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

 

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Sam Leith on Harry’s speech.

‘Sam Leith is literary editor of The Spectator’ what better credential for this hatched-job on Harry ? Its shameless a-historicism, a monument to the publishers David and Frederick Barclay commitment to the Royals, as the subject of a necessary Feudal Nostalgia, that holds together this former Empire?
Its as if the arresting object lesson of Diana had been subject to a maladroit Stalinist erasure? Or should I resort to my own childhood remembrance of  Princess Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend romance , as a story of the failed aspiration to freedom of a Royal, who lacked the courage to marry for love? My remembrance steeped in American newspaper/television melodrama of the time?

Princess Margaret became a Jet-Setter who spent a life , not unlike the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, in utter aimlessness, allied to cynical bitterness, expressed as anger over being treated as if she were not Royalty, by the lesser beings who dared to address her as an equal! Keeping company with Movie Stars like Jack Nicholson, and Patrician Rebel Gore Vidal, were her paltry compensation for her lack of courage.

StephenKMackSD

https://www.ft.com/content/148df920-3b81-11ea-b84f-a62c46f39bc2

 

 

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David Brooks & Rich Lowry as bearers of the tradition of political bad faith. Old Socialist comments

In a week in which Rich Lowry, editor of National Review opined on Bernie Sanders:

Headline: Bernie Is Not Normal

Sanders does indeed have his charms. He’s sincere, consistent, and inarguably himself. He now has a step on frenemy Elizabeth Warren in the leftist lane in the primaries because he’s not as painfully calculating as she is. But make no mistake: Sanders is a socialist continuing his takeover attempt of the Democratic party to forge what he aptly calls a political revolution. He may be more polite than Trump, but he’s wildly outside the mainstream and a clear and present danger to the public welfare.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/01/bernie-sanders-would-fundamentally-change-america/

I have skipped to the final paragraph, in which  Mr. Lowry resorts to the moral/political argument against Sanders, that cites him, as a  ‘a danger to the public welfare’ , which is utterly out of character, for an American Conservatism marinating in the ‘Free Market Ideology’. That scorns the very notion ‘the public welfare’ as an utter irrelevance: in fact the Trinity of Neo-Liberals Hayek/Mises/Friedman, assisted by Political Romantic and dull-witted pamphleteer Ayn Rand, are the natural enemies such bourgeois conventions.

David Brooks offers this refracted paranoia, as a legitimate critique of Sanders in The New York Times:

Headline: The Bernie Sanders Fallacy

Sub-headline: No, Virginia, there is no class war.

This is a golden age for “Theyism.” This is the belief that there is some malevolent, elite “they” out there and “they” are destroying life for the rest of us.

There is Donald Trump’s culture-war Theyism: The coastal cultural elites hate genuine Americans, undermining our values and opening our borders. And there is Bernie Sanders’s class-war Theyism: The billionaires have rigged the economy to benefit themselves and impoverish everyone else.

Note the puerile rhetorical framing of the sub-headline! Journalistic Kitsch!  From the Economic Collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle in 2008, and its issue The Gig Economy. Readers don’t need self-proclaimed Political Prophet David Brooks, to revert to type as Capitalist Apologist: protege of Wm. F. Buckley Jr.! Nor to quote American Enterprise Institute hack Michael Strain, to provide tutelage to we lesser beings – That 2008 Collapse and that Gig Economy are the starkest of object lesson about Capitalist Greed!

As Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute puts it, capitalism is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s rewarding productivity with pay, and some people and companies are more productive. If you improve worker bargaining power, that may help a bit, but over the long run people can’t earn what they don’t produce.

The final paragraphs of Mr. Brooks’ Capitalist Apologetics reverts to Public Moralizing in the manner of Mr. Lowry. With the caveat, that when all else fails, we must cede to the wisdom of ‘successful executives’.

But if you want to deal with our real problems, stop the us/them warfare and start dealing with productivity inequality.

Successful executives are doing what’s best for their companies, gathering as much talent as they can. This isn’t evil. It’s not exploitation.

The job of public policy is to make it easier for everybody to do what successful people are doing. Productivity is the key to national prosperity. Every time we increase productivity for one person, we all thrive a little more, together.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/opinion/the-bernie-sanders-fallacy.html

Those successful executives: Tax Evader Tim Cook of Apple, Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and a host of other thieves and liars: whose unslakable greed brought the Collapse of 2008 to fruition, and were ‘bailed out’ by the American People.  While millions lost their homes, and life saving to these thieves. Obama’s de facto pardon of these crooks establishes his status as a Neo-Liberal opportunist!  Mr. Lowry and Mr. Brooks are the political callobos, not to speak of  dull-witted apologists,  for these Plutocrats: who attack a Left-Wing Social Democrat Bernie Sanders as a political aberration!

Old Socialist

 

 

 

 

 

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Andy Divine on ‘The present is female. And the future will be as well’ . Political Observer scoffs!

I always imagine Andy Divine as Waldo Lydecker in his bath, typing his latest column, while being interviewed by detective Mark McPherson, in that Preminger Hollywood kitsch, Laura! Preminger never made another ‘film’ that matched its melodramatic excesses. Waldo as a ‘straight man’ in love with Laura looks as comic as it is!
Andy is only mildly interesting when at full hysterical cry. This week’s set of political observations are a testament to Andy at his most jejune.

Political Observer

 

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edward.luce@ft.com ‘Beware of Trump’. Political Observer comments

Headline: Beware Trump’s admiration for Putin, Xi and Erdogan

Sub-headline: The US president has made little attempt to hide his respect for strongman leaders

The fate of ‘The West’ was sealed with the ascendancy of Thatcher and Reagan, that gave free reign to the Neo-Liberal Swindle! Too historically sophisticated an answer to Luce’s -the imperative of historical determinism is the natural enemy of the newspaperman confronting a deadline.

The water-shed of the 2008 ‘Economic Downturn’ was the ‘Gig Economy’ that institutionalized ‘worker insecurity’ i.e. the breeding ground for Trumpism, and other forms of political irrationalism. Is ‘The Decline of the West’ in full swing? Or is it just the decline of the once treasured Post-War Liberal Order?

Trump’s political victory has sealed ‘our fate’? All that is left is the hand-wringing of Pundits like Mr. Luce. He attempts to knit together a ‘rational explanation’ for such diverse political phenomenon: the cast of characters is at once small Xi Jinping and Putin, that experiences a kind of rhetorical bloat, to embrace  Modi,  Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  Viktor Orban,  Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This by way of an exercise of political prescience? Or a self-serving riff on Ferguson’s Counter History before the fact?

The Democrats, under the leadership of Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler, and their  Show Trial of Trump will end in ignominious defeat in the Senate. No matter the histrionics of these political incompetents.  Not to forget the lackluster New Democratic candidates Biden, Warren, and Plutocrat Bloomberg. Where might a Pundit put the Socialist  Sanders in this political equation?

Political Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/28e1e7da-37fb-11ea-a6d3-9a26f8c3cba4

 

 

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Walter Russell Mead & ‘The Godfather’, and other Hollywood Kitsch, are the rhetorical frames for Niall Ferguson’s latest War Mongering. Old Socialist comments

Mr. Ferguson’s bellicosity is unslakable, and never a surprise. The Qassem Soleimani murder forces Ferguson to  resort to Walter Russel Mead’s Wall Street Journal celebration of ‘Jacksonian foreign policy’. And his ‘Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World’  This, part of the long tradition of a toxic American Exceptionalism.

Yet, as Walter Russell Mead explained in The Wall Street Journal, this is a quintessentially Jacksonian foreign policy move, in the spirit of Andrew Jackson, the president whom the former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon told his old boss to make his role model. Like his supporters in red-state America, Trump has no appetite for the “endless wars” they associate with George W Bush’s administration. But he and they also believe that the United States should retaliate against attacks on Americans. (Nawres Hamid, a naturalised US citizen, was killed by an Iranian-backed militia attack while working as an interpreter near Kirkuk on December 27.)

As Mead put it in his 2001 book Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World, a Jacksonian believes “that the most important goal of the US government in both foreign and domestic policy should be the physical security and the economic wellbeing of the American people”. Neoconservative nation-building or liberal interventionism are not on the Jacksonian menu. It’s all about “Don’t tread on me” — the rattlesnake’s warning on the American Revolutionary War battle flag.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/the-don-made-iran-an-offer-it-couldn-t-refuse-3ljvtn7m5

Next, as part of his weak rhetorical framing device, is the American Gangster film ‘The Godfather’ a celebration of terror, murder and thuggery, that is the perfect vulgar Pop Culture reference point of that ‘Jacksonian foreign policy’. The perfect blend of high and low?  Along with other Hollywood dreck: Bloodsport, Goodfellas, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Mr. Ferguson’s fascination with Hollywood kitsch is surprising for an Historian of some renown! Instead of actual history, the newspaper reader gets the Readymades of Hollywood, as reference points!

Note that ‘Jacksonian foreign policy’ had as its domestic corollary The Trail of Tears:

https://www.britannica.com/event/Trail-of-Tears

Mr. Ferguson’s special talent is to studiously ignore the crimes of the White Male Elites, that Colonized the World for profit. And its instruments of oppression: Sykes-Picot and Balfour Declaration- and now wonder at the active Rebellion, that has manifested itself since 1979, as The Islamic Republic of Iran!

Old Socialist

 

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Hisham Melhem on ‘Soleimani The Monster’! Political Dissident comments

This vulgar melodrama from Hisham Melhem, newspaperman and hireling of the The Arab Gulf States Institute, headed by the son of the CIA’s Frank G. Wisner and financed by nearly 4 Million budget. This has CIA Front Group written all over it. Mr. Melhem follows the Party Line on the monster that was Soleimani :

‘The general and his men have the blood of hundreds of American soldiers on their hands and, more gruesomely, they inflicted tragedy and otherworldly pain on innumerable civilian victims in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Isis brought ruin on abandoned, if splendid, historic cities, but Soleimani’s marauders helped destroy Aleppo, a jewel of a modern-day metropolis in Syria.’

Should American readers think of the careers of Curtis LeMay , William Westmoreland or  David  Petraeus?

From Sykes-Picot, the Balfour Declaration, to the Coup of 1953, or to the present, The West and its cadre of Apologists deny that the Iranians can, and will make, their own history, without the tutelage of the superior White Male! There is the rub!
Where else but The Economist or Wall Street Journal  would readers find this brazenly incompetent propaganda?

Political Dissident

https://www.ft.com/content/3fa20ba4-320f-11ea-a329-0bcf87a328f2

 

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janan.ganesh@ft.com American Writer comments on Gore Vidal’s ‘distasteful views’.

Mr. Ganesh’s forgettable political chatter is rescued from the territory of the jejune by his attack on his literary/political better Gore Vidal . Not the ‘Sage of Amalfi’ but ‘The Patrician Rebel’ who was almost a big a snob as our Posh Boy!

Mr Pompeo this week said that “endless wars are the direct result of weakness”, unconsciously recalling Gore Vidal’s screed against militarists, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.

Vidal was a polemicist, so ‘screed’ is the lowest form of insult to one its the masters of the genre

Pure isolationism, of the kind that still regrets US entry into the world wars, did not outlive Vidal, and did not deserve to either. It tended to pair easily with some distasteful views and the Sage of Amalfi was not above them.

Ganesh attributes ‘distasteful views’ to Vidal, while leaving this as free-floating, or even an instance of common knowledge, without the requisite examples-this passes for ‘argument’? Or call it what it is the purest kind of hyperbole. Mr. Ganesh is a writer whose acidulous commentaries can’t quite meet the standard set by Vidal’s Collected Essays!

American Writer

https://www.ft.com/content/92fe41b8-3201-11ea-9703-eea0cae3f0de

 

 

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