Posh Boy gideon.rachman@ft.com repeats and extemporizes on the Elite hand-wring over the rumored murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Political Observer comments

The first paragraph of Mr. Rachman’s latest column on the ‘murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi leaves little doubt that he tows the Party Line, at the same time as he shapes that Party Line of Elite indignation about the ‘murder’ of Khashoggi.

The disappearance and probable death of Jamal Khashoggi is a tragedy and a mystery. It is also a grievous blow to American policy in the Middle East.

What is the easily verifiable record of Saudi Arabia in terms of religious and political dissidents?

Headline: Beheadings: Saudi Arabia Quickens the Pace



Headline: Saudi man executed for witchcraft



Headline: Saudi Arabia executions: The political protesters who were killed – and those still on death row

Sub-headline: The execution of 47 people in Saudi Arabia on New Year’s Day has been condemned around the world


While the Elites and their ‘Foreign Policy Expert’s’ strum and drang ring from every outlet of the respectable bourgeois press, the I.D.F. murders with impunity the Palestinian Rabble as they express their resistance to Zionist Lebensraum!

The ‘enlightened’ Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the product of wishful thinking! He    and his family are the product of the European Imperialism of Sykes-Picot, as Zionism is the beneficiary of The Balfour Declaration.

Political Observer





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On reading Chapter 3 of ‘Transcendental Heiddegger’

I am slowly reading this collection of essays titled Transcendental Heidegger edited by Steven Crowell and Jeff Malpas, published by Stanford University Press. I have just finished reading chapter 3 ‘Heidegger on Kant on Transcendence’ by David Carr. I can only call it what it is, without hyperbole, an enlightening and insightful  essay that I  felt privileged to read and understand!

After reading Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy by Reiner Schurmann that took months for me to read, much less to come to terms with its exhaustive scholarship? I thought that I would give myself some time away from this thinker.

But I can’t seem to give up on  my more than twenty year interest in this troubling – call him a Monster!- thinker and his development over time. The Black Notebooks only confirm his status as a Nazi. 



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janan.ganesh@ft.com on ‘Why do Americans cling to their European heritage?’ Old Socialist comments

Headline:Why do Americans cling to their European heritage?

Sub-headline: I find nothing about the country harder to explain than the quest for extra-American identities’

Mr. Ganesh never lets his utter historical ignorance get in the the way of his production of his feuilletons. The immigrants, who came to America in the 19th Century, were Italian, German, Polish, Irish, and Eastern European and Russian Jews escaping pogroms.
His historical ignorance leads Mr. Ganesh to ask questions that an American like myself, whose grandfather and grandmother, on my father’s side, came from Poland and Germany in 1865, to puzzle over his indulging his historical ignorance on his readers!

The American  ‘indigenous white’ population took to calling these new arrivals names: whop, micks, kike,yid, kraut, ruski and other degrading epithets, and posting employment advertisements that boldly stated ‘No Irish need apply’. Over time these immigrant communities, in self-defense, began to celebrate their heritage as a completely necessary antidote to this American xenophobia: the land of land stealing and genocidal immigrants, from the ‘Mayflower’ on ,were the utterly intolerant Puritans.  That had alienated all those who once,foolishly, offered them sanctuary. The Salem Witch Trials a monument to their hysteria.

This just a quick sketch of what 19th  Century immigrants faced. Yet, even that experience, did not stop these new citizens from adopting the prejudices of those preceding generation,  in term of prejudice against black and native peoples. Not to speak of the contemporaneous and subsequent wave of immigrants, even slaves,  from Asia!

Old Socialist



Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.

Perry Anderson



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janan.ganesh@ft.com on Mitch McConnell. Old Socialist comments

Headline: Democrats need their own Mitch McConnell

Sub-headline: The left must learn from the Republican majority leader’s tactical successes

Mr. Ganesh’s opening paragraph of his admonition the New Democrats, who the headline writers of the Financial Times misidentify as ‘Left’ , is a wonder of praise for that Old Dixiecrat McConnell:

Mitch McConnell’s ever-startled face could have been drawn by the cartoonist Tex Avery. The majority leader of the US Senate also does a vivid line in Southernisms: his support for Brett Kavanaugh, whom he navigated on to the Supreme Court, was as “strong as mule piss”.

Frankness demands that McConnell’s face always resembles a soup plate of mush. That the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress made the confirmation of Kavanaugh almost ‘a slam dunk’. Even after the unmasking of the revelation of the Ford testimony. Mr. Kavanaugh is and was an entitled white heterosexual male, exactly like McConnell. They are both members of the Club! Hard to miss that truism, except to the sycophants of that Republican Party. That Party long ago betrayed its heritage of Abraham Lincoln, for that of Jefferson Davis and his Plantation Mentality: in its contemporary iteration of the Neo-Liberal Trinity of Mises/Hayek/Friedman!

The second paragraph, in sum, is a genuflection that hints at kowtowing to the good grey persona of Sen. McConnell.

And there, his outwardly interesting characteristics end. Grey of hair and persona, the distinguished side of 70, Mr McConnell blends into the collage of Republican life so well that you wonder if a country club is missing its chair of governors. His indistinctiveness allows the craftiest politician in the land to work in relative stealth.

But Mr. Ganesh can’t quite control his enthusiasm, which becomes a careen in the following paragraph:

And to nation-changing effect. With a one-seat margin in the Senate, he has populated the judiciary with conservatives, secured the highest court for the right and passed an improbable tax cut. He fleeced Barack Obama of his last Supreme Court nominee and changed the rules to install Donald Trump’s first by a bare rather than super majority. He survived the Tea Party’s cull of mainstream Republicans, as well as low approval ratings in his own Kentucky. His passage from state-level moderate to operational arm of Trumpism has been bourbon-smooth. This summer he became the Senate’s longest-serving Republican leader.

Sen . McConnell prevailed by his own stealth, and triumphed over many obstacles and who eventually supported Trump. Elaine Chao is Sen. McConnell’s wife and is now Secretary of Transportation, that sinecure was the demonstrable effect of McConnell’s  bourbon-smooth opportunism?

The New Democrats are not ‘Left’ but Neo-Liberal, while Warren and Sanders are New Dealers. To end my comment on Mr. Ganesh’s verbose exercise in political free association, I must point to the utter dependability of a Conservative obsession:

What knavery it used to have was often learnt in the unions.

Old Socialist


Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.

Perry Anderson



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edward.luce@ft.com on Nickie Haley as the last of the ‘axis-of-adults’. Political Observer

When it comes to ‘catch phrases’ Mr Luce has a talent to invent and or appropriate them, axis-of-adults, or to recite them as place holders for actual thought, “cognitive dissonance”  provides a kind of intellectual gloss to his essay.
Mr. Luce’s argument  here  leaves this reader in no doubt as to the Luce’s advanced case of political myopia:

This undercut Ms Haley’s efforts to retain some semblance of conventional US foreign policy, notably support for other democracies and tough words for autocracies.

America’s record on supporting Political Monsters of all kinds is easily verified: Netnayahu?  Only in a political present occupied by a center dominated by the alliance of New Democrats and Neo-Conservatives could the very reliably reactionary Ms. Haley be confused with political rationality in any way! ‘ Some semblance of conventional US foreign policy,’ is again the place holder for actual thought. Haley as representative of political rationalism? What of Brent Scowcroft or James Baker III  and their coterie of Foreign Policy ‘Realists’,  or even the political opportunism of the McConnell/Ryan alliance, and their bungling attempts , yet in retrospect, that had the semblance of the ‘rational’ ? The New Party Line is that Haley held the line against Trump’s America First irrationalism.

Political Observer




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Kavanaugh from four perspectives. Publius comments

There is nothing in Mr. Ganesh’s essay of real note except the lingering mephitic aroma of Kavanaugh pseudo-apologetics. The Democrats and their attempt to impugn the integrity of Party Boy Kavanaugh. Who has an uncanny resemblance to Bush The Younger, with a pronounced priapism, exacerbated by the ingestion of large amounts of alcohol. If I chose to I could have easily gone to Rich Lowry at the National Review, here by way of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Mr. Lowry’s inauspicious opening three paragraphs, in ‘defense’ of Kavanaugh, don’t even approach Mr. Ganesh ability to write with a certain panache.

Brett Kavanaugh gave high-profile testimony that very few people seem to have paid attention to in any detail.

The media is now engaged in a full-court press to establish that Kavanaugh drank to excess — when he admitted in his testimony that he drank to excess.

In his opening statement in the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh said, “Sometimes, I had too many beers.” This is obviously an acknowledgment of excessive drinking. He further allowed of himself and his friends, in a statement that covers a lot of misbehavior: “We sometimes did goofy or stupid things. I doubt we are alone in looking back in high school and cringing at some things.”


In sum Lowry presents Kavanaugh as the victim of ‘character assassination’. Lowry extemporizes on the Kavanaugh Party Line: ‘I’m the victim’  One Posh Boy defends another? The thought that Ms. Ford might have been right, has never crossed the mind of Lowry, on purely ideological grounds.

Read Kavanaugh’s maladroit self-apologetic and almost-but-not-quite mea culpa here:

Headline: I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge

Sub-headline: Yes, I was emotional last Thursday. I hope everyone can understand I was there as a son, husband and dad.

Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good. As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect. I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed. I will continue to be the same kind of judge I have been for the last 12 years. And I will continue to contribute to our country as a coach, volunteer, and teacher. Every day I will try to be the best husband, dad, and friend I can be. I will remain optimistic, on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will continue to see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone.

I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.


Also read Prof. Robert Post’s essay at Politico here:

Headline: Brett Kavanaugh Cannot Have It Both Ways

Sub-headline: As the former dean of Yale Law School, I’m shocked by the judge’s partisan turn.

With calculation and skill, Kavanaugh stoked the fires of partisan rage and male entitlement. He had apparently concluded that the only way he could rally Republican support was by painting himself as the victim of a political hit job. He therefore offered a witches’ brew of vicious unfounded charges, alleging that Democratic members of the Senate Judicial Committee were pursuing a vendetta on behalf of the Clintons. If we expect judges to reach conclusions based solely on reliable evidence, Kavanaugh’s savage and bitter attack demonstrated exactly the opposite sensibility.

I was shell-shocked. This was not the Brett Kavanaugh I thought I knew. Having come so close to confirmation, Kavanaugh apparently cared more about his promotion than about preserving the dignity of the Supreme Court he aspired to join. Even if he sought to defend his honor as a husband and father, his unbalanced rantings about political persecution were so utterly inconsistent with the dispassionate temperament we expect from judges that one had to conclude that he had chosen ambition over professionalism.


See my comment on Prof. Post’s essay here:


The final paragraph of Mr. Ganesh’s essay that places Anthony Kennedy into a political category that resembles ‘political rationalism‘ , ‘centrism’ and other such descriptors, is a measure of the myopia of not just Mr. Ganesh, but nearly the whole of America’s political class. His husbanding of the Citizens United decision, as directed by John Roberts, demonstrates that Kennedy wasn’t just a fellow traveler of the Neo-Confederate /Originalist clique, no matter his vote on Gay Marriage, but a member of the Brotherhood!

The under-analysed figure in all this is the man Mr Kavanaugh is due to replace. Anthony Kennedy was the court’s swing vote. Neither predictably liberal nor conservative, he was hard for partisans to place. As he goes, something of value goes with him.










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robert.post@yale.edu : Kavanaugh is ‘unsuitable’! Publius comments

Is there a more self-serving, mendacious political/civic actors than lawyers,in or out of Judicial robes? What citizen, a presiding judge,  declares to his civic equals that the American Law Court is above Morality, as if it were a trivial matter?

Prof. Post’s hand-wringing essay on Kavanaugh is a-historical, not to speak of crouched in the search for bourgeois political respectability. The lawyers first order of business!  He forgets that the rise of the Neo-Confederate /Originalists, and their fellow travelers, started with Brown v. Board I and II, in the last half of the 20th Century. In the establishment of the Federalist Society, an historical  recrudescence of ‘The White Citizens Councils’ that metastasized quickly.

The nominations of Rehnquist, Scalia , Thomas , Alito and Gorsuch are about the rise of these American Political Romantics, and their unslakable racism, misogyny and strong embrace of a Corporatist ethos.Where does that place Justice Kennedy in the pecking order of this motley crew? Citizens United is all we need to know of this fellow traveler!

In sum, the Plantation Mentality of  the Antebellum era is Mr. Kavanaugh’s métier. He is the final vote that will enable the end of Roe v. Wade, and other impediments to the re-ascendant Patriarchy! Will the Court, as in the case of Citizens United, aided by the mendacious Justice Roberts, go slow?  or will the Court be radicalized i.e. Trumpified?




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