Wayne Allensworth

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Manual Control
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Manual Control

Russian political analyst Vladimir Pastukhov once wrote that state power, or vlast, and not law “holds a sacred status in Russia.”  Russians, according to Pastukhov, experience state power as a “mystical entity,” a “life giving substance,” a “deity” in

An American Tragedy
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An American Tragedy

American Sniper has generated more commentary, both scathingly critical and laudatory, than any film in recent memory.  The story of “America’s deadliest sniper,” Texas-born and -bred Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (credited with more than 160 “confirmed” kills), himself shot down

Obama’s Manufactured Border Crisis
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Obama’s Manufactured Border Crisis

This summer’s border crisis—the near total collapse of any controls or security at our southern border, especially in South Texas—was manufactured by the Obama administration as a means of forcing through a mass amnesty, either via Congress or by

The Con Man
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The Con Man


“The more identities a man has, the more they express the person they conceal.”

—John le Carré,

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

 

Fifty years ago, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold completed the most successful transformation of David Cornwell’s

The Brothers Tsarnaev: Assimilating Terrorists
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The Brothers Tsarnaev: Assimilating Terrorists

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow is no longer calling herself “Karima Tsarnaeva.”  She is Katherine Russell again.  Karima/Katherine is reportedly drifting away from the way of life she accepted when she converted to Islam and married the Boston Bomber, the terrorist killed

Giving Up, Giving In
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Giving Up, Giving In

“But what if Juárez is not a failure?  What if it is closer to the future that
beckons all of us from our safe streets
and Internet cocoons?”

—Charles Bowden, Murder City

On September 30, 2010, David Hartley and his

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It Will Be Sudden, It May Be Soon

The Roswell Alien Museum and Research Center is on Main Street, an avenue dotted with trinket shops and ads featuring a big-eyed “alien” hawking hamburgers, gasoline, and the wares of various convenience stores.  At the north end of Roswell is

More Human and More Tragic
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More Human and More Tragic

An associate and I were waiting for a flight to Washington, D.C., flying out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, in the fall of 1996.  I spotted another waiting passenger in the lounge and made a bet with my partner, a native

The Best Are Not the Brightest
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The Best Are Not the Brightest

Some years ago, in a discussion with the late Joe Sobran about the motivations of those managing our vastly overstretched empire, I pointed out that, for certain strata of the bureaucracy (the people who meet with E.U. officials in Brussels

Unspoken Questions
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Unspoken Questions

We live in interesting times.  In June of this year, the U.S. national soccer team played an “away” game against Mexico—in Los Angeles.  Many of the 93,000 fans in the Rose Bowl booed the U.S. squad, chanted obscenities directed at

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Breivik: No Patriot, No Christian

As of this writing, stories describing the horrifying bombing and shootings committed in Norway by Anders Beh­ring Breivik are still coming in, but there is enough information available for an attentive reader to draw some preliminary conclusions about the self-identified

A Gentleman and a Scholar
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A Gentleman and a Scholar

The call came just before dinner on a Wednesday in April—a bright, windy day when spring was just taking hold and seemed so full of possibilities.  Coach had died the previous Friday in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.  I hoped

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Osama in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs, announced on May 1, gives (theoretically, at least) Washington the opportunity to make an exit from Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it most certainly underscored the surreal nature of Washington’s

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Libya and Putin

Verbal sparring between Premier Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev over Western intervention in Libya has raised questions about a split in the Russian “tandem,” and Putin’s criticisms of the intervention may reflect Russian fears of possible U.S. interference in

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Not Necessarily Muslim

A January 24 bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport left 35 dead and scores injured, as the Russian capital’s transportation system was targeted by terrorists for the second time in less than a year.  The most likely culprits are Muslim terrorists

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Russian Migrants

December was a tense month for Russia’s ruling “tandem.”  President Dmitri Medvedev and Premier Vladimir Putin were confronted with violent protests after “Kavkaztsy” (natives of the volatile North Caucasus) killed Yegor Svidirov, a leading member of one of

The Bookman
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The Bookman

I remember Granddad as an old man, sitting in his reading chair or working in his garden, but you could still see the younger man in him, the one who had ridden the rails during the Depression, seeking work in

Reaganism and the External Threat
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Reaganism and the External Threat

“There’s a bear in the woods,” warns ad man Hal Riney, as a grizzly appears on screen.  “For some people, the bear is easy to see.  Others don’t see it at all.  Some people say the bear is tame.  Others

Who Won the Cold War?
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Who Won the Cold War?

In his Foreword to Witness, Whittaker Chambers, writing in the “form of a letter to my children,” tries to explain the appeal of communism:

I see in Communism the focus of the concentrated evil of our time.  You will

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Anatomy of a Murder

The November murder of a missionary Orthodox priest in Moscow highlighted the threats to Russia’s stability from extremist groups, including Muslim terrorists and the far right.  The priest, Daniil Sysoyev, and his aide, Vladimir Strelbitsky, were shot down in a

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Is Putin Returning?

By the end of 2009, the word on the Moscow grapevine was being picked up by pundits and journalists: Putin’s “return” is in the works, and the premier’s reoccupation of the Kremlin may take place sooner rather than later.  The

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Obama Goes to Moscow

President Obama’s July trip to Moscow was intended to “reset” U.S.-Russian relations but also suggested that there is a continuing tug-of-war in the administration between realists and “democracy builders” regarding Russia policy.

The struggle was publicly kicked off by the

Unnatural Causes
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Unnatural Causes

“For me,” wrote P.D. James in her “fragment of autobiography,” Time To Be in Earnest, “one of the fascinations of detective fiction is the exploration of character under the revealing trauma of murder inquiry.”  Murder “is the unique crime,

What “Terrible Lesson” Can Russia Teach Us?
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What “Terrible Lesson” Can Russia Teach Us?

“We are exceptional people; we are among those nations that . . .
exist only to give the world some terrible lesson.”

—Pyotr Chaadayev

Chaadayev’s words came to mind in the aftermath of a blizzard in Vladivostok, snowy peaks ringing

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Change is in the Air

Gov. Rick Perry was a star at the Texas “tea parties,” denouncing Washington and mentioning the s-word—secession—in front of enthusiastic crowds.  Perry had already made headlines by calling for Texas to reject Washington’s “stimulus” funds and by backing a

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Stumbling Into (Another) War

On August 26, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  Washington has sharply criticized Moscow for this, while the European Union has threatened sanctions.  Russia and Georgia have signed a cease-fire agreement stipulating that Georgian

Anarcho-Tyranny in Action
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Anarcho-Tyranny in Action

In a recent column, Chuck Baldwin (lately nominated as the Constitution Party’s presidential candidate) pointed to something ominous that was largely ignored in the media reporting on the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal.  Spitzer had been found out because of “suspicious”

A Case of Russophobia
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A Case of Russophobia

John McCain does not like the Russians.  Nearly 17 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with Soviet-style communism safely tossed into the dustbin of history, Senator McCain loves to scare us with the Russkie boogeyman.  Take, for example,

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Something Big

We passed the hand warmer around on a cold day in December.  Matthew, my 11-year-old son, got creative and stuck the thing in his shoe.  Rachel, who was spotting for us, didn’t like it much, but she used the hand

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Georgians In Londonistan

In February, when 52-year-old Georgian billionaire and political exile Badri Patarkatsishvili died at his Surrey mansion, British media wondered if this might be a Georgian version of the Litvinenko affair.  Patarkatsishvili had been a supporter of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s 2003

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A Crackdown On Christians

Nursultan Nazarbayev’s regime in Kazakhstan, a recipient of U.S. foreign-aid funds, is cracking down on religious groups it disapproves of, as the congregations associated with Grace Presbyterian Church discovered firsthand this past August, when the KNB (the Kazakh successor

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The Day of Conception

In Russia’s Ulyanovsk region, the birthplace of Lenin, the regional government has declared September 12 the “Day of Conception,” throwing in a promise of time off work for couples striving to make that day a success.  Such programs have been

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Children of a Lesser God?

The plight of Iraq’s Christian community—as followers of the Prince of Peace flee from the country they have lived in since ancient times, their homes and churches burned, their children kidnapped and raped, their priests murdered—has elicited barely any

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Our Terror Sanctuary

The “Fort Dix Six” may not be the smartest group of would-be jihadists we have seen, but their story should tell us something about how lax immigration and border-security policies put this country at risk.

The six Muslims were arrested

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The Yuma Amnesty Files

President Bush was back in Yuma, Arizona, in early April, one year after making promises to secure the border in exchange for a “comprehensive” immigration-reform bill that would increase legal immigration, open the door for up to 20 million

Iraq as “Intelligence Failure”: We Told You So
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Iraq as “Intelligence Failure”: We Told You So

“W,” a.k.a. “our Commander in Chief,” is apparently even more blindly stubborn and willfully ignorant than I had thought.  As of this writing (December 2006), he is still distancing himself from the Iraq Study Group’s efforts to provide him cover

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Goodbye, Mr. Bond

Casino Royale
Produced by Barbara Broccoli, Andrew Noakes, and Anthony Waye
Directed by Martin Campbell
Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis
Based on the novel by Ian Fleming
Released by Columbia Pictures

It is with great trepidation

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A Broad Path to Destruction

Public and private interests are joining forces to build a massive transportation “corridor” through the middle of Texas—threatening property rights, wildlife, and the historic landscape of the Lone Star State.  The Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) would be the initial U.S. portion

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Influx of Illegal Aliens

The European Union will set up rapid-reaction teams to deal with an increasing flood of illegal African immigrants on Europe’s southern flank.  The decision was made by the European Commission at a July 19 meeting spurred on by complaints from

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Russia’s Demographic Crisis

On May 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised his audience during his annual address to the Federal Assembly.  Most of his hour-long speech had gone as expected: He spoke on economics, technological innovation, and the need to rebuild the country’s