Macro-History: A Few Books
1 hour ago
"Anyway the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. And at least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is. The medievals were only too right in taking 'nolo episcopari' ['I do not wish to be made a bishop'] as the best reason a man could give to others for making him a bishop." — J. R. R. Tolkien, via Liberal Fascism
“Kissinger … was above all a revolutionary.” … [T]his may come as something of a surprise. Kissinger a revolutionary? The man who told the Argentine junta’s Foreign Minister, Cesar Guzzetti: “We wish [your] government well”? The man who promised his South African counterpart to “curb any missionary zeal of my officers in the State Department to harass you”? The man who told the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet: “We are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here”? Yet Suri has a case to make, even if he does not make it more than obliquely. An integral part of Kissinger’s grand strategy was always to establish priorities. In order to check Soviet ambitions in the Third World – the full extent of which we have only recently come to appreciate – some unpleasant regimes had to be tolerated, and indeed supported. Besides the various Latin American caudillos, the Saudi royal family, the Shah of Iran and the Pakistani military, these unpleasant regimes also included (though the Left seldom acknowledged it) the Maoist regime in Beijing, which was already guilty of many more violations of human rights than all the right-wing dictators put together when Kissinger flew there for the first time in July 1971.I copped that quoted bit from Chicago Boyz, who I thank for bringing it to my attention.
"When he stood behind that podium, nobody believed a word he said. Now that he's saying bad things about the president, he's a Delphic oracle." — Rich Galen
Now I went back and checked the numbers for the past 50 years and didn't find a single case of a recession—as calculated by the National Bureau of Economic Research—that started with or contained two straight quarters of positive GDP growth, much less three quarters. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan admitted he was puzzled that the economy hasn't fallen off a cliff, given the housing crisis, credit crunch, and oil price surge. He told the FT: "A recession is characterized by significant discontinuities in the data.... It started off that way—there was a period of sharp discontinuity from December to March. But then it stopped.... No one knows how this tug of war will end—specifically, whether the financial crisis will end before it drags down the real economy." — James Pethokoukis
Obama, however, believes his own hype and is utterly humorless in defense of his own wonderfulness. As you recall, he threw Wright off the train, not because Wright is a wacko, anti-American nutjob, but because Wright “disrespected” Obama — a sentiment that made the Harvard educated, elitist Obama sound no different from the average Compton gangbanger who blows away the kid next door for “disrespecting” him. It strikes me that the only people who have a problem with this type of “disrespect” are those who (a) don’t respect themselves, (b) are pretty sure that they are not worthy of actual respect and (c) have no sense of humor!— Bookworm Room
This change can be quantified: In the year beginning with his first major speech about Iraq – the Sept. 12, 2002 address to the U.N. General Assembly – Mr. Bush delivered nine major talks about Iraq. There were, on average, approximately 14 paragraphs per speech on Saddam's record as an enemy, aggressor, tyrant and danger, with only three paragraphs on promoting democracy. In the next year – from September 2003 to September 2004 – Mr. Bush delivered 15 major talks about Iraq. The average number of paragraphs devoted to the record of threats from Saddam was one, and the number devoted to democracy promotion was approximately 11.Unfortunately, he appears to have forgotten to read the NY Times editorial page. It is understandable considering the treatment he has gotten and how his words have been twisted at times. One would think he would know better than to get into that game. From the NY Times of February 27, 2003:
President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a ''free and peaceful Iraq'' that would serve as a ''dramatic and inspiring example'' to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Dismissing Arabs as a nation culturally and historically incapable of adopting democracy is just plain racist. But it is a bigotry that is not only tolerated in leftist circles but rather openly and proudly displayed because it stands in opposition to George Bush’s vision for the Middle East. So much for the honesty and solidarity of liberalism.— Nibras Kazimi
I suppose New York would be less governed and represented if we made all adulterers resign . . . Which would not be a bad outcome, come to think of it.— Lisa Schiffren
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new book on the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon accuses then-White House counsel John Dean of ordering the infamous Watergate break-in in 1972
[Update: See also Steven Novello's blog, and this response on Explorations.]
What is it about the vision of democracy that makes the mind go ga-ga? The AP reports that, having arrived in Jersualem, "President Bush said Wednesday that 60 years of Israel's existence is cause for optimism for democratic change throughout the Middle East. 'What happened here is possible everywhere.'"
So the existence of a democracy with strong Western ties that sprang to life as a democracy with strong Western ties is cause for optimism that the hundreds of millions of Muslims surrounding it — many of whom openly seek its destruction when not brazenly calling for its destruction — will democratize notwithstanding the utter absence of a democratic tradition and a belief system that is resistant (indeed, hostile) to Western democracy in several particulars.
As people say in my neighborhood: “The Americans are now Ansar al Sunna.” Protectors of the Sunni.
Your Apple analogy is a little off too in that Apple will never have Microsoft's position because it sells a bound hardware-software system
Agree TOTALLY on MSFT mis-management. You wont get ANY arguments here on that one!
Disagree TOTALLY on Apple. Jobs is a megalomaniac of the highest order, but he is also a GENIUS and a brilliant strategist that really never loses (plus he has charisma, so when he's as asshole, people LOVE him more)
He has reinvented Apple time and time again.
The integrated stack is their power. He either had great luck or great forsight in allowing Bill to create the PC industry (which took big diversity, an ecosystem and tons of partners) while he stayed monolithic and waited for it all to become a commodity.
Once its a commodity, people just want the "one that works and looks pretty" and "rule of the geek" is over. Thats now and BAM enter Jobs. Thus Apple market share climbs and he hasnt really done much at all except stick with the formula and make two GREAT moves:
1) leverage his work at NeXT to flush legacy MacOS thus getting BIG reward for MINIMAL investment since most of the work was done and MacOS was a dinosaur
2) switch to Intel thus gaining parts parity with the PC and opening the door for shit like bootcamp
While that was cooking he essentially took total ownership of portable audio (embarassing Sony, MSFT, Amazon, and all of the MP3 player industry) and then entered the phone business, turned the model UPSIDE down (something MSFT has INSISTED cant happen) and beaten the hell out of Win Mobile.
All of these moves required BIG balls and ruthlessness. Without going into a lot of detail, I am privy to some behind the scenes iPhone chatter pre-ATT deal and it was PURE hardball "YOU NEED US DINOSAUR!" type talk to all of the big names you can imagine.
And what happened? He was right and he won. Does anyone talk about or care about his hardball with other CEOs? NO! why would they?! Why SHOULD they???
ONLY MSFT gets ideological analysis. Thats the core of my point.
The current generation is lost, to be honest. My interest lies in fixing this LONG term which is why I am VERY bullish on XBox (an unpopular topic here, but the folks here are wrong on this)
I donate time to inner city schools and talk to kids. Kids that dont know WHAT MSFT is LOVE XBox. Kids that think Apple IS the only computer, LIVE on XBox Live.
XBox is our ONE remaining brand brightspot for the next generation. We have a narrow window to capitalize on it and fix things.
Anyone who thinks this sounds "ruthless" or "shallow" just really doesnt understand the realities of business well.
You will have ups and downs with products, but long term, your brand power will keep you alive. Without it, the greatest product in the world wont sell at all. History is litered with examples.
Saturday, May 03, 2008 9:56:00 PM