Series: Bin Laden's Argument

Osama Bin Laden’s Interesting Argument (1)

Only one thing, apparently, is more natural than to be appalled by violence against someone else’s child: to embrace one’s own child all the more tightly.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

ever higher (interlude on Binladenism and Gaza)

(an interlude in the discussion of Osama Bin Laden’s interesting argument) Corey Robin denounces as “casuistry” and “the higher sociopathy” an attempt by Yishai Schwartz to justify the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Schwartz’s argument has the character of the public

Posted in International Relations, notes, Philosophy, Politics, War Tagged with: ,

OBL’s Argument (2): Gomorrah

On my Twitter feed recently, among commemorations of the Austro-Hungarian declarations of July 28, 1914, now recognized as the beginning of World War I, another anniversary was also briefly noted: Of Operation Gomorrah, on July 28, 1943, an aerial bombardment

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OBL’s Argument (3): Leviathan

Freedom from second thought is also provided by the morally supremely convenient notion (or version of the same notion) that government accountability works in one direction only, or, even better, that we can choose which actions of our government or

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OBL’s Argument (4): Retributions

Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the

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OBL’s Argument (5): Shapes of Justice

The de-construction of rules for the resolution of serious political disagreements, politics of the end of politics, is the drawing near of danger: War is or occurs for us, and escalates, as that de-construction, in search of a foundation of

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Noted & Quoted

This is a Waterloo moment for Trump, the tea party and their alliance.  They have been stopped in their tracks not only by Democratic opposition but because of a mutiny within their own ranks. Although never particularly liked or respected, it is now clear that they are no longer feared. The bankruptcy of their ideas and their incompetence have been exposed. Their momentum has been dissipated. Their rejection of political norms has itself been scorned. Our long national nightmare may finally be coming to an end.

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One seasoned Democrat told me that among the reasons Trump won in 2016 was that a long year of Crooked Hillary talk, about emails and Goldman Sachs and the like, had steadily demoralised and demobilised the liberal base. If sustaining fury at Trump helps keep those same voters energised, so they eventually turn out to defeat him, it’ll be worth it, he says.

But it can’t just be in the form of world-weary, if witty, tweets. What’s needed is a coherent argument, one that explains why Trump’s repulsive behaviour matters. For Americans, that will surely centre on the state of their society. The civic realm is being degraded by Trump’s lies, vanities and insults. The national conversation is being coarsened. The basic democratic assumption, that disagreements can be resolved through discussion rather than coercion and violence, is being eroded from the very top. Note the language of Scaramucci’s outburst: “I want to fucking kill all the leakers.”

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[C]limate scientists have a strange kind of faith: We will find a way to forestall radical warming, they say, because we must.

It is not easy to know how much to be reassured by that bleak certainty, and how much to wonder whether it is another form of delusion; for global warming to work as parable, of course, someone needs to survive to tell the story. The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do. Nevertheless, by and large, the scientists have an enormous confidence in the ingenuity of humans — a confidence perhaps bolstered by their appreciation for climate change, which is, after all, a human invention, too. They point to the Apollo project, the hole in the ozone we patched in the 1980s, the passing of the fear of mutually assured destruction. Now we’ve found a way to engineer our own doomsday, and surely we will find a way to engineer our way out of it, one way or another. The planet is not used to being provoked like this, and climate systems designed to give feedback over centuries or millennia prevent us — even those who may be watching closely — from fully imagining the damage done already to the planet. But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

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+ BTW, I recently upgraded some this and that on the back end of the blog, and it does seem to make comments post much faster [. . .]
Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress

For WordPress self-hosted people, there is already a "restore legacy editor" plugin, even though Gutenberg hasn't been installed yet as the default.

Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress
+ I thought you were on WordPress.com, not self-hosted WordPress. I can't find any info on WordPress.com and Gutenberg or Gutenbergerish editing, so I don't know [. . .]
Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress

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