Secrets of the Ancient Blogging Masters – The Day Trip

(kind of a sample post based on the “How To“) Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (9780679744757): Benny Morris: Books

Really, read this book.  Just finished the first world-scene-setting chapter that closes with the birth of Palestinian nationalism, confirming my theory that Palestinianism is in major part a construction of Zionism.  At the same time that Palestinian intellectuals were reversing their initial assumption that they would be part of a Greater Syria, they were producing literature like the play The Ruin of a Palestine, staged in January 1920:

…[A] Zionist maiden seduces two Arabs and steals their money and land.  The play ends with the suicide of the two men, shouting:  “The country is ruined, the Jews have robbed us of our land and honor.”

Balloon Juice. All your base are belong to Tunch.

Have really been enjoying Balloon Juice lately for intelligent and entertaining leftwing-progressive critique of the budget debate especially – and withering attacks on Andrew Sullivan for his intoxication with Paul Ryan and Bowles-Simpson.

Foreign Policy – the global magazine of economics, politics, and ideas

Nothing there today that I found exciting enough to procrastinate to.

GoodShit ›

Thing I liked best at GoodShit was this image of Yuri Gagarin, on the 50th Anniversary today of Man in Space:

Hot Air, Little Green Footballs, Mondoweiss — The War of Ideas in the Middle

Eh, the usual from those guys.

Obama turns to his bipartisan deficit commission’s blueprint for reducing debt – The Washington Post

Seems the thinking is/was that Obama is going to retreat to the vicinity of Bowles-Simpson, using Ryan’s proposal as a foil.

Trump courts black backlash – Ben Smith –

Trump’s African American fans, and others, suspect that Birtherism is symptomatic of a racist impulse – a refusal to accept the legitimacy of a black Prez.

What ever happened to Sarah Palin? – War Room –

Amusing article about the (predicted) fall of Sarah Palin, suggesting that the R base has gotten the coordinated message from R elites about her unacceptability.  (Link actually came via Andrew Sullivan/The Daily Dish.)


Comment at the Boot/Assad thread.  Just for testing purposes – but that’s where the discusso-action seems to be so far today in these parched parts.


More experimentin to come…

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

3 comments on “Secrets of the Ancient Blogging Masters – The Day Trip

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Noted & Quoted

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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