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Showing posts from October 15, 2006

mission party redux - Bush and the endless boner

Having been paid by a paper (hurray for me!) yesterday, LI had the spondulees to go out and see a movie and have a drink with a friend. Over the drinkipoo (not a Mexican martini, since we did not want the headache – oh, we have gotten old, we have gotten old, we will wear the bottoms of our trousers rolled) the friend reminded us of kind things we’d said about John McCain. Say what? Now, it is true that LI, like Saint Paul, does try to be all things to all people. Sometimes, we try to be moderate, and sometimes simply liberal, but most people who have the patience to endure our company for any length of time come away with the impression that we are a far leftist type. And, as readers of this blog know, in reality we are simply insane, or to give the standard blogspeak version of that, batshit insane (although, in reality, we are more the flyeating variety – like Renfield in Dracula. And driven to this condition by a too long residence in Dracula’s castle, aka the U.S., circa 2001 –200

iraqi bloggers respond to the lancet report

LI has been intrigued by the reaction, among the English writing Iraqi bloggers, to the Lancet report. Apparently it was trashed by Iraq the Model – a famous site among the pro-war crowd, that supplies a consistently pro-Bush line. This was too much for a blogger who goes by Konfused Kid (see our links), and he contacted other Iraqi bloggers. In the back and forth, a lot of fascinating, and very, very depressing stories fell out. Instead of listing all these blogs, go to this post at Treasure of Baghdad and read the informal survey he took. LI’s position has been, consistently, that peace would consist of two parts: American withdrawal, and peace with Iran – since I don’t believe Iraq can be at peace, for one thing, without the latter condition. But because the American occupation has been such a crime against humanity, I recognize the one slimy truth in the stay the course option – American withdrawal might increase the violence. Practically, that means some of the voices surveyed by

marie antoinette's finest moment

En fait, on sait bien que ce qui a mis à sec les finances de la France, c’est la guerre d’Indépendance américaine, et pas les chaussures de Marie-Antoinette. Mais avec les femmes au pouvoir, on en vient toujours aux paires de chaussures. – Chantal Thomas A recent LCC post got us interested in the new Coppola movie about Marie Antoinette – an obvious lure for people who have invested a lot of time in studying French culture. At the same time, I don’t have high hopes for it – Lost in Translation merely made me sorry that Bill Murray was lost in Lost in Translation, and everything I have read about the Marie Antoinette movie seems to indicate – take the Paris Hilton set, put big gowns and wigs on them, and voila, the decadent Frogs! A rather pitiful comparison. The French aristocracy might have been many things, but they were not the untutored ignoramuses of our current governing class. Probably we will have to wait until video – we are rather crawling on the economic floor this week, an

journey through your mind to liberation past - and feel the patriotism!

The deadenders seem to be stirring in liberated Iraq this month. Puzzlingly, ten American soldiers were killed yesterday – puzzling in that Iraq, by all accounts, is well on its way to being a model for the world of freedom and free enterprise. Stunned by the headlines, which seem to imply a few glitches in our Rebel in Chief’s masterwork in the Middle East, LI plunged into the very recent past to see where it all went right – where faith in freedom rescued the country from savage socialist minded Ba’athism and set it on the path of peace and prosperity. We were also a bit motivated by the rather strange Q and A in the Washington Post with the producer of the frontline about America's first year in Iraq. The man answered questions as though he were a prisoner of war -- and indeed, he did seem to know that offering unsolicited, socialist criticisms of the president would only be a trick to elect the Democrats. So he remained as nonpartisan as oatmeal. We went to May 27, 2003 – you’l

the fun of the war

Continuing from my last post... There is actually something else to say about Geras. Not so much to make a political point, but to make a psychological one. Geras’ attitude, as you will remember, is that now, looking back, he can’t see that the war in Iraq he supported was supportable. On the other hand, looking back, he can’t see opposing the war, which he identifies with supporting the Ba’athist regime. For a person active in politics, this is a rather appalling stand. After all, with or without his support, his state is engaging in a war that he thinks is wrong – or went wrong. So what kind of reason is it to not oppose that war because you identify opposition solely with supporting the Ba’athist regime? However, stripping this idea of its political references for a second - this attitude is actually at the base of great English comedy. It is the moment when judgment – moral or aesthetic – shifts to the register of competition. To judge that a thing is bad is a philosophical task, b

norman geras puts his fingers in his ears and goes na na na na na

Back in the heady days after the purple revolution, when every belligeranti worth his salt had dyed his own forefinger purple in solidarity, there was an article in the Sunday Times of London (2/6/05) entitled “Stormin' Marxist is toast of the neocons”. It began like this: “AN OBSCURE Marxist professor who has spent his entire academic life in Manchester has become the darling of the Washington right wing for his outspoken support of the war in Iraq. Despite his leanings Norman Geras, who writes a blog diary on the internet, has praised President George WBush and says the invasion of Iraq was necessary to oust the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein. His daily jottings have brought him the nickname of "Stormin' Norm" from the title of his diary, Normblog. The Wall Street Journal has reprinted one of his articles in its online edition and American pundits often cite his words. … Most mornings Geras, 61, the author of such obscure books as Solidarity in the Conversation

the crow

In Naude’s book, The history of magick, he writes: “There is a story that among many birds that came not neer the Temple of Minerva, the Goddesse of Sciences and Reason, the Crows durst not take their flight about it., much less light upon it. If it be lawfull to give it any other sense than the literall, I think the most probable were this: that that bird, so considerable in the superstitious Augury of the Ancients… being the true Hieroglyphick of those who search after things to come, it is to teach us, that all those who are over-inquisitive in such things, together with the Authours and Observers of I know not what chimericall and fabulous prophecies… should be eternally excluded the Temple of Minerva, that is, the conversation of learned and prudent men.” Learned and prudent men! Yesteryear’s op ed men, the pundits of the ages, the Delphic codgers, the many weary generations of David Broders, down through the epochs! The ones who condemned Socrates to death, but would have pref