The Breakfast Club (Work, Care, Joy)


Antonín Dvořák was a composer of the late Romantic model meaning fiercely nationalist, overtly emotional, and deriving his melodies and themes from folk music roots.  Wagner poisoned at least a generation of musicians.

Rather than directly echo any particular song or dance Dvořák sought to capture the rhythms and harmonies of his sources and while most of his work is, as you might imagine, influenced by his Bohemian and Moravian roots, he also sought inspiration from other Slavic cultures in Serbia, Poland, and the Ukraine.

Something that’s not widely realized is his influence on United States Art Music.  He arrived in New York in 1892 and stayed there until 1895.  In addition to composing several works, notably the String Quartet in F (the “American”), the “New World Symphony“, and the Cello Concerto in B minor, he wrote extensively on the  need to create a United States “national” music style which he felt should be based in the traditions of Native and African American folk music.  He was particularly impressed by spirituals.

My selection for today debuted in Birmingham (Dvořák was enormously popular in Britain as opposed to Austria-Hungary where he was widely viewed as subversive) about a year before his move to 327 East 17th Street.  The building no longer stands, having been demolished to make way for a Beth Israel Medical Center residence for people with AIDS over the objections of Czech President Václav Havel.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,

Awaits alike the inevitable hour.

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,

Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?

Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast

The little tyrant of his fields withstood;

Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,

Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.

The applause of listening senates to command,

The threats of pain and ruin to despise,

To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,

And read their history in a nation’s eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone

Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;

Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,

And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,

To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,

Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride

With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learned to stray;

Along the cool sequestered vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet even these bones from insult to protect

Some frail memorial still erected nigh,

With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse,

The place of fame and elegy supply:

And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die.

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires;

Ev’n from the tomb the voice of nature cries,

Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of the unhonoured dead

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;

If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,

Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,

‘Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn

‘Brushing with hasty steps the dews away

‘To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

‘There at the foot of yonder nodding beech

‘That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,

‘His listless length at noontide would he stretch,

‘And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

‘Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

‘Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove,

‘Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,

‘Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

‘One morn I missed him on the customed hill,

‘Along the heath and near his favourite tree;

‘Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

‘Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

‘The next with dirges due in sad array

‘Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.

‘Approach and read (for thou can’st read) the lay,

‘Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.’

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth

A youth to fortune and to fame unknown.

Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,

And Melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,

Heaven did a recompense as largely send:

He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,

He gained from Heaven (’twas all he wished) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,

(There they alike in trembling hope repose)

Takin It To The Streets


Here’s why killing the head of Islamic State wouldn’t yield results

By Arie W. Kruglansk, Reuters

November 27, 2014

(T)here are reasons to question the premise that killing terrorist leaders is tantamount to progress. Indeed, rather than cutting off the head of a snake, killing off terrorist leaders resembles the decapitating a hydra, the mythological monster reputed to replace severed heads with multiple new ones.

(M)ajor terrorist organizations have cleverly adapted to the loss of their chief honchos. Eliminated leaders are typically replaced by others waiting in the wings. In addition to this, some organizations respond to assassinations by loosening their hierarchical structure and allowing local leaders greater freedom. This reduces their dependence on select few figures at the top and spreads their risk.

Occasionally, the ‘replacement’ leader might actually be more adept and dangerous than the chief whom he came to replace, so one needs to be careful what one wishes for.

Abu Musab al Zarqawi, founder of al Qaeda in Iraq was a formidable enemy, but not as formidable as his replacement, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. Baghdadi is the current leader of Islamic State and is widely proclaimed to be one of the biggest threats to world security.

Similarly, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the current leader of the Hezbollah is considerably more dangerous to Israel than Abbas al-Musawi, the former head of the group who was assassinated in 1992.

However useful they are in the short run, however, they are unlikely to bring an end to terrorism. They are a vehicle, not a panacea, and the billions of dollars spent on their implementation might not be worth it after all.

U.S. Adds Planes to Bolster Drive to Wipe Out ISIS

By ERIC SCHMITT, The New York Times

NOV. 26, 2014

A dozen A-10 ground-attack planes have recently moved from Afghanistan to Kuwait, where they are to start flying missions supporting Iraqi ground troops as early as this week, military officials said. About half a dozen missile-firing Reaper drones will also be redeployed from Afghanistan in the next several weeks.

But while the Air Force personnel who help plan airstrikes against the Islamic State from here will have more firepower to bring to bear, they face an unusual enemy, a hybrid between a conventional army and a terrorist network, that has not proved to be an easy target for American air power.

“When we target a nation-state, we’ve typically been looking at their capability for decades, and have extensive target sets,” said Maj. Sonny Alberdeston, the targeting chief here. “But these guys are moving around. They can be in one place, and then a week later, they’re gone.”

Just as the Pentagon flies its wartime fleet of Predator and Reaper drones from bases in Nevada and elsewhere across the United States, this rear headquarters of the Central Command’s air forces carries out the bulk of the work to analyze and select planned targets that allied warplanes strike in Syria and Iraq.

The targets are fixed sites like military headquarters and communications centers, oil refineries, training camps, troop barracks and weapons depots – in short, everything the Islamic State needs to sustain its fight.

More than 7,000 miles away at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, in the Persian Gulf, another group of analysts and targeting specialists focuses on so-called pop-up targets – convoys of militants or heavy weaponry on the move. These have been the top priority of the three-month campaign, even though only about one out of every four aircraft missions sent to attack them has dropped its bombs. The rest of the missions have returned to the base, failing to find a target they were permitted to hit under strict rules of engagement designed to avoid civilian casualties.

Of the 450 strikes in Syria through last week, about 25 percent were planned, military officials said. Of the 540 strikes in Iraq through the same period, there were even fewer, only 5 percent of the total.

Critics complain that the air campaign is flagging against an adaptive enemy.

Conflicting Policies on Syria and Islamic State Erode U.S. Standing in Mideast

By ANNE BARNARD, The New York Times

NOV. 27, 2014

(D)ays after President Bashar al-Assad of Syria declared that the West needed to side with him in “real and sincere” cooperation to defeat the extremist group, infuriated Syrians who oppose both Mr. Assad and the Islamic State. They see American jets sharing the skies with the Syrians but doing nothing to stop them from indiscriminately bombing rebellious neighborhoods. They conclude, increasingly, that the Obama administration is siding with Mr. Assad, that by training United States firepower solely on the Islamic State it is aiding a president whose ouster is still, at least officially, an American goal.

Their dismay reflects a broader sense on all sides that President Obama’s policies on Syria and the Islamic State remain contradictory, and the longer the fight goes on without the policies being resolved, the more damage is being done to America’s standing in the region.

More than two months after the campaign against the Islamic State plunged the United States into direct military involvement in Syria, something Mr. Obama had long avoided, the group has held its strongholds there and even expanded its reach. That has called into question basic assumptions of American strategy.

One is that the United States can defeat the Islamic State without taking sides in Syria’s civil war. Another is that it can drive the group out of Iraq while merely diminishing and containing it in Syria, pursuing different approaches on each side of a porous border that the Islamic State seeks to erase.

“The fundamental disconnects in U.S. strategy have been exposed and amplified” as Islamic State militants have advanced in central Syria in recent weeks, said Emile Hokayem, a Syria analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Like Mr. Assad’s opponents, he contends that extremists cannot be defeated without ending decades of harsh Assad family rule and empowering the disenfranchised Sunni Muslims who drive the insurgency.

Many of Mr. Assad’s opponents see themselves as stranded between two violent oppressors, the government and the Islamic State. Others who “could have been peeled off,” Mr. Hokayem said, are now embracing the militants as they lose hope of United States action against Mr. Assad, who they see as “a greater threat.” Syrian government warplanes, as well as barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, kill the very fighters that Mr. Obama hopes to recruit. Many of those Syrian insurgents say that only by attacking or curbing Mr. Assad’s military can the United States win them to its side against the extremists.

But there is no guarantee that would work. Anti-Assad insurgents might well see fighting the Islamic State as a detour, especially if American pressure offered new chances to topple the president. Yet American policy is not to oust Mr. Assad precipitously, risking an extremist takeover, but to push him to a political settlement.

If the United States attacked Syrian forces it could risk killing fighters from Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite militia that has fought effectively on Mr. Assad’s side. While Hezbollah and the United States, bitter enemies over Israel, are highly unlikely to cooperate openly, the group has declared the Islamic State a mortal enemy and worked with the United States-aided Lebanese Army against extremists from Syria.

At the same time, peeling off fighters from ISIS to join relatively moderate rebel groups is difficult, particularly while an American program to train and equip insurgents is still in its infancy, said a Syrian who abandoned another rebel group for ISIS because it was better armed and financed.

What ‘Big Thing’ Would Reinvigorate the Democratic Party?

By John Guida, The New York Times

November 25, 2014 10:51 am

“There is less energy in the Democratic coalition,” says Ezra Klein at Vox, than there is among young Republican policy thinkers like Paul Ryan.

He adds, “The Obama administration has been a factory of policy ideas but now its agenda is stalled – and it’s not clear what comes next.”

To the frustration of many Democratic voters, key parts of that agenda – raising the minimum wage, for example – easily surpassed the fortunes of the Democratic candidates (who ostensibly, though not necessarily vociferously, supported them) in the midterm elections. State ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage succeeded in states like Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

As Kevin Baker put it in The New York Times, Democrats are in good shape if they can “get people to vote our way even when they agree with us.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Baker suggests, the party cannot rely on demographics alone and instead should offer, as it has in the past and notably under the “Roosevelt Republic,” “big things.”

Obama failed Ferguson. The prosecutor is pathetic. Between the split-screen, the protesters get it

Steven W Thrasher, The Guardian

Tuesday 25 November 2014 11.35 EST

There we had Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, finally admitting on one side of the television that structural racism is real. There we finally had him saying that when it comes to police terrorizing black folks, “communities of color aren’t just making these problems up”. But, in nearly the same breath on Monday night after the grand-jury decision in Ferguson, as the people were taking to the streets in cities across the nation, the president also said he doesn’t believe unequal enforcement of the law is “the norm. I don’t think that’s true for the majority of communities or the vast majority of law enforcement officials.”

It wasn’t just surreal, then, to witness Obama’s anti-Trayvon Martin moment at the very same time a split-screen on the other side of the TV showed police launching smoke bombs at protesters in Ferguson. It was heartbreaking. Because if that was reality rising up through the gap on Monday night, the reality is that legal discrimination is the norm – and our law enforcement officials refuse to acknowledge reality.

This is the gap in our collective split-screen: The Ferguson cops arrest black citizens three times more often than they do white people, but USA Today recently reported that “1,581 other police departments across the USA arrest black people at rates even more skewed than in Ferguson.”

The people who understand this gap were and are the protesters – many very young – who have been on the streets nightly (and overwhelmingly without violence) for more than 100 nights since Michael Brown was killed. Monday night was just one night in what is a movement that cannot be contained, no matter what the (white) talking heads of the split-screen say. Today, while Ferguson and a nation full of organized protest cope with the smoldering embers, Darren Wilson goes on living his life as a newlywed groom, free to shop his story to networks without a trace of apology. Today, Michael Brown remains dead, but at least the protesters understand the gap between justice and the law, between reality and our political insanity. They know not to simply listen to words from a black president in Washington or a white prosecutor down the street. They know to take to the streets, because it’s not enough to shout in the margins anymore.

The people on the streets know that the status quo cannot stand if justice is to be achieved. Amidst the flames and the teargas, the people on the streets are right – they are somehow even more right than the rule of law, at least when such laws won’t even let Darren Wilson face a trial for shooting an unarmed teen, whether Mike Brown had his hands up or not.

Future protests have another gap to expand: when McCulloch blames social media, and Obama dismisses news coverage of “negative reaction[s]” simply making “for good TV”, there is a root injustice there. The flames of Monday night’s unrest were manufactured, but not by media. They were stoked for hours, by McCulloch, who riled up the crowds needlessly until night fell; they were fueled for days, by Missouri governor Jay Nixon, who whipped up hysteria with his pre-emptive “state of emergency” and his calling-in of the National Guard. The flames were fanned for hundreds of years, by the white supremacy and structural racism that have wreaked economic, physical, psychological and spiritual violence upon black Americans for centuries.

It wasn’t the media that caused this history, despite Obama’s claim that to deny “progress I think is to deny America’s capacity for change”. Watching television and Twitter on Monday night – and today, and tomorrow, and 100 more days after that – reveals that media, especially social media, reflects the reality of the racial violence of these United States more than any politician in a box ever can anymore. Meanwhile, US laws haven’t just failed to catch up with what media sees: They have created the violent nightmare we are living.

China bans wordplay in attempt at pun control

Tania Branigan, The Guardian

Friday 28 November 2014 07.26 EST

From online discussions to adverts, Chinese culture is full of puns. But the country’s print and broadcast watchdog has ruled that there is nothing funny about them.

It has banned wordplay on the grounds that it breaches the law on standard spoken and written Chinese, makes promoting cultural heritage harder and may mislead the public – especially children.

Chinese is perfectly suited to puns because it has so many homophones. Popular sayings and even customs, as well as jokes, rely on wordplay.

But the order from the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television says: “Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms.”

“It could just be a small group of people, or even one person, who are conservative, humourless, priggish and arbitrarily purist, so that everyone has to fall in line,” said Moser.

“But I wonder if this is not a preemptive move, an excuse to crack down for supposed ‘linguistic purity reasons’ on the cute language people use to crack jokes about the leadership or policies. It sounds too convenient.”

Aztec manuscript under the microscope

Vahé Ter Minassian, The Guardian

Friday 28 November 2014 11.20 EST

This extraordinary document, referred to as the Codex Borbonicus in reference to the Palais Bourbon, seat of the lower house of the French parliament, is one of France’s national treasures. It is one of six documents – an original parchment dating from the trial of Joan of Arc, a ninth-century Bible, two Rousseau manuscripts and the Serment du Jeu de Paume (Tennis Court oath) – that have not been allowed out of the country since the 1960s. Does it predate Cortés? Or, as suggested by the catalogue of a 2008 exhibition at Quai Branly, is it a colonial-era manuscript, resulting from the clash between Meso-American and western cultures?

Now, 188 years after the manuscript’s first public appearance, specialists from the Natural History Museum in Paris, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the arts ministry are trying to answer that question.

In May 2013 an “exceptional” decision by MPs authorised the experts to analyse the materials used in the Codex in an attempt to date it. This is a technical and scientific challenge in itself, because the research must be carried out in a strong room under the parliament, at a constant temperature of 18C.

Interest in the Codex goes beyond conservation. Pre-Columbian documents describing the beliefs and rites of Mesoamerican civilisations, between central Mexico and Costa Rica, are extremely rare. Very few survived the Spanish inquisition. From 1525, in order to speed up conversion of the “Indians”, their temples were demolished and their “idolatrous” books banned. In 1562, for example, 27 “demoniac” documents were burned at Mani, Yucatan, and their owners put to death.

According to historical accounts, when Cortés and his companions entered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan on 8 November 1519, they found libraries containing thousands of works on many subjects. Now only about 20 pre-Columbian Mesoamerican documents remain. Only five of these, belonging to the Borgia group, are categorically genuine. The majority of them have been shown to be of Mayan or Mixtecan origin. None were produced by the Aztec empire or in its main language, Nahuatl.

What does remain are roughly 500 “colonial” manuscripts, some drafted by tlacuilos, or indigenous scribes, between the 16th and 18th century on the instructions of the authorities in New Spain. The aim was to gain a better understanding of the history and customs of the native peoples the Spanish sought to govern and convert. Some of these documents – such as the Florentine Codex begun in 1547 under the supervision of the Franciscan missionary Bernardino de Sahagún – were designed with the help of scholars familiar with the Nahuatl language and were real encyclopedias. They were packed with information on the Aztecs, the “people of the Sun” who came from the north and for 200 years leading up to 1521 took possession of the Mexican plateau. They took their spiritual lead from Huitzilopochtli (held by some to mean “left-handed hummingbird”), a deity who demanded that his people wage war to provide human sacrifices, thus feeding the sun with blood to sustain its daily journey.

Where does the Codex Borbonicus fit in? The commonly accepted explanation is that the French stole it from the library at the Escorial palace, outside Madrid, when Napoleon’s army invaded Spain in 1808. But there is no proof of this and the year of its purchase by the French parliament, 1826, coincides with unrest in Latin America, which may explain why the manuscript came up for sale in Europe.

Chernobyl’s eerie desolation revealed by camera mounted on drone

Chris Johnston, The Guardian

Saturday 29 November 2014 09.20 EST

Cooke’s haunting three-minute film shows sights such as a Ferris wheel in an amusement park quietly rusting away. The park had been due to open for the first time just days after the disaster. The sun is shining as the wind rustles the lush vegetation that is slowly taking over the decaying buildings and facilities.

“Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been,” Cooke said. “There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.”

It is not until the drone is sent rising above the treetops that viewers can see the vast dome being built to place over the damaged reactor.

There is still so much radiation spewing from it that the 1,400 workers are building the 20,000-tonne steel structure nearby, shielded from the radiation by a huge concrete wall. When the 190m-high dome is finished it will be inched into place and sealed over the defunct power plant.

Gandalf’s room was a mess: “The Lord of the Rings” retold from the perspective of Rivendell’s housekeeper

Laura Miller, Salon

Friday, Nov 28, 2014 06:00 PM EST

The Tolkien buff writing under the name of Rolf Luchs isn’t the first to point out that the master’s world-building, while justly praised for its depth and breadth, is nevertheless lacking in some of life’s more mundane practicalities. He’s also not the first to decide to write his own fiction depicting what he imagines happening in the gaps in Tolkien’s narratives. Luchs may not even be the first to describe the events of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” from the perspective of a hospitality industry professional. But, surely, no one else has done it better than “The Last Homely Housekeeper,” a story narrated by the guy responsible for putting clean sheets on the beds of the elven king Elrond’s fancy compound at Rivendell.

Luchs, who refers to himself with tactical vagueness as an “investor” living in “Western Europe” (he’s wary of “the Black Riders of the Tolkien Estate”), frames his tale as excerpts from the diary of Tiron, head of housekeeping at Rivendell, an establishment that’s so short-staffed Tiron’s more or less the entire housekeeping crew as well. The most diverting parts of the piece concern the wrangling of demanding guests – Gandalf, with his stinky pipeweed and the snippy notes he leaves in the guestbook (“Service could be better. Also, towels musty, room draughty”), is no favorite.

Equally fun are bits about laying in sufficient provisions to satiate any hobbits who might stop by, as well as the gritty details of the palace’s sewage system. There’s plenty of downstairs gossip, second-guessing of the higher-ups and the boredom you might expect in someone relegated to a humdrum job for centuries on end. Tiron has also had a 2,500-year crush on Arwen and considers Aragorn a self-involved galoot.

Barack Obama’s Cheney dilemma: How torture and mercy define his presidency

Elias Isquith, Salon

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 08:00 AM EST

A few hours before the president announced his landmark executive actions on immigration policy, a decision that was not only constitutional but likely to stand among his greatest accomplishments, the Huffington Post ran an article on a different Obama administration initiative. The contrast between the president Americans saw that night on their televisions and the one depicted in the HuffPo report could not have been more striking – or more representative of the bewildering mix of ecstasy and anguish that’s characterized the last six years.

What HuffPo found in its article, which was buried by the immigration news and has gone unnoticed by most, is that the same administration that’s tried to define itself as thoughtful and humane was, behind the scenes, doing everything it could to shield war criminals from justice. Once again, the White House was thwarting a release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s controversial and much-delayed report on the CIA and torture. And once again, the White House’s worries centered on protecting the CIA – and its former professional waterboarders – from public scrutiny and censure.

The dynamic wasn’t new; the administration had been concocting reasons to block the public release of the committee’s findings for years. What was new, however, was the calendar. After eight long years – six under President Obama – the Democrats’ time in control of the Senate was running out.

The White House knows all of this, of course, just as it knows that its lead negotiator, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, has come to be seen by many senators as the de facto Man from Langley. That’s why soon-to-retire Sen. Jay Rockefeller told HuffPo that the administration’s latest complaint – that giving alleged CIA torturers pseudonyms was not enough, and that entire chunks of the report’s timeline should be redacted – was the latest proof that the report was “being slow-walked to death.” Because the committee’s work “makes a lot of people who did really bad things look really bad,” Rockefeller said, the White House and the CIA are “doing everything they can” to see it buried. “They don’t want the public to know about it,” he added.

To be clear, the White House’s maneuverings, while representing a significant hurdle, do not negate all options for senators dedicated to making sure this abominable moment in our history is not forgotten. “We have ideas,” Rockefeller hinted to HuffPo, before raising the possibility of simply reading the report’s executive summary on the Senate floor and thus adding it to the Congressional Record (Sen. Mike Gravel did something similar in 1971 with the Pentagon Papers). But Rockefeller also noted that it was unlikely such a last-resort move would be an outright success. “The question,” he said, “would be how much you could read before they grabbed you and hauled you off.” More than a little, perhaps; but certainly not enough.

But regardless of how the Senate’s torture report saga ends, whether it’s with the NSA-friendly Feinstein pulling a “Nixon to China” and defying the spooks, or with more of the situational amnesia that’s spread like wildfire throughout D.C. in the post-Bush years, the fact that it’s been such a long, difficult journey is telling. For while it may be true that McDonough is the point-man for the White House in these proceedings, it’s also true that President Obama not only counts him among his closest advisers, but also runs one of the most centralized and micromanaged administrations in recent history. His right hand knows what his left is doing. And while it may be difficult to believe that a White House willing to brook vicious criticism in defense of non-citizens is the same one trying to protect those who tortured, sometimes to the point of death, that is true as well.

The authority now vested in Barack Obama was once held in the hands of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. In many arenas, what they’ve chosen to do with it could not be more different. But when it comes to shielding the torturers among us, their sins are much the same.


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