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Showing posts from April 2, 2006

gone to houston

Going to Houston, me buckos. So don't look for anything new here. However, I have to bitch - for some reason, last week, my readership numbers collapsed just as I was putting together some assez cool posts, especially the little one about Marx, Elizabeth Kolbert, and global warming. Or at least I thought that LI was hot, there. (It is an alarming sign for a writer when his hottest stuff falls stillborn from the press, as Davy Hume said about his first book. But vanity forbids me to think that I stink as much as the numbers suggest -- so I press onwards for the good of humanity!)(or at least to appease the chokehold of my evident graphomania!)(and I am using the ! because I like the quivering, tail wagging quality of that punctuation mark. An exclamation mark is the equivalent of a writer jumping up on your pants leg and peeing on your shoe, he's so happy to see you. Take it as a compliment!) After making the round of Houston's finest stripjoints with my friend David, decon

censure

LI needs to do some advertising today – we’ve not had a lot of client activity lately. And we’ve set up a new, streamlined site for our writing service. It is at this site: RWG Communications . So if you know someone who is looking for editing, translating, or general writing help, direct them to that site. Please! … And now, for today’s bombshell . LI has made it clear in the past that we don’t approve of impeachment except in extraordinary cases. To us, impeachment shortcircuits one of the Pavlovian advantages of democracy. Voters who elect incompetent, immoral people to public office should suffer from that choice. Not because of some Calvinistic doctrine, but simply from the old chestnut that a burnt child learns not to plunge into fires, lie on hot coals, or put his face over a gas fired burner and turn the thing to on. Democracy is not only about benefiting from good choices, but suffering from bad ones. The reason that suffering is good is that it fully explores those bad choi

what the coup was for

From David Kay Johnston’s excellent article in today’s NYT , an analysis of the last round of Bush tax cuts found: Among taxpayers with incomes greater than $10 million, the amount by which their investment tax bill was reduced averaged about $500,000 in 2003, and total tax savings, which included the two Bush tax cuts on compensation, nearly doubled, to slightly more than $1 million. These taxpayers, whose average income was $26 million, paid about the same share of their income in income taxes as those making $200,000 to $500,000 because of the lowered rates on investment income. Americans with annual incomes of $1 million or more, about one-tenth of 1 percent all taxpayers, reaped 43 percent of all the savings on investment taxes in 2003. The savings for these taxpayers averaged about $41,400 each. By comparison, these same Americans received less than 10 percent of the savings from the other Bush tax cuts, which applied primarily to wages, though that share is expected to grow

planetary alienation

Though I have used a shovel more than once, I am neither a shovelist nor a ditchdigger. I have the same relationship to Marx – the man himself would recognize me, right away, as a liberal humanist (I’m amused by how that word, bandied about on Marxist leaning sites, always calls out the Raid. As if Liberal humanists were looming on the horizon like so many godzillas, trampling through the bidonvilles!). However, I find Marx infinitely useable, even when, as in The German Ideology, I also find him infinitely boring. (I sometimes fear that much of Derrida’s work, a hundred years hence, will read like the German Ideology – heavy irony in pursuit of long forgotten targets, and all that rich wordplay turned as incomprehensible as the dog latin Rabelais puts in the mouth of the students he mocks in Gargantua). The section on Feuerbach there, as we all know, is extremely pretty and eloquent and just. From it, these two grafs jump out at me this morning: “Men can be distinguished from animal

coups

LI recommends going to Tiny Revolution this morning – the brief comment on the Padilla case goes right to the heart of the madness. And there is a discussion in the April Harpers about the culture of the military we also recommend, for more extensive reading. The discussion includes Edward Luttwak, Andrew J. Bacevich, Charles J. Dunlap Jr, and Richard H. Kohn, with moderation by Bill Wasik, and it begins with the dismissal of a military coup scenario and ends with a consideration of the rightleaning political culture in the military. Since I have been going to a lot of military blogs, lately, trying to decode them, in a way, so I can use their language and attitudes to create the perfect anti-recruitment message, I’ve been struck by something the panel talks about: “WASIK: I want to address the question of partisanship in the military. Insofar as there is a "culture war" in America, everyone seems to agree that the armed forces fight on the Republican side. And this is bo

things for our national short term memory to forget

My comrades, the libertarians (to do a little Hitchensspeak) have rather loony ideas about the market -- but LI stands shoulder to shoulder with them about civil liberties. So it was heartening to read Reason’s Jeff Taylor take the axe to the massive lying about 9/11 – no, not the massive lying that 9/11 was really contrived by U.F.O. Zionists, but the massive lying that 9/11 couldn’t have been prevented, and that everything – every fucking thing – done since, the insane Patriot act, the Homeland Security department (an Escher nightmare inside a Piranesi torture chamber), of course the war on Iraq, has all been useless, unnecessary, a power play by the sleaziest and greediest, made possible by the dopiest and most gullible – the zombie legions still lifting the binoculars to spot all that good news from Iraq -- while the people and structures that bungled 9/11 have been allowed to grow fat and flourish in their little posts. The national secret police and intelligence agencies are,