Slowly, the small group of demonstrators approached
the soldiers...

Scenes From a Rent War — The Brooklyn Rail

September 4, 2007   -     -  

Anderson Fils Aime kicks back and tells me a story.

Back in May of this year, a month after he’d begun working as an organizer for the Pratt Area Community Council, he was at a community meeting when a woman approached him. “A resident comes in with this package saying, ‘My landlord’s trying to raise my rent.’ I say, ‘Well, are you in a rent-stabilized building?’ She says, ‘I don’t know, I just got this thing from DHCR [Division of Housing and Community Renewal].’”

”This thing” was a notice that her landlord was opting out of the Section 8 program, under which rents in her building had been kept below market. On June 1, the building would convert to market rates. It was May 20th. “I’m scrambling for 10 days,” Anderson recalls, “it’s the Memorial day holiday, people are outta town—and I’m like, what is going on here?” Read more…

Iraq and the Problems of Pulling Out — The Brooklyn Rail

February 2, 2007   -     -  

Just when you thought we might finally pull out, the President is surging. The last time Bush fils dipped into the Viagra and pumped 20,000 troops into Iraq (for the last round of elections in fall ’05), both the number of daily attacks and U.S. casualties spiked. Since then those daily attacks have nearly doubled; they’re now approaching the 200 mark. The surge is mostly a domestic offensive, designed to get the Dems to commit to the war. While there’s some hope they’ll resist the urge, how the Dems—much less the Left—would finally quit Iraq remains unclear. Read more…

The Shattered Faith of Isaac Babel — Jewish Currents

January 1, 2007   -     -  

It’s strange how fast you can get so far from yourself. Isaac Babel knew just how strange: “Tomorrow is the day of fasting, Tisha b’Ab, and I say nothing because I am Russian.” He was also, of course, a Jew. At the time, Babel was traveling with the viciously anti-Jewish Cossacks of the Red Cavalry to report on their ‘revolutionary’ campaign to liberate Poland. Fearing his comrades, he worked and wrote… Read more…

Woodward at War — The Brooklyn Rail

November 2, 2006   -     -  

Way back in 1999, in the halcyon days of the Clinton era, when blowjobs and not blowback still framed the national debate, Will Ferrell played Bob Woodward in Dick, a flick about Dick Nixon. The film begins in the then-present, as Ferrell’s Woodward and Bruce McCulloch’s Carl Bernstein are reunited at long last by a faux Larry King. The two quickly begin bickering, and as the exchange degenerates into a slap-match, Ferrell squeals: “You smell like… cabbage!”

So maybe it’s a whiff of cabbage Woodward’s new book gives off, the smell of the insider’s petty struggle for primacy. Read more…

General Kos’ Army — The Brooklyn Rail

April 10, 2006   -     -  

With over 500,000 visits a day, DailyKos is not just the second most popular blog on the net. It’s also one of the main sites where the Democratic faithful are rallying, where they get the latest updates from the front lines, where they hash out their vision of what the party should be, their plans for victory. If there’s a progressive resurgence, this is its epicenter. Read more…

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