Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Truth, Lies, and Politics

  • May 14, 2016
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In Werner Herzog’s The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, a  pompous eighteenth-century professor asks the idiot-savant Kaspar Hauser a variant of the classic logical puzzle: You are traveling down a path and come to a fork in the road. One fork leads to a village where everyone tells the truth and the other to a village where everyone tells lies. Someone from one of the villages is standing at the fork, but you don’t know which village he comes from. You may ask him one question to determine which path goes to which village.

According...

The World According to Bono

The World According to Bono

  • April 15, 2016
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I’ve got  nothing against famous people getting involved in politics or embracing political causes.  On the contrary, there’s no reason why the accident of fame and the weird cult of celebrity-worship that comes with it should place anyone above politics  or preclude celebrities from taking moral and political positions on issues that they feel strongly...

Darkness in Trumptown: Breaking News

  • February 26, 2016
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FIONA BRUCE:   And now we cut to the White House to hear our political editor Laura Kuenssberg cover Donald Trump’s inaugural speech.  Laura, can you tell us what’s happening?

KUENSSBERG:  Well Fiona, we are really witnessing some extraordinary scenes here on what is truly a momentous occasion.

(Camera pans out to the White...

Hillary Clinton: a Hawk in Hawk’s Clothing

  • February 07, 2016
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I tend, for better or worse,  to be wary of progressive political surges in American politics that place too many expectations on who becomes president, and my attitude to Bernie Sanders is no exception.  On the one hand it’s heartening to see a self-proclaimed democratic socialist in the United States who is actually...

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...

Al Qaeda: Our New Best Friend

Al Qaeda: Our New Best Friend

  • 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 was bathed in the luminous glow of ‘moral clarity’.

We understood that the West...

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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