been subjected to FBI surveillance, there remains an under-accounting of the ways in which this monitoring at times hampered the reception of their work.”  These are the […]

Hillary Reveals Her True Colors

January 26, 1996  — The prime do-gooder bluestocking of all time was probably Beatrice Webb, who with her husband Sydney fostered the political tendency known as Fabianism, very influential in the evolution of the British Labor Party. The Fabian view was that under the expert guidance of enlightened intellectuals such as the Webbs, society would […]

Dwarf Tossing (2002)

Here’s why I’m against the UN as a promoter of federalism and world guv’mint. This just in from Geneva, Switzerland, via Reuter’s wire: “UN upholds French ban on ‘dwarf-throwing.’” It turns out that a diminutive stuntman who had protested against a French ban on the practice of “dwarf-throwing” has lost his case before some sort […]

Awards For Yourself

(1984) Were there ever members of any profession so keen on giving each other prizes as journalists? From the rising of the sun in the morning until its going down at night they keep at it, ladling out the trophies to each other: “Front Page” awards; “Distinguished Service To Journalism” awards; “National Magazine” awards, “Best […]

‘A Damned Murder, Inc.’

[July 2009] Some time in early or mid-1949 a CIA officer named Bill (his surname is blacked out in the file, which was surfaced by John Kelly in the early 1990s) asked an outside contractor for input on how to kill people. Requirements included the appearance of an accidental or purely fortuitous terminal experience suffered […]

Riots & The Underclass

What’s a riot without looting? We want it, they’ve got it! You’d think from the press that looting was alien to British tradition, imported by immigrants more recent than the Normans. Not so.

From The Archives: Food & Forgetfulness

(June 2001) Driving to town the other day I got stuck behind a livestock trailer taking calves to auction. Bum­bling along at 30 mph I was forced to listen to an NPR interview, by Terry Gross I assume, with some fellow talking about his garden, about which he had evidently written a silly-sounding book.* After […]

From The Archives: From Twin Towers To Twin Camelots

The world falls in love with a charismatic young presi­dent, his stylish wife, and their charming young children. In the campaign for the presidency he has defeated his opponent in part by charging Republican failure in the war against America’s enemies. In the dawn of his administration this Harvard man musters strategic buttress from intellectuals […]

A Brief History Of Pot On The Northcoast

Marijuana was by no means the first boom crop to delight my home county of Humboldt, here in Northern California, five hours drive from San Francisco up Route 101. Leaving aside the boom of appropriating land from the Indians, there was the timber boom which crested in the 1950s when Douglas fir in the Mattole […]

What Happened To Occupy?

Since what is now going on is being described as “the greatest financial scandal in the history of Britain”   —  the Barclays imbroglio   —   I have a question to ask: Where are those tents outside St Paul’s? Or ones in solidarity this side of the Atlantic? Where are the vibrant reminders that […]

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