Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Richard Levin’s Awfully Big Corporate Adventure

  • March 25, 2014
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One of the small mysteries that has always intrigued me about Tony Blair’s dizzying transformation into a global moneymaking machine, was his teaching role at Yale University.   In September 2008 Blair taught his first class at Yale as part of a three-year collaboration between the Yale School of Divinity and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation calling itself the   ‘Faith and Globalization Initiative’.

According to its PR blurb, Blair would participate in a series of seminars in which ‘ The potential of religious faith to bring the world”s people together rather than drive them...

Russia: Under Western Eyes

  • March 05, 2014
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Just to be clear:   I regard Russia’s quasi-occupation of the Crimea as a dangerous gambit,  and a violation of international law that opens the possibility for a range of potentially dire outcomes.     That said, I can’t see how any state in Russia’s position would allow such a vital economic and strategic asset...

Breaking Bad and the end of the American Dream

  • December 05, 2013
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I’ve finally got to the last episode of Breaking Bad, and I feel not so much bereft as relieved that it’s over.   Not because it wasn’t good.   On the contrary, it’s actually a stunning achievement.     The performances are astonishing throughout.     The writing is sharp and skilful, with an...

Britain’s Death Squad

  • November 22, 2013
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Last night’s Panorama investigation on the Military Reaction Force (MRF) was an important and revelatory insight into a little-known facet of the British ‘dirty war’ in Northern Ireland.   A secret unit that ‘did not exist on paper’,   the MRF carried out undercover surveillance and extra-judicial executions of IRA members, mostly in West Belfast,...

Drones: What Are they Good For?

  • October 30, 2013
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Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald and US Congressman Alan Grayson are to be congratulated for bringing civilian victims of drone attacks in North Waziristan to   Washington yesterday.     For the first time, Americans had the opportunity to put human faces on a region that tends to feature in the consciousness of the West as...

Dick Cheney’s Heart

  • October 19, 2013
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So Dick Cheney has revealed to a CBS News interviewer that his cardiologist once had the wireless component of his heart defibrillator disabled in order to prevent terrorists from sending a signal that might kill him.       Apparently something   similar happens in the Homeland series, which I don’t watch, but the former...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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