On the murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, as reported @FT

Headline: Machine guns and a hit squad: the killing of Iran’s nuclear mastermind

Assassination set to escalate tensions as US president-elect Joe Biden keen to restart nuclear talks

https://www.ft.com/content/a2fade69-f-9fd3-1641ae1fddb13b03-4d0


Note that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is named as the sinister, in fact evil ‘nuclear mastermind’

My comments:

___________________________________________________

How soon will the comments section get too pointed, so that the editors close down the comments section, of the reworked Mossad propaganda from yesterday? When the going gets tough…

Headline: Iran’s nuclear mastermind ‘assassinated’

Sub-headline: Officials in Tehran suggest Israel involvement in killing that escalates tensions with US

 https://www.ft.com/content/e1bf7e03-b760-4494-b7b2-4e26514a83cd


What if an American Scientist was murdered inside America? What would be the punishment for the responsible party, who hired thugs to do their dirty work?
StephenKMackSD

___________________________________________

In reply to Koln

Do better!!! I’m in America not in Tehran, and I have voiced my opinion, just like you have! Iran threw off the yoke of Imperial Oppressors.  A coup conducted by BP and Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA removed the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, and put the Shah, and his secret police in power: this was the incubator of the mullah’s that you now inveigh against.
The Iranians come by Anti-Americanism and Anti-Britainism  via the route of the machinations of the American National Security State and British Petroleum to deny the sovereignty of a state because Mossadegh said he would Nationalize Iranian Oil.
‘The West’ is the object of Iranian rage for very good reasons as I have mentioned.
The final question in my post still stands unanswered. Because the answer is clear!


Thank you for your comment.
Regards,
StephenKMackSD 

https://www.ft.com/content/a2fade69-f-9fd3-1641ae1fddb13b03-4d0   

    

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Proud Boys, as reported in the London Sunday Times. Old Socialist comments, and asks a question.

Headline: Meet the Proud Boys — Trump’s unofficial militia spoiling for a fight

Sub-headline: Sporting Fred Perry shirts and heavily armed, the American far-right group the president refused to condemn is on patrol at his rallies

‘ I initially thought McInnes’s list of Proud Boy “degrees” of membership must be another one of his jokes. Initiates must swear allegiance to the fraternity, get beaten up until they can recite the name of five cereal brands, adhere to a “no wanks” pledge (so young men stop watching porn and meet actual women, Aaron explained) and get a Proud Boy tattoo.
It made them sound like a bunch of incels (involuntary celibates). Could this be for real, I asked Aaron, who, like Mike, is 33 and single. Yes, the rules were rules. He took my question about the ban on masturbation well — “It does wonders for your determination, energy levels and productivity” — but denied they were incels. “That’s just a cheap lowball insult,” he said.
Nor were they misogynists, he insisted. “We do venerate housewives, though we respect women who work. We want to put women back on their pedestal. They have a cherished role in western civilisation.”
In fact, he was off to see his girlfriend in Seattle this weekend, a black foreign exchange student from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I’m not a racist, 100%,” he added.
Aaron went on to remind me that there was a further “degree” for members — “getting into a physical altercation with Antifa”. He fulfilled that pledge in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in August when there was a violent clash with the far left. He sent me a video link. “It was wild,” he said. As he slugged it out with Antifa, he got hit in the face with a street sign.
If there is election chaos after November 3, as Trump has predicted, Aaron will be back on the streets with his Ruger AR-566 — all in the name of “self-defence”. If they are going to play at being Trump’s vigilantes, it will be a terrible joke on the American electorate.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/meet-the-proud-boys-trumps-unofficial-militia-spoiling-for-a-fight-9mjr8kccb



Sexual Puritanism & Violent Reactionary Politics, if the Freudians still enjoyed cultural/psychological currency they would … If only Eric Ericson and his clique!
Add to the ‘Proud Boys’ the ‘Bugaloo Boys’ and ‘The Oath Keepers‘ that represent an American political nihilism, that dwarfs ‘Antifa’ and ‘BLM’ that leads inexorably to the question: will America’s Second Civil War begin on November 4, 2020?

Old Socialist



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Andy Divine depends on the ignorance of his readers, Episode MCCVII: On Concentration Camps & more pressing Evils. Old Socialist comments

I’ll bypass the first two installments of the Mr. Divine’s encyclical of June 21, 2019:

The Next Step for Gay Pride

The Trump Code

I’ll just read this next segment of moral shaming with which Andy confronts his readers:

The Totalitarian Nightmare the World Is Ignoring

I don’t want a new Cold War with China. But it is, in my view, an evil regime, and we should have no illusions about that. Twitter has been having a great time this past week parsing whether detention camps for illegal immigrants in the United States should be called “concentration camps.” In China, this debate might seem somewhat beside the point. Over a million Muslims who have crossed no border and committed no crimes are being taken from their homes en masse and subjected to brainwashing in vast camps and compounds from which there is no escape. Watch this excellent new BBC piece on these “thought transformation camps” — and feel the fear everywhere. The BBC was given access to a show camp, which is creepy enough. We can only imagine what goes on in the hidden ones.

Somehow Andy has become an expert on ‘concentration camps’: now Andy isn’t very adroit about his attack on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and her very welcome plain speaking on the concentration camps used by ICE to hold the Mestizo Hordes ,that are invading the land of Anglo-Protestant virtue, as articulated by that American political hysteric Samuel P. Huntington: in his Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity. The separation of children/infants from their parents , not to speak of caging these human beings, is an action used by Trump and his minions: ‘Give me your tired,your poor ,your huddled masses…’! An utter betrayal of ‘American Values’ ?

Andy likes to engage in the time honored tradition of One-up-man-ship pioneered by Stephen Potter. Virtue signalling is the current term of abuse, but Potter’s old stand-by fully describes Andy’s dull-witted practice . His argument:  You’ve averted your eyes from the ‘Evil Chinese Regime‘  for too long -its Human Rights abuses! In sum, the Concentration Camps used by ICE are by comparison to the Chinese Regime’s forms of oppression/re-education are evil, while the human rights abuses practiced by ICE are subject to a kind of pseudo- apologetic! In sum,  the crimes of ICE are minimized in comparison to the Chinese.

 

On the left, we worry about Islamophobia, or we expend our energies protesting the oppression of Palestinians by Israel’s occupation. On the right, we talk of religious freedom too often as if it only applies to Christians or Jews.

Yet, here is a man and writer whose moral/political enthusiasms for ‘The Bell Curve’ and the War in Iraq are facts that Andy can’t overcome. At least with his readers whose memories reach back to Andy’s reprehensible political past.  Andy achieves his ends by means of hectoring moralizing, in service to Andy’s pathological egotism, wedded to his political nihilism.

Old Socialist

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/06/andrew-sullivan-the-next-step-for-gay-pride.html

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jens Stoltenberg enunciates the American Party Line on Russia and Ukraine! ( With a late addition !)

Political Observer comments.

A possible historical framing of the comments by Jens Stoltenberg, must embrace the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the looming catastrophe of famine, as a consequence of American Imperial fatigue, or is it disenchantment? The the modulated bellicosity is better coming from Stoltenberg, than Biden whose political capital has been spent. Stoltenberg does not speak from himself, he is an operative of the American National Security State, to state the obvious.

On the pressing question of Biden’s Foreign Policy advisers SCHEERPOST reposts Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) / AntiWar

Headline: Biden’s Latest Cabinet Picks and the Neocons Who Love Them

Sub-headline: The incoming president’s choice for secretary of state for political affairs is among several nominees who have ties to hawkish figures.

https://scheerpost.com/2021/01/09/bidens-latest-cabinet-picks-and-the-neocons-who-love-them/

They are all here:  Jon Finer, , Jake Sullivan, Wendy Sherman, , Bruce Stokes,  Victoria Nuland,  and AIPAC groveler Kamala Harris.

Another vital factor is to consider that Right Sector, Svoboda, and the Azov Battalion all notorious fascists, have been integrated into the Ukrainian Military, in resistance, to ‘Russian Revanchism’ . All to quash any possible critique, that might cast a shadow over that ‘popular resistance’. A careful public relations strategy – Neo-Cons, and their allies, have been schooled, in the past, by ‘bad publicity’ generated by this trio of fascists.

Political Observer

***************************

Here is a telling reply, in the comments section, that places History at the center of debate on Ukraine, and the promises made to Gorbachev : Developmental Economics44 in reply to Hewer of wood

You might be interested in listening to this recent statement by Sir Edward Leigh MP on the floor of the House of Commons:

Sir Edward Leigh MP @EdwardLeighMPLet’s be honest: we’re not really prepared to lose a single British soldier dying in a war to defend Ukraine. We should be frank with everyone and just admit that Ukraine will never be a NATO member state. January 6th 20224 Retweets16 Likes

For a copy of the document Sir Edward Leigh readout on the Floor of the House, this can be accessed on line at National Security Archive at George Washington University (see link below).   You will see that on the 12 December 2017 the National Security Archive posted online 30 declassified US, Soviet, German, British and French documents revealing a raft of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991. Some of the documents have been publicly available for several years, others were revealed as a result of Freedom of Information requests. 

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early

US Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on 9 February 1990 was only part of a raft of similar assurances. The documents also show that multiple national leaders considered and rejected Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, and that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory.  The Archive reveals that subsequent Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion are founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons. 

The documents reinforce former CIA Director Robert Gates’s criticism of “pressing ahead with expansion of NATO eastward [in the 1990s], when Gorbachev and others were led to believe that wouldn’t happen”.

https://www.ft.com/content/426889a6-4fe9-4897-b923-6b3f546c5878?commentID=59f6e55a-093b-496b-8887-96f735989e3c

*************************************

Here is the companion piece to the above ‘news story’.

Headline: West treads narrow path to common ground in Russia talks

Sub-headline: Vladimir Putin’s red lines are expected to be rebuffed by US and European officials

US officials will sit down with Russian diplomats in Geneva on Monday in the first of a sequence of meetings that could prove crucial to European security.

Russia has laid out its red lines in two draft treaties — and with about 100,000 troops amassed close to Ukraine’s eastern border, has threatened military action if they are not met. US and European officials will counter with their own demands that Moscow abide by the fundamental principles of European security: that countries can decide their own foreign and defence policy and that borders are not changed by force.

Expectations of an agreement this week on a new security arrangement between Moscow and the west are low.

https://www.ft.com/content/a1311bb7-7083-4491-89d7-2912289ebe68?list=intlhomepage

The Cast of Characters has been expanded, for this ‘news story’ :

Antony Blinken, Wendy Sherman, Sergei Ryabkov , Rose Gottemoeller, Andrew Weiss, Jens Stoltenberg, Patricia Lewis, Michael Kofman, Samuel Charap. The names I have italicized are all Think Tank Propagandists! This can’t even be a surprise, this is The Financial Times! The New Cold War propaganda gazette!

Political Observer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On American Insularity: Munich – The Edge of War.

Political Observer comments.

How telling that in America the novel and film version of the Robert Harris’ book ‘Munich’ has attracted no real attention, that I am aware of! A symptom of American insularity… it is available on NETFLIX.

I

Read Harris’ January 1, 2022 essay at the Times :

Headline: Robert Harris: my mission to redeem Britain’s most-reviled prime minister Neville Chamberlain

Sub-headline: The novelist has long been obsessed with Neville Chamberlain — then he lunched with Jeremy Irons and a gripping spy drama was born.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/robert-harris-my-mission-to-redeem-britains-most-reviled-prime-minister-neville-chamberlain-cvm9l2c9p

The Time’s usual sang-froid is missing in this sentence fragment ‘ a gripping spy drama was born’. Harris’ essay is what The Reader in America most needs to explore – a well written essay by a novelist, who can address the evolution of an idea, a collection of thoughts and suggestive fragments, as they occur. The evolution of a novel as the author talks to The Reader: a narrative self-report.

Susannah Butter follows up the Harris essay with this :

Headline: How accurate is Munich: The Edge of War? The historian’s verdict

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-accurate-is-munich-the-edge-of-war-the-historians-verdict-05m5qrst5

Butter interviews various Historians on the plausibility of some of the characters in Harris’s fiction. All of the questions and answers are worthy of the readers attention. In an American context, I can only recall two instances of an historical novel, causing controversy and wide coverage in the popular press. Those being two books by Gore Vidal, ‘Burr’ of 1973 and ‘Lincoln’ of 1984.

With The New Cold Wars against China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela… and the collapse of America’s whole Political Class- this Melodrama and its various protagonists occupy the the time of American Corporate Mass Media. And its collection of Soothsayers and Charlatans, endlessly chattering about the pressing question of, where ‘we’ are, and where ‘we’ are going- the pressing question of our fate in 2022 leaves little time for commentaries on popular fiction? Recall the Soviet popular fiction of ‘Children of the Arbat’ published in 1988?

Political Observer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Janan Ganesh views the Homeless from inside the comfort of his privilege!

Old Socialist …

The placement of an essay about the Homeless Crisis published under the rubric of ‘Opinion Life & Arts’ is about a self-serving diminution, on the pressing question of Homelessness. Add to this the headline and sub-headline:

Headline: Why homelessness is still with us

Sub-headline: It is not selfishness but an innocent trust in the outcomes of the market

But note that Janan Ganesh is the almost perfect would be boulevardier, to opine on such a pressing issue? He begins his commentary by a show of his credentials, as that ‘would be boulevardier’:

It is a conversation I have had in Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and, on three occasions, in San Francisco. Someone local, surmising that I am not, apologises for the homelessness problem. I mumble that it is tragic indeed, but that I have seen as bad elsewhere. (In OECD countries, I haven’t.)

After a while, it becomes awkwardly evident that we are at cross-purposes. What aggrieves the other person is that the rough-sleepers are here. The city is a soft touch and therefore a beacon to them. With luck, someone will shoo all the tarpaulin villages out of sight. That a more universal answer exists, starting with “w” and ending with “elfare state”, is a point that I am too good a guest to ever press.

Such cold hearts. Such greed. But then some of these interlocutors are more prolific donors of time and cash to charitable causes than I have ever been. Some are progressive-to-moderate on most questions of the hour. Some are friends of mine, and wouldn’t be if I held them to be brutes or misers.

Mr. Ganesh is just one of the members of an exclusive club of the well traveled cognoscenti: he feels he needs to intervene on the pressing question of ‘the undeserving poor’ .

The problem isn’t malevolence. It is innocence. Theirs is a sincere belief in the market as a more or less meritocratic system: an audit of one’s work ethic and character. Whatever outcomes it throws up are therefore, however sad, a kind of Revealed Truth.


If you believe there is a solid link between deserts and reward, you must believe — you must — that rough-sleepers have it coming. You have left yourself no room for the role of luck in human affairs: of mental illness, of birth into a hopeless family, of dire education or mid-life tumbles down the potholes of circumstance. You are guilty of epic, almost operatic naivety. But you are not vindictive, per se. You are not selfish. You are Candide, not Scrooge.

The Candide of ‘cultivate your garden’, or of Dr. Pangloss’ ‘best of all possible Worlds’ ? Mr. Ganesh ascribes to Candide the singularity of a trope?

The reality of Thatcher/Reagan brand of the Neo-Liberal Swindle does not have any place in the rhetorical underbrush of the Mr. Ganesh’s History Made To Measure. The Political toxin of that Neo-Liberalism has been further exacerbated by The Pandemic.

On the Question of The Enlightenments:

The Enlightenment idea of the individual, which was English, Dutch and French before it was American, is filtered through that sieve of realism. The political scientist Eileen McDonagh has shown that monarchies are often the pioneers of welfarism. Lots of social reformers were blue-bloods who viewed meritocracy through a jaundiced eye. Think Bismarck or Shaftesbury. Think, for that matter, Franklin Roosevelt.

On the question of The Enlightenments the reader need only look to the works J.G.A. Pocock’s ‘Barbarism and Religion’ and ‘The Machiavellian Moment’ to begin her inquiry!

How does Mr. Ganesh end his commentary? Via an inside glimpse, of the World of the Boulevardier/Cognoscenti, who views what the degradation of poverty looks like, from inside an Uber, not a Taxi! Ganesh offers wistfulness, within the comfort of his privilidge.

In the raw DC winter of 2018, my companion for the evening nodded with concern at a beggar as our Uber passed him in the sludge. Then, in a sorrow-not-anger kind of way, he wondered how a man could have made such self-defeating “choices”. It is marrow-deep, this belief, and a rare feature of the New World that I won’t miss.

https://www.ft.com/content/b84f806a-3e60-4f2a-9fe6-4a7baed84d9a

Old Socialist

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At The Financial Times: Gideon Rachman, perennial New Cold Warrior & Janan Ganesh’s ‘Doom and Gloom’.

A Report from Political Observer.

After yesterday’s Gideon Rachman column, January 3, 2022 :

Headline: Putin’s attempt to control the past follows the Xi model

Sub-headline: The censorship of history in both countries is an essential part of domestic repression


“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell was writing in the late 1940s — but that extract from 1984 is a perfect guide to how Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the leaders of Russia and China, treat history.

In the dying days of 2021, the Russian and Chinese governments both took dramatic action to censor discussion of their countries’ history. In both cases, the decision to “control the past” sends a bleak signal about the future.

Russia’s Supreme Court closed Memorial, an organisation founded in the last years of the Soviet Union to record and preserve the memory of the victims of Stalinism. In Hong Kong, local universities bowed to China’s central government — removing from campuses statues commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. In the decades after decolonisation in 1997, Hong Kong was a bastion of free speech within the People’s Republic of China. But that era has now definitively come to a close.

The closing of Memorial feels like a turning point for the whole of Russia. For all the brutality of the Putin regime, Russia, until recently, has allowed considerably more latitude for political dissent than China. Putin’s opponents demonstrated in numbers on the streets in 2012, 2019 and in 2021. That kind of open criticism of Xi has long felt inconceivable in mainland China.

https://www.ft.com/content/9f6a2efb-2c15-4086-8085-5d5ed79219d3

The New Cold War fought from the comfortable office/study of Mr. Rachman has been aided, by some careful garnish that History Made to Measure offers, in the way of ‘insights’ wedded to the usual New Cold War hysteria.

*************************

Today, January 4, 2022, Janan Ganesh predicts American Doom and Gloom:

Headline: Endemic civil disorder could be America’s future

Sub-headline: A year on from the Capitol siege, the US remains vulnerable to political violence

https://www.ft.com/content/cefcd8c9-6f36-4c11-aa08-4920ea39f7ca

I delayed quoting from the essay to recognize Mr. Ganesh’s maladroit framing:

Some 50 winters ago, the UK home secretary Reginald Maudling gave up on the outright defeat of Irish Republican terrorism. What might be feasible, he said, almost spoofing the British art of managing decline, was to keep the bloodshed down to “acceptable” levels. What was at the time a quite sensational gaffe went unmarked on its semicentennial last month. This was a sheepish admission that he had not been callous or defeatist, but prescient.

The turbulent, riotous, or even anarchic decades, of the 1960’s & 1970’s in America is beyond Mr. Ganesh’s reach, at least until later in his essay. If a writer is to comment on American politics, it is incumbent to confine commentary to that History? This expectation isn’t borne of cultural/political chauvinism, but of the necessity of historical context!


Some ‘highlights’ from Mr. Ganesh’s essay:


Find this alarmist or much too optimistic, according to taste. But the first of these objections (that January 6, 2021, was not so bad, and anyway a one-off) is harder to take seriously. It is often paired with the kind of giggling taunt about liberal hysteria and “Trump Derangement Syndrome” that stopped being conscionable when people died on the Capitol grounds.

Mr. Ganesh is here on firmer ground here:


There are several reasons to worry about the future. One is the past. It would not take an exotic sequence of events for violence to become a feature of politics in the coming decades. It would just take a regression to, if not quite the mean, then a recurring theme in US history. In the half-century after the election of Abraham Lincoln, there were three presidential assassinations and a civil war that claimed almost as many lives as all other US wars combined. Ethnic violence flared between the world wars. The 1960s brought a new round of assassinations and urban riots so bad that some northern cities only half recovered. If anything was aberrant, it was not January 6, then, it was the relative calm of recent decades. And even that lull included, in Oklahoma, the nation’s worst ever act of domestic terrorism.

In her data-rich new book, How Civil Wars Start, the academic Barbara F Walter sees a US ripe for terrible internal violence. But no chapter is scarier than the one that tries to hold out hope. The mismatch of disease and treatment is huge, and not through lack of imagination on her part. 

Few are old enough to remember that politics can be so dangerous as to start total wars. If neither of these issues is unique to the US, they are compounded by one that is: the state has no formal monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. What exactly is to be done about factors so vast and ingrained? How a Chronic If Not Existential Level of Violence Starts is a drab thesis. It is also a grimly credible one.

What Mr. Ganesh fails to confront is the utter collapse of America’s Political Class! The enthusiasm, with which all of its operatives, Republicans and New Democrats, presented the Neo-Liberal Swindle as the dawn of a New Age, that collapsed. And immiserated both the Working Class and the Middle Class, has produced political rage. A unsparing critique of Capital, in or out of Neo-Liberal Drag, and its political watershed, will never be enunciated in this newspaper?

Political Observer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Economist posts on Twitter, a September 4, 2021 essay, about the menace of the ‘illiberal left’. Anti-Left propaganda has a limited shelf -life?

Old Socialist comments.

Just the first paragraph of this essay proves to be instructive to The Critical Reader’:

Something has gone very wrong with Western liberalism. At its heart classical liberalism believes human progress is brought about by debate and reform. The best way to navigate disruptive change in a divided world is through a universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets and limited government. Yet a resurgent China sneers at liberalism for being selfish, decadent and unstable. At home, populists on the right and left rage at liberalism for its supposed elitism and privilege.

It seems that the writers/editors of this newspaper have missed ‘Liberalism A Counter-History’ by Domenico Losurdo ? The next paragraph shares the same celebratory cum apologetical mood:

Over the past 250 years classical liberalism has helped bring about unparalleled progress. It will not vanish in a puff of smoke. But it is undergoing a severe test, just as it did a century ago when the cancers of Bolshevism and fascism began to eat away at liberal Europe from within. It is time for liberals to understand what they are up against and to fight back.

The last sentence of the above quotation pronounces an imperative for ‘liberals’ , note the small caps, ‘It is time for liberals to understand what they are up against and to fight back.’ :

Over the past 250 years classical liberalism has helped bring about unparalleled progress. It will not vanish in a puff of smoke. But it is undergoing a severe test, just as it did a century ago when the cancers of Bolshevism and fascism began to eat away at liberal Europe from within. It is time for liberals to understand what they are up against and to fight back. Bolshevism and fascism are the twin enemies of a ‘Centrist Liberalism’ ?

But the immediate threat is from the ‘Trumpian right’ ! Yet the shift of focus, from the ‘Left’ as bad actor, to the ‘Trumpian right’, renders the argumentative force of ‘Illiberal Left’ to a position of lesser importance, this straw man of the ‘Illiberal Left’ is of primary importance, yet the argument wanders off from the issue of the primacy of ‘Liberalism’.

Nowhere is the fight fiercer than in America, where this week the Supreme Court chose not to strike down a draconian and bizarre anti-abortion law. The most dangerous threat in liberalism’s spiritual home comes from the Trumpian right. Populists denigrate liberal edifices such as science and the rule of law as façades for a plot by the deep state against the people. They subordinate facts and reason to tribal emotion. The enduring falsehood that the presidential election in 2020 was stolen points to where such impulses lead. If people cannot settle their differences using debate and trusted institutions, they resort to force.

The next paragraphs are not an argument, but a hopeless substitute for argument!

The attack from the left is harder to grasp, partly because in America “liberal” has come to include an illiberal left. We describe this week how a new style of politics has recently spread from elite university departments. As young graduates have taken jobs in the upmarket media and in politics, business and education, they have brought with them a horror of feeling “unsafe” and an agenda obsessed with a narrow vision of obtaining justice for oppressed identity groups. They have also brought along tactics to enforce ideological purity, by no-platforming their enemies and cancelling allies who have transgressed—with echoes of the confessional state that dominated Europe before classical liberalism took root at the end of the 18th century.

Superficially, the illiberal left and classical liberals like The Economist want many of the same things. Both believe that people should be able to flourish whatever their sexuality or race. They share a suspicion of authority and entrenched interests. They believe in the desirability of change.

This rambling from subject to subject, the focus on current political points of contention- the writer or writers, seek to explain what makes their defense of ‘Liberalism’ superior: to the self-serving mendacities of the both the ‘Illiberal Left’ and the ‘Trumpian right’. The essay’s author or authors continue to gather at will, components of a History Made to Measure. That by political necessity expands it’s explanatory reach outward, as their argumentative frame is diluted of its cogency.

But my Readerly patience is exhausted by this paragraph:

Milton Friedman once said that the “society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither”. He was right. Illiberal progressives think they have a blueprint for freeing oppressed groups. In reality theirs is a formula for the oppression of individuals—and, in that, it is not so very different from the plans of the populist right. In their different ways both extremes put power before process, ends before means and the interests of the group before the freedom of the individual.

What has also has escaped the attention of The Economist writer/writers is that the Neo-Liberal Swindle collapsed, with a near World Wide Crash in 2008. Or the toxin of the Chicago Boys in Pinochet’s Chile! Yet there are 611 words to go…

Just as a reminder to The Reader of the self-serving mendacity of the writers at The Economist:

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2015/09/19/backwards-comrades

Old Socialist

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Edward Luce ‘diagnoses’ the political failure of the New Democrats !

Political Cynic comments.

The first two paragraphs of Mr. Luce essay read like the political analysis provided by David Brooks, at The New York Times, with, of course, that Oxbridger undergraduate attempt at humor, stepped in disdain. Brooks describes a political landscape, and its signposts, that reads as almost familiar, but are either out of focus or eerily transmogrified!

The skill at which Donald Trump excels is creating a master narrative and ensuring every American hears it — no consultants needed. That is what he did in 2016 and will try to repeat if he runs for president again. The first time was about draining the Washington swamp. Now it is about Democrats stealing elections. Had Trump put his 2016 horse through an advisory committee, it would have come out as a camel. But he stuck to his own counsel.

The key to Trump’s unlikely success, which Democrats seem predisposed to miss, is to speak plainly to as wide a group of Americans as possible at the same time, even when the product is nihilism. It is the opposite of the microtargeting that Democratic consultants so love. This is an irony, since Democrats claim to represent “the people”. Fighting for ordinary Americans is a far harder sell when your marketing is tailored to so many different ones.

Trump didn’t offer a ‘Master Narrative’, but offered the voter the reflective rage, against a whole Political Class, whose advocacy and practice of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, over almost a generation, that destroyed both the working class and the middle class in America- Mr. Luce is incapable of even an approach to that revelation, it is beyond his ken! A former speech writer and now Boswell to Larry Summers …

If one is to scold the New Democrats for the Trump win 2016 , look to the infamous comment, by New Democrat Queen Bee Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ as an exercise in starkly ugly classism. After all Hillary was a ‘Goldwater Girl’ in 1964. That ‘deplorables’ catch phrase became the mantra for the rest of the Party. Hillary and The New Democrats were the standard bearers, of that collapsed Neo-Liberalism. As were the Republican Party establishment, that were in a panic of the outsider capturing the Party apparatus, by a self-financed campaign for President.

Here Mr. Luce offers an evaluation of Biden’s ‘build back better’ as not just a question of ‘messaging’ :

The problem is not just with the messaging. The packaging also warps the content. Biden’s “build back better” plan ought to have been a triumph of popular measures — lower drug prices, paid leave, better childcare and higher taxes on the rich. Once it got into the hands of congressional Democrats, however, it descended into a tangled mess of competing interests. When everyone is a priority, nobody is.

Skipping through Mr. Luce’s thickets of political analysis, in which he quotes the Harold Stassen of the political present Andrew Yang:

As Andrew Yang, the former Democratic presidential candidate, said last week: “A lot of Americans are just sick of this compartmentalised approach to politics that’s driven by consultants and . . . they see through it. They think it’s bullshit.” 

Not quite satisfied with the above quote from Yang, Luce resorts to Upton Sinclair:

America’s political-industrial complex deserves the criticism it gets. But few Democratic strategists seem open to change. As Upton Sinclair, the great radical, said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

How predictable is Mr. Luce’s critique of the ‘political-industrial complex’ ? He is a member in good standing of this ‘complex’ of Political Experts- yet a possible self-criticism does not occur to him as an imperative!

Political Cynic

https://www.ft.com/content/5a7b2081-7049-4942-bdee-96499c3dab3b

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

David Cameron’s perennial bad judgement, as reported in The Financial Times.

Political Observer comments.

The reader should note, that the comments section, for this essay by Daniel Thomas and Jim Pickard has been , in Financial Times Speak, ‘Comments have not been enabled for this article.’ !

Headline: David Cameron quits as adviser to Afiniti after allegations against CEO

Sub-headline: Setback for post-political career comes after former PM was caught up in Greensill affair earlier this year

https://www.ft.com/content/f864126a-9d11-4fdc-9b97-45af7a84e376

Here is where this essay begins to consider Cameron’s value as a marquee name for various Corporations, and the Washington Speakers Bureau, as a source of income for a former Prime Minister.


Cameron has since admitted to mistakes over his lobbying for the company, although he said he did not break any rules.

The former prime minister was paid more than $1m a year by Greensill and was given share options that could have been worth about $70m had the company floated on the stock market as expected. Instead, after Greensill filed for administration in March, the shares are worthless.

Greensill is now the subject of more than a dozen inquiries including an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into the “financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK”.

One of those inquiries, by the Treasury select committee, found he had shown a “significant lack of judgment”.

Since leaving office after the Brexit vote in 2016, Cameron has made large amounts of money from making speeches, in line with many other prominent former UK politicians. He has been charging at least £120,000 an hour for speeches through his agency, the Washington Speakers Bureau, which describes him as “one of the most prominent global influencers of the early 21st century”.

Cameron’s exercise of bad judgement defines his career. The Reader should recall that Mr. Cameron lectured Jeremy Corbyn for his lack of patriotism, and for the greater political blunder of his shabby suit. Attribute these comments to Oxbridger snobbery, used as a political weapon!

Headline: UK Prime Minister David Cameron Calls Jeremy Corbyn a ‘Terrorist Sympathizer’

Sub-headline: Corbyn’s campaign responded to the attacks saying, “We won’t fight name calling by returning in kind, but we will challenge the cynical burying of debate.” 

British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a heated speech Wednesday to his fellow Conservative Party members at their annual conference, in which he attacked the newly elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of hating Britain and being a “terrorist sympathizer.”

“You only really need to know one thing: he thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a ‘tragedy’ …my friends – we cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathizing, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love,” he said to applause from the audience.

Cameron was referring to an interview Corbyn gave in 2011 to Iranian television channel Press TV, regarding the killing of the al-Qaida leader. When reading the whole quote, Cameron’s paraphrasing of Corbyn’s assessment of bin Laden’s death appears extremely selective:

“There was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died,” Corbyn told his interviewer.

Indeed, critics say the Conservative Party has been using this interview out of context as a way to attack Corbyn.

The Labour leader’s team responded to the accusations through their Twitter account, explaining that Cameron is trying to avoid debating issues and instead opting for ‘name calling’ and personalized attacks.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/UK-David-Cameron-Calls-Jeremy-Corbyn-a-Terrorist-Sympathizer-20151007-0012.html

Political Observer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Janan Ganesh offers council to the Republicans & The Reader can share in this opportunity!

Political Reporter comments.

In the Ganesh Political World, a thick slice from the remains of Miss Havisham’s wedding cake, is never out of place! No matter how unappetizing!

The bay views, the pastel homes, the human suffering: no city does less with more than San Francisco. How a place so spoilt for assets became a byword for rough-sleeping and urban dysfunction is, for Republicans, obvious. It is the fruit of liberal governance. What that diagnosis lacks in nuance it more than makes up for in national electoral resonance. Disorder in US cities is one theme the party hopes to ride to midterm glory next year.

The Enlightened Masters of the Internet Age, in Silicone Valley, have the cash, on or offshore, to render the crisis of homelessness in their own cities, and municipalities, if they could stop acting like the Aristocracy of pre-revolutionary Russia. Recall Edward Crankshaw’s 1976 ‘The Shadow of the Winter Palace: Russia’s Drift to Revolution, 1825-1917’ ? Or has my penchant for hyperbole … This in its own oblique way a riposte to the ‘liberal governance’ slur?

Mr. Ganesh appetite for political gore is unslakable.

Count the others, if you have the time. Inflation is up under a high-spending Democratic president. The border with Mexico slips in and out of crisis. The cultural left’s inroads into education trouble even liberal-minded parents of school-age children. Tot it all up and Congress should be the least of the prizes. Republicans dream of an ascendancy that lasts as long as it takes the Democrats to see that liberalism and “anything-goes” are different creeds.

Who can resist these two sentence awash in the California Squatter Mentality, of Reaganism’s past, and its evolution in the political present. Pete Wilson’s Prop 187 in proximity to Anti-Left hysterics.

The border with Mexico slips in and out of crisis. The cultural left’s inroads into education trouble even liberal-minded parents of school-age children.

Then comes Mr. Ganesh’s admonition to these Squatters. to ‘check their present exuberance’ followed by this near epigrammatic ‘One is the natural rhythm of politics.’ This mere 170 word introduction, to a History Made To Measure, as imagined/conceived as political object lesson to caution Republicans on their ‘exuberance’.

But note that Mr. Ganesh’s essay presents something of political interest, if the reader is patient, while making her way though the thickest of ‘political analysis’:

Once more, the party is underestimating how well a messily begotten reform can work for its authors over time. From the southern border to the urban crime wave to Kabul, the root of Biden’s unpopularity is a lack of executive grip. Republicans have persuaded themselves that it is “socialism”.

In the aftermath of the complete collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle in 2008, and the obscene profits enjoyed by Capital , via the political cowardice of Obama: whose ‘lets put this behind us’ and his Simpson-Bowles, that sank like a stone – Biden is no Socialist, but a Neo-Liberal, who must do something that resembles The New Deal, but is not an actual threat to Capital. This is Bidens Last Act so the facsimile, must at least resemble the original, but not be actual Reform.

The pressing question, not withstanding this not quite engaging History Made to Measure, is which Republicans is Mr. Ganesh addressing? Mitch McConnell, or Mule- Piss Mitch as Mr. Ganesh once dubbed him? David Frum, who now presents himself as a Wise Republican Elder, a self promotion from jingle writer for The War On Terror? Rich Lowry of National Review? The Lincoln Project? And certainly not Josh Hawley, of the raised clenched fist, not seen since the 1968 Mexico City Olympics? The answer is that ‘we’ the readers are the target audience for Mr. Ganesh’s political moralizing!

The fact is that Trump controls the Republican Party, like the Clintons control the New Democrats.

Political Reporter

.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Edward Luce on ‘The battle for the minds of American children’ !

Political Radical comments.

In his 810 word essay Mr. Luce identifies “critical race theory” that acts as the in-order-too, of diminishing the importance of this confrontation, with a pervasive and institutionalized practice, by placing it in lower case letters. Race has shaped a belief system that defines the American Experiment, no matter how vehemently the denial is politically articulated. The pose Mr. Luce adopts is that of ‘Reporter’ on the American Political Landscape, but the practice of ‘diminishment’ renders that stance null !

I have read the first three chapters of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic’s ‘Critical Race Theory An Introduction, Third Edition’, and can see why this expressions has raised the ire ‘Conservatives’. The Neo-Liberals will follow, if they haven’t already joined in the usual political hysteria. Critical Race Theory places the onus on each political actor, to examine their presuppositions, assumptions, prejudices about the ‘Other’! Yet in The America of the myth of ‘The Melting Pot’ that ‘Other’ is ubiquitous!

At its core Critical Race Theory is based on an critical examination of the self, and its relation to the polity, the civic space all of us occupy: even those who aspire to be citizens of America, known as ‘illegal immigrants’ , who are entitled to the full protection of law! This last sentence articulates an uncomfortable truth to the Conservative and Neo-Liberals, who celebrates ‘Traditional Values’ steeped in the care and maintenance of white male power as a political/moral sine qua non!

Political Radical

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Fernández/de Kirchner alliance faces a defeat at the polls, as reported in The Financial Times!

Political Observer offers some thoughts.

Is there any ‘good news’ coming from Argentina?

Headline: Argentina: Peso in Free Fall as Thousands Mobilize Against Macri and the IMF

Sub-headline: In the past few hours, the Argentine peso has been devalued from 35 pesos to the dollar to 40 pesos to the dollar. What is going on?

Leo Zino August 30, 2018

Argentina: Peso in Free Fall as Thousands Mobilize Against Macri and the IMF

**********************

Headline: Argentine peso suffers steepest fall since 2002 crisis

Sub-headline: Argentina’s currency, the peso, has seen its sharpest one-day fall since the country’s 2002 financial crisis.

January 23, 2014

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-25871675

**************************

Headline: Argentina finance minister axed on economic uncertainty

Sub-headline: President requests resignation of Prat-Gay due to ‘differences’ in department

December 26 2016

https://www.ft.com/content/2d82da08-cb8c-11e6-864f-20dcb35cede2

************************

Headline: Argentina’s call for IMF help was brave but danger remains

Sub-headline: Recent drama may turn into just another act in a sadly familiar play

May 11, 2018

https://www.ft.com/content/5612f998-545d-11e8-b3ee-41e0209208ec

*****************************

Headline: Argentina’s peso falls again as Macri tries to shore up support

Sub-headline: President unveils raft of emergency economic measures after major political setback

August 14, 2019

https://www.ft.com/content/56fca4e0-be96-11e9-b350-db00d509634e

**********************

Headline: ‘There’s no future in Argentina’: Peronists face voter anger in midterms

Sub-headline: A crumbling economy and soaring inflation stoke discontent that threatens ruling party in next week’s polls

November 8, 2021

https://www.ft.com/content/cdd1ce4e-8cd8-46fc-b0a2-d48c98afc726

What might the reader think of the continuing failure of the de Kirchners, Macri and now the Fernández/de Kirchner alliance, to address a seemingly perpetual economic crisis? A description of the problem, and a diagnosis is offered by Lucinda Elliott and Michael Stott.

Inflation was 52.5 per cent in the year to September, one of the highest rates in the world, and economists fear it could go higher still next year. The government insists its policies will bring prices under control.

“We consider that inflation is being attacked with consistent macroeconomic policies which allow Argentina’s net exports to grow in a sustained way and that monetary issuance can be reduced to a speed which is compatible with the state playing a countercyclical role to underpin the recovery,” economy minister Martín Guzmán told the Financial Times in an interview.

“We believe that prices and incomes policies are a necessary element in an economy which is resolving its problems of macroeconomic co-ordination.”

But economists say that such recipes have been tried and failed numerous times before.

Which ‘economists’ are the writers paraphrasing in this paragraph?

“Needless to say, in our view, this policy is unlikely to curb inflation,” Citibank said of the price freeze. “We believe that the announcement of price controls by the authorities is evidence they have run out of tools to fight inflation.”

To drive the point home Lucinda Elliott and Michael Stottoffer this ‘proof’ :‘More than 20 leading figures’ have ‘voted with their feet’. Embellished by this:

Amid the economic chaos and political uncertainty, more people are opting to emigrate. A recent study by the consultancy Taquion Research found that eight in 10 working age Argentines would leave the country if they could. Despite coronavirus border restrictions, 130,000 people departed the country to work or study abroad in the first nine months of the year.

I have rendered in bold face this rather dubious assertion, notion, of ‘if they could’! Where is the data? Perhaps ‘to work or study’ offers a clue?

Political Observer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment