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Thinking About the End of the Cold War

From TPM Reader DC ...

I enjoyed your post, The Rage to Oppose. Hearing what you had to say about ISIS and how you felt it was a long term trend reminded me what I had felt about the anti-government/libertarian movement in the US starting in the 1990s. Having seen all the anti-communist/anti-Russia paranoia in America in the 1980s, I felt that after the wall in Berlin came down, all the rage that had been directed towards the USSR was simply redirected towards the next big government institution they could find: the US government.

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The Rage to Oppose

I just read an article in Haaretz that got me thinking again about a topic I've been mulling off and on for the better part of twenty years: namely, is part of the appeal of radical Islam tied the lack of a radical, trans-national revolutionary movement such as existed through the Cold War and in more diffuse respects for decades before that? The article itself is about the fact that a very high proportion of the 'foreign fighters' in ISIS and in other rebel groups in Syria/Iraq are ethnic European converts. In other words, not first or second generation naturalized immigrants from the MENA region or Central or South Asia, but white Britons, Germans, French and Belgians who've not only converted to Islam but into its most extreme, totalizing variant. In some cases, men (yes, largely men) who have little more than a passing knowledge of the basics of Islamic ritual practice.

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Today We're All About the Money

"I actually think of the irony as a virtue. This is the age of Colbert. So hacking the super PAC to end the super PAC is a completely viable and obvious strategy that everybody is happy to get behind." Lawrence Lessig on his plan to raise $700 million for a PAC to end SuperPacs. And for all the freedom to spend without limit bequeathed by the Supreme Court, what about the great majority of billionaires who don't donate any more to campaigns that your average small town doctor?

Too Much

The latest details of the horrific accident with the 9 year old and the Uzi almost perfectly captures the term 'tragicomic'. Not surprisingly, after the shooting, the 9 year old complained that the gun was too powerful for her and complained to her parents of shoulder pain. Her parents were so focused on her apparent injury that they did not at first notice that instructor Charles Vacca was lying on the ground with a mortal wound to the head.