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Showing posts from December 2, 2007

Take a ch ch ch chance...

Birthday – take a ch-ch-ch-chance! As in my birthday, today. I’m dedicating the day to myself. Well, in reality, I’m editing a paper on Ottoman feminism to keep the pack of wolves from the door. But I’d like to be chasing some Weimar babe around a futuristic landscape. Oh well. But it’s a paycheck, Jack. Although North doesn’t like the lipsynching here, this is still going to be the song for me today. Everybody dance now!

The LOL era and the Iran war rollout

Sometimes, LI thinks we should brag about our foreign policy prescience. Before the invasion of Iraq, we foretold the insurgency, and the expense – although, admittedly, we underestimated the latter. Similarly, since 2004, we have been predicting that … there would be no war between the U.S. and Iran. Although in 2004, we considered it possible that the U.S. would bomb Iran, much as Reagan bombed Libya – a sole sortee, for advertising purposes only – by 2005 it was pretty clear this wasn’t going to happen. The reason why ties into the domestic reasons for invading Iraq, which should never be forgotten. Bush, on 9/11, was, by all rights, a washed up president. Not only had he been elevated to office in the most bizarre coup since Rutherford Hayes agreed to abandon African Americans and cede the Civil War to the South in 1876, but he had obviously and spectacularly failed to protect the country, and was subject to embarrassing panic attacks. It only got worse as his Defense Department di


According to Albert Sorel, Napoleon read Maistre’s Considerations sur France in 1797, when he was in Milan. At this point, Napoleon had already planned his coup against the Directory. As Sorel puts it, “a little book may have already revealed the secret his future.” Although Maistre was a violent anti-Bonapartist – he is probably the source for some of the more pointed remarks in War and Peace, for of course Maistre was serving as the King of Sardinia's ambassador in Moscow when Napoleon attacked Russia - Sorel sees a community of … superstition between Napoleon, the man who said “I depend on events, I wait for everything from their issue” and the writer who wrote, “The Revolution led men more than men led the Revolution”. Sorel’s idea is that what struck Buonoparte in Milan was a metaphysic that Buonaparte was to embody all the way up to 1815: “The war made the Republic live, the peace will make it die… The French always succeed in war under a firm government that has the spirit

some self erasing advice for Dems

LI was talking with our friend and far flung correspondent, Mr. T., on the phone last week. We both were yammering on about what is happening in the economy, and Mr. T. said something like, what we need now is another trillion dollar line of credit. Which is very true. Leading me to this brief post, in which LI gives unsolicited advice to the Democratic Presidential candidates. Look, next year will suck for the economy. It will suck so bad that the majority of Americans (for whom the economy has sucked for some time but who read in the paper that the economy is going terrifically well, and thus suffer from cognitive dissonance) are going to be reading in the paper that the economy sucks. It will be that rare alignment of existence and propaganda – an opportunity not to be missed! So, here’s what you do. You make a speech saying what everybody knows – that the price of oil has tripled since we invaded Iraq because the oil dealers have a pretty shrewd idea that we are going to be trippi

echoes of the britney age

NARVIK, Norway Nov. 30 — At this time of year, the sun does not rise at all this far north of the Arctic Circle. But Karen Margrethe Kuvaas says she has not been able to sleep well for days. What is keeping her awake are the far-reaching ripple effects of the troubled housing market in sunny Florida, California and other parts of the United States. Ms. Kuvaas is the mayor of Narvik, a remote seaport where the season’s perpetual gloom deepened even further in recent days after news that the town — along with three other Norwegian municipalities — had lost about $64 million, and potentially much more, in complex securities investments that went sour. One of those apocryphal Lenin quotes that are passed around by rightwingers goes: “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” I doubt Lenin said this, however: he was smart enough to know that capitalists did a bang up job both of selling rope to each other and hanging each other already. Some extra twine shipped to