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  • April 17, 2009
    By Clif Garboden

    Okay, so Shepard Fairey's art involves defacing other people's property, sometimes with permission, sometimes without. He pastes his truly wonderful poster art on buildings, which are pieces of architecture, which is a form of art.

    If he does this in Allston, people deface his posters. Tear out chunks and (since the shreds aren't scattered around the pavement, and we know nobody's ever swept that lot) keep them as souvenirs.

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  • March 03, 2009
    By Clif Garboden

    In one of those quietly terrifying page-one stories in the March 3 New York Times, we learn that G.W. Bush's crack legal team advised him, after 9/11, that, among other unheard-of things, he could use the US military to conduct warrantless domestic searches in the name of fighting terrorists. (See Memos Reveal Scope of Power Bush Sought in Fighting Terror

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  • January 30, 2009
    By Clif Garboden

    As Obama continues his pattern of reversing at least one atrocious Bush policy per day, I'm reminded of those old movies where the scandal is finally revealed, the unjustly accused finally freed, or the ogre is brought to his knees, and the filmmaker marked the transition with swirling string music, shots of daily newspaper presses in overdrive, bundles of Extra Editions being tossed onto dawn-lit sidewalks out of the backs of delivery trucks, and (ultimately, always) a spinning page one that freezes so the audience can read the revelatory headline.

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  • January 23, 2009
    By Clif Garboden

    Pundits of all stripes have been preparing us not to expect overnight miracles from the Obama administration. Barack himself quite sensibly cautioned that the mess his predecessor got us into isn't going be tidied up by the weekend.
    What immediate progress we've enjoyed in these first few days of the new order has been gratifying indeed: concrete plans to dismantle our illegal detention facility in Guantanamo; a White House salary freeze; a curtailment of lobbying clout; unshackling the Freedom of Information Act; serious talk of getting us out of the pointless war in Iraq.

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  • January 20, 2009
    By Clif Garboden
    .msnbcLinks {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .

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  • January 19, 2009
    By Clif Garboden

    While the rest of you were watching the HBO broadcast of the pre-inauguration concert from the Lincoln memorial last night, I confess I was cheering my Pittsburgh Steelers to victory over the Ravens and their 12-year-old quarterback. Sweet.

    But I did catch a bit of the DC showcase, and then more of it on a repeat airing on MLK day.

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  • January 14, 2009
    By Clif Garboden

    My font of wisdom from the other end of the continent checked in with this bit of amazement today, cautioning that before long somebody's going to pull it down for one reason or another. Muslim scolds Muslim. It's amazing that this sort of common-sense rant was allowed on TV, even on Al Jazeera. The speaker is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles.

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  • December 17, 2008
    By Clif Garboden

    Yes, it's true: down in Dixie they use Coca-Cola to wash the bugs off their windshield -- and that's at gas stations. But who am I to talk? I once washed down my father's gravestone with a bottle of Yeungling Black & Tan. There are many uses for the fabled soft-drink product in the red-and-white can . . . including some that use just the can.

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  • December 16, 2008
    By Clif Garboden

    Back in the late-Vietnam era, one of the most coveted underground novelty items was a Richard Nixon dart board -- basically a cork disk bearing a portrait of Tricky Dickie as seen through crosshairs. It was sold in head shops and disreputable book stores. It routinely decorated the walls of alternative newsweekly offices.

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  • December 05, 2008
    By Clif Garboden

    We don't know what that means, but our far-flung correspondent in terror-torn India (call her The Mumbai Girl; but seriously, read her personal report from that city, "A Terror Unlike the Usual Terrors") assures us that the man carrying that placard at what was billed as a December 3 "peace rally" was delivering a near-universally held message -- namely that Indian citizens "aren't going to stand for bureaucracy and inaction any longer.

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