Category: Politics

Carbon Democracy and the Road to Serfdom

Carbon Democracy is a book about the links between the oil industry and the current world order. The basic hypothesis is that many of our political institutions, both in the developed world and in the rest of the world, are shaped by the oil industry. When I read it, and without faulting the detailed footnotes and… Read more »

Fakebook Democracy

Thank you to my friend, JT, for pointing me at a long, detailed article exposing just how much technology the right-wing threw at winning Brexit. In short, a small coterie of right-wing billionaires applied data-mining and psychological profiling technology to social media data, to identify those undecided and target on the one-hand those disaffected to go out and vote for Brexit,… Read more »

Articulation, at Last!

Rex Tillerson gave a speech yesterday. Setting aside the folksy language that has come to dominate US political discourse, it was the first articulate expression by the Trump administration of anything at all, and I commend it on those grounds alone. That said, I can’t say I liked all of it. Tillerson set out what he has… Read more »

Panning for Gold

According to my sister’s book (yes, that was a plug), the 200,000 tonnes of rock that Kalgoorie’s Super Pit blows up every day yields three or four bars of gold. As each bar weighs 12.4 kg, that’s a yield of about 0.00002%. The Great Confusicator’s ratio of information to words must be about the same. Trump’s recent AP interview is typical (and… Read more »

Another Promise Kept

So tweeted, according to the NY Times, Donald Trump Jr as the Motherfucker Of All Bombs was dropped – as if a single bomb and 40 casualties will end the quagmire in Afghanistan or ISIS, and as if 59 Tomohawk missiles specifically targeted at nothing will solve Syria’s intractable problems. But the President, in his… Read more »

Faster than I Thought

You saw it here first a few posts ago, when I predicted that Trump’s madness, folly and incompetence would soon paint his administration into a corner from which war was the only escape. I didn’t think he’d manage it this fast. (However, if you scroll down today’s NY Times here and here and here and here – and that’s… Read more »

ExecuTweeting the Climate

The climate… Trump said he was going to do it; he did it. As with nearly all the other ExecuTweet orders, this one will be a dud. The reason coal stays in the West Virginian ground is not because of all those environmental regulations, but because it’s too expensive to get out. Even if they can… Read more »

Curry Lamb in Hong Kong

This morning, 777 of Carrie Lam’s best friends voted for her to be Hong Kong’s Chief Executive. The pronunciation of the word “7” in Cantonese is “chat,” but is also a contraction of “chow height” which is the foul language for stinky (“chow”) female genitalia (“height”). Not a good omen, and the selection committee’s subliminal… Read more »

Fact Free Politics

The question is: Can we have a healthy policy without facts? Truth is scarce and difficult, which is why we value it above lies, which are abundant and easy. In the past few weeks, the administration of the US has been promulgating lies at an unprecedented rate. It takes credit for the recent economic performance despite… Read more »

Entertainment

A friend of mine who’s a journalist hoped Trump would get in because things had been dull under Obama – and that prompted a slow epiphany. I’ve said in a previous post that it was about change, that Obama delivered steady growth, blah blah blah, but didn’t make any systemic changes; that there seems to… Read more »