One, “Sarah Palin” has been portrayed such a mindless idiot, she’ll earn points just by reading the time right, out of a talking clock. There is a great advantage in lowering expectations.
Two, she’ll have a very easy time convincing people that it’s the Press that paints her in a negative light. So during a campaign, if there’ll be a campaign, she will describe all of her faux-pas and gaffes as “don’t listen to that, it’s just the evil Press”. Even the real faux-pas and gaffes, that is.
IOW on all fronts she will be able to say or do anything without fear of losing score with anybody in the electorate (unless she’s photographed kicking a puppy or slapping her mom). Every additional day will be a day with more supporters.
In the UK, and in Italy, and I am sure in the USA as well for what I can read on the International Herald Tribune, we are being bombarded by anti-Iran propaganda. There is no attempt at explaining, let alone understanding the complexities of the present situation, and one side is depicted as “good”, the other as “bad”.
Italian daily “Corriere della Sera”‘s home page a couple of days ago was literally drooling at the rumors of a “lake of blood” in front of the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament. Why? Because that would finally seal the concept of a violent, evil regime. Trouble is, there is an unfortunate number of dead but it has nothing to do with what you would expect from a violent crackdown by armed thugs and police firing live round on the crowd.
President Ahmadinejad’s fight against corruption is never mentioned, just as only few will have noticed that the opposition’s eminence grise is Ayatollah Rafsanjani, former President himself and whose sons appears to have “magically” become the richest people in Iran during that tenure.
What is requested by the opposition is never explained either. What has apparatchik Mousavi got to do with people asking to be freed from the long hands of the Moral Police, is left to the reader’s imagination. Supreme Leader Khamenei is belittled for having himself allied with Ahmadinejad and the Veterans of the Revolution.
What do we read instead in Western newspapers, but absurdist analyses showing very little respect for Muslimhood, let alone the Islamic Republic of Iran? (I’ll put a link about that soon…)
In this atmosphere it is clear that too many powerful, and truly evil forces, in Iran, in the USA, in the UK, in the Arab world and in Israel have a heavy interest in keeping Iran as a trouble spot and impeding a geostrategically completely natural alliance with the United States itself.
There isn’t much a person, or even a group of people can do. But denouncing the propaganda is one possibility.
My mind is clearer now.
At last all too well
I can see where we all soon will be.
If you strip away The myth from the man,
You will see where we all soon will be. Barack!
You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you.
You really do believe
This talk of Change is true.
And all the good you’ve done
Will soon get swept away.
You’ve begun to matter more
Than the things you say.
Listen Barack I don’t like what I see.
All I ask is that you listen to me…
Millions of gallons of ink must have been consumed in the neverending discussions about the “disaster” represented by the US Government’s decision to let Lehman Brothers fail and disappear. Andrew Ross Sorkin on today’s IHT agrees:
With hindsight, many in the financial industry blame a deepening of the global financial crisis on the government’s decision to let Lehman crumble
I disagree with that analysis, for two very simple reasons. When Lehman was allowed to go bankrupt, a signal was sent to all, saying that not everybody will be rescued. This was in direct contrast with the Japanese Government’s decadal efforts to prop up every financial institution under its watch (that’s why those efforts lasted for a decade or even more).
More importantly, the failure of Lehman Brothers showed everybody what the failure of “just a bank” may mean, with innumerable, overwhelmingly negative consequences propping up even in unlikely places. And this was good: because it is in the human nature to seriously question people advising that something bad may be happening in the near future, and to need a direct experience of that “something bad” before properly reacting.
You can spend every last molecule of your breath explaining a child that eating too many sweets can be painful. But there is nothing like going through a “tummy ache” that will convince the child of changing their way.
And you could transfer yourself back to January 1939 and explain all the reasons for the upcoming Nazi continent-wide monstruosity, but I am sure nobody in the UK or France (or the USA) will agree to go to war until forced to by the pain of circumstance.
And so, had Lehman Brothers been rescued alongside the other relatively large institutions, we would still be discussing the pro’s and con’s of rescue packages. And we would have never known that it takes just a bank to fail, to see a run on money-market funds.
Hindsight will fuel further commentaries on now-defunct Lehman Brothers: and hindsight can be useful to make sense of the world, but only works when there is something to look back at…
Al Qaeda in the news today with a “response” to the American Presidential Elections. Good for them. And good for President-Elect Barack Obama, who gets mistreated just enough, with a top-notch comparison to Malcolm X.
Why is that good for Obama? Well, imagine what would have happened had Al Qaeda sent unqualified congratulations to him…
Dopo Obama, perche’ non provare a descrivere quella che sara’ l’ultima sfida all’integrazione razziale (e non solo) in America?
Immaginiamoci allora le elezioni presidenziali del 2016, e come Candidato alla Presidenza una donna, con antenati ex-schiavi da parte di padre e ebrei da parte di madre.
E convertita all’islamismo.
E come suo vice un’altra donna, in sedia a rotelle.
Mezza Native American e mezza messicana.
Con la quale e’ fidanzata.
E con la quale ha un figlio ottenuto con inseminazione artificiale. E il cui padre e’ Asian-American.
Immaginiamo infine che tale Candidata alla Presidenza rappresenti il Partito Repubblicano.
Oltre, la mia immaginazione non riesce ad andare
ps Dopo che Emiliano Errico ha letto il mio testo qui riportato durante la puntata di “Jefferson Ming” del 5 Novembre su Radio24, il conduttore Stefano Pistolini ha commentato riferendosi a un futuro molto piu’ probabile, per le Elezioni Presidenziali americane del 2016: Bobby Jindal, classe 1971, Governatore della Louisiana per i Repubblicani e figlio di due immigranti indiani del Punjab.
Consiglio caldamente la lettura dell’articolo di Mino Vianello “L’Handicap di Obama” su Notizie Radicali di oggi, nel quale non si parla del colore della pelle del Candidato, ma viene invece fatta una disanima del rapporto fra egualitarismo e concetto della democrazia negli USA, e il sentimento anti-intellettuale diffuso fra gli americani stessi.
Sara’ un bene o un male, questo anti-intellettualismo “fatto di empirismo e di senso pratico“? Personalmente, il dover arrivare comunque a una sintesi fra empirismo e intellettualismo mi sembra un punto ovvio oltre che logico. Non penso sia comunque quella, la domanda da farsi.
C’e’ da chiedersi invece se gli unici a non esserne completamente consapevoli siano gli intellettuali stessi, massicciamente Democratici e che invece di provare a comprendere l’elettorato, vivono ancora nel sogno di Camelot, la Presidenza cioe’ di John F Kennedy.
Un solo l’appunto a Vianello: l’aver dimenticato di nominare il movimento dei Know-Nothings nel XIX secolo (“Non So Niente”) che poche settimane fa il neo Premio Nobel dell’Economia Paul Krugman richiamo’ sul New York Times citando “l’insistenza che ci siano semplici risposte a ogni problema, basate sulla forza bruta e sulla gratificazione istantanea, e che ci sia qualcosa di effeminato e debole in chiunque suggerisca altrimenti“.
Segnalo un episodio di ironia evidentemente involontaria di Ugo Tramballi nella puntata di “Jefferson Ming” su Radio24 il 6 ottobre…quando ha raccontato di come avesse riso, all’epoca, al pensiero di Reagan Presidente, solo per poi considerarlo un grande Presidente. Poi pero’ e’ passato senza colpo ferire alla solita tiritera su quanto e’ ridicola la candidatura di Sarah Palin (la quale almeno, al contrario di Ronal “Gipper” Reagan, non ha mai condiviso gli onori della cronaca con una scimmia…).
Certo uno non puo’ aspettarsi la par condicio a Jefferson Ming, ma almeno potrebbero mostrare un po’ piu’ di autocoscienza invece che le solite analisi brutalmente “di parte”…
There is a scene in Alan Sandler’s “Mr. Deeds” when three high-society New York types (Kurt the Opera singer, William, and George the New Yorker writer) are shown as bordering on the inhuman, as too full of themselves.
Unless they go through “rehab,” as yours truly did — meaning, in short, until they grasp the realization that to be a “non-international” American who attends church regularly does not automatically mark one out as a bigoted nitwit — liberals cannot help themselves. Upon what they believe to be the high-horse is where they are most comfortable. They simply cannot imagine that they are NOT absolutely more sharp-minded and heavyweight than their opponents.
The major reason for that self-delusion? Since the mid-1960s, Democrats have actually come to believe — honestly — their own puffed up view of themselves as the default party of “great thoughts“ […]
the Democratic party has changed: it is no longer the party of FDR and Truman. For the last 45 years it has become instead the party of JFK idolatry and imagined “Camelot.” Reared on an endless diet of “Jack and Jackie in Paris” […] and so much more, many to most Democrats sincerely now appear to believe that to be a Republican is . . . to be a moron. […]
when dealing with what might be considered opposing conservative opinions, liberals are often quick to lose perspective, react emotionally and all too often embrace outright intellectual snobbery.
And as to that latter mostly with so little justification, since few Democrats are themselves actually anywhere approaching nearly as smart as they perceive themselves to be […] a liberal (meaning a Democrat), when confronted with your opposition, might try that for a moment, but if you hold your ground and respond in kind he will tend far too often to descend to the famous argument-tipping “huff,” roll up his eyes and proclaim you obviously just another unworldly simpleton who needs to retake 1st Grade.
Expat Yank is a “disgruntled Democrat turned Republican“. I have a feeling, he knows what he’s talking about.
Trouble is, I do not see Kurt, William and George understanding a single word of the above.
Myself, I cannot see evidence of anything in Palin’s right ear, during the debate.
But that is not as important as the answer to the following question: what evidence would I need to change my opinion? Well, I would need to spot that device clearly in at least one picture. So far, all I have been able to see is perfectly explainable with Palin’s hair, glasses and shape of the ear.
And so my question to Creighton and all the others is: what evidence would you need, to change your opinion?
What was that running down into Sarah Palin’s right ear during the debate? […] This photo was never intended to stand alone as evidence, that is why I include the link to the CNN video itself… That is still below. From that video, and many others now, you can see something that looks like it is attached to the arm of her glasses on the right side. You can see it move with her head, and her glasses throughout the video. I have taken another shot of the straight on view of this object, but please, look at the photos, then watch the CNN video so you can see it isn’t just some fluke; it stays there and is attached to her glasses. […]
Even without zooming, you can clearly see something attached to her glasses and running into her right ear. At first I thought this might be a hearing aid of some sort, so I looked up other pictures of her to see if I could find one of her wearing a hearing aid. I couldn’t. […]
Let’s start with the consideration that the “hearing aid” claim sounds very disingenuous. If Palin really had been hard of hearing, we would have known that weeks ago for sure. Mr Creighton should have definitely tried to look more sincere, if only to help support his case for a “device in the right ear”.
Anyway…the only way to be sure is to check if the “device” can be seen in any picture.
Now, a paranoid mind will find lots of food for their thoughts, as there really aren’t too many photos of Sarah Palin clearly showing her right ear during the debate itself (there is the one with her youngest son, but it was taken after the end of the debate and the aforementioned paranoid mind will surely claim Palin’s removed the “device” just in time). Also, I am not going to argue with anybody believing that the “device” was invisible or very well hidden: that’s akin to claiming a giant white, invisible rabbit was jumping up and down in front of the camera for the whole debate (iow: it cannot be taken seriously).
In any case, the onus is on those claiming the “device” existed at all. So I have scoured around on YouTube, the Getty Images website and the web looking for any “right ear” shot. Results below.
Images are enlarged areas from sources described in each picture. Copyrights remain with the authors of course.
First of all, look at “Palin 05″: that one has been taken at the end of the debate, when Palin was holding her baby son, if I am not mistaken. I included it because it reveals Palin’s ear details in full, with all the “ridges” and “valleys”. Note in particular the rather peculiar “ridge” right underneath the “temple” (“sidepiece”) of her glasses.
Peculiarity in this case is not important. Every one of us has a “special” shape of the ear and I understand it’s the one thing people really have trouble with when disguising.
I believe that “ridge” is what people like Creighton are misinterpreting as a “device”.
In fact, I wonder if anybody could please tell me where in every other picture posted above, there is a “device” that is on top, or separate, or in any case definitely not the “ridge” mentioned above.
You may also want to note how in images Palin 08, 09 and 10, taken directly from the live TV pictures, Sarah Palin is showing her right ear to the cameras in ways that would be extremely dangerous were she wearing a “device” of any sort in her right ear.
The above is more than enough to convince myself there was nothing at all in Palin’s right ear, during the debate. At this stage, the discussion can move forward only in two circumstances: either somebody comes out with a very clear picture of the “device”, or believers tell me what more evidence they need, to change their opinion.
Is there any hope that one day the “liberal” American “people of culture” will wake up and realize that they live… in America?
How can it be that a long list of very fine intellectuals collectively and invariably fail to understand a simple fact: that it is precisely what they despise in Sarah Palin, that makes her popular among many of their fellow citizens.
Take for example the “news” that the Governor of Alaska has spent more nights at home than in the Palace in Juneau, after having been elected. Those who “leaked” this important (or not) piece of information may have tried to demonstrate that Palin cannot be a good VicePresident, since she does not accept the full responsibilities of public office.
But I am sure that many non-liberal Americans (and not only they) have interpreted the same “news” as evidence that the Palin is a “normal person” for whom family takes precedence, above everything else: and that’s what anybody would do, apart from those driven by mission or inordinate ambition.
It does not matter if Sarah Palin performs poorly once, or a hundred thousand times, in interviews that, incredibly, appear too convoluted in her presence. What non-liberals are going to convince themselves of, is that the Press, Academia, and Great Journalism are made up of Republican-hating strange people called “liberals”: whilst Palin is simply an “average person”, perfectly able to lose words and trains of thought in front of aggressive, controversy-seeking interviewers.
Has Palin got the characteristics that would make her a good Vice President and perhaps even a good President? Who knows?. The great satirical strip Doonesbury recently had an episode around the fact that every American is told that he or she may become President, one day. So what’s so strange if “Sarah Palin, average American” becomes Vice President?
And lest we forget: after four years of Dan “Potatoe” Quayle as VP for Bush father, I do not know who could perform worse. And Bush father did win the 1988 elections with Quayle in tow,
It is therefore absolutely foolish to go on with the mantra that Palin is “a bit slow, a bit ignorant, a bit young”: the more the Media will talk of that, the more votes she’s ensured to get.
Is that too hard a concept for contemporary liberal America? When will a leading “liberal mind” begin to think that if someone will vote for Sarah Palin, there may be good reasons for that, well beyond the usual “it’s the idiots that do it”?
Spare a prayer for John Biden then. He’s the one going into Thursday’s VP debate in the worst conditions.
Since everybody expects him to win big time, all Biden may be able to do is meet expectations. That will hardly look impressive: whilst every point conceded to Palin will be seen as a disaster (and a defeat).
From Sarah Palin, on the other hand, nobody expects anything. She can declare herself the winner even if the only thing she manages to state correctly is the time of the day.
If Palin will be able to hold her own against Biden for most of the debate, it will be for her a triumph beyond all hope. That’s after all the same tactics, of appearing “slow witted”, successfully employed by George W Bush to become Governor of Texas, and the President of the United States, persuading opponents to feel infinitely superior to him.
The Democratic VP candidate has everything to lose, at Washington University in St. Louis on Thursday. The Republican VP candidate, she has everything to gain: another gift, perhaps, by the Great “liberal” Minds that I do not think understand their country at all.
Is it a coincidence that in the last 100 years, in the White House there have been 10 Republicans and only 7 Democrats? And during the last forty years, 5 Republicans and only 2 Democrats?
C’e’ qualche speranza che un giorno la cultura “liberal” americana si svegli e capisca di essere…in America?
Possibile che tutti questi intellettuali sopraffini, buon ultimo anche Fareed Zakaria, non riescano a comprendere come siano proprio le qualita’ che loro disprezzano, a rendere Sarah Palin eleggibile per tantissimi dei loro concittadini?
Prendiamo ad esempio la “notizia” che il Governatore dell’Alaska avrebbe trascorso piu’ o meno meta’ delle notti da quando eletta, a casa invece che nel Palazzo a Juneau. Chi ha sparso in giro questa “chicca” voleva evidentemente dimostrare che la Palin non puo’ fare da VicePresidente, perche’ non accetta tutte le responsabilita’ dell’incarico pubblico.
Sono invece sicuro che gli Americani non-liberal (e non solo loro) abbiano interpretato il tutto come prova che la Vice di John McCain sia una “persona normale” che vuole proprio tanto bene al marito e ai figli, e li antepone a tutto: come fanno un po’ tutti, a parte coloro trasportati da una missione o da una smodata ambizione.
Da questo punto di vista, quand’anche Sarah Palin facesse brutta figura cento o mille volte in interviste che in sua presenza appaiono incredibilmente cervellotiche, al massimo i non-liberal si convinceranno (come se ce ne fosse bisogno) che la Stampa, l’Accademia, il Grande Giornalismo e’ composto da persone “liberal”, che odiano i Repubblicani e che sono fondamentalmente “strane” e “diverse”: mentre appunto la Palin non fa che quello che farebbe la “persona media”, capacissima di impappinarsi di fronte a un’intervistatrice polemica, aggressiva e pronta ad approfittare di tutto.
Sono, quelle della Palin, delle caratteristiche che farebbero di lei una buona VicePresidente e forse anche Presidente? Chissa’. Come recentemente scritto nella grande striscia satirica Doonesbury, non viene forse detto a ogni Americano che un giorno potra’ diventare Presidente? E quindi cosa c’e’ di strano se “un’Americana” un po’ qualunque diventa VicePresidente?
A parte il fatto poi, che dopo quattro anni di Dan “Potatoe” Quayle come Vice di Bush padre, non so proprio chi potrebbe essere peggio. E Bush padre vinse le elezioni del 1988 con Quayle al seguito,
Insomma continuare a ripetere che la Palin e’ un po’ tonta, un po’ oca, un po’ gallina non riuscira’ che a garantirle ulteriori voti. E’ cosi’ difficile arrivarci? Perche’ tutte quelle menti “liberal” non cominciano a riflettere che se qualcuno votera’ per Sarah Palin, ci sara’ pure un buon motivo al di la’ del solito “sono tutti degli idioti”?
E poi: non va forse John Biden al dibattito di giovedi’ nelle condizioni peggiori? Visto che tutti si aspettano che lui vinca alla grande, al massimo potra’ essere capace di rispettare le attese, cosa che non impressionera’ nessuno: mentre ogni punto a suo sfavore sara’ visto come un disastro (e una sconfitta).
La Palin invece, da cui nessuno si aspetta niente, potra’ dichiararsi vincitrice anche se riuscira’ a dire correttamente solo che ore sono all’orologio. Addirittura, se riuscisse a tenere testa a Biden per quasi tutto il dibattito, sara’ per lei un trionfo oltre ogni speranza.
E’ un po’ la tattica da “lento di comprendonio” che George W Bush ha sfruttato per diventare Governatore del Texas, e Presidente degli USA, convincendo gli avversari a sentirsi a lui infinitamente superiori.
Il candidato VP democratico ha tutto da perdere, alla Washington University a St Louis. La candidata VP repubblicana, tutto da guadagnare: un altro regalo, probabilmente, della Grandi Menti “liberal” che del loro Paese non capiscono a parer mio proprio un bel niente.
Sara’ un caso che negli ultimi 100 anni, ci siano stati 10 Presidenti Repubblicani, e solo 7 Democratici? E negli ultimi quaranta anni, 5 Repubblicani e solo 2 Democratici?
Personally I find the following statements bordering on the obvious. For some reason, many people think otherwise, in one sense or another…and unbelievably, abortion is still somehow an issue in US politics.
Even anti-Obamite David Brooks has opined at length about the Governor of Alaska’s preparedness for High Office (“Experience Matters“, IHT, Sep 16).
Apparently, the situation for Gov. Palin does not look pretty. Your columnists have described her as a female version of George W Bush for her “inexperience”, “brashness” and “excessive decisiveness”; as a populist, gun-crazied shooter potentially even of a mother and baby moose; as the gay-hating infantile, seductive former mayor of a town smaller than the local Wal-Mart, with intimidation as her preferred political tool; as an anti-intellectual contemporary “My Fair Lady” character hell-bent on getting rid of her enemies.
The list could continue for a long long time.
Now, am I the only one to think that all the above amounts to (a) free publicity for Palin; and (b) a very good platform to convince “Middle America” to vote for Palin, if only because she’s obviously such a hate figure in the Establishment?
In 2008 there are many things pointing towards a success for Barack Obama. However, the Democrats may still lose the Presidential election, for the trivial reason that one will find it very hard to get votes from people one so obviously disdains and look upon condescendingly.
Questa lista (estratta da noisefromAmerika) porta a diversi siti web dove il pronostico per le elezioni presidenziali USA e’ fatto Stato per Stato, al di la’ cioe’ dei soliti e inutili sondaggi nazionali: per la semplice ragione che i Presidenti sono eletti dal Collegio Elettorale, e non direttamente:
It is commendable for William Falk to take upon himself the task of updating the wide world of what has been happening whilst Democrats and Republicans cavorted at their respective national political conventions (”The two weeks you missed”, IHT, Sep 8). However, it would have been even more commendable had Mr Falk checked all his “facts”: otherwise, rather than a news update, his effort will be just another act of disinformation.
1- “Hezbollah…has a new base of operations in the Americas: Venezuela” – really? This has been an ongoing accusation for years, with little evidence ever provided. Shouldn’t one be a little bit more skeptical about it then, when the only source of the information are unnamed “Western intelligence officials”? This is a Presidential Election year in the USA, after all, and we all know which candidate stands to benefit if any international crisis explodes (or is concocted)
2- “Some [polar bears] were headed toward the edge of the ice shelf, 400 miles away – far beyond their endurance” – really? All we know is that by chance, a helicopter surveying the Arctic for oil-exploration has spotted nine polar bears swimming. The “400 miles away” detail has been reported not by those on the helicopter, and not even by the WWF that published the original story, but by a journalist at London-based “Daily Mail”, a newspaper that has retracted the story (=deleted from their website) since.
All in all, it looks like Mr Falk himself has been too busy watching Barack Obama, John McCain and assorted “dorky delegates bopping to the Beach Boys and Stevie Wonder”…
La Russia: e’ debole, e insicura. Ha “bisogno” di dimostrare di non essere tale, ma poi manda i soldati a combattere senza neanche un paio di stivali decenti. Con i suoi forti problemi interni, e un deciso complesso di inferiorita’, e’ sostanzialmente isolata, costantemente con soli due passi di vantaggio rispetto alla crisi piu’ nera. Per quanto?
La Georgia: forse e’ una democrazia, forse no. Sicuramente, non e’ una democrazia solida. C’e’ troppa voglia di “menare le mani”. Mutatis mutandis, e’ la Russia del Caucaso: stessa debolezza, stesso complesso di inferiorita’, etc etc
La UE: ha fatto una ottima figura con la diplomazia del cessate-il-fuoco, solo per poi ritornare alla stupida normalita’ degli interessi nazionali. La sua somma e’ decisamente minore delle parti, rendendola vulnerabile e dipendente, nonostante le sue dimensioni e ricchezza.
Gli USA: la dipendenza da petrolio ha ridotto l’unica Superpotenza a uno stanco fallimento. Troppi nelle stanze dei bottoni pensano di giocare alla Guerra Fredda, e di vendicarsene venti anni dopo che e’ finita.
Il Resto del Mondo: orfani di una politica USA seria, tentennano aspettandone le conseguenze, tutte da vedere.
Svariati commentatori: tutti impegnati nel gioco al rilancio nello sport dell’equivalenza storica. Chi dice che e’ il 1968, chi il 1956, chi il 1938. Io propendo per il 1919. In ogni caso, circolano pericolose e perniciose idee interventiste, in un caos di ideali senza fini.