May 17, 2006 § Leave a comment
The following Orwellian analysis is terrific. And disgusting.
Their analysis, which uses case studies based on historical research, evidence-based arguments and detailed rhetorical criticism, illustrates, among other things, “the remarkably complicated ways the Bush administration has used 9/11 as an elastic justification for waging wars of globalization and empire under the banner of free trade and democracy.”
Regarding the rationales used for going to war in Iraq, the authors determined that the president’s arguments were “fabrications spun from evidence that was shaky at best, outright nonsense at worst, and that the labyrinthine cover-ups following these initial fabrications amount to a second, equally dangerous series of lies.”
“Although it is not the first time deceptions have been foisted on the world by a dissembling president, we demonstrate that President Bush’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction) rhetoric amounts to a pattern of lying that poses a serious threat to the foundational principles of democracy,” the authors wrote.
May 15, 2006 § Leave a comment
May 9, 2006 § Leave a comment
dc:This article is typical of intentional/unintentional undermining. I am being intentionally analytical and negative here to make sure we see the problems with this kind of analysis.
Optimistic, Democrats Debate the Party’s Vision
By ROBIN TONER
Published: May 9, 2006
WASHINGTON, May 8 — With Democrats increasingly optimistic about this year’s midterm elections and the landscape for 2008, intellectuals in the center and on the left are debating how to sharpen the party’s identity and present a clear alternative to the conservatism that has dominated political thought for a generation.
dc: this is some key framing that will hurt development of an alternative.”center and left” has become useless, as has “conservative”. Almost all recognized politicians are to the right of center. The alternative is rethinking towards policies that are a mixture of what conservative and progressive mean. branding the dems as left guarantees that 90% of the country is center-right. But the alternative is also not to gain the center, but to realize that the left-center-right spectrum is not a meaningful description of what is or what should be, nor of what voters can respnd to.
May 5, 2006 § Leave a comment
ABC’s Dan Arnall reports, ” “Dow futures ticked up significantly on the news, as traders believe slowing jobs growth likely means an end to the Fed’s two-year rate tightening run. It could give us enough fuel to get to that new record Dow level (11,722.98).”
That slowing jobs is good for the economy shows that the economy is not equated to people earning money but to owners getting dividends. Now I know that there are secondary effects, such as money needs to be reinvested, slow inflation is good, but that it means lower incomes for those who work is not good. Period. The key point here is that the economy, like the workers, work for those who own, and they in turn are not concerned about social well being but about profit. The pressure from leadership to not talk about class warfare is intense. It is the rhino in the punch bowl.
Interesting to see where politicians are placing themselves towards 2006. George Allen is for innovation .
Allen is expected to speak to the class of 2006 about the importance of keeping America “the world capital of innovation.”
With the end of the cold war, and the fall of the soviet union the US had a great opportunity. We even talked about (remember?) the peace dividend. But we did not deal well with Russia, instead did everything to force it to a kind of capitalism that let assets be bought. the reaction towards Russian historical norms of governance filled the vacuum. So we have the current administration confused as to what to do now. I would be for admitting mistakes and trying to make a new beginning.
the political problems the Administration faces in deciding whether to attend July’s G8 conference in St. Petersburg, including calls by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to have Bush boycott the summit. “Administration officials are increasingly concerned about President Bush’s attending a meeting of the world’s major democracies in a country that by most definitions is not.”
But to give credit
The Wall Street Journal sees Cheney playing “bad cop against the good cop of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, architect of Mr. Bush’s original outreach to Moscow. Her tone lately has been much more moderate.” LINK
The following is an example that might trigger the Jospeh Taintor collapse scenario.
In what might be viewed as another defeat for the President yesterday, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation allocating $7.4 billion for port security, “just hours after the White House expressed strong misgivings over the cost and feasibility of the bill.” LINK
May 4, 2006 § Leave a comment
There is a general consensus that things are not going well – affairs of nations, internal and external. When we ask “why?” we are really asking about where to look for the answers. Is it the nation state under threat, the blending of technology and power, the aftermath of the collapse of the roman empire, Napoleon and his centralized bureaucracy, the rich since Bush?
Philip Reiff Has a new book, “My life Among the Death Works, which says that there are really three cultures: polytheism (pagan), monotheism, and zero theism. The third, where we are at, is constantly clearing the way for itself by tearing down one and 2. If a society has no belief, it cannot survive.
This is one of the frames we need to consider. I am skeptical in part because i think science has some of th qualities of a religion ( a view, a story, that ties things together), but that, more than any other, projects or human strengths outward into things and leaves us more depleted than any previous “religious’ culture. There is actually some hope in this view.
May 4, 2006 § Leave a comment
In Iraq sectarian violence has a stronger pull than democratic coherence. Why? It is simple, when people’s security is threatened, they turn to existing power for security. That power is usually religious, even in the US (see my ‘rememergence of religion paper). Basically it says, don’t put people in a bad situation, or they will behave badly. Nazi Germany is an example we have failed to elarn from. The country was put, by the Versailles peace treaty, in a terrible economic position, with much suffering. In desperation the people supported a government of renewall and revenge (Hitler) because the rest of Europe and the US gave them very little room for alternatives.
Don’t put eople in a bad situation.
Which leds to a further question. If ewe can’t get to a good solution A (which might eb a decent world for almost all), are we willing to fight for a second soltuon B, which implies the clash of civilizations? nother way of putting it is, if we an’t create a compassionate world of shared realistic hopes, are we wiling to take onthe conequences of failure?
Plan A in my mind is not Fukuyama’s hegemony of democracy and markets: that model is too loaded in favor of the american empire and its benefitting class. Plan A for me is a realistic use of tech and business, with tough environemntal regulations and government aid to education and healh.
Can we do it?