2008.11.19

Indian Navy & Somali Pirates: The Nation-State Remains Central

The engagement by the Indian Navy of the Somali-based / sea-borne pirates who have been seizing vessels with regularity over the past several weeks indicates the continuing importance of the nation-state,

especially in the post-crash world in which we're living, where, simultaneously, co-ordinated multi-lateral action is ALSO going to be more significant than it has been since the disastrous epoch of Bush / Cheney ...

Posted by David Caploe on November 19, 2008 at 11:16 AM in Arab/Muslim World, Europe, International Relations, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why MAD MEN Is So Good

Please forgive me for not getting the DVD -- whether pirated or legit ;-) -- of the AMC hit MAD MEN, but I guess I've had other things going on ... ;-) ...

And it's finally arrived on Asian TV, on FX, which used to be pretty crappy, but is definitely improving and getting closer to its US source, altho it's not quite there yet ...

That said, it is showing not only MAD MEN, but also:

Californication -- whose charms, I must admit, have yet to reach me,
The Riches -- which now seems simultaneously dated AND prescient in its immersion in the pre-crash hypocrisy that was Bush / Cheney America,
a pretty smart Brit thing called Peep Show,
and, nightly, Family Guy -- including episodes that I'd never seen in the US, where I was a devoted fan ...

Anyway, while I don't have time right at the moment for a FULL analysis --

have to call one of the many "property agents", a facet of Singapore life that will eventually disappear once people understand CraigsList ;-), trying to make some money by helping me find a place to live --

it struck me while watching what I guess is the third or fourth episode that the reason it's so popular is that

it captures the emotional claustrophobia that was America before the 1960s Cultural Revolution ...

That is significant in and of itself AND because the lived memory of those of us who were children at that time is pretty much un-recovered in the aftermath of the 60s --

which can be encapsulated as totally victorious on the social / cultural front, and completely defeated on the political / economic front --

for more, please feel free to check out my lecture on 60s Cultural Revolution: Lecture 25 ... https://www.acalaha.com/lecture_westernculture2.php ... on the ACALAHA website ... ;-)

It is so powerful because -- aside from having a lot of major staff people from The Sopranos ;-) -- the films etc from that period were so much driven by the implicit assumptions of the time that they couldn't get out from under them ...

and, consequently, just seem kind of weird and dated, but don't necessarily offer a huge insight into what was going on WITHOUT, of course, the kind of context that only Medianalysis (C) can provide ... ;-) ...

What's great about MAD MEN is that it is the lived experience of that period viewed from the perspective of the aftermath of what followed, namely the 60s ...

And that gives it a power and poignancy that is very powerful ... almost nostalgic, one might say ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on November 19, 2008 at 11:10 AM in Books, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Media, Politics, Religion, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.10.25

Rodney / RB Injuries = Patriots' Mediocrity

It's not as if the season and, frighteningly -- if the reports about the post-op staph infection of his knee are correct -- potentially career-ending knee injury to Tom Brady was bad enough ...

But the injuries in the rout of the Broncos to defensive leader Rodney Harrison -- even if he has lost a step or two physically, remained key both intellectually and emotionally --

AND slashing running back Sammy Morris -- for the second year in a row -- do seem to indicate a deficit from which it doesn't seem the Patriots are going to be able to recover this season ...

If they do, it will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bill Belichick IS the greatest football coach of all time ...

But I must admit, I am skeptical that even he can pull a rabbit out of this hat ... ;-) ...

In the wake of Brady's absence, the idea was to bring Matt Cassel along slowly but surely,

letting the running game -- for which the Pats had stockpiled 5 backs, instead of the usual 4 --

and a much tougher defense than the Pats had shown when THEY were beat up by the Chargers --

handle a lot of the load while Cassel found himself, especially in terms of being able to read defensive rhythms and adjust,

in the fashion that really makes Tom Brady the unique quarterback  he is ...

Certainly in the Monday Night game vs. Denver, that strategy seemed like a winner, and capable of bringing the Pats not just into the post-season,

but, in a season where parity rules, and no team seems to be consistently unbeatable, achieve some success in January ...

Unfortunately, the key elements for giving Cassel time to grow into the role -- a running game and stout-er defensive play -- were both devastated by the injuries to Rodney and Sammy Morris ...

Lamont Jordan was already out -- kudos to my pal Wayne for telling me two weeks ago that Jordan was prone to pathetic injuries, which then ensued that weekend, just as he had predicted --

but Sammy Morris was a tiger in the first half vs. the Broncos ... but he never came out for the second half, and was listed as questionable / doubtful for the Rams game this weekend ...

Which left only Kevin Faulk -- who is a brilliant third-down, but certainly not EVERY down, back -- Heath Evans, who is basically a blocker, altho HAS had some great games "in relief" during seasons past,

and the free agent rookie with the disarmingly charming name of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who has been promoted from the practice squad ...

Now if he turns out to be a killer back, then hats off again to Belichick and Scott Pioli for finding yet another diamond in the rough ...

But even if he is, that's a HUGE burden for a first year player to have to carry ... and if HE should go down, for whatever reason, well ...

On the other side of the ball, it's clear that Rodney Harrison was able to make the cuts and get to the spots that his brilliant football mind him told him were right ...

But his intellectual and emotional leadership of the defense -- not least his on-field mentoring and coaching of the younger backs, like former 'Cane Brandon Meriweather -- were, by all accounts, his true contribution ...

So while the Pats MIGHT have been able to do something this year, even without Tom Brady, this latest round of injuries to the backfields -- both offensive and defensive -- would just about seem to rule a post-season out ...

Still, stranger things HAVE happened ... but I don't think this is going to be the Pats year -- and not simply because of TB ...

Posted by David Caploe on October 25, 2008 at 03:23 PM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Current Affairs, Democrats, Games, Media, Sports, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.09.08

Brady Injury Has Some Karmic Upsides for Pats / Fans

Of course, it's certainly not the BEST thing that even happened to New England sports fans ;-),

but in a weird way, it's not the worst thing either ...

Basically, it allows a complete re-set from the amazing -- and, given the way it ended, amazingly WEIRD -- 2007 season ...

And that's not a terrible thing, given the incredible psychic weight last season put EVERYONE through, Patriots lovers and haters both ...

In life in general, and the NFL in particular, you can never say, "if things had gone as expected" ...

But ... if things HAD gone as expected, i.e., Tom Brady did not go down in the first quarter of the first game with what appears to be a season-ending injury,

this season would have been an elaborate continuation of last, even without "spygate",

And you could tell the burden of that was already beginning to weigh on Brady, not just with his total non-participation in pre-season games,

but his failure to show up for all the off-season workouts -- the first time in his career with the Patriots where he DIDN'T win the coveted "closest parking space" for being the most visible and vigorous participant, etc. etc. etc. ...

Furthermore, every story line from last season would have been continued -- or if not, the reason it wasn't being continued would have been remarked-upon -- into craziness for all concerned,

given the "repetition compulsion" of the media in general, and sports media in particular ...

Now, that's all gone in a puff of smoke -- or collapsed in a painful left-knee heap ;-) ...

And, in a way, that will actually provide some relief for EVERYBODY ... above all, believe it or not, for the Patriots themselves, altho it will actually be harder on the fans ... ;-) ...

Now, if they lose some games, they lose some games ... and they will have to re-tool the offense, obviously ...

But the spotlight will be off them, finally, and that, I think, will actually provide them a lot of relief,

while letting what IS a first-rate organization figure out how to pick up the pieces, and make something happen with what they've got ...

In that context, my -- basically uninformed on the current state of the two individuals I'm about to mention -- preference for the necessary "veteran quarterback pick-up" would be Daunte Culpepper ...

The obvious reason, of course, is his established relationship with Randy Moss ...

But he's also a smart and strong guy, who is dying for redemption, and, if he can do it, would, I think, be willing to do everything he can to learn "the Patriot way" ...

Now, I say this having NO idea what Chris Simms is all about, except of course that his father is an excellent football analyst ... ;-) ...

So, this could be completely bogus on my part ... but I think that, somehow, the Patriots, at the end of the season are STILL going to be in it ...

and COULD win it ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on September 8, 2008 at 11:35 AM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Media, Politics, Republicans, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.08.13

"High Value Outsourcing": Income Re-Distribution in Global Media Society

Very interesting NYTimes piece about how "out-sourcing" is now seriously re-distributing income at the six-figure level ...

An intriguing aspect is how this dynamic is now being focused on India,

largely because of its head-start on China with a highly-skilled work force conversant in English ...

Something for the Indians to consider is what is going to happen anywhere from 20 to 25 years from now,

when the English language level of China will effectively -- albeit not historically -- rival India's, a prospect to which the article briefly alludes towards the end ...

After outsourcing much of their back-office work to India, banks are now exporting data-intensive jobs from higher up the food chain to cities that cost less than New York, London and Hong Kong, either at their own offices or to third parties.

Bank executives call this shift “knowledge process outsourcing,” “off-shoring” or “high-value outsourcing.”

It is affecting just about everyone, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Citibank — to name a few. ...

Proponents of the change say Wall Street’s wary embrace of the activity may signal the beginning of a profound shift in the way investment banks are structured,

with everyone but the top deal makers, client representatives and the bank management permanently relocated to cheaper locales like India, the Philippines and Eastern Europe. ...

The jobs most affected so far are those with grueling hours, traditionally done by fresh-faced business school graduates — research associates and junior bankers on deal-making teams — paid in the low to mid six figures.

Cost-cutting in New York and London has already been brutal thus far this year, and there is more to come in the next few months.

New York City financial firms expect to hand out some $18 billion less in pay and benefits this year than 2007, the largest one-year drop ever.

Over all, United States banks will cut 200,000 employees by 2009, the banking consultancy Celent said in April.

The work these bankers were doing is not necessarily going away, though.

Instead, jobs are popping up in places like India and Eastern Europe, often where healthier local markets exist. ...

Owing in part to credit weaknesses and billion-dollar charges from the subprime crisis, “people who were off-shoring high value jobs are increasing the intensity of that, and people who were not are now in the planning stage,” said Andrew Power, a financial services partner at Deloitte Consulting.

Wall Street banks started cautiously sending research jobs to India a few years ago, hiring employees by the handful and running pilot programs with firms like Copal, Office Tiger, Pipal Research and Tata Consultancy Services.

In 2003, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley said they planned to move a few dozen research jobs to Mumbai, Lehman Brothers was working on a pilot program to create research presentations in India and both Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs said they had not moved any research to the country.

Five years later, the trickle is a flood.

Third-party firms say they are seeing a 20 to 40 percent upswing in business this year alone.

Morgan Stanley has about 500 people employed in India doing research and statistical analysis. About 100 of Goldman Sachs’ 3,000 employees in Bangalore are working on investment research.

JPMorgan has 200 analysts in Mumbai working for its investment banking operations around the world, doing industry analysis, and compiling data and charts for marketing materials. It has an additional 125 analysts in Mumbai supporting the bank’s global research division.

Citigroup employs about 22,000 people in India, several hundred of whom work in investment research.

Deutsche Bank has 6,000 employees in India, according to the bank’s Web site. Deutsche started a pilot program to outsource some research in 2003, and would not provide any update.

Theoretically, as much as 40 percent of the research-related jobs on Wall Street, tens of thousands of jobs, could be sent off-shore, said Deloitte’s Mr. Power, though the reality will be less than that. ...

Permanently moving banking jobs out of New York or London is a touchy subject on Wall Street.

Many investment banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, would not make executives available to discuss the topic.

Press officers for most banks asked not to be quoted or argued over semantics.

For example, one spokesman said his bank’s fast-growing India support operations are not an outsourcing facility, but a “center of excellence”;

another argued that large cost cuts at his bank’s New York and London headquarters were really “re-engineering” so the bank should not be included in such an article.

“Some of that is self-serving,” Octavio Marenzi, chief executive of Celent, said of the impulse to keep quiet. “If I admit that research analysts can be off-shored to India, that means that I could too.”

He said the “more advanced firms” will be able to use the cost differences and talent pools in India, and in the future in China, to their advantage.

A few banks have openly embraced off-shoring. Credit Suisse has 6,500 employees around the world working in lower-cost locations in India, Poland and Singapore. Of these about 500 are doing high-value jobs.

“We have people helping the execution of deals, data gathering, helping to build financial models, writing research, and doing scenario analysis,” said Vineet Nagrani, head of knowledge process outsourcing at the bank.

The bank has small teams working on fixed-income research, credit research and foreign exchange research, “all of which are going to grow” Mr. Nagrani said. Credit Suisse is also doubling the number of investment bankers and private bankers in India who deal with local clients in the next 12 months.

The bank’s clients, so far, seem happy.

“As long as clients get a good quality product and can talk to their favorite research analyst” they do not care if the grunt work is done in New York or India, Mr. Power said.

Third-party outsourcing firms face two hurdles when winning this business, N. Chandrasekaran, chief operating officer of Tata Consultancy Services, said.

First, banks need to be confident that third parties are capable of doing the work. Second, they need to decide whether they want to move the work out of the bank at all.

To address the first issue, Tata sets up pilot programs with clients. A new Tata office in Cincinnati, which will employ 1,000 people in three years, is intended to give the company a United States presence. ...

The jobs off-shore are more likely to come from the investment bank and trading divisions of Wall Street firms, rather than the sales side, which produces analyst reports about companies and industries, said Andy Kessler, a former analyst who has written several books about Wall Street.

“There’s a huge amount of grunt work that has been done by $250,000-a-year Wharton M.B.A.’s,” Mr. Kessler said. “Some of that stuff, it’s natural to outsource it.”

He added, “These are middle of the office jobs, not back office, but they’re not the people on the front line.”

After research, the next wave may include more sophisticated jobs like the creation of derivative products, quantitative trading models and even sales jobs from the trading floors. ...

In addition to growth outside India, these outsourcing experts are bringing in Chinese nationals, Arabic speakers and even the very people they are replacing: business school graduates from America.

Daniel Peng, who will be a senior at Dartmouth next year, is working in the equity research department of Copal Partners as a summer intern. “I thought it would be a good emerging markets experience,” he said.

Tellingly, Mr. Peng still hopes for an old-fashioned Wall Street job when he graduates. New York would be “ideal,” he said.

Posted by David Caploe on August 13, 2008 at 11:40 AM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Europe, International Relations, Media, NY Times, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

2008.08.11

Russian Invasion of Georgia Shows Once Again Neo-Con Sleaze re Iraq

The most important substantive point about the current -- really de-stabilizing and aggressive -- Russian invasion of Georgia is that,

as with the Arab / Israeli conflict, there are no good guys and bad guys here ...

everyone involved is screwed up and responsible for LOTS of outrages against the other side ...

The significant analytic point is the absolute irrelevance of the United States ...

first, in not being able to deter this disaster, which is only beginning, and is bound to get bloodier and uglier for a while to come ...

and, then, as this conflict does grind on in its predictably destructive way, in not being able to do much of anything positive about it ...

As with the whole mess in the Caucasus, there are many reasons for American impotence --

which, it should be noted, has been the characteristic posture of the allegedly "tough guy" Bush regime, and not the allegedly "feel your pain" Clinton administration --

but the key is the self-imposed and -created catastrophe of Iraq,

which has not just destroyed that country, and de-stabilized the entire Middle East from Turkey to Lebanon to Oman to Iran,

but has weakened both the image of US deterrence and reality of its power around the world, not just in the present, but for the foreseeable future ...

So it is particularly enraging to read the screed of effete impudent snobs like Bill Kristol and the rest of the neo-con gang --

people who so vigorously promoted Iraq in the first place, and defend it to this day --

get all sniffy and morally condescending about the US responsibility to go in and help the Georgians militarily
...

Just as in the Cold War, when the US -- for sad but correct big power "sphere of influence" reasons -- sat by while the Soviet Union crushed rebellions in East Germany [ 1953 ] / Hungary [ 1956 ] / Czechoslovakia [ 1968 ] / Poland [ 1981 ]

until Mikhail Gorbachev won the Cold War for the entire world by refusing to do the same repressive thing when East Germans starting leaving for West Germany via Hungary,

thereby creating the conditions for the PEACEFUL breaching of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 --

the US is not / can not / and will not intervene militarily in this situation ...

unless, of course the whole Bush / Cheney / Rove / Haliburton / Blackwater gang can figure out a way to make money off the deal ...

in which case, of course, all bets are off ... ;-) ...

In the interim, it would be better for blowhards like Kristol and his pals to keep their big traps shut about the "necessity" of helping since the Georgians, since any hope of doing that was lost in March 2003,

when the US invaded Iraq for reasons having to do only with the desire of Bush and Cheney to help their once and future employers take with no-bid contracts the hard earned money of US taxpayers shocked and cowed by 9/11 ...

Posted by David Caploe on August 11, 2008 at 09:11 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Democrats, Europe, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.08.02

Why Political Islam Is the Problem, NOT Terrorism

It's nothing new for us, of course, to point out the manifold ways in which the low level of public discourse in the US in general, and towards all things Middle Eastern in particular --

a sad and incredibly self / destructive phenomenon in which Democrats have as eagerly and stupidly participated at the ruling BCRHB clique --

have made an already difficult and problematic global and regional scene much worse than it was already ...

An excellent -- if, as usual, disturbing and sad -- example of this confusion between the challenges presented by political Islam and "terrorism"

is this piece in the New York Times about growing -- and increasingly violent -- tensions between the historic minority [ 10% ] Coptic Christian community in Egypt and the dominant Muslim majority ...

This would be dismaying in any case, but it's particularly so because, for quite a long time, there were relatively few problems between the two communities, and those were relatively minor ...

As the article shows, however, this is no longer the case, and it only points to the extent to which political Islam is continuing to create problems throughout the Arab / Muslim world for non-Islamic minorities ...

If the US had taken a different tack after 9/11 by correctly identifying the problem as political Islam, and not some amorphous "terrorism",

there is little doubt the polarization and animosity that has become so prominent since that day would be considerably smaller and much less of a real problem,

which, as the article shows, even anti-Islamist governments like Egypt's, do everything they can to sweep under the rug ...

So while the piece might be about what's going on in Egypt, don't have any illusions:

a major factor contributing to the problems there are rooted in the failure of the US elites to make even the slightest effort to understand what is actually going on there ...

As more and more conflicts pile up and as the tensions of daily life increase, many people in Egypt and around the region said the problem of sectarian clashes had become more urgent.

They said that ordinary conflicts had become more bitterly sectarian as religious identity had become more prominent among Muslims and Christians alike.

“It is as if there is a struggle — each against the other — and it creates a sectarian atmosphere,” said Gamal Assaad, a former member of Parliament who is a Coptic intellectual and a writer.

“This tense atmosphere makes people ready to explode at any point if they are subjected to any amount of instigation or incitement.”

Egypt is the most populous Arab country, with about 80 million people. About 10 percent are Coptic Christian. ...

For most [ Copts ], the tension is personal, a fear that a son or daughter will fall in love with a Muslim or of being derided as “coftes,” which means “fifth column.”

“We keep to ourselves,” said Kamel Nadi, 24, a Coptic who runs a small shop in the Shubra neighborhood of Cairo.

“Muslims can’t say it, but it’s clear they don’t accept us. Here no one can speak the truth on this issue, so everybody’s feelings are kept inside.”

Christian Arabs have increasingly complained of being marginalized in the Middle East, with large numbers leaving over the decades.

Now it appears that pressure on these communities is spiking, whether in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or the West Bank. In each, Christians speak of specific national behavior that has made them feel less welcome.

While governments are generally regarded as more accommodating than they used to be, the overall environment is seen as less hospitable.

“Yes, we are feeling marginalized,” said Dr. Audeh Quawas, a surgeon in Amman, Jordan, who serves on the central committee of the World Council of Churches, a Geneva-based group.

He rattled off a list of grievances, from the refusal of the state to acknowledge Easter as a national holiday to the insistence that Christians abide by Islamic law regarding inheritance. ...

Many Egyptians around Cairo and in the south said that conflicts often arose over everyday matters — a dispute between farmers, an argument between students — but that once sparked, they deteriorated into sectarian name-calling, sometimes worse.

That is partly because religious identity is paramount now, more important than a common citizenship, Mr. Assaad [ the Coptic writer ] said. ...

“When something happens, it always comes back to Muslim and Christian,” said Tharwat Taki Faris, 45, a subsistence farmer in Mansafees, a village of about 33,000 people five hours south of Cairo. ...

Frustrated by the official posture of denial, a small group of Egyptian bloggers decided in January 2007 to try to bring Muslims and Christians together to talk.

The group, which calls itself Together Before God, began with about 20 members of both faiths.

They posted an Internet survey to gauge Muslims’ and Christians’ ideas about each other and received about 5,000 responses. Two-thirds were from Muslims, the rest from Christians.

The survey showed profound misunderstanding on both sides, said Sherif Abdel Aziz, 36, a co-founder of the group.

Some Muslims declared that Coptic priests wore black to mourn the Arab invasion of Egypt in the seventh century.

Some Christians believed that the Koran ordered Muslims to kill all Christians.

Did the group discover a sectarian problem?

Absolutely, and it was compounded by the lack of frank public discussion, Mr. Abdel Aziz said.

“The religious discourse has to change from both sides because it incites hatred, even if it does so indirectly, increasing fanaticism from both sides,” Mr. Abdel Aziz said.

Posted by David Caploe on August 2, 2008 at 04:30 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Beirut Daily Star, Culture, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.08.01

Orville Schell on Olympics & China's Underlying Self-Image

Subtle, nuanced analysis of China by Orville Schell about the potential impact of the Beijing Olympics on China's underlying self-image,

and, while his analogies are bit forced, some important points by Kent in #3 & #5 of the comments section.

Seen from Singapore, Tony's point in Comment #6 about the basic upward track of China and the basic downward track on the US seem quite trenchant ...

especially the utter lack of American self-awareness in both public and, even more shockingly, elite circles about both the quality of "information" and the substance of the Chinese and American situations ...

Let's hope Orville Schell's insights will have some impact on the otherwise often ignorant comments Americans seemingly feel so free to make about China, usually without much knowledge base ...

This is not to say there aren't real problems in China, and not simply the horrific pollution and lack of quality control in manufacturing of all sorts ...

But the most important point Schell makes is the extent to which -- if the "Asian" Century is going to succeed -- China above all is going to have to take a real leadership role,

similar to what the US was like under Roosevelt / Truman / and even Eisenhower,

and UN-like the largely ignorant and self / destructive policies the US has so eagerly engaged in since the disastrous Reagan years,

which, of course, have been extended by the Bush Sr and Clinton administrations, and dwarfed by the catastrophic outrages of the Bush Jr regime ...

UPDATE:

A basically identical version of this was published as comment #33 on the article in question ...

This is gratifying not only in principle, but because -- unusually -- the comments on this piece are generally quite well-thought-out and informed on BOTH sides of the China / US relationship ...

Please do check it out ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on August 1, 2008 at 04:00 PM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, International Relations, Media, NY Times, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.28

Financial Instability / Credit Crunch Direct Result of Dems' Betrayal of New Deal Legacy

Totally shocking, if completely UN-surprising, NYT piece about how US "financial institutions" --

having grabbed obscene profits while the going SEEMED to be good --

are now, typically, going overboard in the opposite direction,

i.e., tightening credit beyond all reason, even for reasonable risk companies that are doing well
...

While the MAIN responsibility, of course, lies with the BCRHB claque,

the supine Democrats -- who have willingly gone along with every insane idea that the RPBs and their "financial industry" cronies have come with --

due to a combination of ideational flacidity AND their refusal to challenge an out-of-control campaign finance system that could easily be re-formed with some simple regulatory changes in television political regulations --

are ALMOST as responsible ... not least for having completely abandoned every shred of their once intimate and structural commitment to the principles of an intelligently interventionist New Deal state ...

So now, despite the Federal Reserve's constant cutting of interest rates in a vain attempt to prevent the credit crunch that is already well underway,

the economy that was allegedly "flourishing" under the pre-New Deal "let the market determine EVERYTHING" regime is now collapsing ...

in a way that seems likely to keep the US economy staggering for the foreseeable future ...

And for all the blather about change, there seems less and less reason every day to think that Baruch Obama is going to make any appreciable difference in these KEY matters of political economy ...

Banks struggling to recover from multibillion-dollar losses on real estate are curtailing loans to American businesses, depriving even healthy companies of money for expansion and hiring. ...

The scarcity of credit has intensified the strains on the economy by withholding capital from many companies,

just as joblessness grows and consumers pull back from spending in the face of high gas prices, plummeting home values and mounting debt.

“The second half of the year is shot,” said Michael T. Darda, chief economist at the trading firm MKM Partners in Greenwich, Conn., who was until recently optimistic that the economy would continue expanding.

“Access to capital and credit is essential to growth. If that access is restrained or blocked, the economic system takes a hit.”

Companies that rely on credit are now delaying and canceling expansion plans as they struggle to secure finance.

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products, figured it would be easy to get a $300,000 bank loan to finance a new robot for his factory in Baltimore. His company, which makes parts for makers of home appliances, is growing and profitable, he said. His expansion would add three new jobs to an economy hungry for work.

But when Mr. Greenblatt called the local branch of Wachovia — the same bank that had been aggressively marketing loans to him for years — he was distressed by the response.

“The exact words were, ‘We’re saying no to almost everybody,’ ” Mr. Greenblatt recalled. “This is why God made banks, for this kind of transaction. This is going to slow down the American economy.”

Earlier this year, credit extended by banks to companies and consumers was still growing at double-digit rates compared with three months earlier, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by Goldman Sachs.

By mid-June, bank credit was declining at an annualized pace of more than 6 percent.

That is a drop of nearly $150 billion, an amount much larger than the value of the tax rebates the government has sent to households this year in an effort to spur economic activity. ...

But if the newfound caution of American banks is prudent in the long run, the immediate impact is amplifying the troubles with the economy.

The Federal Reserve has been lowering interest rates aggressively to make money flow more loosely and to spur economic activity.

The financial system is not going along:

As banks hold on to their dollars, mortgage rates are climbing. So are borrowing costs for corporations.

Some suggest that the banks, spooked by enormous losses, have replaced a disastrously indiscriminate willingness to hand out money with an equally arbitrary aversion to lend — even on industries that continue to grow.

“There’s been a lot of disruption in the credit market, and a lot of traditional lenders have really tightened up,” said Gregory Goldstein, president of Macquarie Equipment Finance, which leases computer gear and other technology to companies.

“Before, some of the standards they lent on were weak, but we think they have overshot and gone too far on the other end.”

Posted by David Caploe on July 28, 2008 at 01:50 PM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Media, NY Times, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.26

Seeking Best Student Loan Deal Kills Your Credit Rating: NYTimes

If Obama and the Dems somehow manage to blow the November election,

it won't be for lack of issues the BCRHB clique has provided them over the last 8 years of living hell in America ... ;-) ...

The latest episode in the on-going student loan debacle -- a result of the privatization mania in which the Dems, of course, eagerly participated --

is that it turns out shopping for a good deal there, as you would looking for a mortgage or car loan, can destroy the credit rating of a young person starting out in life ... or her parents ...

The short answer is because that little exercise in bargain-hunting shows up in the credit agency reporting figures like someone about to go bankrupt desperately seeking any source of credit they can before going under ...

But the long answer -- found in this scintillating and sharply written Your Money column for the [ almost hidden ] Saturday NYTimes by Ron Leiber -- unveils the truly Orwellian logic of the credit rating agencies who determine so much of American consumers' economic life ...

As we so often say, read it and weep ... ;-) ...

There is just one problem with comparison shopping for a private student loan.

Doing so may damage your credit score.

Since lenders quote higher interest rates to applicants with lower scores, some students could end up paying thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of their loans.

In few other areas of consumer life are you at risk of being penalized for seeking out the best deal.

Indeed, mortgage and auto loan seekers who comparison shop within a relatively short period of time do not see their credit scores suffer.

But Fair Isaac, the company that helps credit bureaus calculate credit scores, does not extend the same break to private student loan applicants or their parents, who often co-sign for loans.

The basic inequity here — the fact that people borrowing money for higher education are not given the same benefit of the doubt as people shopping for mansions and BMWs — is unfortunate enough.

But the real head-scratcher is how little anyone in the industry seems to know about how often students and their parents suffer damage.

[This] wouldn’t matter if Fair Isaac bowed to the will of the New York State attorney general’s office.

The office has been investigating the student loan industry for more than a year and has asked Fair Isaac to treat student loan borrowers like car and home shoppers.

So far, Fair Isaac has refused to change its policy.

This issue matters because even a small credit score decline can lead to a more costly interest rate.

Every point counts at a time of tightening credit standards, when many lenders have been requiring higher minimum credit scores.

In addition, banks have been getting stingier with another source that parents tap for tuition money, home equity loans.

Posted by David Caploe on July 26, 2008 at 02:30 PM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Media, NY Times, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.22

2nd Construction Terror Attack Exposes "Colonial" Aspect of Is / Pal

While I didn't have time to comment on it, having been both busy and sick in the early part of July,

today's second construction-vehicle terror attack in Jerusalem exposes what has become the classic "colonial" relationship between Israel and the Palestinians ...

It should be remembered that one of the most humanly disgusting and strategically vulnerable aspects of the relationship between European colonial powers and the native populations

was the fact that the locals were expected to do all the dirty work while the masters sipped drinks on the verandah ...

Once the anti-colonial liberation struggles commenced in earnest, this key fact gave the native populations not just huge legitimacy, but a major power leverage --

after all, THEY were the ones who were doing all the work, and, hence, on whom the colonial masters were dependent ...

That there have now been two terror events -- here I do think the label is accurate -- in barely three weeks --

both using heavy earth-moving equipment clearly being driven on a daily basis by Palestinians --

shows, sadly, how Israel -- which was built on the expropriation, NOT super/exploitation, of Arab labor -- has evolved into a classic colonial "master" over a subject population expected to do all the dirty work ...

Israel and its misguided enablers in the US may think this event demonstrates how Hamas has to be "crushed",

but a more intelligent reading of the situation would be that it shows how much it is in Israel's interest to end the current insane situation as soon as possible,

by recognizing the legitimate human and national rights of the Palestinian people as soon as possible ...

And maybe Baruch Obama will have the balls to say something to them privately ... and then DO something about it if and when he becomes President ...

Posted by David Caploe on July 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.19

US Economy Officially A Disaster: NYTimes

Of course, in its usual somewhat gutless fashion, the Times waited to release its truly shocking -- albeit hardly surprising -- round-up until the "dead news zone" of Friday night / Saturday morning, the LEAST - read / viewed portions of the week ...

But the article is there, and it IS disturbing in its fairly comprehensive tour d'horizon of what has gone wrong in the US economy over the past, oh, 8 years or so --

a period corresponding exactly to the time in power of the Bush / Cheney / Rove / Haliburton / Blackwater gang ...

Imagine that ...

That said, there are two disturbing aspects to the way the article itself analyzes the situation:

1) In typically ignorant -- i.e., non-Schumpeterian / non - sectoral -- fashion, the piece says that the "way out" is going to come from the "American consumer" ...

The fate of the economy now rests on the shoulders of the American consumer, whose spending amounts to 70 percent of all economic activity.

When people go to the mall and buy televisions and eat out, their money circulates through the economy. When they tighten their belts, austerity ripples out and chokes growth.

all of which is fine ... EXCEPT for the fact that, in typical neo-classical / Keynesian fashion, it ignores the MINOR question of,

WHERE ARE THE CONSUMERS THEMSELVES GOING TO GET THE MONEY TO SPEND IF THEY DON'T HAVE JOBS ANYMORE ???

2) Even more disturbing, in its "who's to blame" section, it takes the convenient way out of blaming the Federal Reserve for "allowing" all the insane self- / destructive economic practices that Wall Street has engaged in, with the constant encouragement of the BCRHB clique ...

... the Fed sat back and watched as Wall Street’s financial wizards engineered diabolically complicated investments linked to mortgages, generating huge amounts of speculative capital that turned real estate into a conflagration.

Gee, it couldn't have anything to do with those financial wizards, could it ???

Or the government -- NOT the Federal Reserve -- that is supposed to actually WATCH what's going on,

and make sure that nothing really destructive and dangerous happens in the economy ???

Guess not ...

In one fell swoop, then, the article simultaneously lays out the staggering problems of the US economy

AND itself displays a lot of the low level of "thinking" that has created in the first place the very difficulties it is attempting to explain ...

Read it and weep ...

Posted by David Caploe on July 19, 2008 at 01:35 AM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Europe, International Relations, Media, NY Times, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.15

And Turkey's Not In Such Great Shape Either ;-)

... as it reels between slowly tightening political Islam on the one hand,

and, on the other, coup-minded right-wing military nationalists who, like the Islamists,

have little interest in the kind of genuine democracy that would aid Turkey's much-needed entry into the European Union,

which the worst of the Europeans are likewise doing THEIR best to undermine ...

What a mess ...

Eighty-six people, including writers, members of civil organizations and former military officers, were charged Monday with membership in an illegal ultranationalist organization and of plotting to overthrow the Turkish government. ...

The 2,455-page indictment is widely perceived in Turkey as being part of a power struggle between the secular establishment, including parts of the military, and the democratically elected and religiously conservative government.

In another case currently before Turkey’s highest court, AKP [ the governing Islamist party ] and its leadership are charged with introducing religion into government and violating the secular principles on which the Turkish state was founded. Prosecutors seek to disband the party. ...

... several police investigations have provided information that the Ergenekon group — the name is a reference to a central Asian Turkic legend with strong nationalist overtones — had also been involved in an armed attack on a senior state court in 2006,

as well as the 2007 bombing of Cumhuriyet, a left-wing newspaper in Istanbul. Both attacks were included in the charges announced Monday. ...

The timing of the coup indictments, as well as the harshness with which some suspects were forced from their beds after midnight for interrogation, was seen by some Turks as an effort by pro-government prosecutors to intimidate secularists. ...

Some on the left see the cases as reflecting Turkey’s struggle toward democracy.

“Circles that do not trust their political power to fight against the threat of fundamentalism on a democratic platform look up to the military, as antidemocratic as their ways are,” said Mithat Sancar, a law professor at Ankara University.

“Therefore both the closure case and the Ergenekon indictment are not about whether you support AKP or elitist military, but about whether you support a law state and better democracy in Turkey,” he said.

Posted by David Caploe on July 15, 2008 at 02:25 PM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Culture, Europe, International Relations, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Barry's Mush Aside, Kurd Parliament Walkout Shows Iraq Still Radical Mess

It's a bad bad scene whenever Kirkuk is the issue ...

As this sad -- and crucial -- article in the Times makes clear, the situation in Iraq is a complete disaster ...

And -- as we've said a million times -- Americans, including Baruch Obama, have GOT to start realizing that the presence of US troops is NOT the main issue ...

The entire US, and not just Bush / Cheney / Rove, but ALL the elites -- political / military / corporate / media / academic --

are responsible for having created an unholy catastrophe that is NOT going to be solved, no matter what Baruch hopes, by the withdrawal of American troops ...

The dynamics of the disaster ...

The entire bloc of Kurdish lawmakers walked out of Iraq’s Parliament on Tuesday in protest at a proposed provincial election law, part of which they claimed was unconstitutional. ...

The walkout underscores the bitter political power struggle taking place between the Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen communities in the oil-rich northern province of Tamim and its ethnically-mixed capital, Kirkuk.

The Kurds, who claim to have an ethnic majority in Tamim Province, have been pushing to postpone the provincial council vote in Kirkuk until a constitutionally mandated referendum is held on whether Kirkuk should remain under Baghdad’s administration or join the semiautonomous Kurdish regional government. ...

The Kurdish officials who walked out on Tuesday said they had been prepared to vote on the draft election law, with the understanding that other parliamentary blocs agreed to the voting delay in Kirkuk until after the referendum.

But attached to the bill was a separate power-sharing proposal, requested by over 100 Arab and Turkmen lawmakers, to create a provincial council in Kirkuk made up of 10 Kurds, 10 Arabs and 10 Turkmen, with an additional two representatives from the region’s small Christian population.

For the Kurds, this power-sharing arrangement, which had a good chance of passing, is untenable because they say it does not accurately reflect what they claim is their demographic majority in the region. ...

Kirkuk has been at the center of a decades-long custody battle. In the 1980s, Saddam Hussein instituted a policy of Arabizing the city, kicking Kurds out of their homes and forcing Arabs from the south to move in.

A planned census of the region, which might settle questions of proportional representation, has not yet taken place, leaving an atmosphere of profound mistrust between the different communities before the coming election. ...

The Kirkuk question was just one of several issues in the proposed election law that have provoked significant debate.

Other questions include whether to keep a 25-percent quota for women in provincial councils; whether to institute a ban on the depiction of religious figures and symbols in campaign materials; and whether to switch to an open list system of elections, under which voters can choose individual candidates rather than choosing parties.

The walkout took place before any of these issues came up for discussion ...

Posted by David Caploe on July 15, 2008 at 01:55 PM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Beirut Daily Star, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.13

Comment on Frank Rich "Real Life" 24

Once again, Frank, good stuff -- as far as it goes ...

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that you hadn't previously grasped the extent to which these people -- whom you correctly characterize in "gangster" terminology -- were playing fast and loose with the security at home, and power abroad, of the United States.

You seem to have missed the key point about the Bush-Cheney / Osama dynamic:

they feed off each other in a way that -- while not conspiratorial in a strict sense -- nevertheless enables each side to achieve their true agendas,

which, for Bush / Cheney, is to create "national security" situations that justify the constant handing out of no-bid contracts to past and future employers,

and, for Osama et al, an on-going effort to polarize the politics of the Arab / Muslim world in a consistently negative direction ...

There IS a danger in the way you paint it, but that's not really the point ...

Just as the situation of US troops in Iraq is beside the point ...

The real issue is the extent to which all elites in the US -- political / corporate / media / academic -- have failed and are failing to understand, and then do something about, the more than casually symbiotic relationship between the Bush / Cheney / Rove forces on the one hand, and political Islam -- whether in its terrorist or simply power-grabbing and -holding manifestations ...

Too much concern about the US -- alone -- is part of the failure to realize the global implications of this toxic symbiosis,

which become more and more structurally problematic each day,

especially with the evident rise of China and India in the world economy ...

Finally, the saddest note, is Wilkinson's warning not to travel outside the US except to, perhaps, Saudi and Israel ...

That this could be said shows not only the self-destructiveness of Israeli policy over the last years,

but also the utterly destructive and self-destructive enabling role that supposed "friends of Israel" have played and are playing in its increasingly disturbing global isolation ...

the shrewdness of Qatar / Abu Dhabi and other Gulf Co-Operation Council members aside in trying to break that isolation ...

Posted by David Caploe on July 13, 2008 at 05:05 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0)

2008.07.02

Obama Fiddling While US Burns

As this article in the Times points out, the US economy is really in a total shambles,

and no one has the slightest idea what to do about it ...

Should be a perfect opportunity for a non-incumbent, especially a Democrat, right ???

And yet Baruch continues his bizarre silence and evident reluctance to take any radical steps to improve the situation,

the first one of which -- as we've been saying, since, oh, I don't know, 2000 -- would be to eliminate a HUGE source of fear and anxiety on the part of ALL Americans

by taking the initiative on SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE ...

But Baruch remains strangely silent on this and so many other crucial issues,

instead parroting Bush's mealy-mouth bullshit about the importance of "faith-based" organizations,

what some are calling "richochet pandering" -- appealing to one group indirectly by explicitly appealing to another, somewhat related, one ...

Gross in principle, and especially bizarre given the fact that the veils of media obstruction on the problems -- at least -- are slowly being dropped as the country gets into worse and  worse shape,

leaving a HUGE opening ... if only he would take it ...

The one GOOD thing lately I can say about Baruch is that he IS letting his most fervent supporters air their -- quite correct -- disenchantment with him on a number of issues,

notably the whole "indemnifying the telcom companies" for any crimes they willingly committed in the BCRHB assault on civil liberties via the Patriot Act ...

As long as that keeps up, there might be some hope ...

But should he start to close that down ... well ... let's just say it's going to be a long time AGAIN before Michelle Obama can be proud of her country --

even IF her husband becomes President ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on July 2, 2008 at 09:00 AM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Media, NY Times, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

2008.06.29

Self-Naming "Hussein" 1st Discourse-Transforming Aspect of Obama Cmpgn

Frankly, we prefer OUR idea -- calling Obama "Baruch", which is specifically aimed at the ludicrous Jewish fears / prejudices about him --

but having all these Obamaniacs call themselves "Hussein", as the New York Times is reporting today, is the FIRST positive discourse-related development I've seen from his campaign ...

He's still not overwhelming me with the substance of his policies -- not that I buy the idea that Hillary was anything better --

but maybe he'll be forced by the kind of weak-ass RPB "terror alert" baiting that Frank Rich also limns today to START saying something new and substantive re America's place in the world ...

which, as the pathetic hypocrite Tom Friedman correctly notes, is completely screwed
...

altho, in typical Friedman fashion, he fails to mention that he has supported just about every concrete measure -- starting with Iraq, but not limited to it -- that has led to the revolting situation America is in today ...

And if you think WE'RE saying this post facto, then just check out the archive since we started this thing ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 29, 2008 at 11:30 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.06.25

Subtleties of German / Turkish Relations Highlighted by Euro Cup Match

Lovely piece in the NYTimes about the rather sophisticated way that both "native" and Turkish Germans are dealing with the Euro Cup Group Final between Turkey and Germany ...

Yet another example of how well Germany has come to terms with the horrific legacy of the Nazi period -- and, indeed, everything that led up to it -- by developing a new identity based on a conscious rejection of the self-acknowledged sickness of much of its past ...

Again, the contrast with the US -- which, despite its enduring history as a nation of immigrants -- has been stuck in a paralyzing muck for, by now, the past 30 years, since the turning point year of 1979,

and the ushering in of the Reaganist legacy, which has done so much to kill what was once a forward- and outward-looking society that has now stagnated into the mess it's in today ...

And it's THAT which provides the real contrast with the evident progress made in Germany during those precise same 30 years ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 25, 2008 at 04:40 PM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Culture, Europe, International Relations, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

2008.06.24

Identity Politics Queer Obama's Relations w Muslim Americans

It's hardly surprising ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 24, 2008 at 01:55 PM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.06.23

Backlash vs. Political Islam in Algerian Schools

Very interesting article in New York Times about the on-going mess in Algeria, where things have been a mess since the early 1990s,

altho this talks about the anti-Islamist changes in the education system there, which, while positive, are nevertheless provoking a lot of disorientation among the young ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 23, 2008 at 06:00 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Beirut Daily Star, Europe, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2008.06.19

Predictably, MSM Now Turning on Obama - Why Not McCain ???

All this crap about the "liberal media" pushing for Obama ...

So pathetic -- not just that such nonsensical charges have the slightest credibility at this point, but how the grossly intimidated mainstream media keep trying to "prove" they're not ...

Which, of course, is just what the RPBs want ...

Is there ANY aspect of American presidential politics that isn't a complete farce ???

Posted by David Caploe on June 19, 2008 at 03:15 AM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq No-Bid Contract Scandals Present - Oil / Majors

It's all so open and brazen ...

a perfect example of how destructively deteriorated public discourse in the US has become since the time of the jerk who started it all, Ronald Reagan ...

and, not to forget, his willing accomplices, the American people ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 19, 2008 at 02:40 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Beirut Daily Star, Culture, Democrats, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Iraq No-Bid Contract Scandals Past - KBR / Food

The amazing thing is that -- between the crass and corrupt ass-licking of the mainstream media ... and the oil-obsessed doufs of the politically correct -- people keep missing the REAL horror and cynicism of Iraq:

that it is now / always has been / will continue to be about the sleaziest regime in American history,

whose guiding aim even before 9/11 was to oversee and legitimize the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the already excessively wealthy through the tax and spend policy of the US government ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 19, 2008 at 02:25 AM in An Informed Electorate, Arab/Muslim World, Beirut Daily Star, Democrats, Europe, International Relations, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Media, NY Times, Political Islam, Politics, Republicans, US Political Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

2008.06.17

Delighted To Be Wrong ;-) - Celts in 6

KG early to set the right tone ... Rondo keeping at it ... AMAZING team defense ... Pierce his usual ... Ray Allen deadly with the 3s ...

And -- I MUST say it -- Doc Rivers really did a spectacular job of coaching ...

ESPECIALLY with all the injuries ... the Celtics just kept coming, no matter who went down ...

As they said, the general level of play in the West might be better, but the two best teams -- and certainly THE BEST -- were in the East this year ...

Very gratifying ... not just for us long-suffering Celtics fans -- admittedly salved by the Sox and Pats ;-), right George and John ;-) ??? --

but for the New Three, who got a chance to FINALLY win it all -- and in most impressive fashion ...

As Ernie Banks would say, it's so nice -- let's play two ... by which I mean, of course, let's do it NEXT year too ...

Which means -- first and foremost, from a contract point of view -- RE-SIGNING James Posey ... plus PJ & Eddie House, if possible ...

In that context, kudos to Danny Ainge, who really DID have the vision and cojones, and the Celtics' ownership as well ...

So let's see if the Sox can continue THEIR amazing play -- with all the injuries THEY'VE had ...

And this time, let the Pats lose a couple games during the season, but no fooling around in the Super Bowl ... ;-) ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 17, 2008 at 11:30 PM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Media, Politics, Republicans, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bad Feeling About Game 6 ;-)

Great piece in the Celtics' blog on boston.com by Jesse Nunes about how things are stacking up very poorly for the Cs in Game 6 ...

Also excellent pieces by Bob Ryan -- Doesn't It Get Better Than This ??? -- about the low level of the quality of play generally in this series,

a point made by several of my pals, notably Mark Moormann / Gabe Schechter / and, via Brad Anderson, Paul Kriloff --

and Dan Shaughnessy on the uncertainty of the current situation in the context of previous Boston -- and other ;-) -- sports disasters: It's A Lock for the Celtics ... Maybe ...

Posted by David Caploe on June 17, 2008 at 01:45 PM in An Informed Electorate, Culture, Democrats, Media, Politics, Republicans, Sports | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)