An Unenviable Situation

Friday, September 24, 2021

Leiter links to another "professional philosopher" writing at Spiked
The result was in itself evidence of the vast scale of self-censorship on campus. Clearly, concerns about the threats to our freedoms are widely felt, even if they are not widely voiced. And it’s not just a problem in Cambridge. A recent, large survey carried out by the University and College Union found that 35.5 per cent of academics are self-censoring.

The Cambridge page sounds absurd, and not because microaggressions don't exist. The service staff at Cambridge lives with them every fucking day. And again: none of this is about freedom of speech; it's a debate over norms. There's no freedom of speech in the UK, and none in academia.

Arif Ahmed MBE, testified before Parliament alognside Kathleen Stock, OBE

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Deutschland im Herbst. Somewhere in Dusseldorf. It's been a long time.

U.S. Special Envoy To Haiti Quits Over Deportations Of Haitian Refugees

Dear Secretary Blinken,

With deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes, I resign from my position asSpecial Envoy for Haiti, effective immediately. I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life. Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own.

The people of Haiti, mired in poverty, hostage to the terror, kidnappings, robberies and massacres of armed gangs and suffering under a corrupt government with gang alliances, simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy. The collapsed state is unable to provide security or basic services, and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime. Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery.

Haitians need immediate assistance to restore the government’s ability to neutralize the gangs and restore order through the national police. They needa true agreement across society and political actors, with international support, to chart a timely path to the democratic selection of their n e x t president and parliament. They need humanitarian assistance, money to deliver COVID vaccines and so many other things.

But what our Haitian friends really want, and need, is the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course. I do not believe that Haiti can enjoy stability until her citizens have the dignity of truly choosing their own leaders fairly and acceptably.

Last week, the U.S. and other embassies in Port-au-Prince issued another public statement of support by for the unelected, de facto Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry as interim leader of Haiti, and have continued to tout his “political agreement” over another broader, earlier accord shepherded by civil society. The hubris that makes us believe we should pick the winner—again—is impressive. This cycle of international political interventions in Haiti has consistently produced catastrophic results. More negative impacts to Haiti will have calamitous consequences not only in Haiti, but in the US. and our neighbors in the hemisphere.


Daniel Foote  

2013, Pooja Bhatia reviews Jonathan Katz, in the LRB

It began with hubris and extravagant promises. Within days of the disaster, powerful people around the world were speaking of ‘Marshall Plans’, ‘building back better’ and a ‘new Haiti’. At a donor conference in March 2010, two and a half months after the quake, rich countries announced pledges of $8.4 billion for Haiti’s reconstruction, a sum bigger than its annual GDP, and spoke of changing the way aid was done. Haiti was already known as the ‘Republic of NGOs’, and its reliance on them was strangling the country. As foreign aid groups delivered basic services – including water, medical care and electricity – the state’s capacity to do so weakened. Ordinary Haitians had little or no say in what went on. The donor conference proposed a solution: a commission of Haitians and outsiders would determine spending priorities. It would be co-chaired by a real grandee: Bill Clinton, who the year before had been appointed UN special envoy to Haiti. ‘He had a particular fondness for places he mucked up as president,’ Katz writes.

Amid the flashbulbs and self-congratulation at the conference, Katz noticed other portents. The Haitian government’s plan for reconstruction read as if it had been ghostwritten by the donors. It emphasised private enterprise, paid scant attention to housing for the 1.5 million people displaced by the quake, and was in general so vague that ‘it seemed donors would be forgiven for doing whatever they wanted.’ Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, warned donors to hold themselves accountable (what institution holds itself accountable?) and to work with the Haitian government rather than around it. The day before she spoke, her own deputy had predicted correctly that Congress was unlikely to route aid through the Haitian government. Results from a survey that canvassed 1750 Haitians on the reconstruction – ‘the only views of regular Haitians heard that day’ – were nearly excluded from the proceedings. Haitians’ ‘desire to be consulted in setting priorities, selecting projects and assessing tangible and measurable outcomes’ was mostly ignored. Préval was at one point lectured on accountability by a 32-year-old Norwegian emissary and then forgotten, it seemed, when discussion at the press conference that followed veered to Iran. ‘Do I need to develop a nuclear programme so that we come back to talking about Haiti?’ he asked.

Donors didn’t deliver on their promises. The joint commission faltered and then foundered. As for the money, some of the most breathtaking facts in Katz’s book come from ledgers kept by the likes of the UN Office of the Special Envoy. They merit amplification and repetition, if only to counter the persistent notion that Haiti has wasted billions of dollars in aid. There were never any billions in aid to Haiti, let alone its government; not much money has gone to Haiti’s government since the United States withdrew its support of Jean Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier in 1986.

Katz in 2015, on the Clintons and Haiti, and 2016, on the Clintons, Haiti, and Trump. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

From 2011

A note from a journalist [not American] who's covered the Middle East and Arab Spring, and now in NY

The only reason OWS won the first (small) battle of making it into the news was because of the police's heavyhandedness. The 99% people uploading their signs on tumblr aren't going to camp out with a bunch of kids/homeless people/drug addicts and raving sidewalk preachers who behave like they haven't had a conversation with anyone for 30 years.

I won't repeat myself more than this. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Stock: Lesbians Aren’t Attracted to a Female ‘Gender Identity.’ We’re Attracted to Women.
In Quillette. She's published there before.
There is commonly held to be a difference between a sexual preference and a sexual orientation. Sexual preferences include preferences for blondes over brunettes, or macho men over pretty boys. At the more exotic end, they can include predilections for cars, chandeliers, and dalliances with farm animals. None of these are sexual orientations, though. Opinions differ on what makes an orientation an orientation, but my preferred explanation says that for a preference to count as an orientation, it has to be stable in individuals, widespread among the human population, and have a range of relatively important social consequences.

Two such orientations are heterosexuality and homosexuality. They are defined in terms of specific patterns of attraction. You are heterosexual if you, a member of one sex, are stably sexually attracted only to members of the opposite sex to you. Alternatively, if you’re stably attracted only to members of the same sex as you, then you’re homosexual. If you’re stably attracted to both sexes, you’re bisexual. In addition to these terms, equally applicable to both males and females, the English language has words to describe homosexual orientations disaggregated by sex. “Lesbians” are same-sex-attracted females. There are other sex-disaggregated words, too, often pretty negative: “faggots,” “dykes,” etc.

Putting things this way will, I predict, raise the hackles of readers schooled in queer theory, and in particular fans of French post-structuralist Michel Foucault. It is a commonplace there that orientations are—just as biological sex categories are for Judith Butler—socially constructed, historically contingent, and culturally located. As trans scholar Jack (then non-trans Judith) Halberstam summarises approvingly: “Within a Foucauldian history of sexuality, ‘lesbian’ constitutes a term for same-sex desire produced in the mid-to-late twentieth century within the highly politicized context of the rise of feminism … if this is so, then ‘lesbian’ cannot be the transhistorical label for all same-sex activity between women.” My short answer is that, while obviously we need to acknowledge the interesting fact that throughout the ages, same-sex activity has had many different relatively local sociocultural meanings and names, it wasn’t invented in the 20th century. I’m talking about distinctive, relatively ahistorical patterns of sexual relationship in individuals, and not particular cultural representations of that pattern. That’s a coherent distinction to make. 

Saying a sexual orientation must be “stable” for an individual doesn’t mean you can’t have voluntary and even pleasurable sexual experiences at variance with it. It’s fairly typical for young people to take a while to figure out what their orientation is, and sometimes it takes older people a while, too. This is more likely for gay people in a culture in which heterosexuality predominates. A gay person might be less willing or even able to notice relevant clues as to where the real patterns of attraction lie. Or a person can just get drunk and have opportunistic sex with whoever happens to be there, against their normal grain. They can have sex with one kind of person, fantasising wildly about another. Or they can be romantically attached to someone in a way that temporarily causes them to seem attractive but wouldn’t otherwise. Strictly speaking, a sexual orientation should be understood in terms of the sex(es) you would be sexually attracted to under relatively self-aware, uncoerced, uninhibited circumstances, and not necessarily who you actually are attracted to right now. A sexual orientation is for life, not just for Christmas parties. 

In the last paragraph, separating would be from are,  not in terms of relationship status but emotion, Stock matches Halberstam's bullshit with her own. Arguing against the specious logic of the move from linguistic to material instability, Stock, the philosopher, indulges the equally specious move from material to linguistic stability—non-contradiction and "the excluded middle"— imposing a limitation which James Baldwin politely called "unnecessary". And that's the reason she's happy to publish in Quillette. 

Two different Modernisms, now united in idealism. And liberals can't accept the Baudelairean irony needed to face the Sadean self-disgust in Halbertam's fascist kitsch. That Halberstam's blind as well, or needs to be only confirms the point. That's the brilliance of Arendt's response to Baldwin. 

Stock in 2019, on another conservative page/rag

Can a biological male be a lesbian? If this question seems to you outlandish, it’s probably because you’re unaware of a new paradigm, in vogue in many millennial communities, progressive organisations, and University departments. This paradigm says that a transwoman can count as a lesbian; and that many do.

Though precise statistics are unavailable, many transwomen are exclusively female-attracted. Prior to transition, they’re what we would ordinarily call heterosexual, or straight: males stably attracted to the opposite biological sex. When transition occurs, this pattern of attraction usually persists. But, for some, it’s unacceptable to now think of themselves as straight – for this carries with it a lingering connotation of manhood, now rejected. Hence some transwomen self-identify as lesbians. They do so even where their transition is only social, and not medical – which is most of the time. The rest of us are now urged to accept the phenomenon of a ‘lesbian with a penis’, or even a ‘girldick’.

When a group of lesbians called ‘Get the L Out’ disrupted the London Pride procession last year with banners saying ‘lesbian=female homosexual’, many were quick to express disgust at what they assumed was transphobia. When  Labour activist Lily Madigan got involved in a Twitter argument last week with a lesbian academic about whether transwomen could be lesbians, many automatically took Madigan’s side, assuming this must be straightforward bigotry towards a vulnerable transwoman. However, a closer look at some documented background concerns here should slow down the knee-jerk outrage in both cases.  In a nutshell, the main general concern – which is a structural one, and not directed towards any particular trans individuals – is  given existing misogyny, when you admit males into a formerly female-only domain, certain predictable and harmful things start happening to females. 

I’ll focus here on two such predictable things. The first is that, to put it crudely but accurately, males start badgering females for sex. A familiar phenomenon since time immemorial, one might think, though this time with an added twist: progressives are facilitating. Some trans ‘lesbians ‘ complain that lesbians won’t consider them as potential partners. Their focus is lesbians, because hitting on straight women might threaten the preferred narrative: a straight woman is attracted to men, after all. The resistance of many lesbians to have sex with male-bodied people is framed as a matter of inequality rather than orientation, and therefore something to be corrected in the name of progress. Lesbian resistance is sometimes referred to as the ‘cotton ceiling’, crassly riffing on the idea of a promotion ceiling for women at work, but substituting images of glass with that of underwear. Equally, sometimes those resisting are called ‘TERFs’, because it is assumed that their resistance is a result of trans-exclusive radical feminism, rather than because they are homosexual.

Baldwin,  "Down at the Cross", The Fire Next Time.  Published in the New Yorker as Letter From a Region in my Mind, 1962

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun in­exorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death—ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return. One must negotiate this passage as nobly as possible, for the sake of those who are coming after us. But white Americans do not believe in death, and this is why the dark­ness of my skin so intimidates them. And this is also why the presence of the Negro in this country can bring about its destruction. It is the responsibility of free men to trust and to celebrate what is constant—birth, struggle, and death are con­stant, and so is love, though we may not always think so­—and to apprehend the nature of change, to be able and willing to change.I speak of change not on the surface but in the depths-change in the sense of renewal. But renewal becomes impossible if one supposes things to be constant that are not-safety, for example, or money, or power. One clings then to chimeras, by which one can only be betrayed, and the entire hope-the entire possibility-of freedom disappears. And by destruction I mean precisely the abdication by Americans of any effort really to be free. The Negro can precipitate this abdication because white Americans have never, in all their long history, been able to look on him as a man like them­ selves. This point need not be labored; it is proved over and over again by the Negro's continuing position here, and his indescribable struggle to defeat the stratagems that white Americans have used, and use, to deny him his humanity.

America could have used in other ways the energy that both groups have expended in this conflict. America, of all the Western nations, has been best placed to prove the uselessness and the obsolescence of the concept o f color. But it has not dared to accept this opportunity, or even to conceive of it as an opportunity. White Americans have thought of it as their shame, and have envied those more civilized and elegant Eu­ropean nations that were untroubled by the presence of black men on their shores. This is because white Americans have supposed "Europe" and "civilization" to be synonyms­ which they are not-and have been distrustful of other stan­dards and other sources of vitality, especially those produced in America itself, and have attempted to behave in all matters as though what was east for Europe was also east for them. What it comes to is that if we, who can scarcely be considered a white nation, persist in thinking of ourselves as one, we con­demn ourselves, with the truly white nations, to sterility and decay, whereas if we could accept ourselves as we are, we might bring new life to the Western achievements, and trans­ form them. The price of this transformation is the uncondi­tional freedom of the Negro; it is not too much to say that he, who has been so long rejected, must now be embraced, and at no matter what psychic or social risk. He is the key figure in his country, and the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as his. And the Negro recognizes this, in a negative way. Hence the question: Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?

White Americans find it as difficult as white people else­ where do to divest themselves of the notion that they are in possession of some intrinsic value that black people need, or want. And this assumption-which, for example, makes the solution to the Negro problem depend on the speed with which Negroes accept and adopt white standards-is revealed in all kinds of striking ways, from Bobby Kennedy's assurance that a Negro can become President in forty years to the un­fortunate tone of warm congratulation with which so many liberals address their Negro equals. It is the Negro, of course, who is presumed to have become equal-an achievement that not only proves the comforting fact that perseverance has no color but also overwhelmingly corroborates the white man's sense of his own value. 

Interview with Richard Goldstein in 1984

Do you think your unresolved sexuality motivated you, at the start, to write?

Yeah. Well, everything was unresolved. The sexual thing was only one of the things. It was for a while the most tormenting thing and it could have been the most dangerous.

How so?

Well, because it frightened me so much. 

I don’t think straight people realize how frightening it is to finally admit to yourself that this going to be you forever.

It’s very frightening. But the so-called straight person is no safer than I am really. Loving anybody and being loved by anybody is a tremendous danger, a tremendous responsibility. Loving of children, raising of children. The terrors homosexuals go through in this society would not be so great if the society itself did not go through so many terrors which it doesn’t want to admit. The discovery of one’s sexual preference doesn’t have to be a trauma. It’s a trauma because it’s such a traumatized society.

Have you got any sense of what causes people to hate homosexuals?

Terror, I suppose. Terror of the flesh. After all, we’re supposed to mortify the flesh, a doctrine which has led to untold horrors. This is very biblical culture; people believe in wages of sin is death, but not the way the moral guardians of this time and place understand it.

Is there a particularly American component of homophobia?

I think Americans are terrified of feeling anything. And homophobia is simply an extreme example of the American terror that’s concerned with growing up. I never met a people more infantile in my life....


I sometimes think gay people look to black people as healing them…

Not only gay people.

...healing their alienation.

That has to be done, first of all, by the person and then you find your company.

When I heard Jesse Jackson speak before a gay audience, I wanted him to say there wasn’t any sin, that I was forgiven.

Is that a question for you still? That question of sin?

I think it must be, on some level, even though I am not a believer.

How peculiar. I didn’t realize you thought of it as sin. Do many gay people feel that?

I don’t know. (Laughter). I guess I’m throwing something at you, which is the idea that gays look to blacks as conferring a kind of acceptance by embracing them in a coalition. I find it unavoidable to think in those terms. When I fantasize about a black mayor or a black president, I think of it being better for gay people.

Well, don’t be romantic about black people. Though I can see what you mean.

Do you think black people have a heightened capacity for tolerance, even acceptance, in its truest sense?

Well, there is a capacity in black people for experience, simply. And that capacity makes other things possible. It dictates the depth of one’s acceptance of other people. The capacity for experience is what burns out fear. Because the homophobia we’re talking about really is a kind of fear. It’s a terror of the flesh. It’s really a terror of being able to be touched.

Do you think about having children?

Not any more. It’s one thing I really regret, maybe the only regret I have. But I couldn’t have managed it then. Now it’s too late.

But you’re not disturbed by the idea of gay men being parents.

Look, men have been sleeping with men for thousands of years — and raising tribes. This is a Western sickness, it really is. It’s an artificial division. Men will be sleeping with each other when the trumpet sounds. It’s only this infantile culture which has made such a big deal of it.

So you think of homosexuality as universal?

Of course. There’s nothing in me that is not in everybody else, and nothing in everybody else that is not in me. We’re trapped in language, of course. But homosexual is not a noun. At least in my book.

What part of speech would it be?

Perhaps a verb. You see, I can only talk about my own life. I loved a few people and they loved me. It had nothing to do with these labels. Of course, the world has all kinds of words for us. But that’s the world’s problem.

Is it problematic for you, the idea of having sex with other people who are identified as gay?

Well, you see, my life has not been like that at all. The people who were my lovers were never, well, the word gay wouldn’t have meant anything to them.

That means that they moved in a straight world.

They moved in the world.

Do you think of the gay world as being a false refuge?

I think perhaps it imposes a limitation which is unnecessary. It seems to me simply a man is a man, a woman is a woman, and who they go to bed with is nobody’s business but theirs. I suppose what I am really saying is that one’s sexual preference is a private matter. I resent the interference of the State, or the Church, or any institution in my only journey to whatever it is we are journeying toward. But it has been made a public question by the institutions of this country. I can see how the gay world comes about in response to that. And to contradict myself, I suppose, or more precisely, I hope that it is easier for the transgressor to become reconciled with himself or herself than it was for many people in my generation — and it was difficult for me. It is difficult to be despised, in short. And if the so-called gay movement can cause men and women, boys and girls, to come to some kind of terms with themselves more speedily and with less pain, then that’s a very great advance. I’m not sure it can be done on that level. My own point of view, speaking out of black America, when I had to try to answer that stigma, that species of social curse, it seemed a great mistake to answer in the language of the oppressor. As long as I react to “nigger,” as long as I protest my case on evidence of assumptions held by others, I’m simply reinforcing those assumptions. As long as I complain about being oppressed, the oppressor is in consolation of knowing that I know my place, so to speak.

Goldstein was always a putz. He's pathetic. 

Arendt to Baldwin, 1962

Your article in the New Yorker is a political event of a very high order, I think;  it certainly is an event in my understanding of what is involved in the Negro question.  And since this is a question which concerns us all, I feel I am entitled to raise objections.

What frightened me in your essay was the gospel of love which you begin to preach at the end.  In politics, love is a stranger, and when it intrudes upon it nothing is being achieved except hypocrisy.  All the characteristics you stress in the Negro people: their beauty, their capacity for joy, their warmth, and their humanity, are well-known characteristics of all oppressed people.  They grow out of suffering and they are the proudest possession of all pariahs.  Unfortunately, they have never survived the hour of liberation by even five minutes.  Hatred and love belong together, and they are both destructive;  you can afford them only in the private and, as a people, only so long as you are not free.

They share a sense of the necessity of tragic consciousness. The still religious Baldwin dreams of an out. Arendt remembers the fantasies of those who claimed the out had been reached. 

He's fond of the word, but political science is provincial by definition. 
ISSS Virtual Roundtable Discussion on 20 Years in Afghanistan: How did we get there and what are the consequences?

Monica Duffy Toft: moderator, ISSS Chair, and Professor of International Politics, Fletcher School, Tufts University
Audrey Kurth Cronin, Distinguished Professor, School of International Service, American University
Jacqueline Hazelton, Associate Professor, Naval War College
John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner: "I’m Pro-Choice but I Also Support Texas Abortion Ban"

I am for a woman’s right to choose,” Jenner responded before trying to have it both ways. “I am also for a state having the ability to make their own laws. So I support Texas in that decision, that’s their decision. But as far as being a woman’s right to choose, I don’t see any changes in our laws in California in the future.”


"Tell me about transgirls and Title IX, about transwomen feminists opposed to abortion (if you don't know any you will soon enough)."

"Will transgirls now be able to sue under title IX? Will the anti-abortion opinions of a transwoman with a penis hold equal weight with those of a woman with a uterus?" 

"Transsexuals are accepted, abortion is not. I’m waiting for the transwoman who come out as an anti-abortion as a woman and a feminist."

The Guardian censored Judith Butler's stupidity after feminists complained. There is no free speech in the UK.  This was cut.

It is very appalling and sometimes quite frightening to see how trans- exclusionary feminists have allied with rightwing attacks on gender. The anti-gender ideology movement is not opposing a specific account of gender, but seeking to eradicate “gender” as a concept or discourse, a field of study, an approach to social power. Sometimes they claim that “sex” alone has scientific standing, but other times they appeal to divine mandates for masculine domination and difference. They don’t seem to mind contradicting themselves. 

The Terfs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and the so-called gender critical writers have also rejected the important work in feminist philosophy of science showing how culture and nature interact (such as Karen Barad, Donna Haraway, EM Hammonds or Anne Fausto-Sterling) in favor of a regressive and spurious form of biological essentialism. So they will not be part of the coalition that seeks to fight the anti-gender movement. The anti-gender ideology is one of the dominant strains of fascism in our times. So the Terfs will not be part of the contemporary struggle against fascism, one that requires a coalition guided by struggles against racism, nationalism, xenophobia and carceral violence, one that is mindful of the high rates of femicide throughout the world, which include high rates of attacks on trans and genderqueer people.

The anti-gender movement circulates a spectre of “gender” as a force of destruction, but they never actually read any works in gender studies. Quick and fearful conclusions take the place of considered judgments. Yes, some work on gender is diffcult and not everyone can read it, so we have to do better in reaching a broader public. As important as it is, however, to make complex concepts available to a popular audience, it is equally important to encourage intellectual inquiry as part of public life. Unfortunately, we are living in anti-intellectual times, and neo-fascism is becoming more normalized.

Freedom of inquiry means I want to know what others think. I have the right, and the obligation, to hear them speak, even or especially if I'm told they hate me. But in this case the argument is absurd.

The relation of trans-humanism in every form to fascism is as old as fascism itself. And it's not some hidden secret thing. That Kathleen Stock and others don't know the history and ally themselves with conservatives is just one form of ideological modernism attacking another.  Stock is a moralist who defends  the "Nordic model", criminalizing prostitution. But her opponents champion legalized "sex work", so it becomes simplified to puritan moralism vs libertarianism: dueling forms of anti-psychological, and anti-intellectual idealism. 

Butler: "We need to rethink the category of woman" No. we don't.  

Fetishizing the other doesn't make you one of them. It's a form of self-hatred that totalizes human beings according to your own fantasies. It's a form of bigotry. The history of male homosexual and transexual misogyny isn't even debatable, any more than the history of homosexual self-hatred. I'm tired of repeating myself. 

The section above was taken from a screenshot which cropped the censored text. Elisions on elisions... This is the bit that defenders of Butler didn't want others to see.
it seems that some within feminist movements are becoming sympathetic to these far-right campaigns. This  year’s furore around Ni Spa in Los Angeles saw an online outrage by transphobes followed by bloody protests organised by the Proud Boys. Can we expect this alliance to continue? 

Vice covered  the whole mess. The "developments which occurred after the interview took place.” were this 

The LA police department (LAPD) announced late on Thursday that it had put out an arrest warrant for Darren Merager, who is now facing five felony counts of indecent exposure at Wi Spa in the Koreatown neighborhood. The charges, filed on Monday, come two months after a viral Instagram video from a woman who filmed herself confronting Wi Spa staff about seeing a “man” naked in front of women and girls in the women’s section of the facility.

Merager has been a registered sex offender since 2006, police said, and has a history of previous indecent exposure charges. Merager was convicted of indecent exposure in LA in 2002 and 2003, and pleaded not guilty to seven counts of indecent exposure in an alleged December 2018 case, according to court records. That case is still open.

PinkNews UK

A trans woman who has been charged with indecent exposure over an incident at Wi Spa in Los Angeles has said she is the victim of transphobic harassment.

Agee Merager, who is legally female, is reportedly facing multiple felony charges of indecent exposure after four cis women and a girl accused her of exposing her genitals at Wi Spa in June, according to the New York Post.

The Whig theory of sexuality is no better than the Whig theory of history.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

I repeat from last year, with some additions

"I wasn’t hostile to May ’68, but whereas the people who participated in it saw it as a beginning, I saw it rather as an end. May ’68 was the first stone thrown into the pond of Marxism. The ideological collapse of Marxism began in ’68. Because I believe that May ’68, paradoxically, cured many people, including perhaps me, of communism and anticommunism. I think that the kind of Marxist fever that took place after May ’68 carried within it its condemnation and its end, it was a last flare-up. That’s how I saw May ’68, and that is why, personally, I remained absolutely indifferent, serene, with regard to what might happen. I continued with my work."
"Perhaps more than an ambiguity, it was an irony of history. The real legacy of May ’68, as we see in France today, is individualism, the rejection of civic sense and ideology, the rehabilitation of the idea that personal and financial success is a worthy pursuit — in short, a revival of capitalism. To borrow an expression of Lenin’s, we were useful idiots. Indeed, the uprising was more a counterrevolution than a revolution.... 

It was the strike, not the student revolt, that truly paralyzed the country for three long weeks. The paradox is that these two movements never encountered each other. The students marching toward the factories to “meet the workers” found the doors closed. The unions didn’t want them: the workers found the students disorganized and irresponsible."

My mother used to tell a story about marching with Harry Bridges' longshoremen—a punk kid running around trying to incite violence, trailed by a hulking longshoreman pointing him out to the crowd and shouting "A-gent Provacatoo-er! A-gent Provacatoo-er!!" She laughed, of course. That's one of the points of the story.

Friday, September 03, 2021

It made me laugh, so I looked up the history. I'm not sure if this was it. I'm sure there's more.

"Roundtable critique (pdf) of that piece by Bessner and Logevall on how what academic history needs is more focus on US elites" [link]

"This bit struck me as right on the money: 'Bessner and Logevall seem to prefer an older approach, one in which non-American people, places, cultures, and societies remain in the outer reaches of their imagined U.S.-centric solar system.'"

Bessner's a putz. This now includes a link to an earlier post. 

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Continuing from here, in a sense. And a repeat, though I'm not so crude in the original.  How is abortion like downloading?

Vaccines currently required in the state of Florida:

• Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular Pertussis (DTAP)
• Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
• Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
• Varicella (chickenpox)
• Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HIB)
• Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13)
• Hepatitis B (HEP B)

Greenwald is a libertarian, and the ACLU, now proudly "liberal" (betraying its past) is tempted by Greenwald's model. But you don't have the freedom to drive drunk or to infect other people. There's no need for any other argument.

Women will get abortions one way or the other. The should be safe. People now copy and download. The model has to change to meet reality. Idealism is more than a waste of time. It's counterproductive,

old and new. The Weber, from @humanprovince. I used a different translation.


In America there are comparatively few who are rich enough to live without profession. Every profession requires an apprenticeship, which limits the time of instruction to the early years of life. At fifteen they enter upon their calling, and thus their education ends at the age when ours begins. Whatever is done afterwards is with a view to some special and lucrative object; a science is taken up as a matter of business, and the only branch of it which is attended to is such as admits of an immediate practical application.


Always the same. The deliberate consciousness of Americans so fair and smooth-spoken, and the under-consciousness so devilish. Destroy! destroy! destroy! hums the under-consciousness. Love and produce! Love and produce! cackles the upper consciousness. And the world hears only the Love-and-produce cackle. Refuses to hear the hum of destruction underneath. Until such time as it will have to hear. 


There is a further difference between America and Germany. This is that in Germany the lecturer is less concerned with lecturing than he might wish. He does indeed have the right to lecture on any topic in his discipline. But to make use of that right is thought to show an unseemly lack of respect toward lecturers with greater seniority, and as a rule the "major" lectures are given by the professor as the departmental representative of the discipline while the lecturer makes do with ancillary lectures. The advantage of this is that he can devote his early years to research, even though he may not do so entirely voluntarily. 

In America the system is organized on entirely different principles. In his early years the young lecturer is completely overloaded precisely because he is paid. In a department of German studies, for example, the full professor will give a three-hour course of lectures a week on, say, Goethe, and that is all, while the junior university assistant will have twelve hours teaching a week, including the duty of drumming the basics of German grammar into students' heads, and he will be happy if he is assigned the task of lecturing on writers up to the rank of, say, Uhland.

On academia, also Turner, and Krieger, Arendt, Panofsky, et al. Wissenschaften. Also Veysey (I thought I'd written something on it. I can't find references on my computer. I bought the book. I'm betting I found it through a reference in a pdf somewhere without searchable text!

Not bad

Washington, D.C. and Menlo Park, CA-- Today Facebook and the United States Supreme Court announced a joint venture, the creation of a Supreme Court Oversight Board that will perform tasks that the Supreme Court is no longer able to perform: hearing cases on the merits after full oral argument and briefing, and rendering reasoned opinions explaining its conclusions to the public. 

To this end, the new Supreme Court Oversight Board (SCOBUS) will contract with a group of former judges to do what Supreme Court Justices used to do. The U.S. Supreme Court will continue to tweet out its decisions at or around midnight, and leave it to the new Oversight Board to explain their legal meaning to others and take all responsibility for decisions that people don't like.

"We're extremely grateful to Facebook for suggesting this possibility to us," Justice Samuel Alito explained. "With 60 to 80 cases a year and only four clerks per Justice, we can't possibly carefully consider every case brought before us, much less justify our conclusions. Frankly, we're swamped. Many of us are busy writing best-selling books and doing book tours, which consumes a lot of our time."

"We think that this is a win-win for the Supreme Court," added Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder. "We know what it's like to be a secretive, all-powerful body, accountable to nobody, that holds the fate of countless people in its hands."

I wonder who wrote it. It wasn't Balkin. Or maybe it was. 

And another: Private Enforcement Mechanisms and You

Draft and enact a statute – maybe in CT but no, especially in DC -- that prohibits the expression of anti-choice views and anti-choice advocacy and delegates enforcement of that law to “any person.”  Statutory damages for violation of the statutory would be – let’s go big -- $100,000.  Anyone could then sue Americans United for Life and individuals (politicians) advocating for the overthrow of Roe.   

Or here’s another one. Prohibit entry to the bar to a group of people (you pick) and also prohibit anyone from aiding or abetting a member of that group who is trying to become a member of the Bar.  (See, e.g., Law Schools, Professors, the LSAT people, me – I’m a clinical professor). The law could even be applied retrospectively to members of this group who are members of the Bar.  Delegate enforcement of the law to another specific group of people).  Statutory damages for violation of the law again 100,000.  A form of reparations.

Let’s see how quickly things would change. I suspect the Court would rush to prevent such laws from taking effect. It would decide we need to have a mechanism for enforcement of federal constitutional rights in federal court and states can’t void this mechanism by playing these sorts of games.  Either our interpretation of the 11th amendment must change or the Ex Parte Young doctrine – already a ‘fiction’ after all – must be broadened.  Would they limit these mechanisms to the fancy First Amendment, cuz it’s the most important – it was first, foundation of democracy, etc., etc.  You be the Judge.

new tag for Judicial Review.  a bit late.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

WaPo: I was a combat interpreter in Afghanistan, where cultural illiteracy led to U.S. failure

When comparing the Taliban with the United States and its Western allies, the vast majority of Afghans have always viewed the Taliban as the lesser of two evils.  


Zeeshan Aleem: Was there a significantly better way to withdraw from Afghanistan? 

Anand Gopal: Well, there was and there wasn't. 

There was a better way to do it if Washington faced certain hard ground truths. What would have been the better way was if the U.S. government had secured a deal with the Taliban that began a process of transfer of power to them, while the U.S. was still in the country. But that would have meant completely undermining the Afghan government to do that; it would've meant recognizing the Afghan government, basically, is a creation of the U.S. entirely, and has no real legitimacy on the ground. So that would've been a pretty major paradigm shift, almost a greater paradigm shift than just simply cutting and running, I think.

As I said, they could, but of course, they couldn't. 

And Gopal uses the same line as Ahadi (in WaPo) 

So really, you had a one-sided war in those years, between 2001 and 2004, where the U.S. was fighting an enemy that didn't exist, and innocent people were the ones who were suffering. That really is what created the Taliban's resurgence. The Taliban wasn't a popular force in 2001, but in these communities, people saw the Taliban as a lesser of two evils to the violence perpetuated by the U.S. and by the U.S. proxies. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

I've been thinking about this post and free speech and democracy, and necessity.

There's a conflict that I take for granted. I refer to it obliquely but don't articulate it.

What's needed is an argument in defense of the need for citizens in a democratic state to be able to be all kinds of wrong, all kinds of confused, creepy, conflicted, desirous, weepy or hate-filled, so that they may be able to learn to understand and outgrow their childishness. The choice is between a community of adults with a minority of the inveterately childish and criminal or a community of children ruled by moralists and crime lords.

Palestinian and Lebanese officials repeatedly insisted that the FLLF was merely a fiction intended to hide the hand of Israel and its Christian rightist allies. Israeli officials rejected such accusations, insisting rather that the bombings were part of an internecine war amongst rival Arab factions. 

"No one" meaning no one acceptable to polite discourse, believed the Palestinians. They still don't. That's why the authors of the Harper's letter make Palestinians the exception to their rule.

Fauci lied about masks. Whitman lied about air quality after 9-11. Their reasons—justifications, to themselves—were practical and political. Science communication, global warming and "cultural cognition", etc.

Best to say my hatred of ideological liberals is their unwillingness to accept their own authoritarianism. When it was necessary, my parents broke the law, and I'm sure they got a kick out of Trudeau. Politics is a practice. Theory is for pedants. 

Another way to put it is to say that truth is private, and politics is public, and liberals with their "politics of truth", square the circle in defense of their own self-image and self-interest. Their lies begin as lies to themselves.

Arendt, Truth and Politics

Although the politically most relevant truths are factual, the conflict between truth and politics was first discovered and articulated with respect to rational truth. The opposite of a rationally true statement is either error and ignorance, as in the sciences, or illusion and opinion, as in philosophy. Deliberate falsehood, the plain lie, plays its role only in the domain of factual statements, and it seems significant, and rather odd, that in the long debate about this antagonism of truth and politics, from Plato to Hobbes, no one, apparently, ever believed that organized lying, as we know it today, could be an adequate weapon against truth. In Plato, the truthteller is in danger of his life, and in Hobbes, where he has become an author, he is threatened with the burning of his books; mere mendacity is not an issue. It is the sophist and the ignoramus rather than the liar who occupy Plato’s thought, and where he distinguishes between error and lie – that is, between “involuntary and voluntary ψευδς”– he is, characteristically, much harsher on people “wallowing in swinish ignorance” than on liars. Is this because organized lying, dominating the public realm, as distinguished from the private liar who tries his luck on his own hook, was still unknown? Or has this something to do with the striking fact that, except for Zoroastrianism, none of the major religions included lying as such, as distinguished from  “bearing false witness,” in their catalogues of grave sins? Only with the rise of Puritan morality, coinciding with the rise of organized science, whose progress had to be assured on the firm ground of the absolute veracity and reliability of every scientist, were lies considered serious offenses.

The modern age, which believes that truth is neither given to nor disclosed to but produced by the human mind, has assigned, since Leibniz, mathematicaL scientific, and philosophical truths to the common species of rational truth as distinguished from factual truth. I shall use this distinction for the sake of convenience without discussing its intrinsic legitimacy. Wanting to find out what injury political power is capable of inflicting upon truth, we look into these matters for political rather than philosophical reasons, and hence can afford to disregard the question of what truth is, and be content to take the word in the sense in which men commonly understand it. And if we now think of factual truths—of such modest verities as the role during the Russian Revolution of a man by the name of Trotsky, who appears in none of the Soviet Russian history books—we at once become aware of how much more vulnerable they are than all the kinds of rational truth taken together. Moreover, since facts and events—the invariable outcome of men living and acting together—constitute the very texture of the political realm, it is, of course, factual truth that we are most concerned with here. Dominion (to speak Hobbes' language) when it attacks rational truth oversteps, as it were, its domain, while it gives battle on its own ground when it falsifies or lies away facts. The chances of factual truth surviving the onslaught of power are very slim indeed; it is always in danger of being maneuvered out of the world not only for a time but, potentially, forever. Facts and events are infinitely more fragile things than axioms, discoveries, theories—even the most wildly speculative ones—produced by the human mind; they occur in the field of the ever-changing affairs of men, in whose flux there is nothing more permanent than the admittedly relative permanence of the human mind's structure. Once they are lost, no rational effort will ever bring them back. Perhaps the chances that Euclidean mathematics or Einstein's theory of relativity—let alone Plato's philosophy—would have been reproduced in time if their authors had been prevented from handing them down to posterity are not very good either, yet they are infinitely better than the chances that a fact of importance, forgotten or, more likely, lied away, will one day be rediscovered. 

Arendt is always torn between thought and philosophy. "Truthtellers" are merely those who remain loyal to their beliefs and honest in their loyalty. They may well be full of shit, but the loyalty itself serves a purpose. 

The fixation on the distance between truth and politics—the unwillingness of people to weigh the issues themselves–the need to be given certainty—is the source and symptom of our reactionary politics.

"Like Ordering Pizza"

Thomas Meaney in the LRB.  

Your cause is right and God is on your side!

Zbigniew Brzezinski, US national security adviser, to the Afghan mujahedin, 3 February 1980

I have benefited so greatly from the jihad in Afghanistan that it would have been impossible for me to gain such a benefit from any other chance, and this cannot be measured by tens of years but rather more than that.

Osama bin Laden, March 1997

Once, the Kabul Zoo housed ninety varieties of animals and got a thousand visitors a day, but in the era of fighting that followed the fall of the Soviets and then of Najibullah, the people stayed away, and the animals found themselves in a place more dangerous than any forest or jungle. For ten days, the elephant ran in circles, screaming, until shrapnel toppled her and she died. As the shelling went back and forth, the tigers and llamas, the ostriches, the elephant, were carried away to paradise. The aviary was ruptured and the birds flew free into the heavens from which the rockets rained.

Denis Johnson, 1 April 1997

Let’s step back a moment. Let’s just pause, just for a minute. And think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control.

US Representative Barbara Lee, 14 September 2001

This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient.

President George W. Bush, 17 September 2001

The Taliban regime already belongs to history.

Jürgen Habermas, December 2001

I have no visibility into who the bad guys are in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Donald Rumsfeld, 8 September 2003

I will venture a prediction. The Taliban/al-Qaida riffraff, as we know them, will never come back to power.

Christopher Hitchens, November 2004

The markets for defence and related advanced technology systems for 2005 and beyond will continue to be affected by the global war on terrorism, through the continued need for military missions and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the related fiscal consequences of war.

Lockheed Martin Annual Report, 1 March 2005

Well, it was a just war in the beginning.

Michael Walzer, 3 December 2009

RAMBO IN AFGHANISTAN. A screening of Rambo III at the Duck and Cover. Wear a headband for $1 off drinks.

Email chain invitation, US compound, Kabul, 2010

Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanising the ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] role in combating the Taliban because of women’s ability to speak personally and credibly about their experiences under the Taliban, their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taliban victory. Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German and other European women could help to overcome pervasive scepticism among women in Western Europe towards the ISAF mission.

CIA Analysis Report, 11 March 2010

The overthrow of the Taliban was the ennobling corollary of a security policy; it was collateral humanitarianism.

Leon Wieseltier, 24 October 2010

Now I prefer cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear. Children don’t play so often now, and have stopped going to school. Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.

Zubair Rehman, 13-year-old Pakistani student, 29 October 2013

I think his legacy in terms of his country will be a strong one.

US Ambassador James B. Cunningham on Hamid Karzai, 23 September 2014

While America’s combat mission in Afghanistan may be over, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people endures.

President Barack Obama, 15 October 2015

When [Afghans] leave, they break the social contract. This is an existential choice. Countries do not survive with their best attempting to flee. So I have no sympathy.

President Ashraf Ghani, 31 March 2016

He reads books on the transition from socialism to capitalism in Eastern Europe, on the Central Asian enlightenment of a thousand years ago, on modern warfare, on the history of Afghanistan’s rivers.

George Packer on Ashraf Ghani, 4 July 2016

It was impossible to create good metrics. We tried using troop numbers trained, violence levels, control of territory and none of it painted an accurate picture.

Senior NSC official, 16 September 2016

We’re getting along very, very well with the Taliban.

President Donald Trump, 10 September 2020

This is manifestly not Saigon.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, 15 August 2021

The disarray of the past weeks needs to be replaced by something resembling coherence, and with a plan that is credible and realistic.

Tony Blair, 21 August 2021

Laura and I, along with the team at the Bush Centre, stand ready as Americans to lend our support and assistance in this time of need. Let us all resolve to be united in saving lives and praying for the people of Afghanistan.

George W. Bush, 16 August 2021

...The real war in Afghanistan was waged far above ground. In the early days of the conflict, an Allied patrol would need to draw fire before calling in air support, but by the end, as the rules of engagement relaxed, it was only necessary to have a sense of where a Taliban position was to radio in a drone or a fighter jet. ‘It got pretty ritualistic,’ a former US Marine pilot told me last week, ‘like ordering pizza.’...  

In 2009, when he dissented from Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan, it was less in the cause of devolving America’s global projection of force than of refining it. Biden wanted over-the-horizon capability then, and he wants something like it now.  The killing of thirteen US Marines at Kabul airport has not diverted that desire: a reduced US troop presence will provide fewer targets for local militants, Biden has argued, and those militants will be ‘hunted’ for retribution by more remote means. Biden was even more sanguine than Obama about the promise of drones and special forces to fight America’s enemies. He isn’t so much the undertaker of the war on terror as its McKinsey consultant.

The Taliban nearly eradicated heroin production in Afghanistan in the 1990s, but the Allies did everything in their power to push poppy cultivation into Taliban-held territory, and then, by destroying supply elsewhere, to raise prices. They have made the Taliban appear a better prospect to many Afghans than a government that was a byword for crookedness. The departing president, Ashraf Ghani, who in the 2019 election won the vote of 2.5 per cent of the population, who wrote his dissertation at Columbia on state failure, and who fled Kabul in a chopper (according to some sources, with piles of cash onboard), has now joined the ranks of Washington’s failed proxies: Ngô Đình Diêm, Ahmed Chalabi, Nouri al-Maliki, Hamid Karzai. The corruption of the Afghan government is dwarfed only by that of the American operation itself, which constituted a massive wealth transfer to US defence industries.

Will the Taliban behave? They have entered a very different Kabul – one with beauty salons and shopping malls – from the one they left twenty years ago. In the interim, they have developed the ambition to run a state,...

Thursday, August 26, 2021

There is also a brisk traffic in arms: US manufacturers recently announced the sale to _____ of 24 new F-16 fighter jets and other equipment, worth an estimated $3.2 billion. Steven Cook at the Council on Foreign Relations has published a ‘contingency planning memorandum’ in favour of continued support to the regime, which, as he describes it, ‘has helped create a regional order that makes it relatively inexpensive for the United States to exercise its power’

I'm so sick of the "responsible" anti-war blather that the US could never win the war or that "America is not capable of 'nation-building'." 

The US was never interested in nation-building in Afghanistan; it was interested in exercising its power. It won the war easily, but victory wasn't enough. Trying to work on the cheap, predictably, it chose bribery. Laziness and cheapness over time is saving $5 to spend 10, as corruption reinforces itself, undermining the state in the US as in Afghanistan. 

Meanwhile this is one of the "serious" Americans:

"While the U.S. war in Vietnam was a pointless tragedy that resulted in untold human misery, it was not totally absurd for U.S. decision-makers to believe that communism was an existential threat worth fighting. The same cannot be said for the war in Afghanistan—"   

The Quincy Institute is an American organization for an American audience.

Bessner previously

Monday, August 23, 2021

Hollywood liberalism is the new leftism.

At bottom, the argument that socialists need to behave virtuously for political reasons is liberal and individualist – the same fallacy seen from Matt Bors' famous Mr. Gotcha. The whole point of leftist politics is to solve problems through collective coordination, not by convincing individuals to behave differently.... A leftist who is extremely rich should be able to enjoy themselves within reason.

Born in New Jersey and raised in Turkey, Piker got his political commentating feet wet working for his uncle, Cenk Uygur, co-founder of The Young Turks, an L.A.-based left wing online news and commentary channel that ranks as the longest-running news and politics show online. Piker created and hosted a couple of programs on The Young Turks, “The Breakdown” and “Agitprop with Hasan Piker” among them, before he left in early 2020 to focus on an independent career as a Twitch streamer.

Now, about one and a half years since he flew the TYT coop, he’s hoovered up enough clout, audience, and revenue to shell out $2.74 million for a spacious home along a pretty, tree-lined street in West Hollywood’s bustling and centrally located Beverly Grove neighborhood. A secured and tightly hedged if otherwise bland and featureless courtyard fronts the roughly 3,800-square-foot pan-Mediterranean style residence that was built in 2014 with white stucco walls and a red tile roof. Arguably, only the exposed wooden eaves give the five-bedroom and 5.5-bath home a smidgen of authentic architectural character.

Twitch Phenom HasanAbi Talks (and Talks) His Way into West Hollywood Home  

"Collective coordination" Piker and his cleaning lady, pool boy, etc.. This returns us to Star Trek, Latour, Chalmers, Roemer, 
At bottom, the argument that socialists need to behave virtuously for political reasons is liberal and individualist.

Cooper, Bruenig, Duncan Black,  Solidarity is not individualist. "Loyalty is double-edged or it's pointless" Comrades are equals.

A week ago I was on the phone with a gallerist in Dusseldorf, an heir to the Bildungsbürgertum. He prefaced a sentence... "I know it sounds bourgeois,..."  A little ironic self-awareness. 

"The glory of the United States, the thing that makes us the envy of the world, is a philosophy, if that word can even be used here, of personal freedom, combined with a sort of careless irresponsibility. It's been a fun ride, and those from this country who have argued against it most often sound like dry sticks or moralizing bores. There's a real tragedy in the story of the American left. It no longer has any peasants or workers, only priests and dilettantes."
I beat Piketty's research by 20 years. By 30 actually if I go through my files.

The tragedy of the American left is part of the tragedy of America. A culture based on fantasies and lies.

Tooze on Keynes and Keynesianism. 

Keynesianism was an ideology of mobilization, an intellectual project for winning the war. And there were Keynesians everywhere. German economists, aligned with the Nazi regime, made the same discoveries at the same time. They conducted extensive debates in 1943 and 1944 as to whether there was any upper limit to the debt that might constrain the final mobilization for Hitler’s Endsieg. It was dangerous to be a fiscal conservative in Hitler’s Germany, especially as the end approached. More on that another time.


Keynes on the Labour party.

However moderate its leaders may be at heart, the Labour Party will always depend for electoral success on making some slight appeal to the widespread passions and jealousies which find their full development in the Party of Catastrophe. I believe that this secret sympathy with the Policy of Catastrophe is the worm which gnaws at the seaworthiness of any constructive vessel which the Labour Party may launch. The passions of malignity, jealousy, hatred of those who have wealth and power (even in their own body), ill consort with ideals to build up a true Social Republic.  

As I've said too many times, I had a beer with him on election night 92. He called Clinton a Republican, and I agreed. Trudeau was a socialist and a corporate lawyer. I know it sounds bourgeois,...
Sometimes I play it too cute. "Best to say my hatred of ideological liberals is their unwillingness to accept their own authoritarianism." 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Enjoying the fiasco at Current Affairs

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


"Swedish staff left the embassy as their Afghan colleagues worked. Then, they refused to answer calls from the Afghan staff and even blocked their official email accounts. Left the country."

"When Afghan employees of the Dutch embassy in Kabul arrived at the office on Sunday, they were flabbergasted to find that the Dutch had all left without telling them anything. They just left."

"A German Defense Ministry spokesperson on its responsibility to get local Afghan support staff and translators out of the country: 'It's not like we forced them to cooperate with us.' " 

"Macron vows EU initiative to protect against migrant flows from Afghanistan"

The source for the German Defense Ministry is the Frankfurter Allgemeine