Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The ignorance of Sarah Palin(Just what are Americans voting for, anyway?)

I just finished watching the now infamous Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric, or better the most highlighted part about her foreign policy experiance. What can I say? It simply beggars belief that someone can tout expertise in that area solely based on the proximity of his or her state to two foreign countries. That would be like me saying I have experiance as a lab technician because I live next door to a medical laboratory.

But that was not the only gem. Take a look at this blooper about the Middle East. As the blog author correctly pointed out "it isn't that she didn't know the answer, it's that she didn't know the question". I bet Palin would have had a hard time pointing Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the world map if Couric had asked her to.

So how come she ended up as McCain's running mate and could possibly end up a heartbeat away from the White House, which, given McCain's age, isn't at all far away? One theory is that McCain wanted Lieberman or Tom Ridge as his running mate but was faced with unrelenting opposition in the GOP establishment and eventually caved in and told them "I think that a conservative would be least effective but I'll give you a goddamn conservative if you want one(*)" . So he pulled out Palin's name without giving her any serious vetting and thought he'd just patch any problem up as they go along.

There is, however, a much less innocent possibility, the one saying that McCain knew Palin is a tabula rasa and took her on for precisely that reason because that way he could mould her into whatever he wants her to be. She will be hadled by the advisors, they will give her expertise and shape her views. And that is what many Republican voters will use as an argument to rationalize away problems with Sarah Palin.

But that opens up a variety serious questions: who or what is it exactly that you are voting for? How can a candidate come on to a national stage with so little knowledge of some basic happenings in the world? Who conducts the US policy, the people whose names are on the presidential tickets or those in the shadows who nobody voted for and whose postitions on the issues are anybody's guess? Based on what criteria are these people "experts"? Why are they better then others? I could go on and on with this, but you get the picture.

The ignorance of Sarah Palin on many important issues makes her ascension more dangerous then that of any demagogue or ideologue. With the former you know he will pander to the popular opinion whatever it may be, while with the latter you'll always know where he stands. With her you get a cat in the bag not only in terms of her opinion but also in terms of who will really run the country.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Farewell, Butch!

Paul Newman left us, but his movies stay. And some movies they were:"Cat on a hot thin roof", "Sting", "Colour of Money", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"...Here's a nice clip from the latter, my favourite

Newman was one of the last of the "old school". They don't make them like they used to, and propably never will...

That should be the end of him

It seems Charles Johnson of the "Little Green Footballs" fame has offended a couple of people too many. Not content with smearing and alndering people such as Fjordman, Lawrence Auster, the staff of the Gates of Vienna he takes a shot at Diana West for the crime of being present at the anti-islamisation conference along withe people Johnson labeled as "fascists", in spite of the fact that various mainstream outlets commented favourably on West's reports. When this was pointed out by Andrew Bostom, via private e-mails, Johnson began threatening him as well.

This turned out to be a bit too much, and Andrew Bostom decided to pre-empt Johnson by publishing their correspondence. Be sure to read it in it's entirety, it will give you a good insight into the kind of person Charles Johnson is. And hopefully help end his influence in the blogosphere.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

US elections for Serbian-Americans, in a nutshell

Final proof(as if the selection of the rabid Serb-hater Biden wasn't enough) that Barack Obama offers no change Serbian-Americans can believe in is here. The US elections are for Serbian-Americans not only a choice between Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee but a choice between two completely repulsive characters.

On one hand there is an empty suit taught by marketing experts to harp on about "hope" and "change" offering no concrete measures nor having any achievements he can blow his trumpet with, unable to speak even the simplest phrases without a teleprompter but is rich with associations with shady characters(that's extremely mildly put).

On the other hand there is an egomaniac with several chips oh his shoulder, not shy of hurling abuse at anyone guilty of a crime not seeing eye-to-eye with him on every issue, a person publicly admitting he is taking medication to cool down his temper(geez, what is he like when he is off medication?) who never saw an armed conflict he wouldn't see the USA gladly join.

This is the best the USA can offer?

"We're screwed '08". Never was there a truer election slogan! For everyone...

Friday, September 19, 2008

My take on the collapse

I'll admit it straight up: I do not know much about economy. I simply did not study it too much. I did get a grasp of some of the basic concepts. So with my superficial knowledge I'll try to predict where the world economy will be going in the following period. Feel free to lambast me if I write something ludicrous.

First of all, this will mean that the economy will have to get back to basics. And basics means production. The system in which one group of countries accumulate all the investment capital and others produce can not hold. The former group is facing increased unemployment due to outsourcing while the latter are being deprived of income from products that are formally produced on their soil. As unemployment grows in the US and other financial centers and speculative income from stock markets is less to come buy every day the wages will drop and that could be the first incentive to bring back some of the jobs "gone overseas".

Consequently, there will be much more governement regulation in economy all around the world, especially with regards to employment and handling natural resources. This all but spells doom to "free trade and capital flow" and should also lead to the revision of many economic treaties that serve as a foundation for supra-state organizations such as WTA nad even the EU.

As for Serbian economy this could spell a major disaster. Not only could we say goodbye to the little investments that came from various international investment banks, our entire banking system, which since 2000 almost entirely consists of foreign owned banks, could collapse, leaving millions of people without their savings in a repeat of the so-called "old foreign currency savings demise" in the early nineties. Great thinking by the "experts" of the G17 which have been (mis)managing our economy for the past 8 years. Ironically, US and others, touted as role-models by our "reformers", hit by this current crisis are taking steps exactly opposite to what we have been told were "rational": they are pumping governement money to save the banks. Anybody that had suggested that in Serbia 7 or 8 years ago was deemed "isolationist", "enemy of progress" and "advocate of the ancien regime". Should the complete breakdown of the banking system in Serbia happen, the "reformers" will be lucky to escape with only name-calling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not the only ones bent on demise

Asia Times columnist Spengler explains(hat tip: Gray Falcon) with brutal openness, albeit sugar-coated with stand-up routines, why the vocal support to Georgia and Ukraine is a lost cause: in little more then a generation, there may well be no Ukrainians or Georgians if the present trend of birth rates in those countries continue.

It's a bit ironic, isn't it? The so-called transition process that was to bring Eastern European nations closer to their western counterparts is a direct cause of their demographic demise, which in turn could be the very reason why the west might eventually give up on them.

Not that the west is fairing much better. Demographic decline is a norm in almost all western countries. Perhaps Spengler should be more concerned about that. He says in his article that Russia, for all it's problems will be a great power in 2050. What about the west?

Friday, September 12, 2008

So, where am I in all this?

You are propably wondering on which side is yours truly standing regarding the split in the Serbian Radical Party. The answer to your question is: on nobody's side.

Let's start with the explanation as to why I am not with Nikolić. Supporting under any circumstances the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union after it sent it's EULEX mission on Kosovo and Metohija is a disastrous move. It was a disaster even at the moment the previously united Radical party accepted it, it is a disaster now when Nikolić is still hanging on to it along with the amendment the party proposed on it's ratification. Everyone knows why the EU wanted as many votes for the SAA in the Serbian parliament as possible. It needed to present to the world that Kosovo and Metohija no longer interests Serbia and that even so-called "ultranationalists" are in favour of agreements with a political entity that not only aids and abets but actively participates in usurpation of the territory of Serbia. At the same time the ruling coalition can rightfully say that the radical party evolved to it's view and that they were right all along when they were telling people that "Europe has no alternative". Not to mention that the Radical party, by votring for the SAA would cheat the people that voted for them.

Then there are also very important matters regarding the arrest of Radovan Karadžić, the murder of the demonstrator Ranko Panić, the beating of Radical party MPs during demonstrations...It is incredible that Nikolić himself did not sever all contacts witht the regime until these matters were resolved but rather goes on a secret meeting with Tadić(one he at first denied that occured, but has since confirmed it, albeit indirectly) in order to set up a "national consensus" over the worst possible question. Simultaniously, he was appealing in public to other opposition parties to cooperate against the governement. And on top of it all he is dissatisfied why Šešelj demanded that this nonsense stops!

Talking of Šešelj, I'd like to say of word or two about those who remain at his side. I have to say that, with the exception of a couple of people I have no confidence in them at all. They are unable to clearly and coherently represent a political platform or an ideology as well as attract voters with personal qualities. Local party branches, from what I hear, sent numerous complaints about them but to no avail. It is no coincidence that only such people are left in the Radical party. Something must change there, the top brass, the way they are elected to their post, their authority. Otherwise, they are going nowhere.

All in all, I see no future for either of them. And that is a tragedy for Serbia and the Serb people as a whole.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

They are closer to the truth then you think

Ever since the conflict in the Caucasus was re-ignited more histerical western commentators have spoken of a "renewed cold war" and the "new Soviet Union Putin is creating, and some even go as far as saying that Russia has reverted back to 19th century imperialism. Fortunately, this kind of inflammatory rhetoric has had very little success because people are starting to get fed up with those who have served them so much lies about other crisis areas over the years.

Still, there is a grain of truth in such propaganda as John Laughland shows in his latest piece. After giving a detailed description of the trotskyst past and family pedigre of one of the most outspoken interventionists, Laughland nails it:

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union – an artificial political creation based on a negation of Russian history and reality, on bogus internationalism, and on an allegedly universalist political creed which was supposed to embrace the whole of humanity – Russian politicians have long since abandoned any pretence that their own country has any such universal vocation.


Not so the United States and Britain. The neo-conservative project of creating a unipolar world based on human rights and democracy (embraced energetically on both the Left and the Right of the American political spectrum, as the recent nomination of Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running-mate sadly emphasises) does require brute force to implement it. Developments like the “independence” of Kosovo grow only out of the barrel of a gun. But the project is supported in London and Washington by people who have utterly deluded themselves about its truly political nature.

It is because the West still deceives itself on this matter, and because post-Soviet Russia no longer does, that East-West relations are a dialogue of the deaf. Both sides are speaking a language the other does not want to hear. The Western vision, based on self-deceit, is extremely dangerous; the Russian vision of politics is far more realistic.

Trotskyite utopians however, unlike their former comrades, succesfully created the engine of the "world revolution", at the same time pulling the wool over almost everyone's eyes and presenting themselves as authentic defenders of the west. The Soviet Union is restored, but it's capitals are on the banks of the Thames and the Potomac.