Among the things about which I have no time to care

Possibly neither Christine ODonnell nor Mark Levin nor the Powerline bloggers nor John McCormack nor of interest to Mike Castle

Still working on getting around to working on some things I need to work on, but I thought I’d take a point of personal privilege and remark upon just how little I care about revolutionary Christine O’Donnell’s Republican Senate primary victory over running dog lackey of the imperialist ruling class Mike Castle.  From skimming the nets, you might get the impression that the main issue was masturbation.  O’Donnell is against it.  Mike Castle took no position, possibly because former O’Donnell aides were claiming that, if Castle had been with Inez Sainz in the New York Jets locker room, he might have been looking in the wrong direction.

Though I had noticed some long-threaded posts at HotAir devoted to the general topic, it wasn’t until I read this breathless reaction from Allahpundit that I realized how far things had gone:

I just finished watching Karl Rove trashing GOP Senate primary winner Christine O’Donnell. It was on Sean Hannity’s FNC show. Might as well have been Olbermann on MSNBC. The establishment Beltway strategist couldn’t even bother with an obligatory word of congratulations for O’Donnell. He criticized her “character” and “rectitude” and claimed she hadn’t answered questions about her financial woes. She did so here. Rove mocked her security concerns as “nutty.” Yet, her concerns have been more than justified. See here.

I hadn’t just finished watching Karl Rove.  I never watch Sean Hannity anymore.  (Don’t watch Olbermann either, however.)  I noticed that AP was so concerned about it all, or at least about jumping on the traffic, that he forgot to hyperlink his “here”‘s.

My heart goes out to anyone who has her character questioned, her rectitude impugned, her self-defense ignored and mischaracterized.  Not that the HotAirites and fellow travelers would ever go a little overboard on that kind of thing. So much for Sainz.  As for the Joan of Arc of anti-auto-eroticism, it’s all about unity, right? Why doesn’t Rove love the people that (I’m just guessing because I don’t care enough to watch the video) he’s only a couple steps short of calling “Teatards.”  What they were saying about him probably wasn’t family-friendly, though I see that today he’s backed off.

HotAir vs Rove is just one fight on the UFC mega-melee, however.  Here’s a MediaMatters (yes, we know, miguel… Soros Soros Soros) run-down of skirmishing between some of my other favorite people:  “I think you’re an ass”: Conservative media finally discover their colleagues are frauds:

In the run-up to Delaware’s Republican Senate primary, conservative media figures noticed that their colleagues are “lazy and unfair”  “idiot[s]” and “mouthpieces for the Republican establishment” who engage in “ranting, not serious arguments” and whose commentary consists of “smear tactics,” “mischaracterizations,” “exaggerated claims,” “slander,” and “attributing sinister or corrupt motives to those who disagree with them.”

Will this kind of thing save the Dems from a hellacious November?  Probly not.  But turbulence of this sort brings some very peculiar undersea creatures to the surface.  Maybe if the Obamacrats had been a more coherent force, better positioned to take and sustain a full-fledged political and ideological offensive, this kind of internal conflict on the Right would have taken place out of view while the liberal-progressive ascendancy strode forward.  Or maybe, 100 years from now, that’s what it will look like after all.  As my buddy GWF put it:

We learn by experience that we meant something other than we meant to mean; and this correction of our meaning compels our knowledge to go back to the proposition, and understand it in some other way.


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57 comments on “Among the things about which I have no time to care

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  1. I have no concrete evidence to back me up, but I suspect that North Korea opposes masturbation with even more zeal than Christianists do.
    The Right is the Left. Extremes meet. The world is round, despite what Genesis says.

  2. I have no concrete evidence to back me up

    George,please,so what?,we don’t live in NK,we live in the increasingly juvenile USA.

  3. @ George Jochnowitz:
    No George. North Korea has a campaign underway that asks citizens to masturbate and send the result to a specific address to be processed, packaged and shipped to Syria to help stiffen their resolve to reconquer the Heights of Golan.

    Lucky Fugleman’s Jizzrael Whipping Cream

    is a highly popular with the matrons of downtown Damascus

    gives a whole new flavor to licking lower back as well.

  4. Fuster wrote:

    oh, Tsar, that picture is so borderline.

    It’s very relevant, in many ways. Plus, if you Google “Inez Sainz,” it’s THE VERY FIRST IMAGE you get. Tells ya something.

    Now I couldn’t work in “Inez Sainz” = “Is Insane.” But since you bring up Israel, here’s a funny story on being Israelier than the Israelis, and so right you’re beyond direction, featuring one of miguel’s favorite bloggers: http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/33231.html

    Everything relates to everything after all.

  5. We learn by experience that we meant something other than we meant to mean; and this correction of our meaning compels our knowledge to go back to the proposition, and understand it in some other way.

    I know that you didn’t mean to quote that. You would never mean to be so mean; no way.

  6. You’re right that the USA is increasingly juvenile, Rex. Jimmy Carter, who is ever more juvenile, went to North Korea, where he was asked to wait for 36 hours for the retrial of the prisoner he had come to free. He also couldn’t get to see Kim Jong-Il, who had more important things to do than see Carter.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/opinion/16carter.html?ref=opinion
    Nevertheless, Carter wrote in his op-ed that we should do everything we can to bribe North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
    North Korea is probably being pressured by China to stop being a problem. China is realistic enough to know that North Korea is a liability. This should be America’s moment to unite with China and pressure Kim to retire to a luxurious home with a guarantee that he would not be prosecuted for his crimes. Kim would agree. He is a scaredy-cat who is afraid to get on an airplane.
    Carter likes North Korea because he admires its faith. Atheistic faith is still faith. The right is the left. Both sides oppose masturbation.

  7. George,Please recall that the last time we f—d with NK/China we left 50000 corpses to commerate that conflict. If you went to the afterlife,how many of those 50000 would say that sacrifice was in our national interest in an undeclared war.
    Also,remember that NK&China have a 3000 year relationship/the idea of “blood-brothers” turning against each other in order to further our interests in that region is not viable. \
    That you use the example of total failure in NK to somehow contrast/justify our failures here is a mystery to me.

  8. Rex, I am not in favor of a war with North Korea and certainly not with China. I think that China would be delighted if we could join to pressure North Korea to go out of business. It would take a great deal of discussion and negotiation.
    China and Korea have a long and complicated history, which includes an endless disagreement over an area with a Korean population that is part of China.
    http://hnn.us/articles/21617.html

  9. George,please see the pattern:
    Germany 1917
    Germany 1941
    Korea 1950
    Vietnam 1965
    Iraq 1991
    Iraq 2003
    Afghanistan 2009
    None of these countries attacked us or were factually a threat to our national security,yet,in our opinion,they were viable threats,those opinions guided us into 26+ years of warfare at the following expense(Fill in the Blanks) $s,Casulties,Deaths.
    Do you see a pattern of self-deception,imperial hybris,and grotesque hypocrisy in these wars of aggression.

  10. Rex,
    Germany declared war on the United States before the US responded.
    http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/germwar.shtml
    That is irrelevant to my point, which is that I think China is willing to have a single, united Korea as its neighbor. China trades with South Korea and has a friendly relationship.
    If the United States agreed to pay China the air fare of flying escapees from North Korea to South Korea, and if we agreed to help South Korea support these refugees, North Korea would collapse, just as East Germany did when it became possible for large numbers of people to flee East Germany. There would be no war, just as there was no war when East Germany fell.

  11. @ George Jochnowitz:

    George, China might be willing to do about anything with North Korea. It’s seems awfully hard to figure their position, but it’s really reasonable to assume that China has some use for a pit-bull-like proxy pointed at South Korea and Japan.

  12. 13.George Jochnowitz wrote: Rex,
    Germany declared war on the United States before the US responded.
    14.fuster wrote: @ Rex Caruthers:
    but that they declared war upon us.

    We weren’t neutral, we declared war de facto before they did. They didn’t want war with us;and we pushed them into it,however,once we found about their Final Solution plans,we had every moral right to do some regime changing,but previous to that,all the aggression was on our side;both of you know this,so what’s the point?

  13. @ fuster:
    China has good relations with the US and even Japan. The pit bull might lead China into squabble it doesn’t want.
    Literal pit bulls are rational creatures. Figurative pit bulls, North Korea among others, are dangerous becuase they’re irrational.
    @ Rex Caruthers:
    We didn’t quite know about the Final Solution in 1941, although evidence was building up.

  14. @ Rex Caruthers:
    All of those, arguably, were conditioned by the first one, but, for the alternative history to be meaningful, you’d have to imagine the U.S. not only staying out of WWI, but staying out of or backing down from every subsequent conflict, even refusing to take advantage of opportunities – in short, having committed itself to being a second rate power in perpetuity, having prematurely aborted its national idea, while letting more ambitious Eurasian powers play the field. If it hadn’t been Wilson taking us onto the stage, it would have been someone like TR, or like FDR, or or history would have turned some committed progressivist or even a rightwing isolationist into his opposite.

    I started reading your Fleming book on Wilson, though never finished it (might still), and his premise of the non-necessity of our intervention turns into its opposite: The very lack of justification for our getting involved is further evidence of its inevitability. In other words, the very fact that we could, in theory, have stayed out, but barged ahead, proves how intent we were on proving and establishing ourselves – however hesitant we acted and talked about it, especially afterward.

    Hitler was a symptom of the damage we initially inflicted on our main potential competitor. The 20th Century in some ways appeared set up to be the German Century, not the American Century, but we prevented that from occurring. The Final Solution was immaterial to us, though afterward it stood usefully for the bankruptcy of the particular national idea we and the Soviets defeated.

    100 years after our entry into the Eurasian competition, our national idea dominates the globe, though less and less to our benefit chiefly. Yes, we’ve bankrupted ourselves in the process, because the next stage requires a new idea, or new stage in the idea, bigger than the one we brought. It’s not clear to me how much we get to say about it, but there’s evidence bearing out the theory that a nation gets one shot, can’t change ideas on its own. We may have shot our wad.

    You and I may not live to see much of it, but maybe we will, soon, find ourselves in just the role Fleming and you wish we had originally adopted. In the meantime, nation-states only pretend to care about casualties and costs up to the moment that their actual survival is threatened, and by then it’s too late.

  15. @ Rex Caruthers:Rex, you’re out to lunch if you think that any one would agree that

    all the aggression was on our side

    prior to Dec 1941.

    Germany certainly didn’t want war with us at the time that they opted for it, but that stop them from opting for it.

    That they weren’t enthusiastic about the timing is the most reasonable thing to be said for your POV on this.

  16. @ Rex Caruthers:

    Rex, helping England resist aggression from Germany doth not equal aggression. Perhaps you mean that we were unfriendly and unhelpful to the Nazi regime, maybe even obstructive to their achieving dominion over other nations.

    I suppose that overrunning democratic nations in Europe allied to us might be seen as acting against our interests.

    They might have been setting up hither and thither in South and Central America as well, which we may have found unfriendly and unhelpful.

  17. The surprising thing, is that anyone would forget to point out that O’Donnell’s very conventional view of Catholic, I assume Jewish,
    and probably Moslem dogma, that one strays, is in the nature of the human animal. I guess there is some Karmic penalty to actually proposing it in venues like MTV and Politically Incorrect, back then, she was probably naive about how she would be interpreted. If only
    there had been equal focus on the irrelevant statements of another
    candidate, right around that time,

    Yes, Rove, having never been involved in any legal matter, or even ethical mistep, is exactly the perfect person to savage O’Donnell
    right out of the gate.

  18. CK understands my bigger point in #18,and its major weakness,that it involves a criticism of our foreign policy since 1917,making my point in effect,to create an alternate reality for the period 1917-1941 vis a vis Germany,if we hadn’t aggressed in 1917,things might not have been so bloody later. Had Germany won WW1,things might have been more like the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War. However,The Allies paid dearly for extracting their many ozs of blood at Versailles,as did the Bad guys.

  19. @ Rex Caruthers: I also quite understand your larger point, Rex, and didn’t attempt to rebut it.
    I do remain on guard against overly-aggressive applications of general ideas to specific instances where they do not fit.

    If you want some support, I’ll throw in the war against Spain as a major-league wrong turn.

  20. where they do not fit

    Check out my list in #12,tell me you don’t see a pattern of generating war in other people’s back yard while generating unrealistic scenarios about our RISK. Iran could use the same MO against us,we are aiding Israel who is an existential threat to Iran(200 Nukes) therfore we are committing agression against Iran.

  21. The problem in that case, lay in the settlement, not the war itself. Keynes wrote a little ditty on that, as I recall. However that the building of Yong Byon started right around 1950, it is not rea;;y arguable that the failure to resolve the former led to the latter outcome/ And historians from 2070, will make the same point about Iran

  22. @ miguel cervantes:
    If you can get past Glenn Greenwald’s overuse of the terms “extremist” and “radical” to describe people like you and George W Bush and even me up to the end of last year or so, maybe, his article in Salon today – just RecBrow’d it – was thoughtful regarding the Rovian trashing of O’Donnell. I sympathize with her financial problems, and I don’t care about her religious views – much. The Rove attack really, really was abhorrently elitist.

  23. ,if we hadn’t aggressed in 1917,things might not have been so bloody later

    “Blood will have blood.”

    The thing about blood is that there’s pretty much always more where it came from. Even after watching three years of the “meat grinder,” we put together an army of millions from scratch and sent ’em over, desperate to get them involved as soon as possible.

    If we had somehow missed out, odds are we would have been rarin’ to go at the next big, big opportunity, and made up for lost time. And maybe instead of overdoing the de-mob after WWI, we would instead have built up our own increasingly militarized state, in imitation of the victorious German militarist state. What lovely wars we might have had all over the world for the next century… In my alternative history, there are exactly as many gallons of blood spilled and life-hours lost, though they’re taken at different times and places mostly.

  24. One kind of doubts that, the Wolfhounds in Russia, were possibly the exception, we did continue the ‘occupation’ of Haiti, into the 30s,
    with the example of Peralte, there was a short brushfire in Nicaragua, the setting for that Rauchway opera buffe about Tom Buchanan

  25. I would comment but I’m befuddled, bemused, bewildered and bewitched by the often self contradictory opinions already expressed. The comment string begs for a poem; but unfortunately I’m going on safari to the Peoples Commonwealth of MA tomorrow and don’t have time this evening.

  26. The others may consider my siding this way as a point against you, Rex, but I thought your argument tracked very well. Hang in there.

  27. I’M Hanging(myself)LOL

    BTW,looking at my list of wars fought on non-American soil,ALL OF THEM,I get the feeling that Bush’s mantra,”Fight the War over there,so we don’t have to fight it here” is merely a continuation of the American War Tradition.
    9/11 gave us an initial preview of what so many other nations have experienced from time to time,and we didn’t like it very much. A decade later,it’s still an oozing wound.
    Do we really believe that the citizens of those nations that from time to time we bombed into the stone age,love us as we love ourselves? BUT,the unfortunate “Truth” about 9/11 is that Terrorism works on America,and we can be destroyed by a successful series of terror attacks. As long as there remains no specific target to drop our nukes,we’re sitting Ducks. That’s the main reason that we should have reacted to 9/11 WW2 style;we needed to communicate to the Terrorists in a manner they would never forget. We needed to launch a WW2 size army into the NE,and the message being,for any attack,WE’LL BE BACK.

  28. Well you forgot the War of 1812, it would seem so, but large scale heavy infantry wouldn’t work there, this is why we developed Special
    Forces, which were more involved in the early days of the War, and
    were more integrated into the Downing plan for Iraq, rather than the Infantry reliant Franks plan, all those discussions pre war, seem to have dissapeared into the ether.

  29. MC/
    I’m not talking about what would work “Strategically”,but what would work symbolically. I would have loved to see a million Christians,Jews,and Atheists tromping around the “Holy” land,willy nilly,and while we were there en masse,we should have been sitting on(Squattors rights)some nice oil properties. Do you really think that after that spectacle,they would have wanted us back?

  30. @ Rex Caruthers:
    I’m thinking you may have lost Scott.

    Your military idea would be so insanely wasteful and catastrophically destructive, especially self-destructive, that we may just try it sometime – if and when the notion of long relative decline and convergence with the rest of the world’s standard of living becomes intolerable to the “national greatness” types you normally have nothing but disdain for. The main conceivable purpose of the adventure would be to make sure the world didn’t miss our leadership, contradict arguments about the good we’d done during our time, and give the future hegemon a chance to rise to greatness while defeating us.

    But I don’t think that’s likely. We already did the late 20th Century version of what you describe. Doing a mid-20th Century version would imply total social, political, and economic regression, some kind of 1984-style post-democratic totalitarian tyranny in which we send off the structurally unemployed to kill and die rather than collect welfare checks and enjoy the mass media. Or something. And wouldn’t solve the problem it was supposed to solve either. It would be more like the nationalized version of Marcus Crassus’ invasion of Parthia. We’d end up having molten gold, or maybe burning oil, poured down our throats.

    It’s your funeral, but I kind of wish for the sake of your other ideas that you’d stay off this one and your other favorite impractical fantasy of secession. When you stick to economics and literature, and otherwise merely negating the neo-cons (and others), you’re on much firmer ground.

  31. Say we followed the Ignotus blueprint from 1975, what was at the heart of “Three Days of the Condor” then what, seize the palaces, ok fine, now the problem is in the Wahhabi infrastructure, that direct and organizes Aq and other groups

  32. It’s your funeral

    Agreed,but I would so miss your attempts to defend the indefensible,the domestic status quo which guarantees our national bankruptcy,and the foreign policy status quo which has made us the laughing stock of the world. I believe that the Neo-Con simple mindedness might still be underlying your inability to committ to any change in either because you envision change to be an unacceptable criticism to Exceptional America. Here’s Pete Wehner’s version of this emotion,”It is hard to overstate the importance of, and the sheer brilliance and prescience of, the American Constitution. It established the world’s first stable democratic government and provided the governing framework for the most powerful and benevolent nation in human history.”* If we don’t get past this fairy tale mentality,the nation is going to be filing Chapter 7,and our cities are going to be burning rubble either from both internal&external attack. My new nickname is Cassandra.LOL
    *http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/359046

  33. CK/I forgot the Literature:

    Shakespeare,Sonnet 124,”—Fools of Time*,Which Die for Goodness,who have lived for Crime.”

    *Title of Northrop Frye’s book referred to yesterday.

  34. Just a note about “losing” me. My appreciation of CK’s writing does include his logic, but I don’t agree with him much except when it comes to art. I like what he teaches me about communication and how he expresses himself. He’s an artist. I don’t expect genius to be right on a normal level. It wouldn’t be as interesting that way, and frankly, I’ve known very few wise conservatives and if I had the power to develop them I would. Even though I am radically liberal about most things, I don’t want liberals to win. I want balance. We need smart conservatives. By our very nature, liberals are reactionary and our impulsiveness gets us into trouble. Smart, normal conservatives (not Colin) could keep us out of trouble. Unfortunately, they have been in extremely short supply–really non-existent. So we’ve been in a lot of trouble.

  35. To stave off unnecessary commenting, I should be clear about what I mean by “conservative.” I’m not going by what people refer to themselves as. I’m talking about people’s nature. in a nutshell, a conservative person is someone who hates to waste energy and resources, including money and lives. In terms of nature, there are no extreme conservatives and no extreme liberals in office. Extreme conservatives wouldn’t waste energy running for office and extreme liberals would be too warn out being overly sensitive to everything around them in the campaign process to actually end up elected. Most of the public personalities who refer to themselves as conservatives are anything but conservative by nature. They advocate all kinds of waste, most obviously the waste of war. (Now Colin can spin that the other way somehow).

  36. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Sometimes there aren’t any good alternatives. The “burning rubble” part is apocalyptic ideation. No doubt there will be lots of painful disruption, but historically retrograde schemes – secession, conquest – are unlikely on their own terms, and, in whatever forms adopted and implemented, are more likely to increase the pain and speed rather than slow the process of relative decline.

    I agree with you that Peter Wehner writes foolish stuff, a lot, but that doesn’t mean that on the other side of the fairy tale there’s another even fairier tale. As I may lay out in more detail later, I’m tending more to the view that there was and is a truly exceptional American idea – but that it’s becoming more “was” than “is” with every passing day, and there’s nothing to be done about that, except cope as best we can, for instance by limiting the ability of people driven crazy by the notion from doing crazy things with our still great material power. We’re situated to deal with decline and bankruptcy much better than other nations who’ve had to leave center-stage.

  37. The starting point should be the people not the label.

    What are the characteristics of people who describe themselves as, say conservative? rather that starting with the word conservative and noticing that the people who describe themselves that way are say, wasteful.

    Conservatives actually use more energy, need more space and resources to feel comfortable. They like to move things around. That is one reason they tend to live in less densely populated areas.

    Liberals are more comfortable in more densely populated areas and require less energy space and resources to feel at ease.

    What conservatives conserve is the purity of the in group rather than resources.

  38. @ CK MacLeod:
    Since you have admitted to being more of a Marxist type in your early days, you didn’t really get to ever enjoy the feeling of being a part of this “truly exceptional American idea” which you speak of as being pretty much a “was” at this point. Naturally, sympathetic liberals like myself relate too much to the suffering of minorities etc. to ever look at America in terms of it ever having been exceptional. But in any case, with you, it’s in the past. I can tell from your writing that you know what America has been about in respect to human rights. So do you think maybe you fantasize about a reality that you like believing in because it’s not okay with you as a conservative to just be a cry baby like us liberals? And I’m not relating this to the reality of whether America was exceptional. In this context, that doesn’t matter. I’m asking about whether it’s an emotional need of yours to have something conservative to believe in. I think it matters because like all humans, your writing is effected by your emotions, which are defended by your brilliance. I’m not advocating that you become a cry baby–it doesn’t seem like it’s really part of your nature and it would affect your writing too much–but just a little bit of it might make a positive difference.

  39. So do you think maybe you fantasize about a reality that you like believing in because it’s not okay with you as a conservative to just be a cry baby like us liberals?

    Tell me about the fantasy-reality I like to believe in. What is it that you see me clinging to, if that’s the right word for what you see?

  40. Youv’e been reading Royer on Mithridates, or maybe Sallust on Jugurtha, and the Social War, it’s intriguing to note that Marius met with the former, in the interval before he directed his uprising against
    the Roman territories

    I guess, interestingly your vision , Rex,was the one that the late Hunter Thompson, had in the early days after 9/11. and Nial Ferguson had not long after that.

  41. CK/More Literature/My Favorites top twenty

    I play these mind games all the time,but here is my actual top 20 list for how I feel today,this is not a list of what I should like,or what I did like,but my favorites in the here and now,not necessarily in order:
    Subject to change without notice/

    Othello/The unravelable mystery of Chaos
    Solzhenitsyn’s RED WHEEL/The Bible of Twentieth Century History
    Tess of The D’Urbervilles/Awesome portrait of Abuse
    Agammenon/The Handbook of Reversal of Fortune
    Gatsby/Unexplainable Poetic Genius
    God is a Bullet/Boston Teran/Unique one time wonder
    Jude the Obscure/The maddening power of Sex denied
    Jane Eyre/Greatest Novel of 19th Century England
    Lady Chatterly/The First Sentence
    Romeo/Juliet/Universal Experience
    Who’s Afraid Virginia Woolf/Look back on our marriages
    The Cenci/Ultimate Portrait of Institutionalized Evil
    Road Not Taken/The Road not Taken makes the list because it is the least understood/most mistaught poem in our language
    WasteLand/The Metaphor
    Prufrock/A Zombie Contentions type
    Ozimandias&Second Coming/ I can’t help myself;these most overquoted poems are so seductive that even the abuse/misuse of them,won’t diminish the illusions they create
    Stopping Snowy Evening/The Siren Call of Death
    Revolutionary Road/The Most vivid portrayl of the Pathetic in American Literature
    An AMERICAN TRAGEDY/The Underbelly of Ambition in America
    FOOLS OF TIME/Northrup Frye/121 pages that you can spend a lifetime reading/rereading/Political analysis of the first order

  42. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Sometimes there aren’t any good alternatives.

    WRONG,TELL THE TRUTH IS ALWAYS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE BUT IT MIGHT GET YOU KILLED,

    truly exceptional American idea”

    CK,I,at one time,was the true believer of all the true believers in the American Myth. I was also the last kid in my class to find out about Santa Claus /The Easter Bunny
    What did me in were the Four Assasinations,and the fiddle f——g around with investigating them followed by the V War,I admire the Ability to live thru all that unscathed,

  43. Kennedy was shot by a Marxist, his brother by a Palestinian christian,
    King by an ne’do well petty thug, the fourth, Lowenstein?? We tip toed in Vietnam, at the end of a twenty year trajectory, that trailed from the Second World War.

  44. @ CK MacLeod:
    You would ask that. Miguel is right. Whatever I call for, the opposite happens. Too bad it only works when I’m being sincere, otherwise I could just pretend to call for all kinds of things I don’t want and then the opposite would happen. So, giving it a shot:
    You don’t cling to anything, Colin, and I hope you never allow yourself to be a cry baby.

  45. the fourth, Lowenstein??

    NO, Malcom. I’m so glad you know all the “facts”: about these killings,but,pardon mois,I think it’s all made up. I have no opinions, because we have no facts. All we have is dis/misinformation/and that is just an opinion.

  46. Malcolm was shot by Farrakhan’s followers, who would ultimately get
    Libyan sponsorship, You know it’s a funny thing, Bugliosi, in a War in Peace sized tome, dispatched almost all the Kennedy conspiracy theories, (specially the French connection one, where the shooter in question, was in jail at the time, but he entertained every other crazy
    theory along the way, as a Soros pamphleteer. Now Lincoln was certainly a conspiracy, along Confederate lines, but no one seriously
    thinks, Cgolz was part of one, or Guiteau

  47. Bugliosi,

    I read his book,and I also spoke with him about it,I knew him since the Seventies when I was a law book salesman in Century City,and he was my client,Anyway,he told me,and it was mentioned in his book that 40% of all the documents relating to the JFK Coup d Etat are still not public records being in the hands of the Kennedy Family,FBI/CIA, we’ll all be dead before they’re released if ever,so his “definitive” book is 60% definitive. He told me that he doubts if anything in those documents will contradict his opinion,and I agree with him,after 100 years,the holders of those documents might have made some changes.
    I also spoke with him,off the record,about Manson,and he admitted that the family was perfectly capable of carrying out those killings without any direction from CM,therfore the jury should have given up a verdict of Not guilty based on reasonable doubt/the family members/Watson/Houton/Kerwinkel still had their free will,therfore CM,who wasn’t present,was probably,LEGALLY,Not Guilty.

  48. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    truly exceptional American idea”

    I mean something that I consider historically and philosophically very well-grounded, that I’ve discussed before in relation to the period of America’s founding as documented, described, and critiqued exhaustively by Huyler (LOCKE IN AMERICA) and Wood (CREATION OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC), also as observed by de Tocqueville and, from a more negative perspective, Marx and Hegel, among many others. To say that there is a truly exceptional American idea isn’t to say that it’s the last and best idea, or an all-perfecting and all-justifying idea, or that the truly exceptional American idea and $2.00 will get you more than the cheapest Starbucks coffee – or prevent any of one thousand crimes against humanity and one zillion contradictions from being crimes against humanity and contradictions. It simply acknowledges that what the Marxists call “bourgeois democracy” and that ur-neocon Michael Novak calls “democratic capitalism” turned out to be a functional and historically important alternative system, arguably “worst except for all of the others,” in its time, which may or may not be passing, and, if it is passing, is doing so at some likely indeterminable speed.

    Believing that there is or was an identifiable, truly exceptional American idea and for that matter a truly exceptional American experience doesn’t mean that Wehner’s, or Beck’s, or Palin’s, or Dyer’s, or for that matter my invocations of that belief are any more useful. They may remain ludicrously useless, pathetically and dangerously misguided. All the same, if we’re trying to see the world clearly, it does us little good to throw out such distinctions just because they don’t pay our credit card bill.

  49. @ CK MacLeod:
    I didn’t mean to imply that the question wasn’t serious. The answer to it just wouldn’t be helpful, so I chose to just try and work some magic. I was semi-serious about working the magic.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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