Once more around the web, by categories. I may add to this post without further update labels, just 'cause I'm ornery.
• It was Andrew Rilestone's writings on J. R. R. Tolkein that first attracted my attention to his writing. And while those links are, at the moment, not working, Rilestone's most recent blog post on Tolkein is absolutely fascinating, with really interesting discussion of reading Tolkein's posthumously edited writing, and how that's presented, as well as about the various extant drafts of The Hobbit. Take a look.
• Ayn Rand, Kafka and Ray Bradbury -- together at last! (That link is to the cover; see here for the table of contents.)
• Michael Swanwick surveys contemporary SF (on his new blog).
• Stuart Moore makes a persuasive case that the forthcoming volume of Fantagraphics' ongoing series of the Collected Peanuts cartoons -- the 1965-1966 volume (eighth of a projected twenty-five, being published at the rate of two per year) -- shows Schulz at the height of his powers, and is the one to get if you're only going to get one. I've seen a number of the volumes, and they're beautifully done -- and Schulz, of course, is a master.
• Congratulations to Scott McCloud & family on completing the 50-state tour for Making Comics! (I saw him speak at the very beginning of the tour; you can read about it here if you're interested.)
• The reason everyone's linking to this Star Trek-related item is that it's so bloody awesome, comics edition: What if Edward Gorey adapted the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles"?
• Given Bush's recent citing (as "a historian") of John Dower work on Japan to urge the ongoing occupation of Iraq (which Dower reacted angrily to), this seems like a good time to revisit Dower's prewar article on why the history of the American occupation of Japan does not offer hope for the Iraqi occupation. (Bush said this in his recent speech more famous for mangling the history of the U.S. in Vietnam.)
• Scott Horton has a good round-up of recent signs that "the next war draws nearer", i.e. that the Administration is actually going to commit the war-crime of aggressive war and attack Iran (something that would be deeply, irreparably stupid, even if you don't care about the gross immorality involved). If you think that they can't do this because Bush is a lame duck, or because even they aren't that dumb... you haven't been paying attention.
• For that matter, a non-Vietnam-centric speech of Bush's this week, was, at the very least, "what might actually be the most disturbing speech of his presidency, in which he issued more overt war threats than ever before towards Iran" as Glenn Greenwald described it in a characteristically insightful post. Arthur Silber, more simply, called it the formal declaration of war.
• Even some Serious People are starting to worry about the possibility that we're living out a rerun of the 2002 war run-up. New Yorker regular George Packer -- who, it's worth remembering, was on the side of the war-mongers last time -- says that "If there were a threat level on the possibility of war with Iran, it might have just gone up to orange."
• I recently mentioned the problems of undoing the structural, legal damage that Bush has done to our country and our system of governance, the problem of how not to make their crimes become precedents. (And there was some further dialogue on the issue in comments, so take a look.) One very interesting possibility was raised by Mark Schmitt here. Schmitt sees both the importance of the issue and the impracticality of impeachment, and so has an interesting idea. Not, honestly, much more likely than impeachment. But it's worth considering. This via Kathy G chez Ezra, who has further thoughts of her own on the topic.
• Rev. Joe Fuiten: If you're not a Christian, you're an illegal alien. As Sara Robinson says about this in the linked post: "Fuiten's little toss-off statement is giving his fellow-believers a fresh rationalization -- pre-loaded with more connotations that I can reasonably list here -- for a cleansing campaign of eliminationism targeting anyone who doesn't share their beliefs... If they're willing to talk like this on national TV, you know that whatever they're saying in private among themselves is far, far worse.... He said it. Right out loud on CNN, without even trying to make it sound PC. We'd best start taking these people at their word."
• The reason everyone's linking to this Star Trek-related item is that it's so bloody awesome, politics edition: Explaining right-wing discourse through the ST:NG episode Darmok.