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Inhuman Swill : Page 182
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Mike Hunt is Aiken

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Elect MIKE HUNT Aiken County Sheriff
What a weekend Laura and I just had! We arrived back late last night from three days in beautiful Aiken, South Carolina. We were invited by our dear friend Shana, who lives here in the city and was going home for the annual Aiken Steeplechase, an afternoon of horseracing that is one of the biggest events in town.

Shana's father is a successful entrepreneur and state senator. His private jet was dispatched to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to pick us up Friday morning. There were nine passengers: Shana, her sister, her brother-in-law, their twin infants, Laura, me, Shana's fellow Aikenite-in-exile Joe, and Joe's friend Matt. The jet seated seven passengers, so we were at capacity.

Laura and I stayed for the weekend in an upstairs bedroom in the senator's home in Aiken. We were treated to all the hospitality for which the South is famous (this was my first excursion into the real South), with far more caring and far less pretentiousness than I perhaps had expected.

Saturday afternoon at the Steeplechase was quite an experience. Thousands of cars pulled into neat rows around both the interior and exterior rails of the track, with boisterous but not rowdy tailgate parties everywhere. Wandering from place to place, we ended up at a central tent where Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, dressed down in chinos and a plaid shirt, was shaking hands and breaking hearts left and right.

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The Madness of Empire

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from http://www.dailyreckoning.com/home.cfm?loc=/body_headline.cfm&qs=id=3024

During the Clinton years, quite a few international affairs specialists wondered why American pre-eminence had not given rise to the kind of counterbalancing and ganging up against the leading power that classic international relations theory and diplomatic history would lead one to expect. Russia and China briefly eyed one another as allies, the Europeans griped, but nowhere did major countries come close to forming real military alliances to counter America's strength. Why not?

The most persuasive answer came from Joseph Joffe, a conservative pro-Atlanticist German. He wrote that while there was plenty of smoldering resentment of American power, no one felt it necessary to ally against it. The United States was a hegemon "different from all its predecessors. America annoys and antagonizes, but it does not conquer.... This is a critical departure from the traditional ways of the high and mighty. For the balance of power machinery to crank up, it makes a difference whether the rest of the world faces a huge but unusually placid elephant or a caniverous [sic] tyrannosaurus rex." America is an elephant that lumbers but does not crush and that uses its hegemony to create "public goods"—institutions that the rest needs for security and economic growth.

If America invades Iraq, the bottom will fall out of this argument. The first consequence would probably be sharp drop in international co-operation against terrorism, especially terrorism directed against the United States. After that, we can contemplate new alliances: Russia and China, Europe and the (unoccupied) Middle East, an international system in rapid flux but increasingly focused on restraining American power. Of course, the United States will always have Israel as its friend.

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"The Last Day of Peace"

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I was thinking about the war today
New York is a target, no doubt
People on the street, shoulders tensed
Against the possibility of flame and flying glass
What is it like in Baghdad tonight?
To know the bombs are coming
What kind of prayer is it to ask
Please, please, let it be someone else?

Robert J. Howe (reprinted by permission)

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from http://www.msnbc.com/news/887175.asp

Looking for a friend but don’t have her phone number with you? For now, you can call directory assistance for her home number, but her wireless digits are off limits from 411. That’s about to change, however. After years of hesitation, cellular providers are getting close to making wireless numbers available to 411 callers.
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New York Terror Survey

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Poll #114462

Open to: All, results viewable to: All

As a New Yorker hearing reports of expected terrorist retaliations to the impending military conflict in Iraq, I am scared __________. [Check one only.]


class='LJ_PollAnswerLink' lj_pollid='114462' lj_qid='1' lj_posterid='17832'
id="LJ_PollAnswerLink_114462_1">
View Answers

a little.
2 (40.0%)

moderately.
2 (40.0%)

silly.
0 (0.0%)

shitless.
1 (20.0%)

to death.
0 (0.0%)

like Saddam scares Dubya—not one tiny bit.
0 (0.0%)

As a New Yorker preparing for terrorist attacks, I have __________. [Check all that apply.]


class='LJ_PollAnswerLink' lj_pollid='114462' lj_qid='2' lj_posterid='17832'
id="LJ_PollAnswerLink_114462_2">
View Answers

bought duct tape and plastic sheeting.
0 (0.0%)

agreed with loved ones on one or more rendezvous points.
1 (33.3%)

stockpiled emergency food and cash.
1 (33.3%)

attended one or more peace rallies.
0 (0.0%)

wrapped myself in the American flag for protection.
0 (0.0%)

bent over and kissed my ass goodbye.
1 (33.3%)

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Just a reminder that I'll be reading at KGB tomorrow night, Thursday, March 20th, with Barbara Krasnoff, Sue Young Wilson, and current Nebula Award nominee Richard Bowes. We'll be there despite the war, and hope that you'll be too.

KGB is at 85 East 4th Street in Manhattan. The reading starts at 7:30.

For more info: http://www.shunn.net/writing/events

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Lost post

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I was halfway through a long, long post about the burglary when I accidentally lost what I'd written so far. I can't bear the thought of going back to the start now. Maybe sometime later this week. But thanks, everyone, for your expressions of support and sympathy. We really appreciate it.

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Another burglary

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Almost immediately upon finishing that last entry, Laura called. Our upstairs neighbor Jason had called her cell phone. He had just gotten home and discovered the house had been broken into. I came home immediately and get here almost before the police. All we lost was my laptop, a Palm Pilot, an antique watch, and some pearls, as far as we can tell. But the bedroom and my office are turned upside down, and we're rather upset. Nothing to do now but sit tight and wait for the print squad to come dust. More later.

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The last mixture show

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Front cover
You may know by now that Josh Benton's CD Mix of the Month Club will be shutting down forever at the conclusion of March's trading.

I've known about the club since September, but this is the first time I've participated. That this is the end of the game didn't even influence my decision; I had just made a mix CD and I figured I'd get in on the action this month.

My mix is called Children of the Beatles. Here are the inserts I made:

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