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:

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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

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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   

    

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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.

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



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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

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

 

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The Freudian Self-rescue Project, episode DCCVII: Leo Robeson interviews Josh Cohen. Self-Emancipated Analysand comments.

What can the reader make of this paragraph of Mr. Robson’s interview with Josh Cohen?

“Can you imagine if you presented Freud to Jane Austen?” Cohen asked me recently, during a two-hour amble around Kensal Rise, near where he lives in north-west London. “She would think that it was both an absurd confection and so obvious that it’s not even worth remarking.” Cohen, who turned 50 last year, is compact and subtly scruffy. He has a boyish central parting, a salt-and-pepper beard, a serious mouth with mild guppy tendencies, and small dark eyes that project a tickled gleam from behind his black-rimmed glasses. His conversational style is at once forthright and soothingly sibilant as he expounds on the subjects to which he has devoted his life: post-romantic literature, 20th-century theory, the human mind. At times, he is reminiscent of his contemporary Louis Theroux, though he comes armed with a different sort of question, more searching, perhaps, or less confident about what it wants to provoke.’

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2021/02/can-you-imagine-if-you-presented-freud-jane-austen-josh-cohen-literature-and

Perhaps Mr. Cohen’s book is a successor to Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst’ by Adam Phillips? My comment on this ‘biography’ :

On ‘Becoming Freud’ : Adam Phillips as incompetent Freudian Apologist/Propagandist. A comment by Philosophical Apprentice

On the question, rather conjecture, of what Jane Austen might think of Freud, is a rhetorical prop for Mr. Cohen’s rehabilitative project. On the vexing question of ‘what’ Jane Austen may have thought? in her time and political circumstance, is offered by Marilyn Butler’s invaluable ‘Jane Austen And The War of Ideas’.

Psychoanalysis was declared a ‘Science’ by Freud, that has been the subject to attempts at revisionism and rehabilitation: the Neo-Freudians, Psychoanalysis as Metaphysic, Jewish Emancipation, Jewish Story Telling. The whole of the rehabilitative project, sacrifices the rich vocabulary of The Master: Id, Ego,Super-Ego, The Oedipus Complex, Libido, Cathexis, Transference, Latent Homosexality,etc.. Trying to master this vocabulary was part of my young adult life, reading The New Introductory Lectures On Psycho-analysis , The Future of an Illusion, Totem and Taboo. When fist reading ‘The Lectures’, in the early 1970’s, I thought it was full of holes, yet I just kept that realization to myself.

For an example of the modish character of psycho-analysis on literary criticism, in an oblique, even almost a latent expression:

Tiny Alice

John V. HagopianLeo Skir, and Morris Belsnick, reply by Philip Roth

For a more nuanced evaluation of the ‘Literary Freud’ that doesn’t just eschew hagiography but dismantles the Freudian Myth, see John Farrell’s Freud’s Paranoid Quest: Psychoanalysis and Modern Suspicion.

What is of interest in Mr. Cohen’s rehabilitative exercise, is that the ‘Literary’ is simply a garnish to his particular form of Freudianism, that remains out of reach of the reader, except for its Public Relations guise: the very point of this interview/review.

One final point: Frederick Crews of ‘The Memory Wars: Freud’s Legacy in Dispute’ was published in 1995 as a New York Review Book, and subsequent essays on Freud in the tabloid itself ,and his biography of Freud was published in 2017: Freud:The Making of an Illusion. I read the TLS and New Statesman regularly, yet it appears that one of America’s important literary/political tabloids has not reached British readers?

Self-Emancipated Analysand

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Janan Ganesh on Joe Biden as Political Redeemer. Angry Cosmopolitan comments.


Headline:Joe Biden can save global migration from the deep freeze

Sub-headline: Through example and sheer numbers, an open US could bring an open world

‘This criminally undersells it. Whatever their content, previous reforms were of national or perhaps regional interest. This one, by dint of timing, could nudge the world into openness at a hinge moment in history.’



What can be wrong with this paragraph? Has Mr. Ganesh started reading John F. Kennedy’s ‘A Nation of Immigrants’ , probably ghosted by one of his Camelot Coterie? Recall ‘No Irish Need Apply’ ? Ganesh should read Samuel P. Huntington’s Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity’ in which the Mestizo Hordes are about to engulf ‘American Protestant Virtue‘. It’s focused his hysterical xenophobia.

Should the reader look to how America treated the Braceros, that picked crops beginning in WWII till 1964, as factual evidence of bad faith and mendacity.  America still owes these workers $500 Million , not updated to reflect today’s accumulation of interest. Most of these Guest Workers are dead, or near it, such is/are the quioxitic nature of America’s Legal/Moral obligations?

Trump campaigned on the ‘fact’ that Mexico would pay the cost of The Wall, the realization of Fortress America, on the Southern Border. No Wall for the Northern Border, because Canadians are not Mestizos. Slavery, the Concentration Camps for Japanese citizens, the Supreme Court decisions in Korematsu v. United States, and Hirabayashi v. United States- this an historical record that demonstrates xenophobia even against its own citizens, of different ethnicities/races.

What sense can the reader make of this New York Times report?  

Headline:At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror

Sub-headline: A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

The findings were published on Tuesday, weeks before the United States enters its 20th year of fighting the war on terror, which began with the invasion of Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001; yet, the report says it is the first time the number of people displaced by U.S. military involvement during this period has been calculated. The findings come at a time when the United States and other Western countries have become increasingly opposed to welcoming refugees, as anti-migrant fears bolster favor for closed-border policies.

The report accounts for the number of people, mostly civilians, displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria, where fighting has been the most significant, and says the figure is a conservative estimate — the real number may range from 48 million to 59 million. The calculation does not include the millions of other people who have been displaced in countries with smaller U.S. counterterrorism operations, according to the report, including those in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger.

That American Wars of Empire has produced a Refugee Crisis of World Historical proportions, in the last two decades, demonstrates what ‘Values’? Mr. Ganesh political intervention featuring Joe Biden as Political Redeemer will not do!

Angry Cosmopolitan 

https://www.ft.com/content/2b6a03a6-6b16-4888-9131-5ad29a91fd4a 

_________________________________

        

In reply to EdwardDeVere:

Thank you for your comment. Xenophobia is about Tribalism in its many iterations, permutations. The Reader need only look to Trump and Trumpism, and the Wall that never got built! Or in the world of respectable academia Samuel P. Huntington’s ‘Clash’ and his ‘Who Are We’ are just examples of the toxic American Exceptionalism in extremis. 
‘Often it is very rational and you ignore it at your peril.’ The fear and hatred of ‘The Other’ is the murderous toxin, that has infected ‘Western Civilization’ since the Greeks and Romans. Aristotle and his defense of Slavery: The Politics Chapter 4 Slavery under the rubric of  the Association of the Household. 
Cicero and his xenophobia: ‘Representations: Images of the World in Ciceronian Oratory’ by Ann Vasaly and ‘ Romans and Aliens‘ by J.P.V.D. Balsdon Chapters 2 through 4

Regards,

StephenKMackSD       

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@RColvile on Kier Starmer, and the problematic ‘Corbyn Loyalists’ in Labour Party. Old Socialist comments

Read Mr. Colvile’s C.V. as posted at the Center for Policy Studies web site:


Robert Colvile is Director of the CPS and Editor-in-Chief of CapX, as well as a columnist for The Sunday Times. In December 2019 he took a leave of absence to work as one of the authors of the Conservative Party’s election manifesto, which also contained a range of policies advocated by the CPS. He was previously head of comment at the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and news director at BuzzFeed UK, as well as an editor, columnist and leader writer with the Telegraph. His critically acclaimed book ‘The Great Acceleration: How the World is Getting Faster, Faster’ was published by Bloomsbury in 2016, and he was for many years a Research Fellow at the CPS alongside his journalism work.

https://www.cps.org.uk/about/our-team/robert-colvile/

This, just prologue to my comment to his latest essay at The Times of February 21, 2021:

Headline: Keir Starmer has every chance of becoming PM. There’s just one obstacle — the Labour Party

Mr. Colvile in given to self-congratulatory Oxbridger-isms. The first two paragraphs awash in that very patois, garnished with a miniscule witticism-he knows his readership!

When I was just starting out in Fleet Street, a veteran journalist explained how to write political analysis. Spend most of your word count on the government (usually, in those days, the exhaustingly pointless rows between Blair and Brown). Throw in a few hundred words on the opposition. And if you were running short, add a couple of paragraphs starting: “And what of the Lib Dems?”

Today, the priority list looks rather different. The pandemic is utterly dominant, and the government’s response to it crucial. The wider Tory party is newsworthy because its internal arguments feed into ministers’ decisions on the virus. Labour maybe gets those two final paragraphs. And the Lib Dems are completely off the page. (Pop quiz: name the party’s new leader. If you got that, name a single thing he’s said since being elected. I’ll wait.)

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/keir-starmer-has-every-chance-of-becoming-pm-theres-just-one-obstacle-the-labour-party-gdm7bxqs7

The political thickets of Mr. Colvile’s essay begin here:

Which brings us to Keir Starmer. Last week he delivered a keynote speech on his vision for the economy, amid widespread criticism that his leadership had failed to cut through.

The point, of course, is that his leadership was never going to cut through. It’s not just that Starmer can’t do all the things a politician wants to: hold rallies, meet voters, be in the same room as his MPs. It’s that voters don’t care about politics in the pandemic, don’t see the pandemic as a party political issue and don’t like people who try to make it one.

Even when the virus recedes, getting a hearing will be hard. Outside elections, voters rarely notice the opposition. That gets worse when the government has a big majority — because, as the Blair-Brown years showed, what happens inside the ruling party matters far more.

This perhaps explains why, in an attempt to draw attention to his speech, Starmer’s team wildly oversold it. We were promised a “policy blitz”, even a “Beveridge moment”. As it was, an address entitled A New Chapter for Britain was barely a footnote. There were a couple of solid policy ideas — one, pleasingly, filched from the think tank I run. Yet even without Starmer’s adenoidal monotone, the contents would have rapidly drifted from the memory.

And the point of arrival for the reader, after the above, is this paragraph:

But then the boring truth is that Starmer is actually doing fine, especially given the depths to which Labour had sunk. There is a concept in sport called “value over replacement player”, to measure the worth of, say, Lionel Messi against that of a perfectly average striker. Starmer is the replacement politician, the perfectly generic leader. He thrills no one, and repels no one.

In short, Starmer’s problem is not that he is lacking in charisma — after all, John Major won more votes in 1992 than any British politician before or since. It is the party he leads.

The reader can quite easily identify ‘the depths that Labour had sunk’ as the leadership of Corbyn. Under attack from with the ranks of New Labour, by political fiction writer Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian. Aided by another Zionist Anthony Julius and a cast dominated by Labour Friends of Israel. Not to forget the Anti-Corbyn campaigns in The Financial Times, The Economist and The Times. An image from The Economist is illustrative of the nature of the campaign of defamation:

Just as the reader escapes from one rhetorical thicket, she enters into the one that tells the tale of one David Shor. The proqunquity of one Political Technocrat for another? Here is a link and a excerpt from an interview with Mr. Shor of the July 17, 2020 issue of New York Magazine by Eric Levitz. That offers some valuable insights as to who Mr. Shor is, and what he believes. That might just offer some clues as to his theory and practice of politics.

David Shor got famous by getting fired. In late May, amid widespread protests over George Floyd’s murder, the 28-year-old data scientist tweeted out a study that found nonviolent demonstrations were more effective than “riots” at pushing public opinion and voter behavior leftward in 1968. Many Twitter users — and (reportedly) some of Shor’s colleagues and clients at the data firm Civis Analytics — found this post insensitive. A day later, Shor publicly apologized for his tweet. Two weeks after that, he’d lost his job as Civis’s head of political data science — and become a byword for the excesses of so-called cancel culture. (Shor has not discussed his firing publicly due to a nondisclosure agreement, and the details of his termination remain undisclosed).

But before Shor’s improbable transformation into a cause célèbre, he was among the most influential data gurus in Democratic politics — a whiz kid who, at age 20, served as the 2012 Obama campaign’s in-house Nate Silver, authoring the forecasting model that the White House used to determine where the race really stood.

This idiosyncratic combination of ideological background, employment experience, and expertise has lent Shor a unique perspective on American politics. He is a self-avowed socialist who insists that big-dollar donors pull the Democratic Party left. He is an adherent of Leninist vanguardism and the median voter theorem. And in the three years I’ve known him, I don’t think I’ve found a single question about U.S. politics that he could not answer with reference to at least three peer-reviewed studies.

Shor is still consulting in Democratic politics, but he is no longer working for a firm that restricts his freedom to publicly opine. Intelligencer recently spoke with him about how the Democratic Party really operates, why the coming decade could be a great one for the American right, how protests shape public opinion, what the left gets wrong about electoral politics, and whether Donald Trump will be reelected, among other things.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/07/david-shor-cancel-culture-2020-election-theory-polls.html

What is a Second Generation Thatcherite doing consorting with a fellow Technocrat, who is a ‘an adherent of Leninist vanguardism‘? How is it that such a canny Oxbridger made such a blunder, after demonstrating his political savvy, with almost clever rhetorical questions? Mr. Colvile offers the wan ‘insight’ that the problem with Labour is with the ‘Corbyn Loyalists’.

Tony Blair makes a strategic walk-on, and so does the mythical, or should the reader call it fictional, or just a lie? : ‘Starmer has indeed accepted that the public were right to reject Corbyn and his poisonous dalliance with antisemitism.’ Mr. Colvile has ignored the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has launched his ‘Project for Peace and Justice’ . Corbyn plans to be a force in British Politics for some time, in or out of office. He managed to inspire hope in a generation tired of failed Neo-Liberalism, and its coterie of political zombies. Those Corbyn loyalists now have somewhere to go. Here is a link to a Jacobin interview with Jeremy Corbyn:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/12/jeremy-corbyn-project-for-peace-and-justice-launch

Old Socialist

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@FT bemoans the fact that Uber has Employees, rather than ‘Independent Contractors’. StephenKMackSD comments.

Preview in new tab

Headline: UK ruling on worker recognition threatens to crash Uber model

Sub-headline:Ride-hailing app now faces having to deal with holiday pay, minimum wage, sick leave and pension contributions

https://www.ft.com/content/643de8f2-8098-41a3-9e9e-b9eee25f4593

In California Uber, and its political allies, spent 22 Million Dollars to ‘invent’ a new class of Workers dubbed ‘Independent Contractors’. This via a Proposition on the 2020 Ballot. How can Uber, in Great Britain, replicate this feat of nomenclature, and Tax Bracket ? The burning question in the Age of The Pandemic. Uber is a Taxi Service, not a ‘Ride-hailing app’ , as this newspaper follows the Neo-Liberal Party Line.


StephenKMackSD

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In reply to MarkwasmydisplaynameuntilFTmademechange:

There must be some way, the chisling Capitalist Class, can maintain their stranglehold on Workers, still caught in the wake of the 2008 collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle? 
Regards,
StephenKMackSD  

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Andy Divine opines on ‘The Two Tribes’, proving that this shopworn political cliche is eternal. Rush Limbaugh garners a mention . Political Observer comments

Andy opens his essay with this sentence: ‘If there’s one core assumption shared by the two tribes of our culture, it is that America will soon be a “majority-minority” nation.’ The relevant question is glaringly obvious, who are these ‘two tribes’? It’s a trope to frame his speculation on ‘race’. He should be the last person to express any speculation on race, given his publication of an excerpt of The Bell Curve, in the New Republic in 1994 : that caused not just a rebellion within the staff but created a controversy that still resonates in the present.

https://newrepublic.com/article/120887/race-genes-and-iq-new-republics-bell-curve-excerpt

This is pure speculation, does Andy ‘think’ that his history of animus toward black people, has been forgotten. Andy’s expression of that animus can be found in his relentless attacks on Black Lives Matter in his regular columns in New York Magazine.

This particular essay should graner the reader’s attention, in that he recognizes what black people face, although not fully emancipated for Andy’s need to engage in hectoring rhetoric, awash in self-congratulatory moralizing. This essay from December 4, 2020 demonstrates his ‘evolution’ on the question?

Headline: Do All Black Lives Matter? Or Just Some?

Sub-headline: On the soaring toll of civilian violence against African-American

https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/do-all-black-lives-matter-or-just-79b

Andy’s source, indeed inspiration, is:

One is Richard Alba, Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His new book, “The Great Demographic Illusion,” examines and, I have to say, largely detonates, the majority-minority myth. He does this simply by pointing out how the Census Bureau actually defines “non-white”.

The final paragraph of Andy’s polemic, presents himself as the mean, between two political extremes. Barack Obama of ‘SimpsonBowles‘, the ever-expanding American Empire, and the extravagant bribery program of the murderous Zionist State, as the exemplars of a ‘mainstream multiracial future‘. Can all this be connected?

Demographics will continue to evolve and shape-shift whatever our understanding of them. But our understanding matters — because it shapes our emotions, our identities, and the policy choices we make. It’s way past time, it seems to me, to leave behind the race fixation of far right and far left, and to move back to a more fluid, multiracial, multicultural American identity that is not the same as the uglier, whiter past, and not some kind of anti-white triumphalism either. I’m referring to the kind of mainstream multiracial future that our first truly biracial president, Barack Obama, once hoped for, and represented. Maybe a little more distance from Trump and a little more understanding of how race in this country is deeply complicated can help. 

https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/the-majority-minority-myth?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo1MzQ5NjEsInBvc3RfaWQiOjMyNjIwMjcxLCJfIjoiTFlyeU8iLCJpYXQiOjE2MTM4NDUwMDAsImV4cCI6MTYxMzg0ODYwMCwiaXNzIjoicHViLTYxMzcxIiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.2ZvSOPWOyJ6K8X_1POqzoA0ZvxhoEs0iyD0Yk4ub6j8

Andy has an intellectual/political propensity for attaching himself to a single book, like ‘The Bell Curve’ and ‘The Great Demographic Illusion’, and treating it ‘as if’ it were descriptive of an ineluctable historical singularity. The ‘two tribe’ frame is a phenomenon of self-serving political transients! Wedded to this is the fact that Andy is part of a toxic Christian Moralist Tradition, that never fails to remind ‘we lesser beings’, that we are in need of their Leadership. Its as if Kant’s ‘self-emancipation from tutelage’ had never been written, or even thought!

____________________

Why is it so hard for Conservatives, and fellow travelers, to come to terms with Rush Limbaugh? Coward, bully, buffoon,bigot and King of AM Radio. He produced a multitude of equally noxious clones. Limbaugh became the unspoken Leader of the Republican Party, after the defeat of John McCain. Here is just a portion of Andy’s Limbaugh comment. Its last paragraph almost lapses into insight.

He was as personally kind and generous, we are told, as he was publicly shameless. And it’s important to see the man as a complicated whole. But what he did to conservatism was ultimately to facilitate its demise as a functional governing philosophy; and what he did to the country was intensify its cynicism and tribalism. Few did so much to popularize conservative values; and few did more, in the end, to discredit them.

Political Observer

P.S. Don’t forget that Limbaugh sent his maid to buy his Oxycontin.

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Eli Zaretsky on ‘The Big Lie’ in the London Review of Books, February 15, 2021.

I don’t think that anyone can doubt the failure of the whole of America’s Political Class! Trump is just the symptom. Neo-Liberalism’s Social/Political/Economic Engineering destroyed what was left of The New Deal, and in its place Free Market Utopianism gained powerful friends and allies: Reagan and then The Clintons.Except that in 2008 it Crashed ,with a resounding thud! We have yet to regain prosperity, or anything resembling it.

Eli Zaretsky’s watery emulsion of Freud and Politics, leaves this reader wondering about the time I spent reading its meander. After watching four days of the highlights, of this American Political Melodrama, without witnesses or evidence- it did not restore my confidence in that Political Class. After The Mueller Report, and the first ‘Impeachment Trial’, and this episode, the best I can muster is cynicism.

StephenKMackSD

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2021/february/the-big-lie

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The New Cold War episode MMVII: The Financial Times & Emmanuel Macron, on the Covid-19 Vaccine as the latest bargaining chip! Political Reporter comments.

M. 37 % can’t govern his own country, as ‘The Rebellion Against the Elites’ keeps appearing every Saturday, like clockwork. While unreported in this newspaper! Here is Macron as he addresses the burning question facing the ‘West’:

“It’s an unprecedented acceleration of global inequality and it’s politically unsustainable too because it’s paving the way for a war of influence over vaccines,” Macron said. “You can see the Chinese strategy, and the Russian strategy too.” 

A Neo-Liberal opines on ‘inequality’-has Macron been reading his Piketty? But quickly he returns to the ‘Free Market’ mainstream with this:

The concept of intellectual property was essential for innovation, but if vaccine manufacturers were not co-operative “inevitably the political question of intellectual property will arise in all our countries,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the right debate, it’s not helpful, but it will arise — this discussion over excess profits based on scarcity of the vaccine.”

Macron offers this caveat:

“It won’t change our vaccination campaigns, but each country should set aside a small number of the doses it has to transfer tens of millions of them, but very fast, so that people on the ground see it happening.”

Macron opines that ‘it’s not a power game’. Yet he announces it as just that, under the highfalutin rubric of ‘multilateralism’.

He said the plan would be a test of the reality of multilateralism. “It’s not about vaccine diplomacy, it’s not a power game — it’s a matter of public health,” Macron said, adding that he welcomed the global provision of Russian and Chinese vaccines provided they were certified by scientists for use against the appropriate variants of the virus.

Macron rambles on, yet, as usual, he fails to makes his case of actual concern for ‘Europe’s neighbors’. The gilet noir and banlieues, the continuing demonstrations against the Security Law and the gilet jeunes. The Financial Times reader is not likely to be ‘on’ Twitter where all this ‘kind of news’ is posted regularly. A surprise? All of these manifestations ,of resistance to Macron’s Neo-Liberal Agenda, unreported in this newspaper. Sometimes ‘Newspapers’ create Political Reality: The New York Times and the ‘War in Iraq’, confected by Judy Miller and fellow travelers.With the help of political naif Colin Powell’s February 5, 2003 UN speech!

Political Reporter

https://www.ft.com/content/15853717-af6c-4858-87d4-58b1826895a8

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Added February 20, 2021 :

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The New Cold War against China, in The Financial Times of February 16, 2021. Political Reporter comments.

Headline: China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US defence industry

Sub-headline: Beijing asks industry executives if proposed restrictions will harm western contractors

China is exploring limiting the export of rare earth minerals that are crucial for the manufacture of American F-35 fighter jets and other sophisticated weaponry, according to people involved in a government consultation.

https://www.ft.com/content/d3ed83f4-19bc-4d16-b510-415749c032c1

Su Yu and Demetri Sevastopulo confect a ‘news story’ out of ‘leaks’ ?or should it more properly labeled ‘gossip’? ‘

After the first paragraph its ‘as if ‘ these ‘reporters’ had direct access to information, yet the reader is confronted with more anonymous sources, and surprisingly some actual sources:

‘Industry executives said…’

‘said a Chinese government adviser who asked not to be identified….’ 

Industry executives added 

 A Congressional Research Service report said

In a November report, Zhang Rui, an analyst at Antaike, 

Some executives and officials are, however, 

They argue that

Ellen Lord, the top defence official for acquisitions until last year, told Congress in October 

 said an executive, who asked not to be identified, at Guangdong Rare Earth Group, one of the nation’s largest rare earth groups.

“China’s economic planners have failed to predict the surge in rare earth consumption,” said an executive at Gold Dragon Rare Earth Co in south-eastern Fujian Province.

Industry executives, however, said China’s strength

This is not Journalism, but New Cold War propaganda! The reader need only look to Janan Ganesh’s essay of Tuesday February 16, 2021:

Headline: America’s best hope of hanging together is China

Sub-headline: Without an external foe to rail against, the nation turns on itself

https://www.ft.com/content/de6a5d8d-3745-4b07-96ff-0a0d59380f9e

I called this essay ‘a maladroit pastiche of Machiavelli’s Prince.’

Political Reporter

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How did Janan Ganesh miss the birth of ‘The New Cold War’, on 4 Fronts? Old Socialist ponders the question…

The New Cold War is already here! The ‘Enemies’ are Russia, China and Iran, with a minor, but pivotal role, for North Korea. Mr. Ganesh writes ‘as if’ this doesn’t constitute the present political reality. Joe Biden’s choices of Blinken, Powers, Wendy Sherman,Victoria Nuland, Jake Sullivan, Jon Finer are, if not the same shopworn technocrats, share the same views of Obama Clinton coterie, who control the New Democratic Party.  

See The Rand Blog: 

https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/01/for-joe-biden-an-experienced-foreign-policy-team.html

I was pondering, over the long holiday weekend,in America, how much I missed Ganesh’s telling aphorisms, that flow from his pen, like the dialogue in the plays of Oscar Wilde: to be savored in the moment, as the play continues its forward momentum. Instead I confronted with a maladroit pastiche of Machiavelli’s Prince.

These shadows of Ganesh’s talent:

None of the other answers to the nation’s disunity is even faintly adequate. Better-regulated social media, more competitive congressional districts: these reforms are sensible on their own terms. But the mismatch between the depth of the problem and the fiddliness of the solutions is the definition of bathos.

Because they give up so much to acquire power, politicians tend to overrate how much policy can ever achieve against structural and historical forces. The US did not enter an age of discord because of some technical faults in its political system. It will not escape the mire by fixing them.

https://www.ft.com/content/de6a5d8d-3745-4b07-96ff-0a0d59380f9e

Then he lapses into the prescriptive:how must the Enemy ‘be’ to meet the needs of the Hegemon? The quotation from Georgi Arbatov, almost acts as a compensation for the absent aphoristic Ganesh!

“We are going to do a terrible thing to you,” Georgi Arbatov, the Soviet adviser, is said to have told an American audience in the 1980s. “We are going to deprive you of an enemy.”

For the inquiring reader, look to ‘ Voices of Glasnost: Gorbachev’s Reformers Speak’ by Stephen F. Cohen, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, for an enlightening set of interviews with the reformers.

Old Socialist

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The London Sunday Times on Macron: who ‘won so decisively in 2017’ . Old Socialist comments.

Should the regular reader of this newspaper be surprised at this paragraph in this ‘news story’ about Le Pen?

Headline: Marine Le Pen purrs as President Macron’s attack dog scampers round to the right

It is Macron himself who is likely to be squaring off against the leader of the National Rally in April 2022 in a rerun of the duel he won so decisively in 2017. Yet it was Darmanin, 38 — whose views on immigration and religious separatism are not far from Le Pen’s own — who was chosen as the attack dog to take on the cat lover.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/marine-le-pen-purrs-as-president-macrons-attack-dog-scampers-round-to-the-right-9p6fnpgcq

This CNN report on the 2017 French election, has escaped the attention of the Times’ reporter, in Paris, Peter Conradi? That details the election results of 2017.

Headline: A record number of French voters cast their ballots for nobody


Emmanuel Macron’s triumph 
over Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election has been hailed as a landslide victory for the centrist candidate and a widespread rejection of his rival’s far-right platform.

But Macron’s mandate may not be as overwhelming as it seems. A record number of French voters were so dismayed by their options that they either skipped the election or cast their ballots for no one at all.

The so-called “ballot blanc,” or white ballot, has a long history as a protest vote in France, going all the way back to the French Revolution. This time around, nearly 9% of voters cast blank or spoiled ballots – the highest ever since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958.

For now, the votes, which are counted towards the turnout, are largely symbolic. But there is a movement underway for the blank ballots to count as a share of the overall election vote. According to a recent Ifop poll, 40% of French voters said they would cast a blank vote if it were recognized under French law.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/08/europe/french-voters-spoiled-ballots-abstained/index.html

The statistics from 2017:

Macron: 20,257,167

Le Pen: 10,584,454

Abstentions: 11,416,454

White or Spoiled ballots: 4,054,395

More Abstentions that those who cast Le Pen. 832, 000

The total of Abstentions and White or Spoiled Ballots: 15, 461,849

Abstentions and White & Spoiled ballots out number the votes cast for Le Pen by 4,877,440

These statistics demonstrate that Macron’s ‘victory’ was about an electorate deeply divided: 26,046,307 ‘voted against Macron’ , to put it more self-serving terms. The Times just follows the Corporate Party Line on Macron.His ‘Jupertarian Politics’ has been abandoned, in favor of hard-line and unapologetic Neo-Liberalism. In sum he has become Francois Fillon. To see what is actually going on in France, all the reader need do is go to twitter and enter the words ‘gilets jaunes’ !

Old Socialist

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