• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New York Times Shields U.S. from Incoming Truths

The News:
In an article headlined "Russia Backs Off on Europe Missile Threat," the New York Times reported that "President of Dimitri Medvedev of Russia retreated Friday from his threat to deploy missiles on Europe’s borders, ... if President-elect Obama joined Russia and France in calling for a conference on European security by next summer." The Times continued that "at a meeting in Nice hosted by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Mr. Medvedev backed away from the bellicose speech he gave last week." According to the Times, Sarkozy "helped ease the way for Mr. Medvedev’s retreat" by supporting "the idea of talks" on a new security architecture for Europe to be held this coming year between the United State, Russia and European states. The Times added that "Mr. Sarkozy made clear that he wants the United States to think again about the missile defense systems that it plans to build in Poland and the Czech Republic."

The accompanying photo showed perturbed Medvedev standing at attention looking like an oversized schoolboy being admonished by Sarkozy.

The News: In an articled headlined "Sarkozy backs Russian calls for pan-European security pact," the UK Guardian reported that "President Nicolas Sarkozy of France joined Russia in condemning the Pentagon's plans to install missile defence bases in central Europe yesterday and backed President Dmitri Medvedev's previously ignored calls for a new pan-European security pact." The article went on to say that "Both presidents concluded a Russia-EU summit... with an agreement to convene a major international conference next summer at which the Americans, Russians and the 27 countries of the EU should come up with a blueprint for new post-cold war "security architecture" in Europe.

The accompanying photo showed a smiling and assured Medvedev shaking hands with a determined looking Sarkozy.

The Note: Thank God we can count on the flagship of U.S journalism to do what's right by the country.

©WCG, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


MEXICO CITY -- Scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico announced today that they had discovered how to make diamonds from tequila. The discovery comes as the world recession is hiting Mexico. A happy president Felipe Calderon, announced that the discovery had solved Mexico's endemic liquidity crisis.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Delirium Tremens

So, Barack Obama has been elected president by a hefty margin.   Liberals and Progressives are overjoyed and are vociferating as if (a mere eight years late) the New Millenium has indeed arrived.

I am sorry to rain on the party, but Obama is not going to introduce any fundamental change to the neo-liberal regime which has gotten us to where we are. Nor is he going to reverse the irreversible course of history, which is that all empires have to rise and fall.

A neo-con is simply a neo liberal gone punk. Domestically and diplomatically Obama will provide some emollients and better manners, but I doubt little else. He may take a few paltry steps towards realizing Bismarckian social benefits and he may go back to an Eisenhower-esque diplomacy of working "through" allies and international institutions. Otherwise the Flush Democrats are already "warning" us not to expect a new New Deal (i.e. a new faux social democracy) and the New York Times is peddling its usual demented ravings telling us it's time to leave off the "folly" of Iraq and focus on the "necessary" war in Afghanistan. No you dimits!!!! I am not Jove, I am Neputne!!!!!!

I admire Obama. He is likely the most intelligent president we've had since that racist bastard, Woodrow Wilson. Obama is engaging, informed and in control. I am glad most Americans showed that they could overcome their obsessive compulsive disorder over skin hue. But, to paraphrase Tolstoy, politics is something more than personality. Americans' disastrous propensity for exceptionalism has blinded them both to understanding the true nature of the country and to thinking that historical laws do not apply to us.

Like all leaders, Obama is constrained by his context and the material he has to work with. It may be that, far from being a creature of his time, he stands outside it at some Archimedean Point and understands that neither the actual nor the merely possible reflect the ideal. But assuming that to be the case, he is still constrained by the calculus of history. I fear his options are limited. I wish I were wrong.

©WCG, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sodom & Gomorah

The News: Bank of American and JP Morgan/Chase are seeking to stem the tide of foreclosures by renegotiating the terms of a select number of at-risk mortgages. Chase officials said their effort was not an act of charity or a response to government pressure. By renegotiating loans with borrowers, the bank is hoping to reduce the losses it incurs in the foreclosure process.

The Note: Charity!??? Perish the thought! God forbid that as we enter the Advent Season we should be mindful of widows and orphans or the humble and distressed. How repugnant to think we should incur some loss to help out our neighbor.

What a radically perverted culture we have become. The Fetish of the Commodity has devoured us.

©WCG, 2008