Edward Luce on Trump vs NFL players. Committed Observer’s consideration on ‘Luce World’

Never fear Mr. Luce’s lack of candor and failure to confront the Republican Party’s ‘rapprochement’ with racism, since Goldwater, and the exodus of the Dixiecrats from the Democratic Party, into the Republican Party:this after the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. The Silent Majority allied to the Southern Strategy of Nixon, were the keys to his winning in 1968.

The perception that the Republican Party had served as the “vehicle of white supremacy in the South”, particularly during the Goldwater campaign and the presidential elections of 1968 and 1972, made it difficult for the Republican Party to win the support of black voters in the South in later years.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Add to this political toxicity the ‘Welfare Queens Driving Cadillacs’ of Reagan’s 1976 campaign. And his 1980 speech at the Neshoba County Fair where he embraced States Rights, not many miles from where Civil Rights Workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were brutally murdered. Then there is Bush The Elder and his Willie Horton campaign, masterminded by the unmourned Lee Atwater. Given this history of a pervasive political toxicity why is Trump , the protege of the vile Roy Cohn, a surprise? 

Not to forget the contribution of the New Democrats, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Welfare Reform with the highfalutin title of ‘Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act’, the Crime Bill, ‘Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act’  and NAFTA  as part of their Reganite political agenda, that simply reified the Republican’s political toxicity. Mr. Luce as Pundit operates in a self-serving and history-less political present!

Kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem is described in the blandest of terms by Mr. Luce

The practice began last December when Colin Kaepernick, the African American former San Francisco 49ers star, knelt in protest at the alleged targeting of blacks by law enforcement agencies. More than two-thirds of NFL players are black.

Trump is the undeniable proof of the political/ethical collapse of the whole of America’s political class, not just a Republican Party awash in its own destructive, mendacious history. Trump is a strutting Caudillo, created by the most unwelcome guest in American life: Network Television.

Committed Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/c571fe0c-a183-11e7-b797-b61809486fe2

 

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At The Financial Times: ‘Campus Wars’, Rana Foroohar as failed dramaturge. American Writer comments

Ms. Rana Foroohar opens her essay with an attack on a well practiced American tradition of public protest. If you feel you have been wronged, especially when it is by an institutionalized power, you take  your case to the Court of Public Opinion! That is what Emma Sulkowicz did. If this was supposed to shock the Financial Times reader, the question arises where do these readers live? Ms. Foroohar isn’t the most practiced dramaturge on staff at this newspaper. The seeking of redress, when you feel that you have been wronged, is a valid tool to make your point to other members of the civic body, in this case the student body.

After some preliminarily self-serving potted history the reader arrives at her Bill of Attainder:

Meanwhile, the protests themselves have an anti-intellectual tenor that has begun to worry many observers. During the past few years, students and academics have demanded conservative speakers and even liberals who don’t spout the party line not be allowed to lecture on campus, in some cases citing psychological research to argue that their words could induce psychological stress that was tantamount to physical violence. Books and lectures that might offend various sensibilities now come with “trigger” warnings. Professors are being directed to ask students in the beginning of each new class which pronoun they prefer to be addressed by. In the summer of 2015, a wave of campus protests broke out at dozens of schools from the University of Missouri to Yale, with students pushing universities to implement even broader policies designed to keep them “safer” from offence (eg micro-aggression training seminars that teach how to discuss race and gender “properly”; additional college-funded research centres focused on issues of identity).

The regular reader of New York Magazine can ,every Friday, count on Andrew Sullivan to provide anti-student hysterics as part of his regular column, call it what it is screeching. The contemporary American anti-student hysteria was pioneered by Neo-Conservative scold Allen Bloom in his The Closing of the American Mind.  See Essays on the Closing of the American Mindby Robert L. Stone (Editor) for a set of devastating replies to Bloom’s near hysterical polemic. Attacking students radicalism used to be the exclusive domain of Conservatives. But even respectable bourgeois Liberals are finding hysteria mongering, against the menace of these radicals, student and antifas, as a tool to prop up their ebbing political relevance.  Peter Beinart, at The Atlantic, exploits another facet of  what Ms. Foroohar presents in terms of her comments on Charlottesville.  

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/the-rise-of-the-violent-left/534192/

For an informative history of Neo-Conservatism and its roots in the conflicts between Alcove One and Two at New York’s City College see ‘The Conservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy’ by Murray Friedman. Read chapter two titled The Premature Jewish Neo-Conservatives, the list of student radicals is quite impressive: Irving Kristol, Nathan Glazer, Daniel Bell, Seymour Martin Lipset, Melvin Lasky, Sidney Hook. Why is this relevant to Ms. Foroohar’s essay? The above named ‘Leftists‘ all became respectable Public Intellectuals, not to speak of becoming zealous Neo-Conservatives.

Look to Mario Savio and the Free Speech movement of 1964 at Berkley, the rise of S.D.S.,  Tom Hayden as one of its leaders/founders and drafted S.D.S.’s manifesto, the Port Huron Statement. He became a California State assemblymen and senator.

For more of the same of Anti-Student/Anti-Intellectualism see Tenured Radicals by  Roger Kimball or Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus by the Dinesh D’Souza for more precursors to Ms. Foroohar’s jejune polemic. 

The remainder of the essay is devoted to the Sins of not ‘Liberals’ but of the arch-enemy of Conservative chatterers,the Student Left that in its argumentative desperation mentions Charlottesville as exemplary.

The University is a laboratory in which students attempt to find their life way and political path, as my earlier examples demonstrates.  Ms. Foroohar’s cast of characters exceeds her ability to grasp their meaning, except in terms of producing a Political Melodrama that serves the ends of propaganda.

American Writer

https://www.ft.com/content/902581a0-99ff-11e7-b83c-9588e51488a0


 

@Cheapside

Eureka! I have found my Boswell! And the screen name Cheapside isn’t just a self-serving ruse to avoid the honesty of signing her/his name, but has a meaning:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheapside

Cheapside is one of the 24 who, at least, looked at my blog! I thank you all for clicking on the link. I feel like Sally Field accepting her Oscar, almost! And kudos to Cheapside for articulating your malice with such brio: invective like this appears in these pages only when Janan Ganesh channels Baudelaire.

Regards to all,

StephenKMackSD

P.S. SD stands for San Diego, California, have fun with that!


 

LittleBritonCommentSept242017FT

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Uber finds its defender at The Financial Times. Almost Marx comments on the Political Melodrama!

‘Uber’ is NOT ‘a ride-hailing service‘! It is a Neo-Liberal scheme, to avoid the power of municipalities and states to regulate taxi services, in the public interest! TINA, as Mrs. Thatcher used to opine, is the position of this newspaper! In sum, The Wisdom of the Market, that Hayekian self-serving cover for greed, at the expense of others unworthy of the protections the state can provide, remains in its pride of place!  Where else but the Financial Times would the case be argued, in defense of the new political order of collapsed Neo-Liberalism, by the back door? The transportation of citizens from place to place, in a political environment ruled by the dog eat dog of Hayek’s ersatz Utopianism!

Should the critical reader look to the ‘allegations’ by the TfL? The blocking, by Greyball software, of the regulators monitoring of ‘Uber’ qualifies as tatmount to lawlessness, except to Free Market apologists!

But TfL changed its stance this week, saying Uber would not be issued with a new operating licence once its current one expired on September 30. It listed a series of criticisms, alleging a laissez-faire attitude to passenger safety and the use of Greyball software to block regulators from seeing the app in the city. Uber has confirmed it intends to challenge the ruling.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan states the glaring obvious:

“All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect — particularly when it comes to the safety of customers,” said London mayor Sadiq Khan, backing TfL’s decision. “Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”

Here is the Free Market argument presented by the FT, and its mouthpiece Tony Travers, of the prestigious London School of Economics, not just a bit of garnish by ‘reporters’ Aliya Ram, Madhumita Murgia and Tanya Powley :

“There’s no question this is a titanic battle of our time,” says Tony Travers, a professor of local government at the London School of Economics. “It’s a clash between the modern and ancient worlds.”

It is NOT a clash between ‘the modern world’, meaning  an utterly collapsed Neo-Liberal model, based on the almighty Market , vs the ancient world of state intervention acting for the public good. In the civic/ethical/political spheres that have been touched by the long reach of Free Market Utopianism catastrophe follows!

More of the same Party Line:

Others say that TfL’s decision shows a blinkered view of innovation and a reluctance to adapt to the future.

But what of the drivers for ‘Uber’ who are the very victims of that ‘TINA’ shouted by Thatcher and her political epigones? Where do these citizens find a reliable source of income to support themselves and their families? Not a question that Hayek and his epigones at The Financial Times can answer. Except to provide more Free Market solutions – call it more of the same, the legacy of failure. The blunt instrument that is the favorite tool, to attack the wisdom of Left-wing Social Democrats, while the abysmal failure of the Free Market produced the economic desperation that makes ‘Uber’ such an ‘enticing solution‘.

The ‘as if ‘ here is that the FT and its Free Market allies care about the flourishing of its fellow citizens, who are not wealthy, and don’t share the Conservative belief that the ‘lower orders’ cannot be redeemed!  Redeemed is the proper word, as The Free Market belief system, is in fact an ersatz Theology. With its Saints, Sinners, its Purgatory, Heaven and Hell and even its God and Lucifer: the question is where is its Milton?

Almost Marx

https://www.ft.com/content/2b12a62a-9f8c-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

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Rich Lowry defends Trump’s UN speech: on the myopia of a Party Hack. Committed Observer comments

Rich Lowry’s latest essay features the two villains of American Conservatism: ‘liberal analysts’ and the scourge of  ‘a valueless international relativism’! Mr. Lowry suffers from an advanced case of a self-serving ideological myopia, because those ‘liberal analysts’ are in fact die hard Neo-Liberals, not to speak of craven apologists for the American Empire. But just not in the way that Mr. Lowry finds acceptable. Those ‘liberal analysts’ and Lowry share a wholehearted belief in American Exceptionalism.

On the question of  ‘a valueless international relativism’: the first query of this assertion of Conservative belief , just presents itself as ‘relative’ to what? The careful reader might look to this notion as the nebulous specter,that has haunted ‘Conservatism’ since the various European Enlightenments. The charge/condition, the propaganda against  ‘relativism’ dates from Burke, de Maistre, Disraeli, Oakeshott, Schmitt, Strauss, Kirk and even Wm. F. Buckley Jr.! The defense of established power, whether a landed aristocracy, or the bought and paid for republicanism of present day America, is what Mr. Lowry is defending: the Empire mired in a War on eight fronts, and a political class confronted by its self-created reality of this political Know-Nothing.

Mr. Lowry’s defensiveness of Trump takes its inspiration for the fact that daffodils grow out of soil enriched by the careful application of manure, yet he fails to address the fact that very destructive weeds also take nourishment from this enriched soil.

Committed Observer

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/20/rich-lowry-sovereignty-trump-un-215629

 

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Michael Bloomberg, Corporatist with a Plantation Mentality. Old Socialist marvels at his brass!

Is it a surprise that The Financial Times provides editorial/advertising space to a plutocrat with something to pitch: Bloomberg Global Business Forum? Mr. Bloomberg presents himself as the antidote to the Trump Political Nihilism. Here is his indictment of Trump:

Since January, the Trump administration has been signalling a retreat from the institutions that have played a central role in preserving world order and advancing economic progress over the past seven decades. The president’s failure to affirm Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty at last spring’s Nato summit, his decision to pull out of the UN’s Paris climate agreement, his proposed cuts to foreign aid, and his snail-paced filling of the highest-ranking state department positions have left world leaders questioning America’s commitment to global engagement. They have also diminished the ability of the US to exercise soft power.

Just a cursory look at the Bloomberg political record presents the reader with the fact that he is a Corporatist with a Plantation Mentality, that fits quite comfortably with the present leadership of The Republican Party of Trump:

On Stop and Frisk:

Mr. Bloomberg had Judge Shira A. Scheindlin removed from the case, billionaires have powers of ‘persuasion’ mortals don’t possess. A telling excerpt from her exit interview with The New York Times:

She would never forget, she said, seeing a front-page photograph in a newspaper the day after she released her ruling, showing Mr. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, as she put it, “looking like two angry white men.”

“They seemed out of touch with the issues that the communities cared about,” Judge Scheindlin said. “They didn’t seem to understand the impact of these policies on real people and real neighborhoods and real communities and the detrimental impact it was having, even on policing. And that’s the point. They didn’t seem to get it. It was all about fear — New York would blow up.”

On the his support for the Neo-Liberal swindle of the ‘Charter Schools‘:

A plutocrat defends his confreres:

“What they’re trying to do is to take the jobs from the people working in the city,” he said on his weekly WOR radio show.

“They’re trying to take away the tax base we have, because none of this is good for tourism,” Hizzoner huffed about the thousands of activists in Zuccotti Park downtown.

Bloomberg was replying to a caller complaining about the noisy occupation.

“If the jobs they’re trying to get rid of in the city — the people that work in finance, which is a big part of our economy — go away, we’re not going to have any money to pay our municipal employees or clean the parks or anything else,” the mayor said.

The anti-corporate protesters plan to hit Washington Square Park today for a “general assembly.”

http://nypost.com/2011/10/08/bloomberg-blasts-wall-street-protests-as-bad-for-the-city/

On the Show Trial of Occupy Wall Street demonstrator Cecily McMillan:

Two years ago, a young activist named Cecily McMillan attended a protest at Zuccotti Park marking the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. When police moved in to clear the demonstrators, a cop roughly grabbed her breast—photos show an ugly bruise—and she ended up being injured so badly that she had a seizure and ended up in the hospital. In a just world, she would be getting restitution from the City. Instead, in a grotesque act of prosecutorial overreach, she’s currently on trial for assault and facing up to seven years in prison.

According to prosecutors, McMillan, now 25, intentionally attacked her arresting officer, Grantley Bovel, by elbowing him in the face, and was then hurt when he tried to subdue her. She says that she instinctively struck out when she felt his hand on her breast, not knowing that he was a cop, and was then further assaulted.

https://www.thenation.com/article/outrageous-trial-cecily-mcmillan

Mr. Bloomberg is the definitive Neo-Liberal politician:  mendacious and utterly corrupted by an unslakable political ambition, wedded to obscene wealth. He is the ‘Free Market’s’ New Man: The Entrepreneur!

Both the Republicans and New Democrats, who are Corporatists, follow his lead.  Both parties share, without shame, the Plantation Mentality rife in American life, in sum, the dog-eat-dog of Neo-Liberalism and its jurisprudential corollary ‘Originalism’.

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/fce2cad2-9c8e-11e7-8b50-0b9f565a23e1

 

 

 

 

 

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edward.luce@ft.com on the Trump UN speech. Committed Observer offers some thoughts

I read Mr. Luce’s essay last night. I checked America’s political gossip sheet, Politico, this morning looking for some critique of the Trump UN address. Where are those fabled ‘Adults in the Room’ (Scowcroft, Baker, etc.), who presented themselves as the voices of reason in the Republican Party, when the Neo-Cons ruled American Foreign Policy, during the Bush II administration?

Then I checked The New York Times, and what I found was this synopsis of opinion from the ‘Right’ and then the ‘Left’ of the stunted political spectrum in America, as ‘reported’ by

All of these comments were from professional ‘journalists’ who specialize in writing opinion columns. As a measure of the self-serving political myopia of both the Times and Ms. Dubenko, Neo-Con Eli Lake is identified as a ‘Centrist‘!

Another question that begs to be asked is where are the New Democrats? Are Pelosi and Schumer hoping, that if they refrain from critical comment on the Trump speech, their deal on the Debt and DACA, will remain safe from Trumpian Political Plunder? Mrs. Clinton is on a book tour, that leaves her little time, except for her self-apologetic that features her Myterdom as her central idée fixe: Bernie Bros and the creepy Trump!

Should the reader expect Sen. McCain to sound a note of dissent in the Party? The Senator who sang Bomb,Bomb, Bomb Iran might just support a simultaneous War with both Iran and North Korea. But what of the War on Terror, now being fought on eight fronts? Are the treasuries of the American Empire bottomless? Are there enough young lives to be sacrificed to Trump’s hubris?

Am I the only regular reader of Mr. Luce’s column, who detects a note of resignation in his tone? And on the question of Mr. Miller, he is just a continuation of Bannon’s infernal Plantation Mentality.

Committed Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/448c3790-9d59-11e7-9a86-4d5a475ba4c5

 

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The New Cold War has found its Jeane Kirkpatrick. Almost Marx takes the measure of Samantha Power’s Anti-Russian political hysterics

Its not at all surprising that Samantha Power’s byline should appear in the pages of The Paper of Record, The New York Times  . This newspaper has been one of the many propaganda arms of The American Empire. Look at its regular columnists : David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, Bret Stephens and Arthur C. Brooks ( I forgot amiable Neo-Liberal hack Roger Cohen!) and Paul Krugman. American Exceptionalism is this publication’s ruling political theology, and its hirelings repeat this ad nauseam.

To add a certain piquancy to this essay , Ms. Power’s recent rapprochement, in political time, with American Foreign Policy guru Henry Kissinger , who some might call a monster, is the backdrop to this essay.  Ms. Power simply repeats the old formulas, not to speak of shopworn cliches, of The Old Cold War, and presents them as new insights into the political machinations of Putin as The New Stalin.

But things have changed appreciably since the 1950’s : the internet and the birth of such ‘news outlets’ such as RT and Sputnik as purveyors of ‘fake news’ , yet what remains unmentioned in Ms. Power’s screed, is that America has been broadcasting to Eastern Europe and Russia for nearly two generations, with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Even after the end of the Soviet Union. Ms. Power exercises a glaring double standard: is turnabout fair play? Not in the political world inhabited by Mr. Power, who instances the Ukrainian Coup as demonstrative of Russian revanchism in its extreme form. Again she elides from  her brief potted history these American and European bad  political actors: NATO, the EU, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and diplomats Victoria Nuland and Jeffery Pyatt and even herself as co-conspirator in that Coup. The guilt of the Russians in MH17 was a foregone conclusion!

One point that irks Ms. Power is the damage done to the Hillary Clinton Campaign by the Russians, yet no actual proof exists except the word of Intelligence Agencies, whose record of lying and deceit to Americans is well documented. Some of us recall Ms. Power calling Hillary a ‘Monster’ , and then quickly retracting or apologizing for that characterization. The imperative of Careerism calls for stealth rather than frankness!

Almost Marx

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