On Teresa May’s call for a ‘snap election’, Political Observer comments

Following in the footsteps of David Cameron, Teresa May calls for a vote on ‘advice’ from Rovian political strategist Lynton Crosby. Based on her fealty to the democratic process? Are the Tories capable of making a bad bet followed by another? Or will her hunch pay off? You say: quite a ballsy move for a PK (preacher’s kid)!To frame in vulgar American terms.

The vote will become a plebiscite on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour, or any other of a number of issues? In a time of rising Populism, the dread successor to a failed Neo-Liberalism, as propagandized in the pages of this newspaper, but will this be the end of Corbyn? What of Farage, SNP, not to speak of a number of other persons and issues that this vote will bring to the fore? 

Is May’s move part of a plan to short circuit the opposition, by risking a seemingly chaotic move, in a kind of caricature of the Peronist political trope, of fomenting usable chaos, and exploiting the disequilibrium that will ensue? Crosby as Rovian is capable of what? Shall we look to the Rove strategy of starting a gossip campaign, like the one used against Ann Richards in the Texas governorship race of 1994? Or is that anathema to May’s Anglican virtue?

The Financial Times is in full propaganda mode, with argument aided by the garnish of charts and graphs, as reinforcement of the notion that there is no need for its readership to panic, as everything is under control.

Political Observer





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Andy Divine Rants: episode XXXIV Clinton,Trump & Dr.Dao. Political Reporter comments

It’s been sometime since I’ve read Mr. Sullivan, yet I still recall his days at The New York Observer, where he used his regular column to foment War Hysteria after 9/11. And to attack anyone who dared deviate from his self-constructed Party Line, passing judgement on the ‘acceptable narratives’ about the attack and the proper response to it. He and Christopher Hitchens were the Inquisitors who kept guard on the evolving Party Line, against America’s Fifth Column, as they played their respective roles as Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn.

Should I go back to Mr. Sullivan’s enthusiasm for ‘The Bell Curve’ in the 90’s as demonstrative of a certain animus/myopia on the question of race?

Mr.Sullivan’s political evolution/de-evolution from Thatcherite to Neo-Conservatism to Neo-Liberalism is well known, at least, to those of old enough to have followed The Sullivan Political Melodrama, through all its ideological permutations. But he does return to the home ground of sclerotic Thatcherism, in his attack on Sen. Sanders. It is testament to the staying power of his prejudices.

And yet she was so bad a candidate, she still only managed to squeak through in the primaries against an elderly, stopped-clock socialist who wasn’t even in her party, and who spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union.


The consistent theme of Mr. Sullivan’s latest essay is exasperation: that others can’t see what he sees, in the case of Clinton, Trump and Dr. Dao. This essay is an extended rant,  that you might watch on ‘Fox News’, Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. The essay is bereft of anything resembling style, or even argumentative coherence, its just intemperate chatter, garnished in one sentence by the desperate exercise of profanity.  For the real practitioner of bile and spleen, on the level of near poetic inspiration, read Janan Ganesh at The Financial Times, he can write with polemic brilliance that, at his best, is unmatched.

Political Reporter


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Michael Stothard’s all to brief report on the loss of influence of French Intellectuals. A comment by Committed Observer

The perpetual intellectual obfuscation, here at The Financial Times, is again striking, although the idea of a ‘liberal elite’ remains a central dogma of their Party Line.There is no ‘liberal elite’,there is only the utterly disreputable, not to speak of an utterly failed Neo-Liberal elite, or their fellow travelers.

The soul-searching of leftwing intellectuals such as Mr Foessel in part mirrors that of liberal elites across the western world, who are struggling to understand the populist surge that swept Donald Trump to victory in the US and the UK out of the EU.’


What we in America get of French Intellectuals is the highfalutin chatter of Bernard-Henri Lévy, in the pages of that journalistic sink-hole The Daily Beast. Lévy and editor Michael Weiss are political allies. Lévy’s latest essay at the ‘The Beast’ is a ringing denunciation of Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which reads like the notes for a speech due for declamation before an adoring multitude. See my full comment on the Lévy essay here:


Lévy presents himself modeled after haute couture Yves St. Laurent’s, YSL becomes in a dull-witted act of ‘branding’ BHL: Lévy does not enjoy the status of Sartre or Camus for a reason, he is product of the Market, not of the intelligentsia. But most assuredly Lévy has a penchant for war mongering, rather surprising for a war correspondent, who witnessed carnage at second hand.

Sartre’s great antagonist,and classmate, was Raymond Aron, author of The Opium of Intellectuals (1955), can the reader name a BHL antagonist recognizable to the English speaking reader? Perhaps another indication of BHL’s irrelevance as thinker, who does not enjoy respect as intellectual/moral leader?

Should the reader look to France’s most celebrated novelist Michel Houellebecq for a reason that is indicative of ‘loss of influence’? Read Adam Shatz’s review of Michel Houellebecq’s novel about a Muslim takeover of France…’ titled Soumission.  Shatz can’t quite bring himself to call Houellebecq an Islamophobe:

Michel Houellebecq’s novel about a Muslim takeover of France is a melancholy tribute to the pleasure of surrender. It’s 2022, a charismatic Islamist politician called Mohammed Ben Abbes has become president, and France has fallen under his spell. Houellebecq’s timing could hardly have been better: Soumission was published on 7 January, the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The novel was hailed by the right as a prophetic warning, a fictional cousin of Eric Zemmour’s anti-Muslim tirade, Le Suicide français, and attacked by the left, in the words of Alain Jakubowicz, as ‘the best Christmas gift he could have given to Marine Le Pen’. Both Houellebecq’s admirers and his detractors assumed that he still believed Islam was what he’d once called it: ‘the stupidest religion’. But Houellebecq has had second thoughts, and although his novel is deeply reactionary, it is not Islamophobic.


Mr. Michael Stothard provides a fascinating, if all too brief, sketch of the French political/intellectual scene. Yet the coverage of French life, its politics and its thinkers, needs to be expanded if the notion of ‘Premium’ is to have any meaning at all!

Committed Observer


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The Nouveaux Philosophe lives! Bernard-Henri Lévy on the political danger of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a comment by Committed Observer

In his latest essay at The Daily Beast, M. Lévy pronounces, not on the danger of populist Le Pen, but on the danger of Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Perhaps pronounces is the wrong descriptor. M. Lévy’s essay reads as if it were to be declaimed before the masses, like he did for those assembled for ‘Ukraine: Thinking Together’ Kyiv, 15-19 May 2014. The reader is confronted with statements, and the spaces left for the interruptions of applause, after each revelatory comment: the delivery of his moral exhortations is everything, they must have room to breathe. Applause is the indispensable garnish to this generation’s political dinosaur, the intellectuel engagé.

M. Lévy finds the perfect home at The Daily Beast, as Neo-Conservative Michael Weiss is his natural ally. Tina Brown published  Lévy as part of dressing up her gossip sheet as somehow  serious, respectable journalism. Weiss and Lévy are political fellow travelers. Note also that Le Pen has ‘courted’ Jews:

Headline: France’s Far Right, Once Known for Anti-Semitism, Courts Jews

PARIS — For years, France’s far-right National Front was synonymous with anti-Semitism. Its founder, Jean Marie Le Pen, was notorious for anti-Semitic outbursts — including a comment that the Holocaust was just a detail of history.

But since Mr. Le Pen’s daughter Marine took over the party’s leadership in 2011, the National Front has attempted a remarkable about-face: Today, the party positions itself as a champion of French Jews.

Although Ms. Le Pen, one of the front-runners in the coming presidential election, still alludes to anti-Semitic stereotypes on the campaign trail, she now promises that her party will be the protector of French Jews.

It is a surprising twist that has resonated with some French Jews who feel abandoned by what they see as the government’s tepid response to the anti-Semitic violence that has plagued the country for years.

Is it that in the  ‘West’ now governed by Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, and its various permutations and intellectual  successors, that the Jew is the known ‘other’?  While Islam and its followers, and their politically radicalized faction, now constitute that ‘other’ that is now cast as the villains to be feared, hated, inveighed and warred against? Even as they are part of our communities and the shared Abrahamic Tradition.

The reader can count on many things from M. Lévy,  his inexhaustible pretentious verbosity is ever-present !

Committed Observer


Added April 16,2017:







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A Capitalist Morality Play by @KuperSimon, a comment by American Writer

Here is the central conceit of Mr. Kuper’s essay:

Almost all the refugees I’ve met since 2015 want to work their backsides off in exchange for the life that the laziest westerner regards as his birthright —…

Not to take anything away from the achievements of the refugees mentioned in his essay, (how many people know someone with a double Masters?) but Mr. Kuper has more important business, a target worthy of  his contempt: the coddled lazy western worker is the real star of this Capitalist Morality Play! The contemporary thinkers, of present and former colonial empires, need to learn to practice at the least circumspection, or better yet cultivate a rhetorical modesty, as a strategy in the face of a refugee crisis they enabled.

I live in San Diego, California and the refugees I see everyday are the gardeners, the housemaids and the dishwashers, that are chronicled in the work of the most prominent practitioners of the artist as social critic/moral conscience, Ramiro Gomez. See a report on his work here:


America is a nation of immigrants, slaves and slave holders, not to speak of unapologetic land thieves, so the value of the ambition and will to succeed, of the refugee, legal and otherwise, is the American Story!

American Writer




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At The Financial Times: Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recidivism, a comment by Publius

Donald Trump has done the right thing at last. Syria’s agony will not soon end, but after years of global hand-wringing the US has finally taken a stand for basic norms of humanity and morality. Calculation of certain risks versus uncertain gains were swept away by a visceral response to evil.

Despite her attempts  at political self-rescue, enunciated as Feminism,  Ms. Slaughter cannot, even will not, surrender her addiction to an unapologetic ‘Wilsonian Idealism’. Meaning an unrepentant bellicosity, framed by the ersatz moralizing of American Exceptionalism. More than ever Steve Breyman’s essay remains stingily pertinent to Ms. Slaughter’s recidivism!




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Janan Ganesh on the relative absence of ‘imperial neurosis’, a comment by American Writer

‘It is easy for foreigners to read imperial nostalgia into something much more parochial. The terminal point of empire is introspection, not a restless desire to do it all over again. Introspection is bad enough but the British cannot be guilty of that and the opposite at the same time. Outsiders are free to fault us, if they pick the right fault.’


The usual Ganesh self-congratulatory polemical chatter gives way to the above paragraph, and the part that I find truly fascinating, which I have italicized, and emphasized by making it bold : ‘the British cannot be guilty of that and the opposite at the same time.’ The reader is tempted to say, that somehow Mr. Ganesh has missed  the fact that the ‘British’ are more than capable of partaking of this combination of Keats’ ‘Negative Capability’ and Orwell’s ‘Double Think’!

American Writer

P.S. Imperial neuroses? The Age of Freud is no more!


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