Freshly posted to my radio archives: December 18, 2010 Lucas Zeise, columnist with Financial Times Deutschland, on why Germany is taking such a hard line on the eurocrisis • Jodi Dean, keeper of the I Cite blog and author of Blog Theory, on what digital culture is doing to our minds, our politics, and our society The Jodi Dean interview is unusually good stuff. Consider this a twisting of your arm.
This just in from the right-wing PR machine (quirky capitalization and word breaks in original): “President Obama has done more favors, more often, for organized labor than any other president, outpacing even FDR and Harry Truman in the lightning speed with which he has rushed to fulfill the union agenda. Calling Obama pro-union is putting it mildly.” Fred Barnes starts off his latest article in the weekly standard with that scorching comment. Despite not being able to convince Congress to rob workers of their right to a secret ballot, Obama continues to force… Read More
Yeah, everyone’s ngram-ing, so why not me? The number of mentions of Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Hayek in a sample of the books in Google’s database. The original Google chart doesn’t scale nicely, so I’ve retouched it some using Adobe Illustrator. But the relative trajectories are unchanged. To see the Google original, click here: Marx vs. Hayek. They just can’t stop talking about the Old Man, can they? He’s come down some since the mid-1970s, but you’d think that Freddie would have come up a lot more.
Maybe there really is something to Obama’s background as a community organizer after all. For some reason, I picked Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals off the shelf a little while ago. I got the book years ago, when I thought I might write a piece on the unfortunate influence of Alinsky and community organizing on the American left, but abandoned the project because I couldn’t bear to read Alinsky’s prose. But as it happens, I opened to this passage, titled “Compromise,” on p. 59: [T]o the organizer, compromise is a key and… Read More
Wow, this is some serious crap: Akon’s No Labels Anthem. It only took one conversation with Lisa Borders, one of the founding leaders of No Labels, for Akon to immediately understand the meaning of this movement’s message. Never give up your label, just put it aside to do what’s best for America. With lyrics like “See a man with a blue tie, see a man with a red tie; so how about we tie ourselves together and get it done,” Akon shares his passion for politicians to put the labels aside so… Read More
From a WSJ article on the shrinkage of Wall Street’s bonus pool this year: “Jonathan Beckett, CEO of yacht brokerage firm Burgess, said demand for weekly yacht rentals in the Caribbean this winter is ‘quite poor,’ in part because of Wall Street.” Lamborghini sales are down too, alas.
Tom Hayden didn’t like that open letter to him et al. His response—sent to John Halle, organizer of the letter, but not as I erroneously said at first addressed to him in the polite “Dear John” salutational sense—follows. (The subject heading of the email was, inexplicably, “Weirdness.”) Gotta say, this is a beaut: “I supported Barack Obama for president in 2008, and am glad I did so. At the time I also said progressives should disagree with him on Afghanistan, NAFTA, global warming and Wall Street….” Well, what’s left to support, Cde… Read More
I’m one of initial signers of this open letter to the left–liberals who enthusiastically supported Barack Obama in 2008, and said many silly things about him back then. Please read and then, if you agree, add your name to the growing list of endorsers. Here’s an unintentional endorsement: Tom Hayden, one of the addressees, denounced the suggestion that he protest Obama as “vile” and “toxic,” and damaging to the “fragile social ecology” required for the growth of the peace movement. What a strange view of politics—give the imperial warriors free rein, because criticizing them… Read More
My god, there is just no end to lunacy. I just learned from contested terrain (which cited my comment that the Wikileaks affair proved the conspiracy theory of history to be wrong) that Wayne Madsen thinks (“CIA, Mossad and Soros behind Wikileaks”) that Julian Assange is a CIA agent in the pay of George Soros, with some help from the Mossad. So all that chat about how the woman who accused Assange of some variety of sexual assault is herself a CIA agent—well, forget that. Because Langley is pulling Assange’s strings. And why would Langley… Read More
Reading Diane Ravtich’s excellent takedown of (private school grad and college dropout) Bill Gates for his interventions in public education reminded me that the only reason people listen to him is that he’s thought to be some sort of business genius (as if business genius were translatable to pedagogy or anything else). If he’s that rich, he must be smart, eh? But he’s really not such a business genius. Well, he’s a business genius of a sort, but not of the sort of heroic entrepreneur that’s usually lionized. His first foray into… Read More