Politics and Culture/East and West

31 May 2007 // 11:00 PM

Boris, We Hardly Knew Ye

With the former Russian president's passing, Thompson recounts his visits to Yeltsin's Russia, and recalls what his Russian friends thought of Boris Yeltsin.

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The Post-Putin Era: Russian Revolution or Russian Evolution?

The world’s two most dominant forces will usher in new regimes in 2008. Thompson offers insights into the next Russian presidential election and its diverse cast of players.

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4 Dec 2006 // 9:00 PM

Run, Hillary! Run!

As the weakened state of the Republicans augurs well for a Democratic president in 2008, a veritable flood of candidates has joined Clinton as the race begins. She begins her run with name recognition and plenty of monetary backing, yet she is far from a shoo-in.

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Fascist, Fascist, Who’s A Fascist?

The term "fascism" is being appropriated, inappropriately, by a range of political interests in the US – including the Republican Party.

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31 Jul 2006 // 10:00 PM

Onward Young Pioneers!

As Communism's old guard is gradually relegated to the past, much of Eastern Europe is faced with a decidedly non-traditional youth movement. But are countries like Hungary and the Czech Republic ready for the political make-over?

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30 May 2006 // 10:00 PM

Postcard from Beijing

The Lovely Club and Mao's Tomb not only seem like two different Chinas from on another -- they seem to be on two different planets.

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30 Nov 2005 // 10:00 PM

Alito? No!

Is Judge Samuel Alito Jr. the right man for the Supreme Court? More right than you might believe.

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2 Oct 2005 // 10:00 PM

Impeach George W. Bush

As Hurricane Katrina nearly blew New Orleans off the map, George W. Bush blew the chance to fulfill his presidential duties.

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Separation of Church and State in the US is a myth. As Sandra Day O'Connor steps down from her seat on the US Supreme Court, the country prepares for another Holy War.

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Blair endured a grueling campaign that required him to actually face disgruntled voters -- quite unlike Bush's pre-screened, pre-set, flag waving constituency.

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26 Jan 2005 // 1:00 AM

The people -- and the dogs -- of Romania now reside in a less threatening, more humane country.

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'Moral' Bush supporters unleashing their anti-gay bigotry; 'patriots' denigrating a veteran's wounds and combat service while supporting a draft dodger. With four more years of the Bush Administration to endure, we have to show these bullies that it is we, not they, who represent the best, compassionate impulses of American democracy.

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Newsweek's Anna Quindlen thinks fining non-voters in the US is a good idea. Thompson, his university students, and some friends who lived under communist dictatorships in Hungary and the Czech Republic, think otherwise.

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This Neo-Renaissance building located a pleasant stroll from the Danube River, was once an elegant mansion. During WWII it became known as 'The House of Loyalty', then 'The House of Horror', and now it has settled into a museum named 'The House of Terror'.

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30 Jun 2004 // 1:00 AM

Destroyed during WWII and again in '56, during the anti-communist, Hungarian Revolution, it seems Budapest was always pulling itself from the rubble. This 'second city' to Prague is stronger, now, and wizened, but full of promise.

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Politics and Culture/East and West -- Dear Europeans: I Am NOT George Bush! -- At the Geneva Model UN committee session, Thompson and his students face the repercussions of a long-standing European wariness towards Americans; and the fact that the Bush Administration's policies have turned that wariness into open resentment.

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Politics and Culture/East and West -- The Iowa caucuses disenfranchise a person who, despite being politically active, would prefer to act -- that is 'vote'.

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Politics and Culture/East and West -- Americans feel very mean towards the UN, at the moment.

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Politics and Culture/East and West -- Americans are torn between the conflicting demands of liberty and security.

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For whatever the hardships, people will read.

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Politics and Culture/East and West -- Justice, Peace, and Memory - From East Europe to Iraq -- This painfully constructed edifice of rights is honored more in the breach than in the observance.

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No one can sit in this conference and be unaware of the U.N's guiding principle: the need for peaceful settlement of global conflicts.

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26 Dec 2002 // 1:00 AM

In my high school a constant 'battle' went on between the Kennedy emulators and the Elvis crowd. Our hair told the story: the bushy tousled look with a smart part vs. the wild, unruly pompadour.

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30 Oct 2002 // 1:00 AM

Sure enough, before the soup arrives the band of young, shaggy musicians is working hard to blow the breadbaskets off the dinner tables.

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9 Oct 2002 // 1:00 AM

So those stories about gypsies were true: they were thieves and beggars, always ready to assault, possibly even kill, and quickly move on.

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Prague shows the world that sacrifice is not futile, that evil can be fought and ultimately, defeated.

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7 Aug 2002 // 1:00 AM

At a lunch with two members of the Romanian Senate the discussion moved from NATO admission to Dracula Park.

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We were no longer in a country where this soldier's actions were constrained by democratic niceties. When he said get off the bus, we got off the bus.

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Auschwitz and Warsaw clashed with Jennin; the Battle of the Boyne was fought again; memory struggled with memory.

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That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute.

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The [Church of Christ the Redeemer] has been rebuilt — a meticulous copy of the original — and an example of reconstruction triumphing over destruction.

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He should have rugged good looks, and perhaps some pop star charisma so that he can wow the crowds when he's out there making appearances and giving speeches 'on tour'.

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The newlyweds . . . came to the tomb as most Muscovite newly weds do, to pay homage . . . to honor those whose death had truly made this wedding day possible.

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I use Snickers to pay for taxi rides and to buy old Soviet medals from street vendors. People buy computer software from salespersons who tote up the price with an abacus.

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Who are we outsiders to say that Romania shouldn't fully exploit the Dracula story, both real and imagined?

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//Mixed media
//Blogs

Double Take: 'The French Connection' (1971)

// Short Ends and Leader

"You pick your feet in Poughkeepsie, and we pick The French Connection for Double Take #18.

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