Archive for Barack Obama

Michelle’s Eye Roll? More like hatred. More like contempt. And…you go Girl!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 23, 2013 by spinoza1111

The press won’t say it but Michelle Obama, seated next to House Speaker Boehner in this YouTube video, shows nothing less than repulsion at a man who has tried to destroy her man. She’s put a maximum amount of distance between herself and Boner Man and is studiously trying not to punch him out. It’s more than just an eye roll. Meanwhile the President true to his instincts is trying to reach across the partisan divide his wife has created and make happy talk with Boehner.

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Why can’t the press admit that Boehner has inappropriately touched the First Lady causing her not to roll her eyes but to cast her eyes in a Basilisk gaze of contempt at the Speaker, and continue to eat, rather pointedly as in “John Boehner, you are trying to destroy my husband and the nation. Don’t touch me.”

But Michelle, along with a very different crowd (the white pseudo-progressives who hate Obama because of the drone war) has to realize that the President is, like Jake and Elwood Blues, on a mission from God.

Kennedy’s first term, aborted by a crazed loner of the sort created by capitalism, has jinxed the chance for a Roman Catholic to be elected. If Obama had been shot, successfully impeached or had lost the 2012 election his world-historical precedents (that we are indeed a nation and not a confederation: that the Constitution was designed in the final analysis to protect people especially minorities and the least well off and not just private property) would have been masticated and shat out by the press along with a snowball’s chance for another African American to be elected. Now all Obama has to do is assist, smiling and maybe even popping some moves, in the self-destruction of the Republican party. As they turn up the morphine he needs to help them, so they no longer have a chance to humiliate a man like Clint Eastwood.

White male “losers” helped Obama win the key states because we simply no longer believe in the myth. I abandoned my progressive views in 1973 in favor of the silly idea that I’d get rich in programming computers only to discover that my excess cultural interests and excess physical conditioning made it hard for me to “fit in”. In the Valley I stopped networking because I felt superior, justly for the most part, to the middle class superficiality of Jobs; but Walter Isaacson’s bio of Jobs made it clear: this is what people “wanted”. Figures who like Turing or Dijsktra, men with bones whom I admired, were ignored by the media (except in recent years in the case of Alan Turing and in Britain only, where Turing’s British pre-eminence is a matter of national pride).

Revenge of the nerds: white male subaltern males need to start drawing boundaries as I learned to in the 1980s and vote for Obama, not for Elder Brother.


Barack Obama, Osama and Me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by spinoza1111

As Obama’s Minister Plenipotentiary of Nicorette Gum I protect the Presidential “stash” and am occasionally called upon to give advice on matters of state…

Obama: Yo, Nilges, get your white ass in here.

Me: ‘Ssup Mr President?

Obama: I got an eight mike problem, gimme two 4 milligrams Freshmint…munch munch…dang, now that’s a stimulus.

Me: Wuz da problem, Chief?

Obama: How do I trump the Royal Wedding is the problem, and get Trump off my ass.

Me: Release your long form birth certificate and then turn right around and pop a cap into Osama is how, homeboy. You know where Osama lives.

Obama: You want me invade Pakistan?

Me: Yeah…and get your ass re-elected and have an October moment. Dig up, after JFK stood up to the Russians that boy wuz able to lead.

Obama: Hmm…munch munch…dang…might be worth it. Get the 101st Airborne on his ass…

Me: Nawww, this has gotta be a surgical operation. You drop a division on the Pakistanis you gonna have another war, Mister President. I suggest the Coast Guard.

Obama: Nilges, is you crazy?

Me: they can do it. Cuff the dude, bring him to trial…

Obama: No no no, that is OUT, mofo. You don’t want the de-fence callin’ me to the stand to defend our policies. When you said pop a cap you shuddha meant it lit-erally, like Marcus says he wants Bruce Willis daid. Nilges, for a smart guy, you is one dumb sonofabitch. I gonna pop a cap into Trump and send my birth certificate to Osama, no wait a minute, lemme get it straight, I gonna number one, send my long form birth certificate to Trump…and pop a cap into Osama. Take the canolli (Andrew Cuomo left it, wuz just in here) leave the gum.


Osama Bin Laden’s Assassination and International Law

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by spinoza1111

This 2006 article from the Harvard International Review describes the law and practical ramifications of political assassination sponsored by states, including the United States’ May 2 raid on Osama’s compound in Pakistan, which we now know was meant to kill rather than arrest bin Laden.

The Geneva Convention forbids “treachery” (killing a leader outside of the battle space counting as “treachery”) as did an executive order signed by President Ford.

Who cares, right?

Well, the Duke of Wellington had a clear shot at Napoleon at Waterloo but refused to give the order.

The assassination of leaders as a political tool was considered “treachery” in the ancient world; the assassination of Julius Caesar, which started the civil wars in Rome that transformed Rome from a republic to an empire, was thought so evil in Dante’s time that Dante put Brutus and Cassius, the leaders of the plot, in the mouth of Satan at the bottom of hell.

Assassination of a political leader by an individual is a crime. It doesn’t become a legal act merely if a state authorizes the action.

Political assassination enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance and Reformation. Like the assassinations of Ghandi and Yitzhak Rabin, it tended to target not the real tyrants; instead it tended to target the peacemakers including William of Nassau in the Netherlands and Henri IV of France and Navarre, both men seeking to reconcile Catholics and Protestants. Osama wasn’t anything like these men, of course.

But the chaos of the Thirty Years War, a struggle between Catholics, Protestants, and then Bourbon and Hapsburg which used Germany as its killing field, caused leaders to try to define the battle space so as to exclude civilians and leaders who did not choose to lead their men personally into battle.

This tendency reached its zenith in WWI and then started to change. Today, the killing without trial of bin Laden is called “justice” although technically, “justice” would seem to involve a trial.

And…whether or not the killing of Osama was treachery, it is sure to be interpreted as such. Screw international law: the consequences of the US action are in Rumsfeldian, unknown unknowns, from nothing, to the assassination of President Obama on September 11, 2011…something which the surviving members of the al Qaeda franchise may try.

The killing will also be perceived as racist. No attempts were made to take out Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia’s leader during the Yugoslavian civil wars of the 1990s, despite his numerous war crimes. Israel has long targeted Arab opponents without trial. But it gave a far more serious international criminal (Adolf Eichmann) a trial in Jerusalem in 1960.

The Nazi war criminals were given trials. The wogs are attacked indiscriminately in their households.

The perceptions of racism and a lack of justice are also reality. Obama’s stunt may have in fact restarted the attacks on America that started in 2000, before Sep 11, with an attack on the United States destroyer Cole and embassies in Africa.

The only pragmatic reason for adhering to international law is to have some surety that the enemy will ALSO allow the Red Cross to check on POWs, not use poison gas, and not attack your leaders outside the battle space.

However, in a signal act of foolishness, Obama has pandered to the macho right (mostly, men trapped in lousy little white collar jobs and sexless marriages and who overcompensate for feelings of impotence) for domestic political points.

And note that in many of these incidents (such as last week’s attack on Libya as well as the killing of Osama) we hear of the drive-by killing of innocent women and children, members of the leaders’ families or servants; a woman was injured in the attack on the bin Laden compound and many of these “targeted” assassinations cause fatal casualties. The “battle space” I’ve referred to above was designed in the 18th century to exclude noncombatants, but beginning with the use of indiscriminate civilian bombing by Nazi air support in the Spanish Civil War of workers, it’s been breaking down.

The “battle space” has flexible and permeable boundaries in woggish countries, while Americans take it as given that Manhattan should not be battle space. A Reuters cameraman and a child were killed in May 2007 in Baghdad because in a wog country, you’re in battle space and your camera might be a gun.

Whatever the objective rights and wrongs, we can ruminate on differences. American Moms who don’t let their sons fight (which is sometimes a healthy thing) willingly assent to children in wog countries being subject to daily sights, sounds, causes and effects of violence.

Is this right? Is it wrong? Who the fuck knows? All we know is that Arabs, especially educated Arabs, must be tired of this shit. They must be real tired of collective punishment as in the withholding of tax payments from the Palestinian authority this week in “punishment” for its demarche with Hamas (what would it mean in international law for a country to “punish” another country? What would it mean for a stranger in an ordinary town to “punish” a stranger?”)

The law is not the will of the judge, the law is not what the judge had for breakfast. International law, at least, is the shit that will happen if you violate it. One is trying to be as “analytic” as possible, as reductionist. International law starts with “the Holocaust must never happen again” (and no exception is granted to the victims of the Holocaust, to start it again).

Obama has reverted to the 1980s, creating a perception that “real men” aren’t ordinary soldiers who try to respect international law and the boundary of battle space, but overtrained and psychologically damaged stosstruppen and elite forces such as the Navy Seals who “took out” Osama.

Note that the Seals are trained to kill children who witness their operations in order to avoid compromising secrecy.

The perception of the impotent is that smash and grab is justified if you are in the right, that is, you are, well, you.

Meanwhile, what has changed? What earthly good does this assassination, this further act of terrorism, accomplish?

The real story is that 60% of the industrial plant of the USA in existence in the 1940s, industrial plant which created jobs and decency, has been dismantled and in effect shipped to China.

Many Americans (such as a waiter in North Carolina who asked me what I was reading at table) literally have lost conceptual tools needed to make sense of politics

The waiter thought my book, a history of Britain, was a fantasy novel.

Which was where you got apes and monkeys baying U!S!A! in the 1980s.

This was a decade in which I was told that “intelligence” was not what I thought it was after all. In business, I learned that it was strictly defined only by success at smash and grab. CEOs were “intelligent”, the rest of us pretentious and verbose.

The general idea, I have come to believe, was that an international class of investors needed a home base and this was to be a deindustrialized and militarized USA that would be able to assassinate foreign leaders, overthrow elected governments, and so on, while the rest of us would…process data.

The result is a moral decline astonishing in scope, in which it now appears that Osama was unarmed when taken.

Dang, that was a typo, since I’ve corrected “Obama was unarmed” to the above. Our situation has aspects of the metaphysical and demonic when we vote for Obama and he’s a terrorist too.

Comment at the Fish blog

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 22, 2009 by spinoza1111

Stanley Fish writes that Obama’s a survivor but do we care? Here’s my comment, approved by moderator.

Very true, Stan. And I hope that your evocation of “great Caesar’s ghost” is unapt.

Unfortunate for those of us who ain’t colossi, who are lower than Brutus, Cassius and the rest of the gang, those of us who are Cinna the poet, Obama has no time left to speak for us. To stretch the Romish theme, he fiddles while Rome burns.

Stanley, how many of your former colleagues are dying in motels with at best adjunct positions that carry no insurance? And why can’t you find it in yourself to speak for anyone but yourself and those with more power than you, as if beneath you people are invisible at best and objects of pity and scorn at worst, invited to examine their own defects of character and blame themselves?

The Troglodytes who marched on Sep 12 (some with signs calling for an English-only society with absurd errors of spelling and grammar) are the products of a society which has followed the worst old-Euro model of a steadily shrinking elite, whose public intellectuals are all too ready to “challenge” and to “question” liberalism, humanism, and common decency.

To paraphrase Yeats (The Stare’s Nest), this is a society whose elite has fed upon fantasy: a Masterpiece Theater return to an academic and business class society with its untenured all too anxious not to speak truth to power lest it be called “Sixties” and be compared to a Denis Rancourt.

And to paraphrase Yeats, the heart’s grown brutal with the fare.

This is a society which is busy trying to turn the clock back from the 18th century to the 17th century, when men were men, the women were glad of it and the sheep looked up and were not fed. You participated with too much enthusiasm in the KulturKampf.

Obama may be a “survivor”. But we’re not interested in his personal story and this ain’t a reality show.

Poem, inspired by signs at the Sep 12 march of the Troglodytes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by spinoza1111

Know Nothing

Poem, inspired by signs at the Sep 12 “March on Washington” of anti-Obama Neo Know-Nothingites

Actual signs seen at the march:

Respect are country
This is America and our only lanaguage is English
If your silent today tomorrow youll be speaking Spanish
Make English America’s offical language

In America, there was a Republican
Whose grammar was deficient
He can’t tellya the difference ‘twixt could and can
Although he felt his speech efficient.

He felt unconstrained by Rules
A free man felt he himself to be
(Tho’ Grammarians might say tee, most assuredly, hee)
A son of toil a son of the soil, innocent of the schools
Unspotted by the sodomick buggery of the Cities of the Plain.

The problem is, and will be, and was
That his Ancestors respected learning
While their livelihoods that they were earning
Prevented them from gettin’ an Education.
They hoped that someday our mighty Nation
Would cultivate the Gracious Arts…
Not be inhabited as today by TV-Brained Troglodytes
Scratching themselves and blowing wet Farts.

My grandfather with an eighth grade diploma
Was able to write, and figure, and mechanically draw
He built fine houses for the bourgeoisie
And then a comfortable home for his own family.
He read books and had things to say,
And politically though he was to the right of Mark Hanna
He would despise the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

But today we’ve run out of things to say.
Limbaugh babbles on at the end of time:
The sheep look up, and are not fed
That is something Milton said.

18 Sep 2009 Edward G. Nilges. Moral rights asserted, so zip it.

Albert R. Hunt is wrong on what it takes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 20, 2009 by spinoza1111

Albert R. Hunt, in “Republicans Firing Blanks at Obama”, seems to believe that the extralegal, extra-judicial, and amoral shooting of pirates is a victory for the President.

However, all the Seals knew at the time was that a gun was pointed at the captain of the Maersk Alabama, and the pirate may have been merely guarding the captain; this is unverifiable but it will be the claim of pirates now unified in hatred of the USA, which is the country that destroyed their only functioning government earlier this decade as part of the “war on terror”.

The well-thumbed but now dog-eared playbook says “don’t be Neville Chamberlain at Munich: don’t ransom hostages of terrorists”. This ignores vast differences in state and here nonstate actors as well as the consensus of many historians that Chamberlain “appeased” Hitler to buy time to rebuild a British army that had been considerably cut back after WWII, and that he was right to do so.

Paying ransom at times can only encourage hostage takers, especially ideologues unmotivated by money. At other times it can save lives.

The very idea that Obama must pander to a diminishing Right is the same sort of policy that got us into Vietnam, as Kennedy and Johnson increased our commitment to a military dictatorship to defend themselves against domestic opposition.

The right-wing opposition to JFK and LBJ was an alliance of the military-industrial complex and “little old ladies in tennis shoes”; using public relations, the former emotionally manipulated the latter.

Today, the right wing opposition that Obama chose to appease (where, it appears, someone must be appeased and we’re all Neville Chamberlains at some point) consists in large part of weekend warriors and chickenhawks who compensate for their domestic and on the job impotence with warrior fantasies and recreational politics. Again, people are being manipulated.

These manipulated men will never support Obama as long as they remain in a PR dreamtime, so I do not understand why this was a victory as opposed to a new war.

A day or so after the killing of pirates, Dutch commandos successfully persuaded pirates to stand down with zero casualties in an operation demanding far more skill and far more courage than long-distance sniping using the latest gear. This story is underreported because it should make Americans ashamed of confirming our international reputation as loose cannons.

Barack Obama, me, and the Pirates

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 16, 2009 by spinoza1111


Obama: Nilges! Getcher pale butt in here!

Me: ‘Ssup Mr President?

Obama: Walk with me!

Me: Whoa, home, you gonna smoke in the Rose Garden?

Obama: Dang. OK, gimme 8 milligrams Nicorette. You got Freshmint?

Me: Comin’ right up, Mr. President! Hey, whenyou gonna make them tobacco boys put pictures of aging wrinkled smokers and spots on lungs on packsa cigarettes like they have in Hong Kong?

Obama: Got alott on my plate just now, home. You dig up on the Seals’ marksmanship?

Me: Mr. President, all due respect, but that was bull and you know it. The pirate was holdin’ a gun to the cap’n’s head but the Seal had no way of knowing that the captain’s life was in immediate danger. You and I gonna think it was, but the boys in Mogadishu gonna say that the pirate was merely guarding the cap’n: that is how these things work. The point is you now have unified a pirate community, and when pirate communities get unified and perceive a common threat and a common interest, they invade coastal cities in coordinated attacks, aaargh and burn my buttocks with a marlinspike, else.

‘Merican foreign policy, Mr. President, is an order of magnitude more complicated than British or French foreign policy because in Britain, as you know, their Official Secrets Act lets British diplomats pay off goons under the table. The British have always paid off bad guys, betrayed friends, curried enemies, spoken fair to monsters, slipped over the window-sill, feigned innocence, plausibly denied and bugged outa Dodge City with gay abandon because their diplomats have wiggle room and their spooks have a license to kill. As for the French, nuf ced.

But as you read in George Herring’s recent book, “From Colony to Superpower: US Foreign Relations Since 1776” US presidents like McKinley, Wilson and you have to do a dual foreign policy. You gotta swing both ways, Jim!

You have to solve all sorts of real problems, such as the taking of hostages by pirates, whose best solution in the case of Somalia is ponying up a fraction of what you is ponying up for the goddamn banks, you dig me? Until the Seal shot the homeboy, this was business. Idiot Boy’s “anti-terrorist” destruction of the only functioning government in Somalia, the Islamic Courts, had returned the country to chaos, and Asian fishing boats were stealing the homeys’ livelihood.

The next step for a man with a family to feed, if he’s a man, ain’t the Funky Chicken, it’s the Hustle. It is true in Chicago and it’s true in Mogadishu. Some of us went to Roosevelt, home of the unemployable degree, and we did the Hustle: we went to employment agencies in the loop and we didn’t lie, we Hustled. Your father…

Obama: Watch it, honkie mofo…

Me: Your father did the Hustle back in Kenya…

Obama: Go on…

Me: And the pirates ain’t doin’ the Fly. They’s feeding their families! Why is it, Mr. President, that actual people y’all meet from so-called “failed states” are so cool in general?

Why is it, Mr. President, that it was the Somalian cab driver at O’Hare who told me that to save forty dollars, I shouldn’t take his cab to Evanston, I should take Three Oh Three since they was based in Evanston? It wasn’t the bitter redneck ex-computer programmer and Vietnam veteran, ravin’ ’bout Jane Fonda after forty years. He’s cool with fifty dollars. Widhim, I’d have to listen to fifty minutes of BS: with the Somali guy, I had fifty minutes of dialogue about Islamic philosophy.

Those pirates, before this display of phony machismo intended by your chief of staff, what’s his name, Twinkle Toes, the ballet dancer for cryin’ out loud, whose father was a gangsta (where do you get these boys?) to show you is tough, to a diminishing white Rush Limbaugh audience, those damn pirates were gentlemen, like Suleiman Usman or Blackbeard Teach. But in the old days, you threatened to make Usman or Teach dance the Newgate hornpipe, they, as seen in Hobbes for cryin’ out loud, fight back: they, as in Hobbes, “propose Peace but promise Warre”, you mess widdem.

Dang, home, you still got Iraq. You is sending more men to Afghanistan which you and I know is a breaker of nations from reading George MacDonald Fraser’s “Flashman” books alone. Now you have triggered a war with pirates. Caesar and Pompey fought their wars one at a time, and when they finished ’em, they dragged their captives back to Rome and had an orgy before startin’ another fight. Like Captain Fluellen sez in Henry V, you gotta look to the disciplines and the doctrines of the wars!

Didjoo check out William Pfaff’s column in today’s paper? Sometimes you have to satisfy the people who in the British empire were Fraser’s “breakfast-scoffing Papas” who Flashman wanted to take to the corpse-strewn field of Alma and shoot like dawgs and who today sit on their bubble butts in front of Web pages and type BS. But your real Republican constituency are men like my father. He voted for Eisenhower because, as William Pfaff writes, not a single US soldier died between our exit from Korea and 1960. He voted for Eisenhower because he lost his paladin older brother in WWII!

His older brother! Cathedral Latin School 1933! John Carroll! An idealist! Figured out that Colonel Lindbergh was wrong! Leader of men! Bam! That’s why my father liked Ike, dammit!

My Mom’s cousin! Joined the Marines day after Pearl Harbor! His Mom went after him with a broom because she wanted him to wait to get drafted! Last letter home from Guadacanal! “Wish I could see Herald Square again!” Bam bam bam! That’s why my Mom liked Ike!

They is your constituency!

Dig it! Gerry Ford’s “balls clanked” when Marines died to show how tough we wuz in an unnecessary incursion onto a Cambodian island but real diplomats get it at home, and they don’t need to “prove” anything!

These Seals need PR men to promote them because what they are, are stosstruppen, elite soldiers trained for modern war beyond citizen soldiers, and their training makes them loose cannons. In Germany, as you know, the stosstruppen became the Brownshirts. While many ex-Seals are good men, some of them are crazy and unemployable except as Blackwater thugs and bond traders!

Obama: OK, OK, lighten up, I’ll think about whatchoo said. On your way out, get Rahm in here.

Me: OK (enter Emanuel), whussup Twinkle Toes…

Rahm Emanuel: Grrrr….