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Belmont Club

Inflection Point

May 15th, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Everything old is new again. Sixty years after the Supreme Court’s Brown versus Board of Education ruling, segregation is back. “In New York, California and Texas, more than half of Latino students are enrolled in schools that are 90 percent minority or more, the report found. In New York, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan, more than half of black students attend schools where 90 percent or more are minority.”

A US military response team has deployed to Sigonella in response to intelligence indications that an attack on US facilities in North Africa may be in the offing, just as on the night a team couldn’t reach Benghazi because it couldn’t get permission to cross a border.

The Obama administration says that accepting sham or reversible concessions by North Korea would allow Washington to negotiate with Pyongyang again which the US must do at all costs. Despite indications that Syria never gave up chemical weapons, the US does not plan to revisit the issue for the same reason. General Martin Dempsey now thinks that it may be better for Assad to remain in power after all, since the opposition doesn’t seem ready to fill his shoes.

That leaves things exactly at ‘never mind’. The State Department says it is just ‘not accurate’ to say that the Boko Haram is Muslim.  Don’t stop to examine that factoid because US government contractors are flocking to Iran for business. Yet Hillary — Hillary — is doubtful Obama will strike a deal with Iran. Heck, even unnamed senior US negotiators are doubtful Obama will strike a deal with Iran.

‘Never mind’ is  a very big place but “progress” will be made and it will all be wonderful.

The French are preparing to sell the Russians two major warships despite Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, the better for Putin to intimidate US allies all around the Black Sea. In fact the US itself is spending large amounts of taxpayer money buying weapons from Russia to arm the Afghan government while it is barred by Moscow from going to the “international” space station. Meanwhile the inspector general says $103 billion in infrastructure the US built for Afghanistan will rot unless someone gives them the money to maintain it.

Somehow this will all make sense to the NYT, even though the biggest news story of the week by volume on Twitter was the firing of Jill Abramson of the New York Times following a secret internal study that their “journalism advantage is shrinking”.

The report largely ignores legacy competitors and focuses on the new wave of digital companies, including First Look Media, Vox, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and BuzzFeed.

“They are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital journalists, and that gap will grow unless we quickly improve our capabilities,” the report warns. “Meanwhile, our journalism advantage is shrinking as more of these upstarts expand their newsrooms.” …

“The very first step … should be a deliberate push to abandon our current metaphors of choice — ‘The Wall’ and ‘Church and State’ — which project an enduring need for division. Increased collaboration, done right, does not present any threat to our values of journalistic independence,” the report says.

And Mexico became a net importer of US petroleum goods for the first time in 40 years, “a significant industrial shift for a country that has long been proud of its status as one of the world’s top crude-oil exporters.”

Let’s play a game. Which of the things in this welter of confusion does not belong?

The overarching narrative that binds these events together may be that the narrative is finally busted. Lost the plot, just as if 60 years of history from Brown vs Board and that hilltop with Cokes has sprung back like a busted rubber band and we are under the pile of wreckage representing the Age of Aquarius, smothered in patchouli oil, pinned under blizzard of signs the latest of which proclaims “Hope and Change”.

If you said the ‘upsurge in US oil production’ didn’t belong in this series then maybe you’d be wrong. It belongs, in the same way that two sides are part of the same coin. Some things work, some things don’t. The trick is knowing which. But in the chaos, the players — even Hillary or the NYT — don’t know what to do, except try to stay on their feet.  They’re hedging in a world where they’ve cut down all the hedges because they were so sure.  So for the first time they are at a loss. Keeping up the Narrative has become insupportable, and in fact become less urgent than Stayin’ Alive.  

Alan Cowell of the NYT described the undefined state of the European Union.   Shorn of its literary sheen the article really describes a continent that has lost its way; a population of nearly half of billion people that followed a pied piper and who are now waking in a dark cave increasingly uncertain of where they are.

In Berlin, the traveler senses, the gaze strays eastward …

In London, by contrast, the political class peers inward, at the prospects and prognostication for European Parliament elections this month that are widely trumpeted as a watershed moment, strengthening the upstart, euro-skeptic, anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party’s claim to sway the political agenda.

But, if there is a strand that binds these splintered visions, it is that both show the European project to be an uneasy coalition of national agendas — heating bills in Germany, political survival in Britain — that cannot focus far beyond narrow interests.

Everybody is focusing on their narrow interests because nobody wants to look up: the vistas are too frightening.  Cowell describes an inbred intellectual class whose greatest triumph was elevating a bearded lady to winner of the Eurovision singing contest because that is now regarded as the mark of greatness.  Besides, they can’t do much else, especially not stopping former KGB agents rampaging ever Westward.

That was clear enough when a peculiarly European pageant — the Eurovision song contest — produced a somewhat idiosyncratic winner in Copenhagen last weekend in the slender, sequined form of Conchita Wurst, the stage name of Thomas Neuwirth, known widely as the bearded lady. “For me, my dream came true,” the 25-year-old Austrian drag queen said. “But for our society, it just showed me that there are people out there who want to go into the future and go on, you know, not stepping back or thinking in the past.”

In contrast to the acclaims that greeted the Austrian victory, Russia’s entrants — the twins Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy — were booed during the semifinals, and Russian judges speaking from Moscow were jeered by the live audience at the final.

That reflected not only Western discomfort with the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine but also the wider question of Russian attitudes to Western sexual and social norms, depicted by some in Moscow as the heralds of social collapse, but by Conchita Wurst and many others as a hard-won victory for diversity.

“What Putin sees as decadence,” Mr. Ulrich said, “is Europe’s real strength.”

So they’ll keep firing their Tweets, hashtags and selfies. But underneath the disdain, the old lofty confidence seems gone. Even the NYT is worried about its future. It is no longer assured and the inmates of Prince Prospero’s castle are starting to wonder, who that masqued man rushing through the ball might be? About whether they were wrong about something basic since nothing works and what does work — like people grubbing for oil — wasn’t supposed to.

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Top Rated Comments   
Mariam Ibrahami plight woke some dormant sense of shame in me. She is facing the gallows for what she believes in. It's very basic. She's a woman and brave and I am ... ? In an emotional sense it is less to do with whether I am a Christian and more to do with whether I am a man.

Maybe there's only so many slaps one can take before you really wonder whether you've just been bought off by the desire to remain civilized and acceptable and whether the price of admission has finally become too high.

There is something terribly wrong about a woman and her unborn child being hanged in the second decade of the 21st century by a jumped up moron who calls himself a judge and our best and finest, our UN declaration of Human Rights, our vast diplomatic establishments only able to murmur some obscure indirect disapproval.

The problem is less whether Ibrahimi lives or dies, but whether in some sense I get to my keep my soul and self-respect. I suspect that in the end about all that we can save of all that we have been trying to save -- our homes, our possessions, our bank accounts -- will be our self respect. And I doubt we will salvage even much of that.

What I so very much detest is that I should be put to this test of manhood for there are no winners in the only answer you can give. It's not 9/11 that I hate so much as the requirement that we enlighteneds had to invite the very people who egged those hijackers on to gloat at the ceremony.

The dead are past caring, but are we the living in no better case?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"She answered, 'I’m not an apostate, your honor; because I was never a Muslim. I grew up a Christian.’ Then the judge announced, ‘you are sentenced to death by hanging,'" Nabi told South Sudan in Focus.

We don't even "see" this incident, because it's really nothing to worry about.

The U.S. State Department said it was "deeply disturbed" by the sentence of death by hanging imposed on Mariam but understood that the sentence was open to appeal.

The problem is not with the Islamists. They are who they are. It's with us. Who are we really? We're not even men with a belief, as the Islamists have a belief. We are not even men like the fascist Putin, who is a least openly and avowedly a villain.

We are low down, yellow, smug and self-deceptive nothings.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thomas Neuwirth may not be thinking about the past but the past is not only thinking about him, it is very much part of the present and galloping on stage from all directions. The past includes Russians aching with paranoia from 1,000 years of invasion and war from all directions, including being literally, in the correct use of the word, being ground down into the mud by the Tatars. The past includes Turks who beat against the gates of Vienna twice and remember that Islam has always, from the Yarmuk to Manzikert and beyond, advanced through treachery. The past includes the Arabs dreaming of Al-Andalus and a Caliphate where infidels pay the tax and women are in their place. The past includes millions thinking of tales of tribal calls, Irish or German or French etc., to communities that gave the promise of a meaning beyond that of taxpayer to the self actualized and self regarding. The past includes appeals to faiths, Jewish and Christian, that said the individuals mattered and they gained their worth and liberties within a structure of rules that gave rise to mutual respect and respect to things larger than individuals. All those pasts are coming back and the place that Mr Neuwirth and his friends envision is, by the choice of those who desired and created this modern Europe, one that excludes those pasts to make a place for this present. Mr Neuwirth chose his glittering cup, and as the old knight said he choose poorly. The past is real and the problem with reality is that the d*mn thing just won't go away.

It is a strange knot when the Russians sell gas to China and Kilo submarines to Vietnam while the Chinese invade Vietnamese oil fields and the Russians invade Ukraine while the French sell warships to Russia and the Americans pay the Russians to feed our troops while threatening Russia and China over said invasions and Nato of which France is sort of a part moves forces to challenge Russia. Now that everything is clear we may accept an apologia for the Obama Mideast policy based on his people simply losing the thread. The thing about a knot in that part of the world is that eventually someone cuts it.

The argument for sham negotiations is that they provide jobs for the boys.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (97)
All Comments   (97)
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I'm tired of hearing the apologists talk about "good" Muslims. Until they step up and end the atrocities done in their name, I will consider their inaction as condoning the crimes and they no different from the others. Islam is at war with non-Muslims whether you want to believe it or not. We should use "Responsibility To Protect" to kill them in large numbers until they change their world view or become extinct.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The difference is as follows:

Extremist Muslims want to kill all the infidels.

"Good" Muslims want the extremist Muslims to kill all the infidels.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gay Mafia pressures bank to drop Benham brothers

First they lost their television show. Now the Benham brothers say they are losing their business.
SunTrust Banks is cutting ties with would-be reality stars David and Jason Benham after liberal activists attacked them for their conservative views on abortion and gay marriage, The Daily Caller has learned.

In a statement provided first to TheDC on Friday, the Benham brothers confirmed that SunTrust Banks has pulled all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business, which includes several franchisees across four states.
Michael Sam’s Boyfriend is Mafia, Gambling Ring Royalty:

NFL Usually Alarmed By That, But b/c He’s Gay No Biggie.

The NFL’s treatment of Michael Sam has another double standard to it. And it has to do with the Mafia and illegal betting on NFL games.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
the brothers should have known --"SunTrust" --the Egyptian mystery religion again --it's Pharaohnic and everywhere --
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Will they approach Michael Sam and inquire about his boyfriend’s mob and gambling ties? If the boyfriend, Cammisano, was a chick, they definitely would have. But they won’t dare now, lest they be labelled homophobic. You can be mob-ophobic. But it’s politically incorrect to be homo-mob-ophobic."
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard: clicking the bookmark ""; or your banner takes me to "Why can't we see" instead of the most current page.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment

itellu3times has some info and advice posted there.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
“What Putin sees as decadence,” Mr. Ulrich said, “is Europe’s real strength.”

Yeah, which would help your more in a firefight? If I were in Europe, I'd be scared right about now.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
--you're right --nothing could look sillier than the bearded draq queen among the thronging hordes of refugees streaming out of the burning cities.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just checked NPR's website. No mention of Ibrahimi.

With your tax dollars.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, America under the Leadership of Obama has reached an inflection point of sorts- no one trusts or relies upon us anymore. America under Obama (or under Hillary) will no longer be the beacon of hope it has been or the last refuge of freedom people the world over will escape to. On those issues the Left for now has made us "has beens".

Obama has also done his best to take America down several notches in every conceivable way possible. But on that front, we have not reached that inflection point where we cannot come back. To bring us back though will take resolute leadership that firmly believes in our Constitution, free markets and our inalienable rights. Amen, 57nomad.

To understand the persecution of so many of our citizens, one has to realize that the Left has fingered and reworked in new ways a few pages out of one of their old discredited early twentieth century playbooks - Mein Kampf. We - those religious, particularly Christian, Constitution loving, patriotic Americans are the new "Jews".

The dynamic is very similar. The animus though this time around, is even greater, because we, unlike the Jews of Germany and Eastern Europe under Hitler, are a serious threat to the power and the dreams of control of the Left. The Jews were just a stalking house of hatred that was used to gain power and their extermination did very little to reinforce the Nazi's hold on power. Exterminating the power of the Constitutional Right is another matter all together. Just like how the dictatorial autocrats around the World must extinguish the ideals of America, the American Left must extinguish the ideals of the Constitutional Right.

What is old is new again.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And we are here because of ecological political niches. City and country. And neither understands the other. In cities children are a liability. In the country they are an asset.

All politics is thermodynamics.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
subdue the evil from our sight such as our Lord and Savior did when chasing the Money Changers from the Temple

But it was the priests that set up the system. He was chasing the wrong guys.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
--oh no, he was chasing the right guys --just starting with the forward edge.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what is left of the dream of '68?

Huh? What "dream of '68" is that? The communist street riots in Paris? "The Wave" that Hunter S. Thompson saw already fall back by 1972 of hippies, drugs, dropping out, Woodstock, Kent State, anti-Vietnam war, the Chicago riots outside the Democratic Convention?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the system of '68 hadn't been so rotten the left would have had no purchase. Apartheid in the South. 'Nam.

We are just now ending drug prohibition - ramped up to fight the hippies. In exchange for the hippies we got drug gangs and drug cartels. I don't think it was a good trade.

Hate makes people injure themselves more than the hated object. Generally.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what do we do now that the System of ’14 is more corrupt, more oppressive, more evil than what it replaced?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
''...the left would've had no purchase"

That's from December, 2001 --written from NYC just after jet airliners crashed into the WTC and the piles of ruins were still smoking, about a poem written from NYC just after Germany crashed into Poland and the smoking ruins of WW2 had begun to pile up.

There's confusion in the poem, confusion in the poet about the poem, confusion in the NYT story about the confusion in the poem and of the poet about the poem. Here's the poem (what reminded of it were your remarks on 'hate' and 'gained purchase' vs the poem's first three stanzas):

(here's the first three stanzas --remember we are in this here and now, and the words are from the then and there several wars ago)

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.


(end excerpt, read the whole thing at the link)
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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