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Showing posts from October 31, 2004
Bollettino LI will be erratic in this space for the next two weeks, as we are going to a Blue State for some much needed R & D. We want to pick up on our freerider thesis. Some readers might think that we have gone nihilistic. We haven’t. Really, our point is simple. From the turn of the twentieth century to the 1970s, progressive thought in America was all about instituting progressive legislation at the national level. It so happens that this extended benefits for the working class to a whole region of the country, the South, which generated no autonomous progressive organizations. Between the Revolutionary War and today, I can think of only one Southern generated progressive movement: the Civil Rights movement. The Civil Rights movement, led by middle class blacks and peopled by working class and agrarian blacks, broke the back of the South’s pseudo-feudal system and opened it up to the world market. The South owes its prosperity to this act; and so, in gratitude, througho
The Snopes and the freeriders If LI were a Democratic Party strategist (brrr!), this weekend we would settle down with our Faulkner. The utter rubbish being tossed around by the talking heads about the Democrats adopting Republican moral values to win presidential elections has been untempered by reality. Moral values, we think, had little to do with this election. Rather, what brought out the hicks was the promise of entertainment. Instead of cockfighting or bearbaiting, gaybashing of a high and rare type was on the ticket. This was as irresistible to your average Snopes as a guest appearance on the Jerry Springer show used to be to your average overweight stripper. The Snopes sullenly populated the backreaches of Yoknapatawpha County in the days before the New Deal. Faulkner’s preferred novelistic time period was the twenties, which brought a lot of changes to Mississippi – but not like the Great Depression and the New Deal did. In the post WWII period, going through th
Bollettino I notice in the English language press there has not been any mention of Chirac’s latest. We are, to say the least, not admirers of Chirac’s domestic policies, or of his corruption, but he has been smarter than anybody else about Iraq. He found a reason not to meet Allawi in Brussels (Saddam’s former hit man, unperturbed, got his photo op, fittingly enough, with Tony Blair) – sudden business in the U.A.R. But he has invited Ghazi al Yawer to Paris. LI had guessed in the earlier, happy time before Nov. 2 that if Kerry were elected, Yawer would probably receive a much more prominent role. Allawi had been much too much a Bush re-election campaign puppet. Well, we know what happened. But Yawer is still out there, and he is poised to receive the popularity that comes from opposing the crime everyone is foretelling in Fallujah – a strategy which the Americans modestly claim to have had no hand in. Yes, they are only carrying out the rule of Allawi. The dummy, here, suppose
Bollettino And in the expected news… Hungary and Holland are pulling out of the CSA coalition in Iraq. Hungary is speeding up its withdrawal. LI doesn’t think this bodes well for Iraqis. The presence of these powers, even in their small numbers, creates At least some fragile limit to American ferocity. However, the shop is being cleared for butchering. Over the protests of such of Iraq’s supposedly “sovereign” government as the interim president, the Americans and Saddam’s former hitman, Allawi, have conjoined in a murderous bond that is casting the same eye on Fallujah that that big eye in Lord of the Rings cast on Gondar. The fight is entering a new stage, as the restraints have been removed from one side. LI read on one conservative weblog a wonderful euphemistic phrase for killing Iraqis: surgery is bloody. Surgery, much like, oh, the surgeries Stalin had to effect in the Ukraine. Put that in the same class as: to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. Yes, bony
Bollettino For a particularly nauseating mixture of cravenness and pomposity, LI recommends going to this article by Robert Wright. Wright’s idea is that the American hoi polloi, fearing the world their children are growing up in, where it is possible they will even have sex at some point in their lives, would have been wooed by liberals coming out and forthrightly condemning Janet Jackson’s nipples. We expect the “let’s all try to get along with the Taliban” line to be very popular in those quarters of the Democratic party where they are ‘fightin’ for liberal causes – and willing to betray them all if they are elected.” Wright is the author of a totally nonsensical book, Non-Zero, that I eviscerated in a review a few years ago. For a while he stalked Stephen Jay Gould, having appointed himself, bizarrely, the defender the true Darwinian orthodoxy, as reflected in the pages of Richard Dawkins and (bizarrely) run through Wright’s own affection for Teilhard de Chardin, a
Bollettino LI has made a couple of resolutions and had a couple of revelations due to the return of the Confederacy. We’ve lived in the Confederacy most of our lives. We were educated among middle and lower middle class suburban Atlantans. We’ve been class conscious all of our political lives, on the side of the working class, etc., etc. Well, it is time to say goodbye to all of that. There are times when history does strike a bell. In 1933 in Germany, in 1995 in Serbia, etc., etc. When the working class comes out in their numbers to ward off the Other – Jew, Gay, Croatian – one has to make a choice. My choice is: fuck the working class. Clearly, there are things that need to be done. One is to support wholeheartedly Bush’s economic mission. That mission can only help the investor class that lives in the Blue states. Those states, by a miscarriage of history, are yoked together with such devastations of the intellect as Oklahoma. Clearly, the thing to do is to dry the
Bollettino This was more than an election – this was the reversal of the Civil War. Jeff Davis, through one of those ironies of history, won through the party headed by his old enemy, Abraham Lincoln. So what does it mean that the strongest power in the world, at the moment, is the Confederate States of America? As LI has said before, states are modes for state interests. From the point of view of morality, a state’s interests can intersect with the interests of justice, but will never wholly intersect with it or subsume it. On the other hand, pathological states can intersect dramatically with injustice. We look like we are on the brink of one of those moments. At the moment, the CSA intersects with some very bad things. Symbolic of this, we think, is the elevation of a man who is visibly sexually disturbed to the Senate seat from Oklahoma. Oklahoma, proud of its tradition of pograms -- the biggest massacre of blacks in the South occured in the Tulsa riots in the twenties
Bollettino Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself. The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation. All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and
Bollettino LI is planning on going out later today and getting champagne. We are also making – from a recipe forwarded to us by our invaluable friend, S. – cigarette borek. And then we are going to a friends house to watch the destruction of the Coup – or so we have high hopes. Not that the Coup isn’t leaving as much poison behind as possible. Naomi Klein’s column in the Guardian, today, is an excellent piece of reporting about the venture vultures who have looked at Iraq as the kind of pickings worthy of… well, the Carlyle Group. LI first became aware of the Carlyle Group after 9/11, when there was a paranoid story linking the WTC mass murder to the group. This is what we said back then: "Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, reacted with disbelief to The Wall Street Journal report of yesterday that George H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Ar
Bollettino LI feels it ought to put out a little reminder of the stakes tomorrow, in terms of human lives. As if our readers -- hey, we now average 100 per day -- didn't know what this site was about. The LA Times runs a story on the upcoming war crime that Bush and Allawi are plotting against Fallujah. Interesting, the U.S. press line is that Allawi, that oh so independent soul, is pressing the assault. The U.S. press can only accommodate one dark skinned leader at a time in Iraq – so you hear very little about the more popular interim president. But… well, al-Yawer disagrees with sheering the meat off the bones of hundreds of Iraqis via terrorbombing and such. Obviously, he’s a terrorist stooge himself, and not a freedomloving Iraqi: “Allawi's speech Sunday seemed aimed at preparing the Iraqi public for an onslaught in Fallujah, Allawi warned of civilian casualties, saying that if he orders an assault, it would be with a "heavy heart." "But I owe, o
Bollettino Good news from Uruguay this morning . “Tabaré Vázquez, a Socialist doctor running as the candidate of an opposition coalition that includes former guerrillas, narrowly triumphed Sunday in the presidential election, bringing the left to power for the first time in this South American country. The victory by the coalition, known as the Progressive-Encounter-Broad-FrontNew-Majority, whose largest faction consists of Tupamaro guerrillas turned politicians, strengthens a trend throughout the continent. As in the last presidential votes in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina, the candidate most opposed to American-supported free-market policies has defeated backers of those policies.” Given that the model in Iraq is the same model the U.S. has pursued in Central and South America, LI’s hope, floating somewhere in the distant future, is that Iraq will go through the furnace of the American occupation with its major industry and structure intact – a state owned p
Bollettino Our far flung correspondants We received the nicest response to our Ayn Rand post yesterday from our friend T. Here it is, almost unaltered -- well, names have been changed to protect the liability of this weblog. "Nice recollection. I was a little more fortunate in my teenage introduction to La Belle Ayn insofaras what I read was a hell of a lot shorter than your intro. I was fourteen and spending a lot of time in detention during after regular school hours. This was fine with me as there were always lovely girls in detention and, as we couldn't exactly wildly grope each other, as I would have preferred, I had my first real experiences talking to girls, in conversation about hopes and dreams and hates and fears and all that stuff that teenagers believe to be so vital and forevermore and always; also, the detention room had a bunch of books on those stupid, steel, vertical, rotating towers. It was in that detention room that I read, in order, Brave