Political at a Party

We were driving to a party at the house of a local family. As we turned into their syreet, I spotted a car with a sticker supporting Ben Carson for president.

“Oh God,” I started to fret. “What if these crazy people are going to the same place we are?”

I shouldn’t have worried, though. These are wealthy people we are visiting. They even have a very chic live band performing. There aren’t likely to be any Carson supporters here.

A Particularly Briefed Pope

And the most insane sentence I have heard all week (and mind you, it’s a week of a Republican debate) also appeared in the NYTIMES:

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, called Pope Francis to brief him on the “ongoing Israeli aggression in occupied East Jerusalem, and particularly against Al Aqsa Mosque.”

This is the only time the Pope appears in the article, and the reasons for his appearance remain forever shrouded in mystery. The words “brief” and “particularly” are especially mystifying.

Are Palestinians an Invented People?

From the New York Times:

Israeli settlers have long asserted that the Palestinians are an invented people and that the West Bank’s real name is Judea and Samaria.

Statements of this kind tend to drive me up a wall. All nations are imaginary communities, all ethnic and national groups are invented, all places in the world are likely to have had a bizillion and one different names throughout history.

Saying this sort of thing is as idiotic as announcing with a look of somebody invested with a higher knowledge, “Did you hear? Those Palestinians have heads. That’s so freaky.” Of course, Palestinians have heads just like everyone else does but this inconvenient fact is omitted.

Every attempt of a nation-state (or an aspiring nation-state) to derive legitimacy from being less invented and less historically recent than somebody else are risible and doomed to failure.

This is the 21 century, people. The only way the nation-state can prove its legitimacy at this point is by offering a high standard of living to its citizens. Look at Syrians. They turn around and leave without any consideration for the national mythology of who lived where first, second and last. And they are absolutely right. Keeping people even somewhat attached is hard enough even for the nation-states that are offering a lot more than boring old fairy-tales of nationalism.

Lessons in Consistency and Self-respect

Two weeks ago, the White House issued “a stern warning” to Russia not to intervene militarily in Syria’s civil war.

A week later, President Obama condemned Russia for sending weapons and troops to Syria as “a move doomed to failure.”

Yesterday, the White House reversed two weeks’ worth of policy and  reached out to Russia with an offer to cooperate on Syria. The efforts to help anti-Assad rebels were scrapped in favor of propping up Assad with Russia’s help.

For several years, Russia has been demanding that the US drop its opposition to dictator Assad. Today, the US is begging Putin to help out with putting in place what has been Russia’s plan all along.

It is, of course, an absolute mystery why Russians openly and viciously ridicule Obama and call him, among many very racist things, weak.

P.S. Also, please observe how Obama‚Äôs foreign policy is identical to that exposed by Donald Trump during the debate on Wednesday. “I’m confident I can have a good working relationship with Putin. I have no idea how but I know I can. I just know if I talk to him, all will be fine.” Identical.