By Anthony Lane, © The New Yorker
September 26, 2022

May is the merriest month, and there are few more cheering journeys than a train ride into the green wilds of Sussex, in southern England. And no destination is more peaceable than Charleston, the secluded house, wreathed with gardens, that found fame as a rural HQ of the Bloomsbury Group. Now a place of pilgrimage, it continues to summon writers and artists, with audiences to match. Here it was, for a festival in May, that the culture-hungry came. Drifting in their dozens past fruit trees and congregations of flowers, they entered a large tent, where the trappings of Bloomsbury-scented comfort were on sale: straw hats, cushions, padded Alice bands, and vials of Sussex Rose Aromatic Water for the soothing of high or fevered brows.

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The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.


“We Are Proud Boys”: Far-Right Gang Normalized Political Violence, Embraced by GOP as Legit Discourse

© Democracy Now
September 26, 2022

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.

-Albert Camus

Putin’s tactical nuclear weapons could pack the same punch as atomic bombs dropped on Japan

By Brad Lendon, © CNN
September 27, 2022

With his forces retreating in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again threatened to turn to nuclear weapons, most likely what are often called tactical nuclear weapons.

In a speech last week, he warned that, “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”

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As soon as men know that they can kill without fear of punishment or blame, they kill; or at least they encourage killers with approving smiles.

-Simone Weil

In Ukraine, Any Accident Could Turn a Crisis Into a Catastrophe

September 26, 2022

On 2 December 1943, 105 German bombers made a surprise air raid on Bari in southern Italy, where they sank 27 Allied cargo and transport ships. One that blew up was an American “liberty ship”, the SS John Harvey, carrying a secret cargo of 2,000 mustard gas bombs intended for retaliation against German forces in the event of them using poison gas against the Allies.

After the destruction of the John Harvey, liquid mustard gas spilled out of the bombs, mixed with the sea water and floating patches of oil in the harbour, and inflicted terrible burns on surviving sailors in the water. Many of those rescued were wrapped in blankets that became impregnated with the liquified mustard that made their injuries worse.

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How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith which today we tell as fables.

-Michel de Montaigne