Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

We Need to Talk About Agrabah

  • December 19, 2015
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Last week’s poll of Republican primary voters by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling firm has attracted  the usual mockery and arrogance from  the usual suspects.  The poll found that 30 percent of Republican voters believe that the fictional nation of Agrabah, birthplace of Aladdin,  poses a national security threat to the United States and should be bombed, whereas thirteen percent opposed bombing.

Among supporters of Donald Trump, the two figures were 45 percent and 9 percent respectively.  The poll also found that 36 percent of Democrat voters opposed bombing Agrabah,...

Al Qaeda: Our New Enemy in the War on Terror

  • June 18, 2015
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There was a time, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, when the world suddenly seemed simple and easy to understand, when the falling towers blew away any remaining clouds of ambiguity, nuance or complexity.   In those grim but bracing days,   everything seemed black and white and bathed in the luminous glow of ‘moral...

Come on let’s kick the poor (like we did last summer)

  • June 02, 2015
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The Bible tells us that the poor will always be with us, and as long as they are around there will always be politicians willing to punish them for their poverty.     It might be the Wisconsin State Assembly, which has just approved legislation banning food stamp recipients from eating junk food and also...

The ISIS Caliphate: Salafism as a strategic asset?

  • May 22, 2015
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I have yet to see any reference in the mainstream media to Monday’s publication by   the conservative foundation Judicial Watch of previously classified US intelligence documents obtained as the result of a freedom of information lawsuit   This inattention is alarming, because one of these documents provides some disturbing background behind the nightmarish...

Pamela Geller’s free speech bloodfest

  • May 05, 2015
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The aborted assault by two would-be jihadists on the ‘Muhammad art contest’ at the Curtis Culand Center in Garland, Texas on Sunday has added another grim chapter to a screechingly dishonest ‘free speech versus Islam’ debate that continues to gain deadly traction from one country to the next.   First things first: there is no...

One Nation Under a Cop

  • April 28, 2015
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Riots are not generally much good for the people on the receiving end of them, and the people who are on the receiving end of them are often the same people who are rioting in the first place.   But moralising about their futility and destructiveness is not much use in societies that aren’t...

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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