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Showing posts from August 13, 2006

war culture in the heraclitean framework

After it became apparent that the Israeli strategy of using air power to make Lebanon Hezbollah-rein had failed, a curious paen to air power appeared in the Washington Post, filed by their military analyst, William Arkin . “If you've been reading my commentary on the Israel-Hezbollah war here, you know that I am a fan of airpower. To me, modern precision airpower is the epitome of discriminate warfare, which is to say, that it uniquely allows armed forces to discriminate between combatants and civilians. That is, short of two armies consenting to deploy to an unpopulated battlefield -- sort of like what Saddam Hussein did in 1990 after his invasion of Kuwait when he dug his army into the Kuwaiti and Iraqi desert. I've heard the howls of protest -- Dresden, Tokyo, London -- before, but again, to reiterate, modern airpower, with its new precision weapons, allows an unprecedented degree of discrimination.” There are many interests that converge in the War Culture, and one of th

rwg writing services

Alas, the editing jobs aren't pouring in this summer. We did get a nice note from a client who just graduated from {blank} university, the other day, thanking us for our work on his papers. So, LI readers, drivebys, friends, Romans and Countrymen - help us out. Tell people about our writing service . The links are on the sidebar (or, for mysterious reasons, on the bottom of the page for those of you looking at this via IE 6). Remember: a full blogger is a happy blogger.

following this summer's murder story

There are some murders we follow. There are some murders we don’t. During the infinite newscycle of OJ-iana, the only thing that really impressed us was the slo mo car chase. Oh, and OJ’s houseguest, Kato Kaelin. Actually, Kato impressed us a lot – what a job! My own parents evidently abused me: they never once mentioned the career opportunity of being a houseguest to the stars. If LI had known about this as a tyke, forget the dreams of wealth, or the teenage idea of writing and forging, in the smithy of my soul, the consciousness of my race – fuck that. I would have cultivated better hair, better connections, and practiced saying things in the mirror like, “My Cher,” (or Billy Bob or Telly or Chevy or whoever), this is a big place you got here! Roomy is no word for it. You must get lonely here sometimes, eh?” But no, as aforesaid, my folks abused me by hiding the facts, which I can only excuse them for partly by the fact that we were hicks living in Dekalb County, Georgia, where house

the story of the little lie that wants to be a big one

For the past month the United States has worked urgently to end the violence that Hezbollah and its sponsors have imposed on the people of Lebanon and Israel. –Condolezza Rice, LI does have to wonder how long this joke can last. This is not, contrary to those who immediately go for the Nazi reference, a big lie. This is a little lie. It is little minded. There is little evidence that anybody believes it, except in D.C. circles and the White House. It is not the slogan of a triumphant imperialist movement, but the delusive cry of a ruined, debt ridden, arthritic giant, in slo mo fall as all the Jacks cut down all the beanstalks. So pathetic that it really is appropriate for the WAPO op ed page, that funhouse of thinktanker testosterone, the bipartisan CW that goes all the way from the Heritage Foundation to the New Republic, and produces the undead language of Krauthammer, Fred Hiatt and crewe, a stange speak that is more like a drug than a language, a bit of the old ultraviol swallo

liberalism and fear

Lately LI has been reading Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. So we were pleased to see an article in the Journal of Social Philosophy by Frank Cunningham , a professor at the University of Toronto, that dealt with a central Polanyi-ish theme: does a market economy necessarily generate a market culture? To clarify the problem, Cunningham quotes a pertinent passage in one of Polanyi’s essays: “This institutional gadget, which became the dominant force in the economy—now justly described as a market economy—then gave rise to yet another, even more extreme development, namely as a whole society embedded in the mechanism of its own economy—a market society.” This may seem like an esoteric theme, but, in actuality, it is the central problem of our time. If the one always leads to the other, not only is liberalism sunk, but the ability to meet the enormous environmental challenges that are even now building in the oceans and the heavens is doomed to failure. That will then doom to fa

professor challenger, the stupidity seismograph, and the WAPO editorial board

In the world of Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger, there is always another fantastic machine being tinkered with in one of the world’s laboratories. Unfortunately, Professor Challenger was undone by one of those machines, Nemor’s diabolical disintegration machine, that makes objects vanish. Before Challenger vanished himself, however, he said something prophetic: 'You cannot explain one incredible thing by quoting another incredible thing,' said Challenger. The Challenger principle is, of course, denied every day by the current administration of cons and imbeciles and their minions in the press. But Challenger himself might be inclined to give LI some slack on our latest invention. It is called the stupidity seismograph. The principle is quite simple. Just feed the editorials of the Washington Post to the machine, and you can actually map waves of stupidity as they travel from one pole of conventional wisdom to the other. I’m not sure how to patent it, however. Today’s editor