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Showing posts from February 8, 2004
Bollettino It was bound to happen eventually… The George Bush who won the electoral college in 2000 had run as a rather wealthy, rather conservative suburban dad. While he wasn’t exactly approving of gays and feminists, he was tolerant. He had African-American buddies – not in the neighborhood, but at work. Sure, like any suburban dad, he harbored a few crackpot theories – his were about evolution and economics – but these seemed harmless. With his Texas accent and Crawford ranch, Bush seemed not so much like John Wayne as like a guy who had purchased the complete John Wayne video library and stacked them up on the video shelf, there to accumulate the dust of non-use. 9/11 changed that. Three years later, 9/11 doesn’t seem like the Battle of Hastings or Stalingrad – a historical turning point. It is a much referred to event, but that reference is a substitute for memory, since real memory is still too painful. Read Gail Sheehy’s remarkable report on the eviden
Bollettino The Next Klondike “George Sigalos, a Halliburton executive, recently gave a speech at a conference in Washington for businesspeople who hoped to obtain government contracts in Iraq. Many in the crowd had paid nearly four hundred dollars to attend, drawn by descriptions of Iraq as “the next Klondike,” as James Clad, an official with the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency, put it.” LI urges readers to link on over to Jane Meyer’s article about Halliburton in the New Yorker. As any anti-war obsessive knows, the old American strictures against war profiteering have entirely vanished under the beneficent regard of the Bush administration, which seems to have rediscovered the old time-y virtues of Tammany Hall and the Teapot Dome. However, one is a little surprised by the gleeful rubbing of hands among the mafia of corrupt players. They all find the very idea of contributing to Republican causes in order to ensnare government contracts to be a
Bollettino “But though the nation be exempt from real evils, it is not more happy on this account than others. The people are afflicted, it is true, with neither famine nor pestilence; but there is a disorder peculiar to the country, which every season makes strange ravages among them; it spreads with pestilential rapidity, and infects almost every rank of people; what is still more strange, the natives have no name for this peculiar malady, though well known to foreign physicians by the appellation of Epidemic Terror.” According to the sociologists, Stanley Cohen coined the phrase “moral panic” to talk about the sweeping fears that will suddenly go through all levels of a society. Cohen studied Mods and Rockers to find out, among other things, why sensational stories about Mod violence and deviance became, briefly, a staple of the British media. Cohen examined the mechanism of this sensation, from incident to report to response. In a sense, what he was doing, with a different vo