…us inequality, preferable to socialism?…

… or, so it seems…

A recent post over at the lindau blog (linked at economist’s view blog)  is something of a headscratcher. Or is it?

Summary results of a study by Judith Niehues, Cross-Country Differences in Perceptions of Inequality. Couple excerpts that may define a national characteristic, one unique to the US.

Whereas Americans are not very concerned about the large income inequalities in their country, Germans view considerably smaller differences much more critically. Our newly developed indicator of perceived inequality – the ‘subjective Gini coefficient’ – can explain up to two-thirds of such cross-country differences in concerns about inequality and willingness to support policies to do something about it.

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…of all refs, rizzoli?…

…cheap gamesmanship, really cheap…

We had the accusation that Marco Rodríguez of Mexico has favoured, and would favour Brazil against Germany, the same Rodríguez of Italy v Uruguay fame. And we all know what happened there. The ref who did a truly commendable job, even seemed on couple occasions to overcompensate during the German rout.

Now we have the implication that Nícola Rizzoli tends to favour Argentina? Rizzoli, if not the best, one of the best of the Cup? Truly cheap.

Who we will not mention is that ref, who, during the penalty kicks, allowed Tim Krul to use intimidation tactics against the penalty kickers of tiny, tiny, tiny Costa Rica. Costa Rica? Krul’s tactics did work and would unleash some euphoric Western media to declare Van Gaal’s substitution, a stroke of sheer genius against tiny, tiny, tiny Costa Rica – yet a substitution that somehow failed to occur against the unblinking colossus, Argentina – with Cillessen left to ponder his implied goal-keeping inadequacy for penalty kicks?

Is there a message that the slow of mind are missing?


…the schooling of scolari…

…reputation truly löwered…

As Felipao Scolari continues to bemoan his personal embarrassment and loss of prestige, news continues to surface that his coaching decisions, obvious to even the non-expert, had led the Brasil team to Lamm to be slaughtered, needlessly. The results, not even close, yet certainly  Klöse as Ronaldo knows. As the Telegraph reports, The inside story of what went wrong for Brazil. Brief excerpts,

However, the backlash against him has become increasingly angry with Scolari having apparently changed his team selection and tactics at 11am on Wednesday – just six hours before kick-off in Belo Horizonte – much to the astonishment of the players.

Brazil had trained with three powerful midfielders in Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho and Paulinho to try and combat the strength of the formidable German midfield of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos.

But then Scolari shocked his players by changing his line-up – bringing in the diminutive winger Bernard and leaving out Paulinho and attempting to attack the Germans. It is understood Brazil did not even try this formation in training and Bernard’s inclusion, plus the persistence with the out-of-form striker Fred, left some players bewildered.

[Bold added for emphasis] Read the rest of this entry »


…many are called, but…

…Honduras, Ecuador (remember Switzerland?), so far – from this side of the world…

The US knows what it has to do. And with the renowned Klinsmann as coach we should look forward to at least a draw against his ‘old side’, Germany? Just imagine a victory? Read the rest of this entry »


…driving miss dulcie?…and still in october…

Erstwhile contractor of the US gets some clearly unwanted but well deserved attention mainly from media sources other than the US MSM. So we now have that eager financier for the thwarted lunatic ‘hit’ on Syria by its ‘enforcer’ superpower in a spot of bother – the régime opposes, forbids women driving – an issue that should have had all feminists in the US and other western countries up in arms (metaphor), yet silence.

Juan Cole on his informed comment posts this satirical look at the modern woman of Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia No Woman, No Drive (Saudi Satire Video)

A solution? The Saudi women drivers all go to the US or the UK or Canada or Australia or New Zealand, drive there, then return home? Even have a Saudi Ladies Drive Competition? On prime-time Five Eyes TV?…

…Prof Cole’s other posts highlight the obvious and embarrassing: October is a month that major branches of the US government would have liked to terminate in its first week. And that is evident from some of his blog postings.

Over at emptywheel there is no joy either, as this expert on national security disassembles the extent of the dysfunction and chaos in the US conduct of foreign affairs. Did Lying Keith Just Accuse Obama of Lying? 

And for greater exposure, common dreams cross-posts the emptywheel post as well as one from Prof Cole’s site, which is referenced in Jon Queally’s analysis of the prevarication, obfuscation and state of panicked confusedness of the major actors in the farce. If Obama Didn’t Know About Merkel Spying, What Was It For? 

And when you think it could not get worse, comes this latest comic touch: Broad policy guidelines were agreed with the spying agency; and on only these broad guidelines the agency would report. No report was necessary on niggling details such as economic, industrial, political, institutional espionage committed against countries or spying on a country’s leader, details from which so many can literally profit. And that tidily explains this collective response of the Sgt Schultz Brigade: ‘We heard nothing; we saw nothing. We know nothing’, as the croupier approaches with the winnings (Apologies to Capt Renault).

The hoax perpetrated on the citizens of the US and the rest of the world for so long, now untidily exposed.

.…October, the longest month in this tiresome Liars Competition?…


…the beacon of democracy…the hypocrisy…the fraudulence…

‘The greatest democracy in the history of the world’… And as events continue to unfold – and no thanks to an enabling US establishment media.

Hypocrisy (Is The Greatest Luxury)

Martha Finnemore and I have a piece in the new Foreign Affairs (http://fam.ag/1eGsdT1 should get you past the paywall for the next few weeks) on Snowden, Manning, and how it’s suddenly more difficult for the US to rely on hypocrisy.

As the heat continues to build, as it should have done in the case of Dilma, we have,  NSA surveillance: Merkel’s phone may have been monitored ‘for over 10 years’

But what did the famous Jay Carney say?


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…a khrushchev moment? paris?…

History in a cynical replay? That 1960 Paris Summit? How time flies, especially when folk only ‘look forward’.

In the days of the USSR as the bad guy, and the US, the good guy (what else?), there was that planned meeting in 1960 between President Nikita Khrushchev and President Ike Eisenhower in Paris. And that U2 plane over the Soviet Union vehemently denied by the US? Only to discover that…

Today the difference is that these countries are the supposed friends and allies of the USA, not so? And, in the case of spying by the US on the German Chancellor’s mobile phone, how did the US President’s Jay Carney put it, ‘The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,’ Priceless. Now how would the average high school student interpret that statement? Would such a student preface the statement with something like, ‘Never judge a person’s competence by only the degree…’?

And how did Le Monde quote the NSA on the benefits of its spying on France at the UN? The organisation was given the Seal of Approval by the modest Ms Susan Rice, and with fulsome praise.

…Pour vanter ses mérites, l’agence de renseignement cite Susan Rice, alors ambassadrice américaine auprès des Nations unies, à propos du travail réalisé par la NSA : “Cela m’a aidée à connaître(…) la vérité, à révéler les positions sur les sanctions et nous a permis deconserver un train d’avance dans les négociations.”…

You just cannot get better than this – for hubris.

Clearly, when compared with public officials of other countries, only one long obvious conclusion can be drawn. However it is entirely different for those in the shadows, those who do run the country – as Western ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ finally realise.