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Showing posts from August 4, 2002
Remora I've just finished reviewing a book about Haiti. Maybe for that reason, I am sensitive this morning to the more egregious gestures of little Caesar-ism to which our present benighted administration is addicted. So I read the WP story about Bush's "economic forum" with a lot of sour amusement. This forum is apparently based upon the premise that of any two or more points of view, one of them is right; the right one, of course, is Bush's. This is a law of nature in Crawford Texas, it appears. As such, it would surely be ratified by our Supreme Court -- which has always displayed a touching concern for George Bush's feelings -- should it be taken before those august vampires. "Bush Economic Forum to Exclude Critics, Officials Say" by Mike Allen Bush, who sounds more and more like a ventriloquist's dummy -- hearing him, for instance, commemorate the nine rescued miners, I seriously wondered if he'd been exploring the wonders
Remora The career of a phrase. Suppose, reader, that you are a brain surgeon. As you come into the operating theater, you lean over your patient, who is about to go under, and you tell him that, under the circumstances, if he pays you a fee on top of the fee you are getting to operate on him -- say about 100% of that fee -- he will promise to align his interests as a doctor with yours as a patient. Or suppose that you are a fireman. You mount the ladder, you meet the hollering woman in the fourth floor apartment, the flames are licking the curtains, and you tell her that for a fee -- say 100% of your current salary -- you will align your interests with her interest in being saved up to and including the promise to try not to drop her on the way down. Or say you work in an assembly line. You go to your foreman and propose that for a fee -- say 200% of your current salary -- you promise to align your interest with that of the company's, insofar as that involves making sure all
Remora In the seventies, Christopher Hill published an excellent book about the Protestant radicals who provided the ideological shock troops in the overthrow of Charles I in the English Civil War. The title of the book was World Turned Upside Down, which is the refrain in this ballad of the war: "Old Christmas is kickt out of Town. Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down. Let's talk about Old Christmas being kickt out of Town, shall we? Or rather, let's talk about kicking the bejesus out of Old Christmas, the bill of rights, common sense, the spirit of dissent, the independence of the legislature, the standards of right action, and other assorted matters of spiritual and political import. We've come to such a pretty pass in this country, re the warmongering attitude, the stripping away of Civil Service protections in place since Chester Allan Arthur's time, and other such trivial supports of the
Remora We like the LA Times -- we love LA -- we don't subscribe to the dismissive La La land stereotype -- but it is difficult for defenders of Southern California seriousness (with our pistols a-blazin'!) to read about the Post-nomadic economy, as breathlessly revealed in the Sunday Times, without, uh, wondering who put the marijuana in the arugala . First comes the bio -- which we have copied faithfully from on-line: "Joel Kotkin, a contributing editor to Opinion, is author of "The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution Is Reshaping the American Landscape." He is a senior fellow at the Davenport Institute for Pu" PU is what you get in Mr. Kotkin and Ms. Susanne Trimbath's take on the new new economy, the one after that recent nasty spate of nomadism -- you remember, reader. There you were, out there with your spear, your seal coat, your tatooed cattle, wandering through desert sands and ice floes an