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


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


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?


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.



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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.


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

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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



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Adrian Wooldridge , writing as ‘Bagehot’, on ‘Prince Philip and the dynasty factor’. Almost Marx comments.

The first paragraph reads like a weak but modulated defense of the Royals, in a History Made To Measure of their victimhood, at the hands of democratising forces: malign political actors, catastrophic events, all cobbled together to impress the reader of the writer’s mastery of sources?  

The modern world was built on the graves of royal dynasties. The grave-diggers started their work with the American and French revolutions in the second half of the 18th century, paused for a while in the 19th, as Europe recoiled from the excesses of Madame Guillotine and the Emperor Napoleon, and then resumed with gusto in the 20th. The first world war and its aftermath saw the destruction of such great names as Russia’s Romanovs, Germany’s Hohenzollerns and Austria-Hungary’s Habsburgs. Today there are just 26 monarchies left. 

The following paragraph builds on the first:

Yet the reaction to Prince Philip’s death on April 9th demonstrated that the dynastic principle continues to flourish in one of the world’s most advanced countries. The bbc suspended its programming to focus on the news. Newspapers produced special editions framed in black. A vast army of royal experts competed to tell the most heart-warming anecdotes about the crusty royal. Old newsreels of the queen’s coronation were rolled out to remind the world that, while most surviving monarchies seem almost embarrassed about their role—witness the bicycling kings and queens of the Nordic world—the Windsors believe that monarchy is worth doing only with pomp and circumstance.

More of Bagehot’s ‘history’ that evolves into a telling question:

Why do the British continue to cherish the dynastic principle at the very heart of the state? There has been no shortage of answers to this question over the past days. One is that the royals are tireless public servants: the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and countless more as an appendage to his wife, always walking two steps behind her. A second is that they are judicious modernisers: the prince melded clever innovations (such as the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme for youngsters) with ancient rituals. A third is that the monarchy is a source of unity in a country that is often at war with itself.

Bagehot expands on the question, in the next two paragraphs, yet does he stand apart from his fellow citizens?

The first two answers are weak. The theatre of monarchy is not primarily a theatre of works performed and duties fulfilled. It is a theatre of majesty. The only way to fully modernise the monarchy is to abolish it: the point of the institution is to act as a counterbalance to the everyday world of value for money and performance targets. Monarchy is romance or it is nothing.

The third answer is closer to the truth. Regular politics is inevitably about differences: rival parties bellow at each other from opposing benches and then vote in something called a division. These disagreements are unusually sharp at the moment: furious arguments about Brexit are now giving way to equally furious arguments about devolution. Questions of identity underlie these issues: what does it mean to be “British” in a multi-ethnic society? And what prevents us from spinning out of control in an age of such hectic change? The reaction to the duke’s death was a symptom of a desire to find unity at a time of discord and continuity at a time of flux.

After more conjecture ,the reader comes to this surprising comment on Prince Philip, and the royal apostate, Meghan Markle. The Melodrama of the Royals evokes political kitsch, from a writer, who adopts the guise of a revered 19th Century editor*, that at its end is cynical. Perhaps the Free Market ideologue fails to see the value of the Royals as exemplars of duty, service, and tradition?

Prince Philip’s blunt style exacerbated some of the divisions at the heart of the country’s culture wars. And recent rows about Meghan Markle—a victim of royal racism to her defenders and an entitled woke princess to her critics—suggest that the monarchy fosters division as well as healing it.

The most keenly watched royal events are marriages (and their breakdown) and births. The Duke of Edinburgh’s death provided a chance to observe on the public stage something that usually takes place only in private. It also allowed people to do at a national level what they usually do within their families: contemplate the way things have changed over the decades. These great royal events are unifying because they are “brilliant editions of universal facts”, to borrow a phrase from Walter Bagehot, the great Victorian editor of The Economist. They are also consoling, for they remind people that even those with great wealth and status share the troubles from which lesser mortals suffer—unsatisfactory partners, wayward children and, eventually, decay and death.

It is extraordinary that the dynastic principle has survived. That it has done so by taking the most atypical people on the planet—blue bloods living in gilded cages—and turning them into exemplars of our common humanity is quite bizarre.


Almost Marx

*From page 88, of ‘Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist’ by Alexander Zevin, that describes Bagehot’s opinion on extending the franchise:

Footnote to the above:

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Jordan Peterson and Warren Farrell on The Boy Crisis and Gender Politics. Queer Atheist comments.

The viewer/reader is confronted with Catch Phrases masquerading as descriptive of Thought. E.g., ‘The Closing of the American Mind’, ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ , ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, ‘Tenured Radicals’, ‘Illiberal Education’ , ‘The Right Nation’, ‘The Thucydides Trap’ , ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’ , ’12 Rules for Life’ ‘The Boy Crisis’ the latest expression, in this genre, that looks at boys in an increasing ‘Feminized World’? Too many would be Technocrats,of the Human Endeavor, diagnosing what is wrong with us! The descriptive wedded to the prescriptive, that seeks to emancipate us from our ‘condition’ ! Its as if Kant’s imperative of self-emancipation from tutelage, was never thought, nor written down, as a reference point : ‘”Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made” (Aus so krummem Holze, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist, kann nichts ganz Gerades gezimmert werden)!

Queer Atheist

Peterson is always a defender of The Patriarchy, in all of its incarnations. So the ‘Boy Crises’ and ‘Gender Politics’ are an integral to the Conservative World View, that marries politics/culture/gender into a seamless garment. The only problem is his penchant for Jungian Archetypes, as his binding agent, it resembles 19th Century phrenology. Freud and Jung represent both opportunism and ambition. The Age of Depth Psychology in all its iterations is no more!


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janan.ganesh@ft.com, not one day later ? Political Skeptic comments.

In his his essay of April 13, 2021, Mr. Ganesh proclaimes ‘A raucously free society is hard to mobilise against a rival in a lasting way’ ! He riffs on ‘rugged individualism’ ,in his surprising lack of mastery of American self-congratulatory sloganeering ! Note, that not one day later, in his newspaper, reports this :

Headline: Biden imposes tough new sanctions against Moscow

Sub-headline: Measures include restrictions on Russia’s sovereign debt market and expulsion of diplomats


Biden and his advisors Blinken, Nuland (Neo-Con) , Power (R2P Zealot), etc. , etc . are waging The New Cold with the ferocity of Neo-Cons! Having no experience with waging actual war, combat ,has made this alliance between Neo-Liberals, Neo-Cons, and an R2P Zealot, a threat to Humanity!!!

Political Skeptic


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janan.ganesh@ft.com on the impossibility of a ‘New Cold War’. Political Skeptic comments.

Even framed by Mr. Ganesh’s potted history of America’s Old Cold War, and the mention of Kennan, but not his ‘The Long Telegram’ nor his ‘Mr. X article’, this reader finds his whole article lacks anything like a viable case that The New Cold War is not at full cry,  even in his own newspaper. This headline speaks volumes as to an argued political sophistication, of American citizens: The US is too changed since the cold war to repeat it’ Here are a set of ‘reviews and assessments’ of Kennan’s career, and the evolution of his thought’s on his ‘Containment Theory’     

The Journal of Cold War Studies Volume 15,Number 4 of the Fall of 2013 offers this:

FORUM: George F. Kennan and the Cold War: Perspectives on John Gaddis’s Biography


Gone is the use of the telling aphorisms, and other Ganesh rhetorical signatures. It reads like low political comedy, that demands, deserves more focused application of serious thought!    

Political Skeptic 


My reply to  Making it right :

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Yet this, ‘The author penned an observation. This was not an essay or thesis.’ , doesn’t quite match the evidence of the essays’ intent, which was to declare that a New Cold War can’t exist , argued ,absent Mr. Ganesh’s usual curlicues, to borrow from Auden, …

Yet the fact of Biden’s comment on Putin, goaded by Stephanopoulos: Note that Biden attacks Putin, framed theologically, utterly preposterous, almost comic if …

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under — denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well. And I– the conversation started off, I said, “I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, “We understand one another.” It was– I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.”

I said, “Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.” And looked back and he said, “We understand each other.” Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re– that — don’t expect him to– or her to– voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he’s gonna pay we’ll– you’ll see shortly. I’m not gonna– there’s– by the way, we oughta be able that ol’ — that trite expression “walk and chew gum at the same time,” there’re places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.


 And Blinken’s comments on China:

We will push back, if necessary, when China uses coercion and aggression to get its way,” Blinken said.’


Biden and Blinken are still operating on the notion that Trump was the political creature of Putin. In sum ‘soft on Putin’. as the in order too of an utterly misbegotten the Biden/Blinken strategy of ‘getting tough’ on both China and Russia. This a demonstration that the fictional ‘Russia Interference’ in the 2016 election still lives and breathes as political subtext!

Even considering Mr. Ganesh’s rhetorical gifts, he like Jonathan Freedland, writes political fiction, in service to a respectable bourgeoise politics!



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gideon.rachman@ft.com on the EU’s stability. Political Skeptic comments.

The E.U.’s stability is built on adherence to its laws ?


Opinion: How France gets away with breaking EU rules on its …

http://www.marketwatch.com › story › how-france-gets-away

Oct 25, 2019 · France is already overshooting the treaty limit in 2019. The budget deficit at 3.1% of GDP is because of the extra spending ordered by Macron a year ago to help him tackle the “yellow jackets”…


Oops, France did it again! EU allows Paris near-traditional …

http://www.rt.com › business › 447520-france-eu-budget

Dec 27, 2018 · Paris had to admit last week that its budget deficit next year is set to stand at around 3.2 percent, which is 0.4 percent more than initially expected and higher than the three percent that the European Union deficit rules allow. The forecast comes following weeks of nationwide anti-fuel tax hikes and anti-Macron protests, that forced the French leader to announce wage increases for the poorest workers and a tax cut for most pensioners


France’s Deficit Tests the Flexibility of the EU’s Fiscal Rules

http://www.piie.com › blogs › realtime-economic-issues

Dec 18, 2018 · These measures will push the fiscal deficit for 2019 from a forecast 2.8 percent to almost 3.5 percent of GDP. The European Commission must now prepare a report under Article 126(3) of the 20-year-old Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to assess the case for launching an EDP against France.


EU Commission to assess French budget in spring 2019 | Reuters

http://www.reuters.com › article › us-eu-france-budget

In the November document, the EU executive said the French budgetary plan was “at risk of non-compliance” with EU rules because instead of improving the structural deficit by 0.6 percent of …


France 2019 budget is also a concern for Brussels

http://www.cnbc.com › 2018/10/24 › france-2019-budget-is

Oct 24, 2018 · In the case of France, the 2019 budget plan sees its structural deficit (the difference between spending and revenues, excluding one-off items) falling 0.1 percent this year and 0.3 percent in..

Author: Silvia Amaro


How Countries Keep Testing the EU’s Fiscal Rules

http://www.bloomberg.com › news › articles

Jan 20, 2019 · Rome lowered its deficit target for 2019 to 2.04% from a previous 2.4%, which the EU had rejected as an “unprecedented” breach of the bloc’s rules, and Brussels held off on a disciplinary …


Mr Rachman offers this opinion on a Coal and Steel Cartel that evolved into the E.U. Technocrat Supreme Jean Monnet’s vision, and a check on the Soviets!

Scepticism about the EU’s long-term future is persistent, nonetheless. It may stem partly from the organisation’s unique nature. It is an international organisation with many of the characteristics of a state, including a currency, a parliament, a supreme court and a central bank. This hybrid nature of the EU invites outsiders, used to dealing with nation-states, to regard the EU as unnatural, or even deformed and therefore an obvious candidate for an early death, like a human born with its organs in the wrong place.


Perhaps Mr. Rachman should consult Bernard Connolly’s ‘The Rotten Heart of Europe’ revised 2012 edition, for an insider’s view of the E.U.

The Collection of Villains:

Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini, Viktor Orban, Poland ( Andrzej Duda doesn’t rate a mention? He’s part of a team that makes their own rules? See the first party of my essay. ) , China and Russia (The New Cold War)

A sign of hope? ‘Opinion polls show that young people are more pro-EU than older voters.’

The reader didn’t get a potent political drama in the hands of a Sidney Lumet, but the melodramatic kitsch of a Douglas Sirk!

Political Skeptic

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janan.ganesh@ft.com & edward.luce@ft.com on Joe Biden’s almost political revolution? Political Cynic comments

The regular reader of The Financial Times might look at the April 6, 2021 essay of Janan Ganesh:

Headline: Biden shows that only moderates can govern from the left

Sub-headline: The US president’s reassuring blandness frees him to do big things


And then look to Edward Luce’s column of April 8, 2021, as reflections of each other?

Headline: Biden’s big fiscal gamble on America’s future

Sub-headline: Many obstacles stand in the way of the president’s infrastructure bill


Ganesh makes the argument that only Joe Biden, rather that Bernie Sanders, ‘can govern from the left’. Its ‘as if’ the Keynesianism of Bush The Younger has escaped Ganesh’s a-historical attention?

Mr. Luce opines about the ‘obstacles’ that stand in the way of the president’s infrastructure bill. These paragraphs, of his essay, features his former employer Larry Summers.

Nobody can be sure whether Biden’s roughly $5tn in new spending will lead to runaway inflation. Lawrence Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, puts the risk of inflation at about a third. He gives the same odds to the prospect that America will continue to enjoy non-inflationary growth. For what it is worth, the US bond market’s inflation expectations have leapt in the past few weeks. But neither the bond markets nor most economists foresaw the era of inflation that began in the late 1960s or the “great moderation” that replaced it in the 1980s.

Which leads to the odd situation where both the centrist Summers and the socialist Bernie Sanders are saying almost the same thing. Sanders believes Biden’s infrastructure bill is far too small. Summers believes the stimulus was far too big. Both may be right at the same time. It is worth stressing that investment spending is less inflationary than stimulus as, in principle, it boosts long-term productivity growth.

How much loyalty, to a former employer does a former employee owe? Larry Summers is not a ‘Centrist’, but an unapologetic Neo-Liberal, who was an enthusiastic proponent of the catastrophic Gramm-Leach-Bliley. The debt to former employers has to be paid? Not to forget Mr. Summers comments on women in Science. Here is a report on his weaseling self-apologetic:


And on the question of Cornell West:

Cornel West Talks About Feud With Former Harvard President

Summers on checks:

SUMMERS: We should put money into the economy. The question is how much. If your bathtub isn’t full, you should turn the faucet on, but that doesn’t mean you should turn it on as hard as you can and as long as you can. And so the question isn’t whether we need big stimulus. The question is, do we need the biggest stimulus in American history? It’s the overall scale of the stimulus and it’s whether we’re using any of it to build a stronger economy or just to give money to people.


Mr. Summers has demonstrated his utter incompetence, in matters Economic, and his impolitic opinions, on matters outside the sphere of his vaunted ‘expertise’. A vexing question occurs to this writer: when will Ganesh, Luce and Summers call for the imposition of Austerity, as the necessary intervention, to maintain an ‘Economic homeostasis’? Its only a matter of time!

Political Cynic

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Watching Dan Crenshaw on Joe Rogan: Queer Atheist comments.

Mr. Crenshaw manages the shot-gun wedding of the year: the Neo-Liberal Trinity of Hayek/Mises/Friedman to the self-hating, hysterical American Divine Johnathan Edwards’ ‘Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God’! Neo-Liberalism marries Christianity with Mr. Crenshaw officiating. The Estate of ‘Man’ : suffering/redemption, with Government standing watch, declaring its neutrality, in this dull-witted Social Darwinist Melodrama. (Pamphleteer Ayn Rand waits off-stage)

Queer Atheist

Queer Atheist

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Macron v Le Pen as reported in The Financial Times. Political Skeptic comments .

Macron’s signature ‘Jupertarian Politics’ is the deadest of dead letters! He (M. 37%) has stumbled over his own egoism, and his toxic ambition to lead the foundering EU, Neo-Liberalism’s in all its ghostly apparitions, has stalled in answer to The Pandemic . But Victor Mallet repeats the Party Line on Macron and the gilets jaune. The violence of the French Police, against demonstrators, has been well documented, except on Corp. Media, who act as apologists for Macron’s ‘reforms’.

Macron’s signature economic reforms, for example to the costly state pension and unemployment benefits systems, have also been stopped in their tracks by the pandemic. Those reforms had already been challenged by the sometimes violent anti-government gilets jaunes protests that erupted across the country in 2018 and persisted for more than a year, but they had appealed to many of the country’s centre-right voters.

By keeping the reforms on his to-do list, Macron alienates many working-class voters, and by failing to follow through with them he alienates entrepreneurs and much of the middle class. Significantly, many gilets jaunes protesters at the start of the movement were Le Pen supporters from outside Paris, even if some of the later demonstrations were taken over by anarchists and supporters of the far left.


These protests have continued every Saturday, and haven’t been reported in this newspaper, an impediment to the worship to this incompetent énarque . Twitter is a ‘source’ antithetical’ to Corp. Media?

Macron once looked like the political actor, who would eviserate French Socialism. Here is Neo-Con Bret Stephens in 2017, in The New York Times, in thrall to his own infatuation with the ‘reformer’ Macron.

Here is a telling part of Ben Hall’s essay on Macron:

It was always hard to slot Emmanuel Macron into a political category. He ascended the pinnacle of the French state as a party outsider who went beyond left and right while borrowing from both. “En même temps” turned into an early trademark. Progressive on cultural issues and a critic of the over-weaning state, Macron has never been the true liberal foreigners saw or wanted to see.

Now, nearly four years into his presidency, it is harder than ever to identify the essence of Macronism. But the question of what he stands for is becoming ever more pressing. In little over a year, France will be in the midst of another polarising presidential election campaign. In all likelihood, it will end in a repeat of 2017’s run-off between Macron and the far-right leader Marine Le Pen. If November’s election was a pivotal moment for US democracy, next year’s contest will determine the fate of the Fifth Republic and probably survival of the EU if an ultranationalist like Le Pen took over the Elysée Palace.


Political Skeptic

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Joe Biden as ‘constructed’ by Janan Ganesh. Political Cynic comments.

Mr. Ganesh employs his talent for aphorism, here, for a remarkable assertion, wrapped in a pastiche of that rhetorical gift. Or is it the product of the headline writers? The reader might just ask many questions and consider many avenues of thought… 

At some point, these figures become less striking than Biden’s ability to propose them without political cost. More than a decade ago, Republicans framed President Barack Obama as a spendthrift radical for vastly less. Against Biden, the same line of attack elicits more giggles than nods.


Should the reader look to Bush The Younger’s  Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson’s approach to the Crash of 2008, and his adaptation of Keynesianism? A crisis of massive proportions demands both swift action and policy flexibility? The Pandemic is a catastrophe: 30,532,965 cases and 554,064 deaths according to the CDC. At 77 Biden had better secure ‘his legacy’ with bold and decisive action : forgetting that $2000 and the $15 minimum wage?  

Mr. Ganesh opines on ‘troubled Progressives’ which is the stand-in for ‘The Left’ ?

If they care to notice, there is a lesson here for troubled progressives in Westminster, Paris, Berlin, Canberra and beyond. Only an established moderate can win from the left and then govern from there.

Biden then acts as ‘outwardly innocuous a leader’ : the heroic political actor of Ganesh’s political imaginings? Does Ganesh stand for or against the Progressive Agenda, if it is consonant with The Left Political Program: if that can even be defined by its antagonist?  Or is Mr. Ganesh engaging in some word play, just fancy foot-work, that might just pass for political analysis? Which by some form of ‘logic’, as the in order to win, via this scenario, constructed by Ganesh: the Left/Progressives coterie must put forward an innocuous candidate?  Mr. Ganesh is not deterred by such ‘logical‘ demands! 


The more outwardly innocuous a leader, the bolder the schemes they can smuggle under cover of superficial blandness. Journalists never see them coming. Voters back them not to over-reach. Opponents who allege extremism radiate an unbecoming hysteria.

If anything, Biden is one of the less vivid examples of this phenomenon. What stands out about the greatest US reformers of the last century is how fantastically improbable they were.


A history made to measure relying on American and British sources , follows featuring FDR. Then these two paragraphs attaching two Left-Wing Social Democrats, as exemplars of his reviled ‘Left’, are given a strategic walk-ons. Except that Warren didn’t drop out of the 2020 contest even though she only received eight delegates, in her home state. And her declaration that she was ‘a Capitalists to her bones’ places her in the Neo-Liberal category. In sum Warren entered the Clinton Coterie by doing its dirty work! Mr. Ganesh unctuous prose, enlivened by near paradoxes can’t quite match the headline. Propaganda is about serving evocative political purposes, here this writer almost makes it work

As long as the one emits a Tuscan-tanned perkiness, and the other daunting intensity, the misperception will hold. Such are the heuristics with which our erring species forms some of its deepest judgments.

To wish away the superficiality of politics is itself frivolous. The point is to bend it in one’s favour. Consciously or not, Biden is putting on a masterclass. We can never know, but I suspect he is spending more than a President Bernie Sanders or a President Elizabeth Warren could have done as out-and-proud leftists. Even that is to assume the White House was ever plausibly theirs for the taking.

Political Cynic


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Queer Atheist comments on Andy Divine’s retrospective look at The Church & its relation to a possible Politics of Redemption?

In Andy’s essay of 1,599 words, the pronoun ‘I’ is used 44 times and ‘me’ 10 times. This essay is not just about Andy’s returning to Worship, after the Covid-19 Pandemic, but a retrospective on the failings of that Church during the AIDS crisis, and the denial, obfuscation, not to speak of criminal conspiracy to protect pedophile priests.

Its the anguished, bewildered cry of one betrayed, who continues his addiction or can’t leave an abusive relationship! The reader can name their own descriptors. It’s as if Andy, for all his ‘expertise’ , his ‘knowledge’, all self-proclaimed, had missed Kant’s well known imperative of ‘self-emancipation from tutelage‘?

The featured players in Andy’s Psychodrama: Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Wuerl, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Oakeshott, Jean Cocteau, Gallup, Millennials, psychedelic drugs, Prosperity Gospel, evangelical Christianity, Christianity, the Capitol, Eric Metaxas, GOP, organized Christianity in America, wokeness, Manichean, the individual soul, confessions of sin, the Kingdom of Anti-Racism, pseudo-religions will fail, transcendent/redemptive, Christianity/humility/conviction.

Queer Atheist


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