Skip to main content


Showing posts from March 14, 2004
Bollettino The alterations of general economic perspectives must lead to alterations of the relationship between the workers and their employers. The suddenly change of circumstances coincided with many strikes that had already begun, and with many more, that were being prepared. Doubtless, they will be proceed in spite of the Depression and will lead to even higher wages. The factory owners will argue that they are not in the position to pay higher wages, to which the workers will respond that the cost of living has become higher, and so the two arguments will equally weigh against each other. In case of the Depression lengthening, which is what I assume will happen, the workers will soon receive the whole brunt of it, and they will – without intending it – have to struggle against the fall of wages. Then their activity will flow into the political plane, whereby the new economic organizations created by the strike will be of invaluable worth to them. – Marx, the New York Tribune,
Bollettino Shell Comes clean By THE ASSOCIATED NEWS Published: March 18, 2004 LONDON (AN) -- In a surprise step, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. said Thursday that it hadn’t been in the oil business for twenty years. “All our profit comes from selling clothes to second hand clothes stores,” new CEO “Crazy” Jan van Alpers admitted. “Jeans and sh*t like that. Also, we are into selling returnable bottles. My vice president just made like 10 Euros this morning, man. We slapped that right in the profit column. It is like these bottle are just sitting out there. People put ‘em in their trash cans, can you believe that sh*t?” As to the reasons for the announcement, van Alpers claims “we used to go out and look for oil and that kind of sh*t, but it was so expensive, dude.” Reducing its estimated reserves of oil by an additional 250 billion barrels, van Alpers added, “the only oil left in this company is olive oil. We mix it with a little feta cheese, a little vinegar, briskly
Bollettino LI is writing a review of Niall Ferguson’s new book for the National Post. And so we’ve been thinking about vedette English historians. And that got us thinking about AJP Taylor. We are shamefully ill versed in Taylor, and so we’ve been eagerly making up for our ignorance. He is a famously wonderful writer, who favors a crisp military organization of the sentences in his paragraphs. They have that imperative ring, like Napoleon’s dispatches to his troops. Except the imperatives, here, are about sorting through the on-coming mass of historical detail to charge through the progress of characters and their downfalls in endless traps of irony, accident and misunderstanding. Taylor is Rorty’s kind of historian – he has a weather eye for contingency. For him, the story of what caused WWI has to take into account that, on a simple level, it was caused by the assassination of a non-descript archduke and his frowsy wife in a peripheral town. The great structure of underlying cause
Bollettino Since LI has gone hardcore about the missing Osama bin Laden (day 921 since the promise of his capture), we’ve gotten some flack for putting a premium on his capture or death. There’s an interesting story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about terrorist cells. According to Jonathan David Farley, a mathematician, the connectionist idea that was so popular in the wake of 9/11, according to which one terrorist are nodes on a graph, connected by links, understates the organizational resiliency of cells: “When FBI agents arrest a few members of a terrorist cell, how can they know if the cell has been disabled? Several scholars have brought mathematical tools to bear on that crucial question. Social scientists have imagined individual terrorists as nodes on a graph, most of whom are connected to only one or two other nodes. Using such cellular graphs, the scholars have proposed ways of estimating whether a chain of relationships has been effectively shattered, even
Bollettino 930 days since Osama has not been brought in Dead or Alive. Where is your promise, George Bush? We usually avoid referring to certain popular rightwing weblogs on this site. There are plenty of other sites to do that. But we couldn’t help but peek at the Instapunditry about Spain. Naturally, they were bummed. Andrew Sullivan’s comment was the most typical. He begins: “It’s a spectacular result for Islamist terrorism…” Of course. The Spanish people were moved, after having 200 of their fellow citizens blown into nothingness, to embrace Islamic fundamentalism. Or no – it turns out that they were embracing something else: fear. Sissies all, unlike the testosterone fueled Sullivan. But to go on and spray paint over the low level of Sullivan’s dull tabloid-isms is unworthy of this blog. Let’s skip to his point, which is here: “But there’s a real ironic twist: if the appeasement brigade really do believe that the war to depose Saddam is and was utterly unconnecte
Bollettino I’ve been having an interesting email fire fight with my friend B., a Bush supporter. Yes, Virginia, I know Bush supporters. Plenty of them. Some people I know have expressed shock -- myself, I think if you don't know anybody who supports Bush, you are living in a bit of a bubble, no? Anyway, like other Bush supporters I’ve met, there is one area in which they respond as though bitten by a snake: that is the accusation that Bush has displayed vast incompetence as a military leader. It has become a default in American politics that Republicans are strong on defense, as the press likes to say – strong War-makers, to be less euphemistic – and we are worried that Kerry, who is a process Democrat, is going to let that reputation go unscathed. He shouldn’t. He should scathe it every chance he gets, and stuff his inclination to reference the U.N. like a maniac every time talks about U.S. Foreign Policy. Process is for cheese sandwiches, Senator. Attack is what is called