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Showing posts from September 15, 2002
Remora LI has been desperately searching for something else to write about besides the upcoming war. The reason, of course, is that the war has become naturalized in American politics -- there are no parties that oppose it; like Winter, or the next storm, it is simply coming. This sense of onset -- of a thing that is impervious to human will, even as it is foreseeably disastrous to human beings -- is crucial to power as it is envisioned by dreamers of total authority. Total authority, after all, is a piece of nature. Death, flood, storm, lightning -- the bit players in mad Lear's dance on the heath -- these, once associated, as though by necessity, with the "leader', insinuate themselves into the mood of dissent, turning dissent from the expectation of persuasion to the easy desperation of emotional expression. So dissenters turn to invective and alienating names -- Bush as fascist, or the like. When the opposition indulges wholeheartedly in caricature, it loses its for
Remora Commoditizing exec compensation: a modest proposal The news about Oracle comes, in LI's opinion, at just the right time. Larry Ellison should be a poster boy for bad corporate behavior. His total compensation package came in at number one in the Forbes CEO pay list . How did he win the greed sweepstakes? By taking home a cool 706 million dollars in stock options that he exercised. Ellison has a little gimmick he plays -- he paid himself, officially, a dollar in salary last year. Well, who needs a salary when your company dilutes its stock to the extent recorded by Mercury News "Oracle CEO Ellison collected $706 million after exercising stock options and immediately selling the shares in January 2001. The gain meant Ellison set a record in business history for realized annual compensation -- which excludes the value of unexercised options. He received no salary, bonus or other pay last year. Oracle stock fell 61 percent to $15.30 during the fiscal year ended M
Dope The politics of war and popularity has been one of the great perils of democracy since Pitt the Younger played the patriot card in 1793. �We cannot arrange with our enemy in the present conjuncture, without abandoning the interest of mankind,� Burke wrote, in his �Letters �on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory of France,� which was Burke�s way of having it two ways: he simulated a moral interest such that the state could not refuse it, while pretending to decry any who would try to force the state to serve ideological interests. The latter was the letter of his indictment of the French revolutionaries � he claimed that they committed crimes in the name of an abstraction. Notice that the abstraction for which the French Revolutionaries were committing crimes was: the interest of mankind. Burke�s objections to the French Revolution became de facto state doctrine under Pitt - which is when the odd delusion was forged that the British empire was not simply a way