Internet

Don’t Feed the Bloggers!

Should have gone without saying, and have been perfectly obvious to Conor P Williams before he set out, that a closed-comments post (actually now two posts) against blog-commenting could only be taken as aggravated trolling, or trolling with special circumstances.

Posted in Featured, Internet

Ol Frenz

Silversun Pickups – The Pit (Neck Of The Woods) Courtesy of another old friend, just ran into on Twitter. Made me think of:

Posted in Internet, Music, notes

A De-Centralized Approach to “the League”‘s Identity Crisis

The approach I’m recommending would require some overall guidance, based on a much more detailed consideration than I have attempted here, but it would not require a single, all-or-nothing effort at any particular phase. Much might depend on the sophistication, capacities, and enthusiasm of individual sub-bloggers, but each blog would remain “small enough to fail” without doing much harm to the larger enterprise. On the other hand, any particular sub-blog or even sub-network of sub-blogs could end up growing far beyond the current limits of the League. The result could convey the Gentlemen’s characteristic commitment to liberty and human scale, and indeed to diversity, the latter being something which the League has thusfar been extraordinarily successful in achieving on the level of ideology, if much less so in other ways.

Posted in Internet, Politics, Web Design Tagged with: , , ,

Two Political Web Sites (Jacobin and Young Americans)

…though a testimonial blurb reminds us that Jacobin means to be “radical left,” the site’s quaint user icons, “prettied up” fonts and washed-out tones and and half-tones, Toussaint-Louverture period graphic, and mind-numbingly cute and self-conscious article excerpts convey an overall impression that’s about as radical and polemical, as revolutionary and Jacobin, as a restaurant menu. It’s “radical leftism” as de-constructed period piece or bourgeois diversion, hardly as a life-and-death confrontation with power.

Posted in Internet, notes, Politics, Web Design Tagged with: , ,

Negative Action

On the part of the one who overdoes it, such negative affirmation is a self-pleasuring form of not really listening that is hardly heard, but more often resented, or, sometimes even worse, re-echoed.

Posted in Culture & Entertainment, Internet, notes, Politics Tagged with: , , , ,

When Paul Ryan left me for another lover

The day after I published, Beck was on his radio show quoting extensively from the piece – though without naming me – and wondering whether Ryan might not turn out to be “the next John McCain,” which in Beck-world means a metastatizing tumor attacking America’s essence of purity. In short order, however, Paul Ryan had swept into action, eliminating the threat on his far right flank, and the rest is never having to say you’re sorry.

Posted in Internet, Politics Tagged with: , ,

Trolling @attackerman 13 Aug 2012

it’s not like I spend every day on @attackerman’s case, btw

Posted in International Relations, Internet, US History Tagged with: , , ,

A Mighty Tweet

A mighty tweet it was.
A mighty tweet it was.
A treat to re-tweet
and re-tweet without retreat,
Such a mighty tweet it was.

Posted in Internet, notes

from good to goods, and the return of questions

“A Clash of Models” by James K – latest posting in the League of Ordinary Gentlemen’s virtual symposium under the question “What, if anything, is wrong with inequality?” – resembles previous submissions in that it seems to assume that something called “productivity” is virtually synonymous with “the good,” and furthermore is susceptible to simple quantitative amplification or augmentation – i.e., the more of it the better.

Posted in Economics, Internet, Philosophy Tagged with: , ,

The Figure of Mitt

All successful politicians must by definition adapt to the system which in its pure form – something to be feared – is the system of empty opportunism (we hold empty opportunism to be self-evident). The figure of Mitt represents its nothingness exquisitely, but the meaningfulness of its meaninglessness would have at least as much to do with us and where we are with poor rich Mitt.

Posted in Internet, notes, Politics, US History Tagged with: , , ,

From the Featured Archives

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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