zundel

Sunday 143

Welcome to America, now please shut up

Filed under: Travel, Writing — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

Mirror on America” by David Brooks in The New York Times 2009-05-22

…here will be a prose-poem of pure meaninglessness as his brilliance finally breaks loose from the tethers of observation and oozes across the page in a great, gopping goo of pure pretension.

I know the country, or most of it. It’ll never fit in a book. It has been too cliched, too stereotyped. Describing it truly would require new language, and that would take many words.

Jacques Barzun once observed that of all the books it is impossible to write, the most impossible is a book trying to capture the spirit of America (I first read this truth when I was three-quarters of the way through my own attempt).

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Friday 1

Net right

Filed under: Politics — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Reinventing conservatism, one tweet at a time” by Julian Sanchez in Law & Disorder at Ars Technica 2008-01-02

The movement was always a somewhat uneasy coalition of market enthusiasts and social traditionalists, defined at least as much by what (and who) they opposed as by any core common principles. The Palin strategy—recapturing that oppositional unity by rebranding the GOP as the party of cultural ressentiment—is just a recipe for a death spiral. Conservatives don’t need to figure out how to promote conservatism on Facebook; they need to figure out what it is they’re promoting. [emphasis in original]

What gets lost in the “bottom-up versus top-down” frame is that the left has managed a more useful symbiosis between their grassroots and their intellectuals. [emphasis original]

It has?

Thursday 359

Neocon next

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — zundel @ pm

Will Hillary Clinton serve as the neocon wing of the Obama administration?

Where Have All the Neocons Gone?” by Jacob Heilbrunn in The American Conservative 2008-01-12

The neocons, who had started out as Trotskyists, espoused a social-democratic program in domestic policy.

…US Institute for Peace and Holocaust Museum task force on genocide … new report … could prove almost as influential for the Obama administration as the neocon-inspired “Defense Planning Guidance” of 1992, which called for American unilateral domination of the world, was for George W Bush’s presidency. … The report’s aims are noble, but it is essentially a stalking horse for liberal intervention. It would create a permanent bureaucracy with a vested interest in insisting upon armed interventionism whenever and wherever the US pleases… [emphasis added]

[from A&LD]

Sunday 355

Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money

Filed under: Economy — Tags: , — zundel @ am

The essential Fallows provides a look over the horizon. (Translation: really high praise—go read it.)

Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money” by James Fallows in The Atlantic 2008-12

After we are gone, you cannot just go to the moon to get more money.

About stock market derivatives and their role as source of evil:

If you look at every one of these [derivative] products, they make sense. But in aggregate, they are bullshit. They are crap. They serve to cheat people.

About the $700 billion US financial-rescue plan enacted in October:

Finally, after months and months of struggling with your own ideology, with your own pride, your self-righteousness … finally [the US applied] one of the great gifts of Americans, which is that you’re pragmatic.

Pardon the following, but how often do I get to use it.
“I, for one, welcome our new overlords.”

[from A&LD]


 
The web, and the moment, seem to serve some magazines well. The Atlantic and The Nation have done some excellent publishing this year. And Arts & Letters Daily provides a nice portal.

Sunday 341

Welcome General Jones

Filed under: Obama — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

Obama has chosen General James Jones for his national security adviser.

Obama’s best pick yet: Jones as national security adviser” by Albert R Hunt from Bloomberg News in the International Herald Tribune 2008-12-07

Friday 339

John McCain

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

Trying to get elected president requires taking advice well.

John McCain did not take advice well.

Working as president also requires taking advice well.

Going into Battle” by Evan Thomas in Newsweek 2008-11-06 as part of “Secrets of the 2008 Campaign

His aides had trouble coaching him because the very act of telling him what to do could incite a rebellion.

“There aren’t very many politicians who are instinctively as good as John at saying, ‘I got it. New campaign? No problem’,” said a close adviser. “His whole career is all over the map. This is not like Ronald Reagan— ‘Here’s what I believe, I’ve never changed in 20 years.’ This is John McCain, so change is a little bit quicker. He’s like, ‘OK’.”

Wednesday 316

Nation state

Filed under: Economy, Politics — Tags: , , — zundel @ pm

Welcome to the new world order—the old world order.

2008 and the Return of the Nation-State” by George Friedman of Stratfor 2008-10-27

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been a tendency to view the world in terms of global institutions, from the United Nations to the World Trade Organization. In the summer of 2008, none of these functioned. The only things that did function effectively were national institutions.

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